Mexico Vera Cruz Mission

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014


This week was interesting. We talked with one of our investigators. Shes named Mariantiv and is 14 years old. She is super good and has a strong testimony about the gospel. She was going to be baptized this last week BUT her mom wouldn't let her. She doesn't think shes ready and wants to wait longer. Pretty stupid cause she is super ready. But we will be working so she can be baptized. Don't be surprised if you hear about her baptism in a couple weeks. 

Right now the world cup is going on. Which means whenever Mexico plays like right now the streets are empty and whenever you hear anyone yelling the people run to the tv to see what happened. It's pretty funny everyone is just going crazy with world cup right now. Also we started giving some English classes this week. We will see how they go we didn't have very many people last week but this week should be better! 

Also lots of those pictures I sent home are from when we went to El Cerro de Vigia. Lots of the members call it the Hill of Cumorah I don't really understand why but oh well. We have an investigator that lives up there so we went up in a taxi and hiked across the hill a little ways to go teach her. We then hiked all the way down. It's not too bad going down we are gonna see if I ever hike it all the way up. We never got to the top this week we were just in the middle. 

Everything is going well. I feel weird that I am going to have a year this week and a year from now I will already be home. Very VERY strange thought. I have a lot to do and I have to work hard. We are still trying very hard to find a way to work here in this branch. It's rather difficult for the lack of active members. We had 18 people in church last week. We are gonna work with that. Right now in July where I'm at there is a Fair that they do. Supposedly they sell everything super cheap there and so we are gonna check it out. Should be cool.

 Love you guys keep working hard and keep studying the scriptures DAILY. It's something very important that will help every single one of us to become more converted and that's the whole reason we are here.... to become converted and show it to God through our actions.

Elder Hakes
1980's Book of Mormon

Fried Crickets

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

This week we had a bunch of things interesting happen. 

The first I will start off with is that I ate pig's foot....very weird. It was just super greasy and it was hairy too and ya it just wasn't super great.  Not sure why they give us that stuff to eat. I also ate crickets this week! I had actually tried that before but I think these ones were actally homemade haha. You eat them with salsa too. They arent really anything but crunchy. Not really any flavor to them. Also I tried a fruit called ViƱa. It looks like those trees that have the pea pods just bigger and on the inside around the pea it has this white stuff around it. That's the fruit or whatever you eat. It's alright, it's just kind of a sweet taste and that's about it. Wasn't super good or anything, just kinda weird. Thats about all the weird food I've eaten this week, but it was quite eventful in eating it. 

The other thing that's going on here is some festival they have. I don't know what its called but all the people dress up and they all look like Death Eaters from harry potter/KKK suits. The only difference is that they have a bunch of colors. It's actually really weird haha. They all run around with these little ropes or cords and the all whip each other. Most just do it softly as a joke, but supposedly there's others that do it to just hurt others. They also throw powder all over people, silly string , and whip cream. It's kinda interesting haha. It's just some tradition they have only here in Santiago. I'll let you know if I get hit by anyone and I need to get some good pictures of them. 

Alright, now more for the missionary stuff haha. This week I have been studying the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That's been my focus this last week. Its just a topic that I feel like I need to understand a lot better so that I can help my investigators. Anyways, I truly had an amazing time studying it and realizing a little bit more of what it means for each and everyone of us. The Atonement means that you and can be forgiven of all things. It means that we can be made perfect. That we can return with God. We can have our families forever. And soooooo many other things. But, we have to do our part to get all of these things. One of the parts I really liked was in the bible reading Romans 8. Talked a lot about turning ourselves from the natural man or the flesh and becoming spiritual. It is something that all of us must do here and the only way is through the Atonement. REMEMBER that Jesus, our older brother who loved us so dearly, gave his life for us. Knowing the great love he had for us, I want to ask a question. If he did all he did for us, How do you think he feels when we sin? I thought about that a lot this week. The sadness that he must receive when we sin. But the other part is that we can and always will be able to repent and return unto him. If we do all that we can in this world to show our love for God and Jesus Christ in this world one day we will be able return home once again to their presence. So, let's get to work. A quote came to mind when I was writing this and it's as follows, "This life isn't about how many times we get knocked down rather how many times we get back up." For that reason Christ died, so that we can get back up. I know that Christ is my savior and redeemer. He is my brother. He loves me and loves you.

