Mexico Vera Cruz Mission

Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014

So......this week! We finally had a baptism! 

After working a hard couple months we finally had one. It was an awesome experience. I got to be able to baptize Maria del Carmen. The baptismal service was very awesome. One of the better ones I've ever been a part of. We could feel the spirit very strongly there. So strong that in the end the brother in law of Maria started to have tears and told us that he wanted to be baptized too. We are gonna go find him and teach him so that he can be baptized in 3 weeks. 


We also were able to find some very good people this week. One is named Carmen. She was a member of a Pentecostal church. But, now she's not going and does nothing with church. It was an awesome experiences. She was talking about lots of things and what I loved was that the spirit guided us in what we were saying. She asked about polygamy, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. The polygamy question is always a weird one to explain. But, we explained it well enough that she understood. Then we started talking about Joseph Smith and the first vision. In that I could truly feel the spirit. I know that she felt what I felt and that she is going to read the Book of Mormon. And yes, she has been reading it since we left it with her. She was gonna go to church with us but couldn't come because she had work... that kinda stunk. But says she'll go with us this next week. I know that we were guided by the spirit in this lesson that she could feel the truth and for that reason she is reading and getting to know the church. And when she goes to church she'll recognize that it's the truth. I'm sure she will be baptized in 5 weeks. 


This week also had some funny things happen haha. We were sitting in a house of some members waiting for the food. Just sitting there talking like normal and then an iguana came running in the house! So we shut the door and were chasing after it. 


Then it went inside the couch and we couldn't get it for a little while. So then we lifted the couch up and started shaking it. Then the iguana left and went under the bed of the sister. haha 


So we kept chasing until finally this kid got a hold of it and captured it. It was pretty cool and that's why I have the pictures of the iguana. 

The week went pretty well and we had a good time. This area is super weird...haha we have lots of weird people that do interesting things and stuff like moving dead dogs, iguanas going in houses haha. Tons of weird things. It's pretty funny. But it's all good. 

I am going to start giving English classes I think this week. I don't know... we will see how it goes and if we find people through it then great... if not well we will just stop. 

And this week was pretty funny. We went on the bus 4 of us going back to our areas. We decided hey lets sing some hymns! So we all sang like 3 or 4 hymns on our bus ride home. We got some strange looks but hey it was fun! And who cares I'll probably never see them again! But we had a good time with that. And......I think that's about it! 

It was a fun week!


Elder Hakes  

March 17, 2014


I'm feeling pretty good about this cabin your gonna make me;) haha. Sounds like it's gonna be sweet when I get back. 

This week has been rather interesting hahhaa! We went to go help clean the church and there was a dead dog in front! It was just dead it didn't have any blood or cuts or anything it was just dead. This was Saturday by the way! We were thinking of ways to get rid of it or what we should do.... so we finally decided that we had to move. SO we got a little tarp and rolled it onto that. Then we carried it to a spot where its more jungle like and not as many people and we through it in the forest hahaha. IT was rather interesting..I took a video but I can't send it to you cause it's too big....but I have some photos so don't worry!!!! haha. 

This week we finally confirmed a baptismal date for this Sunday. Her name Maria del Carmen. We have worked with her for a long time! But before she was drinking coffee and didn't want to get rid of it but she finally committed to get rid of it and be baptized!!!! I'm excited for that one. I've been waiting a long time for a baptism here...finally coming up on Sunday. We've been working hard to find people to teach and we found 10 new people this week. Its been hard finding the people and then making sure that they keep listening and actually go to church. You never would think that it would be hard to get someone to go to church.... think again! 

We are working right now with lots of kids...its kind of a struggle to teach them and keep them really entertained at the same time. This week I have been remembering the holy ghost. The importance it has in the conversion of every single one of us. The way we receive our knowledge is through the spirit. Starts with studying and then practicing with your companion. Then, when we teach and the spirit is there so that they feel the need to pray and ask God. Then that the investigators can receive the spirit. The Holy spirit testifies of the truth and helps us know right from wrong and shows us all things that we must do. I know that this is the way we receive our testimony and that is we keep doing it is when we become converted. I love talking about this subject. 

