Mexico Vera Cruz Mission

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 28, 2014

Alright family and friends!!!! 

This week I got stung by a caterpillar thing. haha. It's big caterpillar that had hairs all over it that is white, it looks a lot like cotton. I didn't know what it was and it was one my pant leg. I thought it was a clump of dog hair or something. It wasn't..... So when I touched it, it's hairs go like porcupines and they sting like a wasp. My whole hand hurt that day and had bumps like from a bee. They are pretty powerful suckers. Cause it put my whole arm asleep. Or like when you get a shot and its sore. Also gave me a headache and I was super tired. haha. They also say if you get stung 3 times you have to go to the hospital to get it all treated. But I got lucky! I just kept working and finished the day and after 2 more days everything is all better. Never thought a caterpillar would be so dangerous. Also this wednesday im going to get my cyst taken out.  We are gonna have interviews with are new president on Wednesday also. We will see what happens cause I have to go get the cyst taken out. 

This week went rather well! We found 9 new people to teach. 2 new families of 3 and 2 people that are in Part member families and one other we contacted. This week we have 3 baptisms set. Hopefully we will have 4th also but we will see what happens. One of them is a grandma named Teresa. She has come to church and obeyed all the commandments. She gave us her coffee when we taught her the word of wisdom and has gone to church when we have invited. Also with her son named Carlos who had problems with alcohol but also left it behind when he started talking to us. He also works in a bakery and makes bread! Here it's called sweet bread. It's all homemade and has a type of frosting on top. I'll try and take some pictures this week to show you guys. It's super good though. Its not like the bread back home but its super good. 

The other one is named Mauricio. He is in the part member family he's gone to church a lot and knows it's true. We are gonna help him be baptized this week. The other one that is hopeful is name Jose Luis. He is a 17 year old. Honestly a super good kid and has a testimony that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. But what happened is he drank coffee a week ago. So with the rules, he has to wait 3 weeks. But he only did it to stay awake because he was taking care of his aunt who was dying. He had to stay up all night in case anything happened he could help. Is aunt died the next day. SO it was kind of an interesting story. He told us he didn't even want to drink it but he did it so he could take care of his aunt. So we have to talk to president to see what happens. 

I'm doing good and am happy with everything that is happening right now. Just working harder learning more and more how to help my district and hopefully I'm getting better too hahaha. No I've gotten a little better but I gotta keep working at it.

Love you guys,
Elder Hakes

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 21, 2014

It's been a little different these last 2 weeks with the new responsibilities. Honestly, a little more frustrating too haha. It's just a lot more things you have to do and that I always need to help 4 other missionaries and besides that they are all sister missionaries! Haha. But it's been a good  learning experience. I still got a lot of things to get better at and I'm working hard at it. 

Today we went to Dominoes haha. That was pretty good stuff, I enjoyed it. I honestly haven't really taken any pictures. I need to start taking them. I don't even have one with my new companion yet haha. 

This week we had 3 people that were going to get baptized. For this Sunday the 27th. But they didn't come to church so now its gonna be changed:( BUT they are super good people we are going to go with them today to find out what happened. 

I'm struggling in adjusting to my new area a little bit. Mostly just because my area now is like the size of all my areas that I've had combined haha. Learning a lot and finding the way to get better. 

I've been thinking a lot about the reason behind everything we do in the mission and why we don't have success (including in normal life too). The why we have success or why not. Ive determined that all of that is based on our conversion to the gospel. We have to work so hard to truly be converted to the gospel and when we do that we will always have the faith necessary to accomplish all that the Lord commands us. I want to invite you all to think about this question..... Am I truly converted? And what more do I have to do to be truly converted? That's something I'm working on a lot. That and understanding a little bit more about our savior Jesus Christ. In all aspects his teaching, his actions, the Atonement, Etc. I feel that these things are the keys of being converted and to have success in all your life. The way to all this is by daily scripture study and prayers and following the spirit in all that we do. If we do these things we will be able to truly convert ourselves and receive all that our Heavenly Father has prepared for us. 

 This new city is called Orizaba. It's on the edge of our mission boundaries. I would say it's like Payson weather, just with more rain. It's a lot more clean than any of the other cities I've been too. It's a nice city and all around it there are hills and a volcano. I'm wanting to go hike a little bit to see everything but who knows if they will let me. I'm excited to work here and am working hard to get better. 

Elder Hakes 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 14, 2014

This week has been a little weird getting use to a new area and being district leader. The new area feels great all day and I'm loving it. Its a nice city and it's a lot cleaner than the other places where I have been. It's been hard though getting to know the area because its huge! At least comparing it with my other areas. We gonna work super hard here so we can have success. 

My companion, Elder Martinez, is from Guadalajara. He's a good dude. He likes to do a lot of exercise which, I'll be honest, I haven't done has much as I should haha. BUT I'M STILL A TWIG! I'm down to 160.... I think that's what I was my sophomore year. It's kinda weird and I don't like it, but in this area they eat super good and with the exercise we will be doing, should be good for me! Elder Martinez has like 2 months less than me in the mission. We both get along rather well and we think a lot alike. I have some high expectations being here. 

