Tuesday, September 29, 2015

En el Campo

I am officially in Chihuahua! I had no idea what to expect and I was still surprised with what I saw. I like it here! Lots of cows and horses that I've seen. The people are really kind.

Headed to the airport
 I woke up at 2:00AM to go to the airport and leave the CCM. I met some awesome Latinos, most of whom spoke English pretty well. We all traveled together and made it to Chihuahua. From there, we went to the church by the Mission offices and had breakfast at around 10:30. Then we had meetings about the rules here and our health.

Waiting for flight at Mexico City Airport

On the plane headed to Chihuahua

 We are not allowed to drink soda... dang it! Hahaha! Honestly so happy about that. We are not allowed sugar cereals, white bread, more than 2 flour tortillas a day, or 4 corn tortillas, no candy after 6:00PM or before 11:00AM. It's pretty strict here. But that just means more opportunities to be obedient, which means more opportunities to be blessed in our work and in the language and things. The Chihuahua Mission is the 3rd highest baptizing mission right now. :) I just hope I know enough Spanish to have a conversation soon. Hahaha!

Image result for no sweets clipartImage result for no soda clipart Image result for no white bread clipart

My companero is Elder Morales. He has been out for almost 13 months now. He speaks very little English, which means that I'm going to have to learn a lot of Spanish fast so we can have the Spirit and understand each other. We do pretty well already and he is a very good missionary who is all about obedience.

On bus headed to first area with Elder Morales (comp) and roomies

While waiting for the bus to travel to our area, my comp and I and two other companionships of our friends walked up to a Little Caesars in Chihuahua and bought some pizza. Hahaha! It was way better than the States' pizza and they gave us red pepper flakes to go with it! Yum! :)

I live with one other companionship in a little casa. The member that took us there actually brought pieces to two beds, and we put them together upstairs so we could sleep that night. That was fun. One of the other missionaries is American, and this is his 2nd transfer in the field. It's nice to speak English with him sometimes. :)

Filtered Water Bottle from CCM
We had our first member meal today. (The big meal here is lunch, so the sign ups are for lunch.) The member who made us food owns a restaurant, so we got good food. :) She gave us beans, rice, hamburgers, and fries! Hahaha! I had my hamburger with salsa verde. Muy rico. :) Apparently Mexicans cook with some sort of different oil or something here that Americans aren't used to. Everyone tells me that they got sick the first couple weeks O.O    My plan is to chug filtered water and NOT get sick :) Sounds pretty good to me. :)

The food was good, and now I have a different taste in the back of my throat. I'm going to call it the Mexican aftertaste. I never realized that We have an American aftertaste in the back of our throats all the time, but you realize when it's gone. That'll take some getting used to. Hahaha!
I love it here and I can really feel a strong spirit when we are kind to all and share the gospel with people. Even when it's not me talking. The Spirit is a powerful and incredible gift to have. Enjoy Conference this weekend. And DON'T Fall asleep! This is latter day scripture that you're hearing! If you're tired of the centuries old stuff and need a quick break, we have modern day stuff coming this Saturday and Sunday! Listen! It's like when a new episode of your favorite show comes out! New things to see and think about afterwards! It's an amazing thing! 

I know that the words that the prophets speak are true doctrine and will change your life for the better if you apply them and follow their example and the example and character of Christ.
Love you all! No pics this week, but hopefully next week I'll have it all figured out!

Elder Greenwood :)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Vive Chihuahua!!!

 I made it here to Chihuahua in one piece! I am allowed to email you really quickly to tell you that I am alive and stuff. :) I have all my bags. I can't read your emails yet, but I can't wait to hear about things.

I will receive my new companion today!! Pretty soon I think. We will meet each other and head out to my first area. I'm running on 3 hours of sleep and a 1 hour and 45 minute nap on the plane :) hahaha. I tired.

But I'm excited to serve real people and learn Spanish. Seeing all the fluent white people here reinvigorated me to try harder to get my Spanish down!
Love you all!!!!!! :)

Elder Greenwood :)

New Scripture Cover

[Message and photo below were sent from Sister Call at the CCM.]
Elders and Hermanas,
It has been such a pleasure serving with you.  Thank you for your diligence and dedication to his most important work.  We send our love and prayers with and know you will receive incredible joy as you serve.  
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Call
CCM District 6B Despedida Photo (Farewell Photo)


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Last Week in the CCM :O‏

Before, during, and after my first (and last) haircut at the CCM!

I just wanted to start off with a note of respect for the passing of Elder Richard G. Scott. He is surely in a better place with his wife and he did a great work here on the Earth.

