Mexico Vera Cruz Mission

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 23, 2013

This week went pretty well. We found some amazing people that are truly ready for the gospel. One of them  is named Malena and her 2 children Chema and Azul. Malena is divorced and lives alone. She met with missionaries a long time ago and really liked the Book of Mormon. But, she lost contact with those missionaries and with her divorce lost her Book of Mormon. We were visiting her neighbor Jorbelin and she saw us, so she told her cousin, who is an active member, to tell the missionaries to visit her. So we went to visit her. She has a small problem with coffee and alcohol. And so we taught her the word of wisdom. We asked her if she would live the word of wisdom. She told us, "It's something very hard, but if it's from the Lord I'll do it". I've never had such an answer like that. It was truly amazing. She is stopping to drink those and to live all the commandments. Then she came to church Sunday and told us that she believes everything is true. She wants to be baptized and everything. She was truly prepared because of the missionaries that visited her 4 YEARS AGO! She is working hard to live all the commandments and to become a member. 

We also found a woman named Erlinda. She likes her bible a lot.... she has it with her all the time and reads a lot. When we found her she believed that all the churches were good  because they all worship God. We invited her to church and she came also. The truth we didn't have very much time to visit her and see how it went but I think she really liked it. Those were the 3 investigators that went to church this week. Oh and a girl named Jareli and her brother Christian. They are both really good too. They have a hard time understanding everything we teach but they are good people.  The Lord truly has blessed us that we could find these people. We are working hard to prepare them for a baptism. 

This week we also had a conference with Presidente Treviño and a member of the Area 70. It was with all the ward councils of the stake. It was really amazing. They were mostly just explaining how the ward should work together with the missionaries. Mostly he talked about that and the responsibilities of each calling. It was pretty amazing and I think it helped the ward a lot. The ward I'm in truly has soooo much potential. There are 115 on average every week. For Mexico that's a good number. (I don't remember how much is it back home?) But right now its hard to get them to work. The conference we had lifted their spirits to work in the Lord's work. 

That was my week.   Life's good! Hope all is well back home. Wow.......almost forgot to everyone MERRY CHRISTMAS! Please remember the our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ in this time. Serve others and help others always. Strive to develop charity or pure love for all people. 

Elder Hakes   

23 / December / 2013 Veracruz, Ver.

Dear family of our missionary:
It is for me a great honor to address you on this special occasion, Christmas. The time that we join the world to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We know that he was born in another time, but it's nice to create unity with each other these days and enjoy the atmosphere of love and brotherhood.
Your son/daughter is doing a great job here in the mission. This work is highly related to the season; which is to invite all to come unto Christ. For this he/she has established a very close relationship with him by learning from his life and his teachings, praying intensely, emulating his example, acquiring attributes similar to His, and speak with strong testimony about His divinity. Because of this, many people have been blessed and many of them have joined the Kingdom of God through baptism.
Certainly this Christmas there will be an empty Chair, gifts unopened, unused bed, and a place available in the room and your home table, but I want you to know that today, more than ever; and very differently from all the other years, all those spaces will be filled by the grateful and loving spirit of Christ who miraculously will compensate for the absence of your child. Not only with the feeling of comfort, love, peace, and membership but also with all the blessings that he knows are necessary in your home and are a direct consequence of the faithful and selfless service your valuable son/daughter; who has literally been an angel in every sense of the word to all those with whom they have touched here in the mission especially for me, my wife and my children. To know him/her and love him/her is one of the greatest blessings we have as a family. Thank you for letting us have him/her and enjoy their spirit and friendship. We want you to know that we consider him/her part of our family and so it will be forever.
More than two thousand years ago angels were announcing, like your children are currently announcing, the Nativity of Jesus, saying: "glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men!" Luke 2:14. It is our hope that today and always He will impart that peace and that good will in your home, your neighborhood, and your community.
True peace only Jesus Christ can provide, "peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you;" I don't give you as the world gives..." John 14:27 to live the Gospel, to serve, to share the truth, and to love as he did will be lighten the challenges of life and we will feel his presence in our hearts every day. May God bless you and may we rejoice together this Christmas with your son/daughter this unique and wonderful time of missionary work. We wish this with all our heart, expressing our love for you and your children; in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
President and Sister Treviño

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

Dear Family,
Well, this week was alright ... not too bad not too good. On Tuesday I got sick..... luckily it wasn't till in the night after we had finished teaching all of our investigators. I got salmonella food poisoning:) That was just a great experience let me tell ya......I threw up about 10 times and I had diarrhea like crazy. I felt like it was New Year's Eve in my stomach and my face was whiter than the moon. If that's not enough graphic for you,  I can go into depth even more but I'd rather not do that haha. It was just not very fun and we will leave it at that. I went to the hospital at 10:30 PM and got home at 2:30 AM. The next day I had the opportunity to go in a bus for 2 hours there and 2 hours back. I was pretty darn tired that day. Things I learned from this experience:
1. The doctors here are not very good at injecting, they messed up 3 times with the needle
2. The doctors are very good with their drugs cause I was good as new after 1 day
3. Pregnant ladies scream a lot (I was in a bed and a lady that was gonna have her baby was right next me on another bed)
4. Never want to go back to a hospital in Mexico nor have salmonella