Something funny this week was eating with an older lady in the ward. She lives alone so she gets lonely... a lot..... so what she does is listen to music. And the music she listens to are all old school like one of them was the song "New York New York". I think that's what it's called. It just made me laugh a little bit. I also got here to this area and they didn't really have a lot of people to teach but we working hard to fix all of that. We had a grandma go to church with us this week. Her name is Teresa Calderon. Her son is an inactive member that is actually blind. We talked with her and invited her to baptism for the 3 of August. She accepted and then went to church and loved it! So all is looking good with her. We are gonna go tomorrow and watch the restoration the movie with her. 

This week we also a meeting as district leaders with our zone leaders. We talked a lot about what we need to better and it is something important for all of us. We talked about the Atonement. To remember what Christ did for us and how we should always remember him DAILY! Minimum of once a day. They invited us to study it more in depth and to share it with our investigators. I felt that I should share it with you guys too. I know that Jesus Christ is my savior and redeemer. Only through him will we be able to see our families again and the most important person of all our Heavenly Father. Remember Christ and what he did for you. And if you really understand the Atonement repent of your sins and wrongdoings. ALL OF US WILL ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING TO REPENT FOR. Whether it is small or big there is always something. Do your best and repent, and then the Lord will forgive you. He has always forgiven me when I truly repent and he will do the same for you.
Love Always,
Elder Hakes

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 7, 2014

So.... I just met the new president. He seems like a good man. He is a little serious but he is very cool. Also I received a call yesterday from him. He called me to say I'm going to be a district leader and that I will be going to Orizaba. It's the zone that is the coldest in the mission. What I've heard is its super nice and lots of members that are very supportive. I'm excited! Honestly nervous to be a district leader but excited to go and learn some more. 

This week was rough..... we had a baptism planned. We got with him and hiked a 30 minute hike to a beautiful waterfall. One with 3 falls and everything was so awesome. We got there and were all ready. I walked into the water and turned around and he was having doubts on the shore talking to my companion. That was like 15 minutes then finally he came in and stopped halfway between me and the shore an  had another breakdown. At which point I went to him and my companion took his shoes and socks off rolled up his pant leg and we were talking to him. We were literally there for 45 minutes talking and giving our testimonies. But at the end he still didn't do it.... He walked out and we went home. VERY VERY disappointing  to be honest. But he has lots of mental problems. He has anxiety, paranoia, and who knows what else. It was just really tough, but oh well! Hopefully next week he will be baptized.

Sorry its not a long letter its been a busy day and I haven't had much time. 

Love you guys,
Elder Hakes

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 30, 2014

SO this week we have had some good experiences haha. Starting with the first one! Here it pretty much always rains at night and sometime it rains rather hard at night and sometimes there is also lots of wind so it blows it in the window. Which is right where I sleep and we ALWAYS leave the window open:) so ya, I got a little wet and I woke up and had to shut the window so I don't get wet. SO that was one thing that happened. 

Also we have seen 2 people this week that have the chicken pox so I was concerned cause I don't remember ever having them?  But who knows? I haven't gotten sick yet so all is well! 

Also if you've been reading my last couple weeks of letters you will remember me talking about a weird tradition here where they go around dressed up (looking like death eaters) and whipping people, throwing powder etc. Well yesterday was the big day of that where pretty much everyone does it.  So there were lots of them and me and my companion got whipped:D haha.
It was fun! They didn't do it hard or anything, but it was just kinda funny, I still don't really understand the point but it was funny!

Also we made cookies with the relief society this week and they loved them. Thank you Mama Hakes. They don't have homemade chocolate chip cookies here so it was something new and they all liked them a lot.

Then, on Friday, we did a family night with the branch. It was super good! It was one I had already done before. We taught the restoration of the church and we divided into groups and made our own churches.
Then someone acted the part of Joseph Smith and had to choose a church to join. But he didn't really know and then from there we explain the First Vision. Its a super good and its fun for everyone. Also our branch president made some killer tacos that were super good! So overall it was a really good day.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what I need to do better as a missionary.....the list never ends!
haha. But I'm working on putting goals and plans on what I'm gonna do make it to my goal. So basically what I have thought about is what every missionary needs. Every missionary needs to understand what love is. Love for God, for Christ and his atonement, for their companion, for the members, and for the investigators. There's a lot to love and a lot to learn to love. I would say that is the most important thing a missionary needs to learn. And going back on a quote from one of the prophets back in the day "Every member a missionary". SO.....this applies to everyone of us. I believe if we all understood the Atonement and the sacrifice God and Jesus Christ made for us, the world would be sooooo much different. I invite all of you to do this, to try the Lord.  Because if you do it, he will teach you to love. And in doing so he will bless you more than you can imagine. I love my Heavenly Father and all he does for me. And hope that we can all understand this concept a little bit more.

Elder Hakes