Next Monday I leave the CCM and head out into the mission field. I will be sad to leave the CCM, but I am so excited to meet and teach real investigators. I was nervous a bit, but we watched a recorded devotional with Elder Holland last week that was so good! It made me feel like it was time to go and do. He retold the story of after Jesus' death and resurrection, and after he left them, when Peter and the Apostles had no idea what to do with their lives anymore. The apostles had no idea what their lives were anymore. And so, they went back to what they did before. They went fishing.

The story goes on (as we know) and Jesus appears and tells them to cast the net on the right side of the boat. They do and there are so many fish caught that the boat starts to sink. The apostles knew that it was their master. They go to shore and have dinner with Jesus Christ. And Jesus asks Peter, "Do you love me?" Of course Peter said yes. And Jesus asked again, "Peter do you love me?" And Peter, a little flustered, answered yes again. Then the third time (keeping in mind that threes were not something Peter was proud of at the moment (he had just denied Christ three times)). Jesus asked "Peter, do you love me?" Peter said, "Yes, Lord, You know that I love thee!" And Jesus, looked him in the eyes and said, "Feed my sheep."

Jesus did not want his apostles, after all their experiences, to just go back to who they were. We have been called to be disciples of Christ. When we let the Gospel of Christ change who we are, we are expected to never go back. It then becomes our duty and our joy to share what we have been given and not to just say, "Well that was a good spiritual experience" and go back to your old life! God will not be mocked.

 Jesus Christ in a white robe, walking along the banks of the sea and calling out to a group of fishermen, who are pulling their nets into their boat.

I don't know If I've mentioned this before, but after devotionals on Sunday and Tuesday, we have a little meeting with our zone where we share experiences,  promptings, and testimony builders that we've had throughout our time here. They have been my most spiritual experiences here at the CCM. But last nights after-devotional talk topped every one of them. We only had 2 districts there, mine and the other district who is leaving next week with us. We dedicated the meeting a bit to bearing our testimonies to each other as we all leave each other for what may be forever. 

To quote from my Journal: "I felt the spirit stronger than I have ever felt before, which is really saying something. Our after-devotional review turned into the greatest testimony meeting I have ever been a part of. Elder Gardiner (from Santa Barbara, California) started off the cry train with his incredible testimony. People that night  bore strong testimony of the truth of the Gospel. The one that overflowed me with the spirit was Elder Drew, from the other district, when he talked about his time before he was a member of this church and how he was in so much darkness and how he found the light in this church. Tears welled up in me and the Spirit was so strong. When we have a spirit like that and have such an amazing and true Gospel like we do, how can we not share it? It would feel selfish not to share with others what joy, peace, and unspeakable happiness we have been given.

I didn't get the chance to share right away. A couple other missionaries shared right after Elder Drew, including Elder Anderson from the other district. He bore strong testimony. He talked about how his Father has some major health challenges. He may not even be alive when Elder Anderson gets back. But he bore testimony of the Plan of Salvation.
Heidi Greenwood 1995-2013
Then, I was prompted to talk about Heidi, my cousin. I have the hardest time talking about Heidi. Death and loss are some of the hardest things in life for me to handle. But, the Lord helped me through my fear and helped me bear a stronger testimony than I thought I had about the Plan of Salvation. The Plan of Salvation is a plan created by God so that we can all live together with our families again. God sent Jesus Christ down to Earth for us and Jesus was resurrected from the dead so we can be too. And a lot of people don't know that. They think that their family members and friends die and that's it. They will never see them again. The message that they can see their family again, and live with them eternally, is the single greatest message that we can teach people.I cried through the whole thing, but the Spirit was strong.

An Hermana from the other district named Hermana Yerkis was friends with Heidi in High School. She cried, and also bore testimony after me. It was cool to hear about Heidi from the friend side of her life.

After the meeting, we all just started hugging each other. We all felt closer than ever to each other that night. Tons of people came up and hugged me. Elder Anderson told me how much my testimony strengthened his about the Plan of Salvation and his Father. Alma 29:9. I am so grateful that I could be the means of influencing and strengthening another person's testimony. I thank God for getting me to this point of my life where I can help others and I glory in God for the Chance he gave me to be a tool in his hand to bring others closer to Him. I know that He loves us and I know that He wants to help us become the best people we possibly can be. I love you all and hope the best for you in your lives.

Jumping for Joy!
 Elder Greenwood :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Gospel isTrue, Everyone!

This week was absolutely incredible!!

Today is Mexico Independence day and the Mexicans are going crazy! Fireworks all night long hahaha!
That food I had was super good! It usually is good. But the first day we were here, they served soggy corndogs. They are an abomination and should be burned. And sometimes for breakfast they have ham and cheese sandwiches, which is weird. Or Eggs with hot dog bits. DON'T EAT THE HOT DOGS!!