So ya that was that experience..... haha. Besides that, the week went ok. We went with Paola and she has been really rebellious...she hit her mom and smoked.... it's just not a great story over there right now. We want to help her but you can't help someone if they don't accept the help. Then, we found a woman named Malena. She is a cousin of the 2nd counselor of the bishopric. She is a very smart lady and likes the church a lot. She said the first time she talked with the missionaries and they gave her the Book of Mormon, she read most of it in a week or 2. SO she was excited to see us again and to get another Book of Mormon. The only bad thing is she didn't go to church this week.... we went and talked with her neighbor who is a different investigator and she told us that she went to a party the other night. So....that was a bummer but she is really good besides that. 

Then, we were talking with her neighbor who is Jorbelin. She is a pretty amazing 12 year old to be completely honest. She acts and looks more like a matured 20 year old. I was shocked when she said shes only 12. But we couldn't find her because she was working so we talked with her mom. Her mom told us that she came out one day and said "Be quiet because I'm going in my room to pray if the Book of Mormon is true because I have to know."  That was a pretty amazing thing to hear! But she didn't go to church either..... 

In fact we didn't have an investigator in the sacrament. I felt horrible that first hour. It was just like "what the heck? Whats going on here?" Its literally the worst feeling in the world. So I said a prayer in my heart asking the Lord if just one person would show up. Me and my companion got up after the first hour and walked outside to find the mother of Jorbelin in the hall with her daughters Isis and Ivon. That was just such an awesome feeling. Because I was literally dying because no one was there and then we found them in the hall, I can't even tell you the joy I felt! But they went through the whole time and they loved everything. And the mom is gonna listen to us to now. 

That was pretty much my week. Life is good! I'm doing great, love the mission.
Elder Hakes

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December 9, 2013

Dear Family,
This week was a good one. We found quite a few people who are really good. We found a woman and her husband named Perla and Octavio. We have been talking more with Perla because her husband is always working. But, she is Catholic and is a very good woman. The problem is she isn't married And needs to get seems like that is always the problem. And she didn't go to church cause she has to go to her Catholic church. Then we found a man named Tiburcio. He is a super good man. He let us in and we have taught him twice. He likes everything that he has heard so far. Unfortunately he didn't go to church yesterday though....we told a member to pass by the house for him on her way to church but she got confused or something and didn't go. So, he didn't come to church either. Needless to say it was kinda tough in the fact that we didn't have a whole lot of investigators in the church. We did have Paola and Jorbelin. I don't remember if I've talked about them before but....they are cousins. One of them is 12 and the other is 15. Both these girls have gone to church 3 times and have all the lessons we teach as missionaries. They are pretty good but they still have to go 2 more times to church. So they will be baptized on the 22nd. I think that's just about the best Christmas present you could get. But regardless we are working hard. 

Tomorrow we have transfers but I found out yesterday that I am going to be staying another exchange in Carlos A Carrillo. I'm all good with that although sometimes I kinda want to leave. I want to leave and be with another gringo with the same time where I have to do everything. Cause I feel like that would be the best way for me to learn. But regardless I am happy happy happy to be here and learn a little bit more from my companion. He's helping me a lot to learn more about the lessons and how to help the people. 

The other day I went to the temple! That was pretty awesome! A little bit weird with the new video and it being in Spanish, but I liked it a lot! The temple is such an amazing place. If you live nearby the temple you should go once a week! It's such an amazing place! I love it there. 

We also had a Christmas devotional as the mission.

Then yesterday we got to watch the Christmas devotional from the first presidency. I liked the end when Russel M. Nelson spoke a lot. The devotional was amazing and a great reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. And since it's the Christmas season I think we should be forgiving. Forget yourself and help all others. and the best gift as a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints that you can give is the gospel. Please share the gospel with someone you know.

I got to give a talk in sacrament this last Sunday and was thinking in the point of view of the members and came up with a formula. 1. Love your neighbor or the person you want to share the gospel with. 2. Serve them in whatever way you can 3. They will recognize the difference in you and you can share the gospel and testify of the gospel and how it has blessed you 4. Then we MUST invite. In preach my gospel it talks about the importance of all of this but especially in inviting. Millions of people are looking for the truth but don't know where to find it. We have the duty as members of the church to share the gospel. This Christmas give your heart to some in service, then share your happiness with them and invite them to learn more. It's a simple pattern that I know is true and works. The Lord blesses us for our efforts. Look for someone in your life to share the gospel with. I promise there is at least one person you know waiting. 

