Mexico Vera Cruz Mission

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February 24, 2014

It's been weird in this area.....I feel like there are tons of people that will listen to us and they like everything, but they won't change because they like their church. They don't want to even try to see if it's the truth. It's very weird haha. They feel the spirit and they think it's correct, but they don't want to pray and ask if it's the truth. Sometimes people are just stubborn. The work is going pretty well, it's just been very hard to maintain the people attending church.

 Earlier in the week I got to go to a service project as a translator. It was with some club of optometrists (eye doctors) that brought a bunch of used glasses that are decent over here to give to the needy. They also brought their gear to check and dilate their eyes. So I helped a whole day working on that. It was kinda cool. I felt very strange speaking in English the whole time and there were many times when I started speaking in Spanish to the guy and he looked at me and said are you talking to me? haha. That was pretty fun and a good time.

I'm trying to think of cool stuff I've seen here but nothing is coming to mind at the moment.....I've seen lots of iguanas in this area! That and there is lots of sand:) haha. But ya the work is going well. We only are struggling a little in finding people that truly want to find the truth. I know the Lord will help us find the people he just like testing are patience sometimes haha. 

Something I've found out in my mission that I really like to do is read my patriarchal blessing. I've been reading it a lot and trying to learn and study from it. I've seen a lot of things already in my mission that were mentioned there. If you have you blessing I suggest you read it. Look at what the Lord has prepared for you. I love when I find blessings that I never even noticed but have happened and for that reason I like to study it. I know the Lord always has blessing prepared for us and only that much more when you are obedient. It's  simple that our Lord has for us.....the only thing that's complicated is that we are human beings and this world we live in. That's why in preach my gospel there is Chapter 6 Christ like Attributes. That's something I've started to study a little bit more. That I can be more like the Savior. Working on my Patience and humility. Mostly patience......haha. I'll be honest that's my crutch. I have a hard time being a patient person. But that's what I'll be working on for a while. I love the working I'm doing and grateful to be here. 

Elder Hakes

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February 17, 2014

Dear Family,

This week we had an OK week. We had 6 investigators in the church. We are working really hard with a grandma over here. She has listened to all the lessons and understands them all. She can be baptized when she wants too. So, she had her interview and she's been drinking coffee so she has to wait 15 days.... That kind stunk but hey, she's got to learn the word of wisdom. We also have a kid that is 13 years old. He also has problems with coffee. Its crazy over here the kids are all drinking coffee I've even seen babies that are drinking coca cola out of the baby bottle. CRAZY PEOPLE!!! 

My companion is from Mexico City. He's pretty short haha. He's a good guy it's just been a little bit harder to adjust to him because he is bipolar. Also to adjust to the different teaching styles. We starting to get along better and the teaching also. It was a little hard at first but we are starting to get clicking. 

This week we found 21 new people to teach. The only bad thing is we didn't have any of them in the church! SO we are gonna work really hard to get them in the church. I want to fill up the whole sacrament with investigators. Our attendance has grown a little bit. 

Our branch president told us we need 3 more worthy men that pay tithing so it can be a ward and they can build a church. Right now they rent a house. That's one of my goals before I leave here. That they can have all the plans to build the church and 3 worthy men paying tithing. There is actually a lot of potential in this little town. The branch president is a super good dude and really knows how to lead. When I first saw him I thought , "Wow, he'd be a darn good linebacker" haha. He looks like an NFL linebacker! Big man! haha. 

I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for me here. Its weird to think I already have 5 weeks here. I just started I thought! This week we had a conference with President TreviƱo. It was pretty awesome. We talked a little bit about what we learned from a different conference and also we could think of what the Lord has in store for us, and what he expects of us. We watched a video that showed lots of photos or video clips of the Savior. SO I was sitting there thinking about many things....before we even started the movie I had tons of things that came to my head of what he expects of me. Most of it came to me from Patriarchal Blessing. I could feel the spirit confirm the words of my blessing and what I am to do in this life. I know the Lord has a plan specifically for me. And everyone of us. Sometimes it's long and hard and we feel down. Other moments, we can't hold back all the joy we have within. Every single experience we have, we have it for a reason! Look in your own life and analyze day by day the things you were blessed with. We can find the Love of our Savior in every single day. I know he lives, he loves us, and is waiting with open arms on the other side of the veil. The question is if you are willing to follow him.

Elder Hakes

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 10, 2013

Dear Family,
Alright.....this week has been a good one! The church was literally full this week! I don't remember if I have said anything, but it's a branch of about 40. This week we have 60 and about half of the extra 20 were investigators! That felt pretty darn good to see that. We also found quite a few new people that are truly ready to hear the gospel. One of them is a family of 5. We found them Saturday and they came to church the next day and loved it! Had lots of questions and we are gonna go find them this week. It was awesome! That was one of the better weeks in church. I was kinda scared at first because we got there and had about 10 people there right before we started the meeting. But the branch president was even a little late and then we went to look for another investigator. We came back and there were like 50 people. We are working hard to get a lot of baptisms this next month. We are working to find a couple for this month too but its a little more difficult cause they have to go to church 5 times before baptism. 

This week was also my birthday so I ate some of my favorite tacos:) It was great! I'm gonna learn how to make them so I can teach you guys maybe even a restaurant some day! Also a learned a good friend of mine is going on a mission. I will be an uncle of a baby boy. My rugby team beat a rival. And the work went really well. What more to ask for? haha. I'm happy with what I have. The lord knows our necessities. If we do our part, he will bless us.

I love this work. I hope all is well back home. 

I love you guys, thank you for all the support.
Elder Hakes

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 4, 2014

This week has been pretty good! We are still working hard to find new people...that's what we are lacking right now, people that want to learn and progress. This week we had a visit from Elder Johnson. He's the president of the area or something like that. He is a great man and taught us a lot. What I liked the most is he explained to us the nature of God. He also left us with an interesting challenge. He told us to go home and in the night offer a prayer asking the following:
1. God do you exist?
2. Do you know me?
3. Do you have a plan for me?
4. Do you love me?
It was interesting to think about this because it's honestly something I had never done, or thought about. I've always believed in God, why should I ask? But I did it. I had an amazing experience. I was thinking about this for a couple days and then I went to read my patriarchal blessing. In my blessing, I received the confirmation I was looking for. 

I testify that God exists. He is our loving father in heaven. He loves me and he loves you. He knows my thoughts my weaknesses etc. And more than that is that he will help us in our trials. He has a plan for every single one of us, but we have the agency to choose to follow him or the devil. If we follow him we are blessed and will have the opportunity to receive Eternal Life, the greatest gift. We may forget God, but He will never forget us. 

Stay strong in the faith always abounding in good works and keeping the commandments. 

I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Elder Hakes