I drew the stick figures, yes.

The panorama pic is an interesting artist rendition of Jesus and his 12 apostles all smiling and
 laughing. It's pretty cool.

[Ran into some friends from Lehi!]

Elder Nathan Huggins, Sister Kimmie Mortenson, Elder Landon Greenwood
Just said "good-bye" to some latino roomates, whom I loved. Here are my new roomies!

Elders Gardner, Melchor, Arguelles, and Greenwood
This week we got to celebrate the re-dedication of the Mexico City Temple! From our auditorium, we got to watch a live broadcast of the Cultural Event the day before (Where tons of actors laid out the history of Mexico's journey to having its temple and the LDS religion). They showed from the Nephites' and Lamanites' times (like when Jesus visited), to when Brigham Young sent people down to settle the cities of Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua, to when the first missionaries were sent to Mexico City to spread the Gospel in pioneer times and were killed because of it, to the building of the beautiful temple that it is today. It was really cool!


The next day we got to watch the Temple Re-dedication! Elder Eyring re-dedicated it and Elder Holland was also in attendance. Sadly, they couldn't come to the CCM. To think we were only like 20 minutes away from two apostles!! But the meeting was amazing and super spiritual. Watching the temple dedication, a video of the story of John Tanner, and an older crucifixion video was amazing! After the Dedication, we had a district meeting where, basically, everyone just bore their testimonies. It was incredible.

One of the stories that Elder Holland spoke about was when Brigham Young announced the site for the Salt Lake Temple 4 days after they got there. Keep in mind that the saints, in their poverty, had built 2 temples already that were both abandoned not long after they were finished, and they'd suffered from the death of Joseph Smith during the building of one of them. Some saints were probably not really excited about building another one. But Brigham Young said, "You are probably wondering if we will have to leave this temple behind, or if we'll even get to finish it. I have been asked by many of you this question. And here is my answer, I don't know, and I Don't Care. We have been asked of God to build this temple and it is our duty to do it."

Sometimes, we don't know why God asks us to do things. Does he understand or is he even aware of what we're going through?

Brigham Young said, "God knows that you have been through so much. He asks you to do these hard things because he knows how much it will bless you when you do it. He can see everything. And we just need to trust and know that he is doing what's best for us." (I paraphrased that last part and may have added a bit of my own insights, but the fact remains, God knows and cares about us and what he allows us to be put through will be for our benefit in the end.)

Sorry for the Long email, the Spirit is so strong here, I want to share everything with you and have you guys feel what I'm feeling!

We just went and did a temple session today, Probably my last one for 23 more months. But I have never been so spiritually edified. I decided that I"m just going to write some words from my journal about it here:

"That final temple experience was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I will never forget the indescribable feeling that I felt in the celestial room. I left by myself, with the spirit with me, just pondering and being grateful for the power that comes from the temple. One thought that I had was about how incredible and amazing the celestial room felt, and how that feeling is only a portion of what the celestial kingdom will feel like. I was having a hard time imagining a better feeling than the celestial room, when I thought about what it will feel like when I have a wife and kids with me. The way the celestial kingdom will be. The eternal feeling is one that I want more than anything else in the world"

This Gospel is True. Being able to walk into a room, and feel something that can only be described as the Holy Ghost, reaffirmed that fact again. I encourage all who can to return to the Temple as often as possible to be reminded of the Love and greatness of God's eternal plan for us. If you cannot go through the temple yet, prepare yourself and be ready to do so when the time comes. I promise you with all my heart that you will never regret being worthy to enter the temple and you will be blessed of God.

I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Greenwood :)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

GO BYU!! (CCM - Week 3)

Hello all!!!

 Heard about the BYU game all the way down here in Mexico. :) Poor Taysom Hill though.

Bus Ride into Mexico City
Angel of Independence

Sorry that P-day was Thursday this week! We had to go to Immigration to get some passport stuff ready for when we leave to Chihuahua. I took some pictures along the way...

Mexico City Housing
Fine Arts Palace

Juarez Memorial

 This week was pretty fantastic!!  Two more missionaries from Lehi showed up! Elder Spencer Blackham and Elder Nathan Huggins! It was great to see them again!

Sundays are the best days by far in the MTC. The spirit is SO strong every time. And this last week was extra special. We had Fast Sunday here. In Mexico they start their fasts after lunch on Saturday because their big meal is lunch. It was different, but I liked it. After I went to bed I didn't feel all that hungry until lunch on Sunday. I can definitely feel the power and blessings that come from fasting here. It is an honor to be surrounded by so many people who love the Gospel enough to sacrifice and come here. Fasting takes sacrifice too. And, from both, the Lord will bless you as he sees fit.