I love you guys thank you for everything.

Elder Hakes   

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 2, 2013

This week was Thanksgiving! But they don't do anything here....haha. Oh well! But we had some pretty darn good tacos for Thanksgiving. Actually I completely forgot that it was Thanksgiving then a member in the ward told me and I was goin nuts haha. 


But today was more of the feast. Today and actually right now I'm in a town called Tlacotalpan. It's a tiny town along the river here. We came here and were eating in a buffet. We ate a ton! It was a breakfast buffet. We ate eggs with steak and shrimp and a bunch picadas(partially fried tortillas and beans), and bunch of other stuff you have never heard of. It was pretty darn good.

Then we went to an old theater. We just went inside and were taking pictures and stuff. It was pretty fun.

But this week went alright in the work. We still have a family of 5 that are progressing. They are making me nervous though because they have been acting weird like they don't want to listen anymore. But we will see this week. Then we have a guy named David. He is gonna be baptized on the 8th if everything goes well. He's kinda shaky right now too. Not sure why....he knows everything and he's a good dude, he is just nervous to be baptized and of what will happen after.We are gonna work hard so that he can feel ready for the 8th. 

Then we found a girl named Ana and her little brother Francisco. They are really good, but their parents are super Catholic. They don't want them to do anything with the church. So we will see what happens with them too. 

This Friday we get to go to the temple! FINALLY! I've been waiting since I came in the mission to go to the temple. We are gonna go has part of the mission Friday morning. So I'm excited for that! 

It's hard to believe its already December and Dhristmas is right around the corner. I hope all is well back home. The most important commandment of the Lord is that we are obedient. Obey and he will bless you disobey and receive the consequences. Its a pretty simple plan if you ask me. Yes it's difficult to follow, but always try to do what's right.

 Love you guys! Thank you for all the support. Take care!

Elder Hakes

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 25, 2013

Dear Family,
This week went pretty well. We found 23 new investigators this week! My companion said he has never had that many before. We found a family of 6 that are  really interested too. They accepted to be baptized December 15th. But, I don't know if I'll be there which would stink but regardless it's pretty cool. The parents aren't as interested, but all the kids love it. They went to church and enjoyed it. They're gonna keep listening and hopefully they continue. They are a good family. 

We also found a family of 5. The 2 kids and the mom are listening a lot and like the church. The dad not so much and the other one is a little girl. This week was pretty cool because one of the missionaries that got here the same time as me got to baptize a guy named Pillo. He is a huge guy...not to be mean but just so you can imagine how big he reminds me of Kung Fu Panda. My friend, Elder Melgar is like 5 foot 7 and probably weighs 140 pounds. It was a battle haha. But what made it special was the things that he had been through. He had a motorcycle accident like a month ago. He almost lost his foot in the accident. His toes were pretty messed up too. But I remember we were all there and gave him a blessing. His foot is still messed up but he can walk and was able to be baptized yesterday. It was pretty awesome. 

For us we got to baptized Marbella this week so that she could be confirmed a member with her sister. I got to be the one to baptize her. It went a little bit funny cause she got to the last step of the font and then she fell into the water and got soaked. I had to pick her up so she could get her footing haha. Then after that everything was good! 

We have baptized 3 weeks in a row now. It feels pretty good seeing the people accept the gospel and letting it change their lives. We are working hard to find more people. That's always the hardest part finding people. That's why this week we trained the ward missionaries how to contact people. It was pretty fun. I got to play the grumpy investigator. haha. But it went well and they are gonna talk with people and find references for us. 

My comp's a good guy. I feel like he's got mostly everything down. Sometimes he's a little prideful but that's just how he is. But he's a goofball.  He will be super serious and then does the most goofy things haha. Its pretty funny. He reminds me of my dad sometimes haha. Right now we are addicted to making chocolate or strawberry milk with banana. Its so darn good! haha.

I actually was a little sick this week but it was just a cold. I still have it a little bit. Everyone here freaks out if you have a little cough. Its kinda weird. They all are asking oh have you taken any medicine or do you want a blessing. I'm just like you guys are ridiculous I have a cough haha. I don't know... its just different. 

The missionary life is good! Hope all is well back home!

Elder Hakes

...I asked Brent what he is thankful for....

I'm thankful for a lot of things mama.....I could send a whole letter of things I'm grateful for. But more than anything is the family I have. My parents are pretty darn good. I see so many kids here that have no rules and do whatever they want and end up with problems. I can't tell you how many 15 year old girls I've met that have kids....or 13 year old drug addicts. I am thankful that you guys put rules for me. Also for the church. That it also teaches everything that you taught me. That I always have a home in the church along with all of my family. I am grateful to know that almost all of our family are active members, including cousins. I had good schooling. I'm grateful that Gary let me work for him so that I can be here right now. All the llittle miracles I've seen here. ETC.....and hundreds of other things.....