Please try your hardest to live a life like Christ.

I love you all so very much,
Elder Hakes

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 9, 2014

This week went a little bit better in the church. We had 22 show up and there were people actually there in the beginning. We also had a baptism this week! It was a 17 year old girl named Isabell. She's been having health problems with some skin allergy and hadn't been able to meet the last week but this week she was baptized! It went well and her mom could go to the baptismal service. I got to be the one that baptized her. It was a good experience. It was actually the first time I had gotten to an area and that I could baptize someone taught  from the missionaries that were there before me. SO overall it was just a good experience. 

We are working super hard with less active members (basically all the members) so that they can come back to church and remember the truth. There aren't hardly any members that go to church every single week. The people are really nice but they just don't like committing themselves to go to church. So that's what we are working on. 

All of this week was pretty crazy for the weather. It rained for 5 of the 7 days all day. Very weird feeling.... it actually felt super depressing haha. I will never go live in a rainy place. The streets were filled with water. And like I said, they are all hills so it was just a river going down the hills haha. It was pretty fun. The only thing I didn't like was having my feet wet the whole week. I'm probably gonna go buy some rain boots. They say it rains a lot here in rain seasons and that's supposed to be coming up soon. 


My companion is Elder Killpack. He's a good dude. We get along rather well. He's from Santaquin Utah. Not sure where it's at, but that's where he's from. He will probably finish the mission with me here in Santiago or at least that what we think cause he's going home in August. He reminds me a little bit of my little brother Cody. He's a big dude and he's really goofy. But we have had some good times. 

We named one of the iguanas that we see everyday. It's gigantic! I still have to take a picture of it cause its like 3 times as big as the picture I sent of the iguana. His name's Iggy! Here in Mexico, they supposedly eat iguanas and my companion and I were thinking maybe we go and catch one and give it to a member to cook for us. We still haven't determined if we will do it.....I'll let you know if we ever do:) 

Everything is going pretty well....The only other thing is I have a sore throat right now but that's not a big deal. 

Life's good:) 

I love you all take care and keep doing what the Lord wants.

Elder Hakes   

Zapote Domingo ---a Fruit

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June 2, 2014

This has been a very cool and interesting week! Today we went hiking in my new area with a less active member that we brought to church this week. We went on like a 2 hour hike. We hiked in to a waterfall!
It was super sweet. Pretty much just walking in the forest. It had a street made of just a bunch of rocks in the ground. I felt like I was in Lord of the Rings or something! haha. Everything here is SUPER green! Its a very beautiful place to be honest. Known very much for the cheap prices of pretty much everything and LOTS of fresh fruit and fruit that you've never heard of. I'm gonna try and send photos but the internet is horrible here.... There is actually a river that runs in the middle of the town and there are bridges in the middle to cross from one side to the other. And under and on the sides of the bridges there are a bunch of iguanas! Gigantic iguaanas! They are super sweet.
The landscape here is a bunch of hills up and down. Reminds me like California a little bit but obviously a lot smaller. 

My companion Elder Killpack is a super sweet dude. We get along well. The Branch here really surprised me to be honest. It humbled me up and made me think a little bit more. We started our Sacrament Meeting with 6 people..... and ended church with 15. I was very surprised. I heard it was a small branch but I never thought it would've been that small. It makes it very hard on the branch president here. He is a good man that wants to do a good job but he has had lots of problems in his life financially, with church, health, etc. Lots of problems but he still is doing is best. 

The people I feel like they are very poor. VERY POOR. I honestly think the give us the food that normally they would've eaten. I feel bad. I feel humbled. The people here need a lot of help.
SO that's what we are gonna do. It truly changed my perspective going to church. Normally here in Veracruz the focus is Baptize, baptize and baptize. But here I feel like the priority is reactivate. Help the inactives go back to church. There is a lot to do and we are gonna get to work. 

I feel grateful to be here. I need to learn something new and I'm gonna do my best here. I love you guys and hope all is well back home. Remember always to thank the Lord for what you have. Because there are others that truly have nothing and that suffer from hunger.
Whether it be physically or spiritually. 

Look for the way to help others in all that you do. Try to have a character like Christ. Give all you have to others and forget yourself.

Elder Hakes