I don't know if I mentioned this last week, but my comp and I joined the choir! We have performed twice now. Last Tuesday was the EFY medley in Spanish! That was awesome! The Spirit is able to be felt much stronger during the times that people sing to praise God.

Sunday night, we all watched Meet the Mormons. Great movie...hit home a little bit at the end with the Missionary Mom. But seeing another missionary go out, and leave at the airport, reminded me that almost everyone here did that exact same thing. It made me feel like we are all one in the Gospel and that we are all a part of the Army of Helaman right now.

My District in Class

 One of my favorite teachers is Dan Jones. Dan Jones is a winner! His missionary skills are so incredible! I'm just happy that the Lord put me in a position that I could be his mouthpiece and help/influence some of those people. It's one of my goals in life.

Dan Jones and Elder Greenwood
So far, based off everything I've heard about Chihuahua from people who have been there, it sounds like the Texas of Mexico:
- It is the biggest state in the country.
- They have funny accents compared to people elsewhere in Mexico.
- They love meat and spices.
- Some are a little larger, but very strong.
- and There are tons of Cows and Horses there.
Texas of Mexico :)

Clapping Push-ups =) [Mom's note: Looks like Landon will fit right in! Muy fuerte!]
Recently, during companionship prayer, my companion meant to say Te Damos Gracias por la oportunidad a  ayunar hoy. (Meaning, "We give thanks for the opportunity to fast today.") But instead of Ayunar, he said Orinar!!! HAHAHAHA! Let me know if google translate will translate that for you because I'm not putting the meaning in this email!

Back to the spiritual side of things. With a recent lesson that my comp and I gave, we were starting to testify about baptism. I had already thought out that I was going to talk about how important baptism is in their life and how it will help them so much. (This is all in Spanish by the way) And I started to talk and I started talking about my personal experience with baptism and how great it was for me and how it's blessed my life. I didn't plan to say any of that. The Spirit was working through me to say the things that our investigator needed to hear. And the Spirit was very strong because of it. (Alma 29:9)

Study Time
My Mission Scripture: 2 Nephi 31:20

Spiritual promptings are sometimes thought of as these big things that you need to know for sure if it's a prompting before you act on it. But I would like to challenge you all that if you ever have any kind of good thought to do something good, then act on it. Who cares if it's really a prompting or not? Because, if you do it, you will be blessed and later realize that it was a prompting. Anything good is of God. If you can, look up a devotional talk by Elder Bednar about the 20 German marks he gave Elder Packer when Elder Bednar was on his mission.

Love you all!

Elder Greenwood :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hola from the CCM! (Week Two)

Hello all!

This week was fantastic! Last Wednesday, Elder Christofferson of the 12 came down here and spoke to us! It was incredible!! And down here, after every devotional of any kind, a couple districts get together and we talk about our thoughts on the devotional and the feelings and impressions we had. Those "after devotional talks" are some of the most spiritual experiences we have here. The spirit is so strong every time.

Elder Christofferson's visit to CCM
My companion and I joined the Choir this week with a few other companionships! My companion was in the AF Chamber Choir and he is a fantastic baritone!  Also, shoutout that I saw Elder Parker Jackson sing in the Provo MTC choir last night at the worldwide MTC broadcast with Elder Oaks!

Every day, during our gym time, my companion and I go and play some volleyball! It is so much fun! I'm working on my spikes. :) We also play a lot of ping-pong.

We got a new set of Latino roommates this week. They are pretty chill. They both speak English fairly well too. One of them, Elder Castro, told us his conversion story last night, and it is awesome! He is from Merida Mexico, right by Cancun. And when he was working on his papers for his mission, he met a sister missionary from Lehi! Shout out to Hermana Hoggan for giving him tips on his English!

Elder Gardner (CCM Companion), Elder Castro (CCM Roommate from Merida, Mexico), Elder Greenwood
Elder Gardner (CCM Companion), Elder Lopez (CCM Roommate from Honduras), Elder Greenwood
I love being out here on my mission. I push myself to do better each day, and know that the Lord will reward me for my efforts. He knows us better than we know ourselves. And he will help us when we need it most, if we ask for it and trust in him.


Prayer Mat :)

A poem I've heard twice now in here is:
Come to the Edge
         I can't I'll fall
Come to the Edge,
         I can't I'll fall
Come to the Edge
         I came, He pushed me
         And I Flew

Love you all! 
Hasta Proximo Semana!

Elder Greenwood :)