There was a talk That Elder Bednar gave in the MTC that he talked a lot about this. I really liked it, I just wish I could find it. It's name is "Character of Christ".  Talked about a  lot of things but this is one of the things that stood out most to me. He said, "Just because you have a testimony doesn't mean you're converted". We are always striving and working to strengthen our testimonies. From now until the day we die. And then we receive the confirmation of these truths. I know that the way to learn the truth is through prayer and the holy spirit. We can have it in all moments and that it guides us through the hard times in our lives. 

I love this work and the support you all give me. Take care!

Elder Hakes

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 10, 2014

Dear Family,
This week my new companion arrived.. His name is Elder Muñoz. He's from somewhere called Acapulco or something like that......He's a little bit weird but he's a good dude. I've felt the spirit when we've been teaching together a lot. H'es a good man and we are gonna have a lot of success. We went this week with some old investigators. One is named Maria del Carmen. She's like a grandma that we have taught a lot and was going to be baptized like 3 times but then she just wanted to keep drinking coffee and so we let her be for a while. Yesterday we went back and talked with her. So we went to go find her. She was in her house and had been feeling sick. And the thought in my head was to give her a blessing. So we offered and she accepted. I gave her the blessing and we finished. She told us she felt a warmth come over her and that everything was going to be fine. Then she continued to tell us that she had a dream that she was going up some stairs to grand palace. She got about to the top but she faulted the last step to get there. For some reason she couldn't get up and make it to the palace. She said it was super beautiful and she really wanted to get there but she couldn't get there. And that was her dream. Then my companion and I asked her what she thought that it meant. She paused for a second and looked at us and said "..........baptism." The spirit came into the room very strongly in that moment. She now knows with out a doubt that its the truth. She wants to be baptized now but she still has to get rid of coffee. So we are working hard with her and if she is truly repented when our district leader interviews her she will be baptized this next Saturday. 

So that was the super cool story for the week now for the not so cool..... I've started to eat a lot of spicy food. I'm eating Habaneros by themselves and stuff like that. And my goodness I ate one super darn spicy yesterday. I was crying a little bit!!!! It wasn't super hot anywhere but it made me cry it was super weird! Especially because I have already been eating them a lot and I've adjusted quite a bit but man it was hot yesterday....

Also, I learned about the power of Hymns. We have started singing hymns to the people and investigators. We ask them to close their eyes and think about Baptism, your family, etc. And then we sing its been super amazing to see the spirit it invites and that you can see it in the peoples eyes that they feel it. 

Also, I got to participate in giving another blessing to a investigator of another companionship. We gave him a blessing and at the end he was crying. He told us he knew that it was true. We bore our testimonies that it was the Holy Ghost testifying of the truth and we left. Another thing we did is we asked for blessings from one of the leaders in the ward and that we could give a blessing to every member of their family. It was pretty cool. I felt that the Brother gave me a lot of comfort and support some doubts I had. The power of the priesthood is amazing. It truly is the power and authority of God. And as we are worthy we can use it to help others. It's been a great blessing to be able to help others feel the spirit and power of the holy priesthood. I know that it is real. That it is the power of god on the earth and the only way we can enter into the kingdom of God is through ordinances under this authority. Whenever you feel down ask your bishop, father, home teachers,etc for a blessing. I am grateful for the time I have here and that I can help these people. 

Elder Hakes

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March 3, 2014

This week was an alright one. I've been having a hard time getting along with my companion. It was very hard for me to adjust to him and a new area but now I finally started a little bit and learned some hard words. I feel like they are some of the hardest 2 words there are. They are "I'M SORRY" or "FORGIVE ME". I don't know why it was hard for me to get along with him....more than anything it was that I was trying to be super obedient and he didn't care as much. It put me in a very frustrated and angry mood which doesn't really work for you as a missionary. BUT, I finally learned those couple words that are so easy but yet so hard. It's amazing to see what happens when you just talk with the person. And so my companion and I started to get along better and we had a little bit of success. I feel like that was what I had to learn this exchange. Now, my companion is leaving tomorrow. This exchange went faster than all the others I've had. But now I'll start a new one and work hard to find success. 

This work is amazing and I love learning more every day. 

I love you guys very much and thank you all.

Elder Hakes