Monday, October 26, 2015

A Quick Hi from Down South!‏

A photo for all real men
Jamaican Flavored Jell-O
First of all, if you have not read or listened to the talk "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox, you NEED to right now. It's best to listen and read along too. :)

I forgot to share my scripture of the week last week! It was D&C 121:45 - super good. Read it!
This most recent week, my scripture was D&C 24:8 - Read it!
And this upcoming week I have chosen Revelation 21:7 - So good! Read it!

Frijoles in a bag

This week we had a lot of tortillas and beans for our meals! And, honestly, that's all you really need to enjoy the food of Mexico. Their refried beans with their flour tortillas are incredible. Then, if you add jalapenos and/or their salsa of any kind,  you are in heaven. :) 

What missionaries do for fun on P-day

At one of the member's houses we heard this incredibly awesome story:

There was a boy who had just turned in his mission papers. His mom was an inactive member for years and his dad was a non-member. But the boy's faith was strong and he couldn't wait to serve a mission. A couple days before his call came, there was a terrible car accident, and the boy was killed. His parents were devastated. The day his call came, they opened it together and it said that their son was called to serve in the Spirit World. Needless to say, his dad was baptized and his mom returned to church.

"Why? Because I'm Batman!"
The point of that story is that the Lord knows us. He knows what will happen and he knows what will be best for us. I am in Mexico because the Lord wants and needs me to be here. The same goes for all other missionaries AND future missionaries everywhere. The Lord needs us so that he can work through us and give joy to those who don't have what we have.
There are people who have lived their who lives aimlessly and, deep in their souls, don't know what to do with themselves. They are confused and in the dark. We can help because we have been given the light of Christ in our lives. What makes us so lucky? I don't know. But we have it. And it's our duty to share it. Do it for them. Do it for the Lord. 

Also was reading in 1 Nephi today and read about Laman and Lemuel. Those two saw an angel of the Lord. And the part I was at, they were going to kill Nephi and Lehi, when the voice of the Lord came and chastised them. They had irrefutable proof that the Lord God existed. But, seeing is not believing. Our faith requires action, trust, trying/failing, and getting back up to try again. Our faith is not a passive one. When we work to love and serve more and be more Christlike, we will find a joy greater than all other joys. 
View of Moon in Mexico - Happy Halloween!

In light of the upcoming Christmas season,  I will quote the Santa Clause: "Seeing isn't believing; Believing is seeing" and we will believe more when we work and try to. When life seems hard, and you don't know where to turn, don't turn. Kneel.

Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up through the help, love, and grace of God.

I love you all so much! You all inspire me to try harder everyday!
Elder Greenwood :)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Two Months Out Today!

Hello All!!!

Another spiritually strong week here! It's fantastic to be able to feel the Spirit every day so strongly out here as I try to share its power and joy and peace with others. Oh, if only others knew what we were trying to offer them. They would flock to us. What a blessing to already have the gospel in our lives!

Comp, house-mates, and Elder Greenwood
This week a lot of strange things happened. We got a call one morning from a District Leader saying that the AP's want 50 contacts today from everyone. Well, my comp and I had never gotten more than 20-22 before that. But, with a prayer of faith and a comforting Spirit, we set out. 1 Nephi 3:7 - I know that the lord will provide a way for us to do the things that he asks of us. It was close, but we DID IT! 53 contacts in one day! There was a while when my comp had to talk to a lady at the door about our Gospel. I was prompted to leave and go contact some other people. With the little Spanish I knew and the gift of tongues in play, I was able to get 6 contacts at that time all by myself! The Lord will help us when we take leaps of faith.
I would like to invite all of you to read the talk "Finding Joy in Life" by Elder Richard G. Scott. It is so helpful, not just only in the hard times, but also in the medium times, the "eh" times, and the good times. It gives you things to do that make you realize what a beautiful world we live in, and what a blessing it is to be here. :)

One of the members this week, as part of our food, fed us Alphabet soup!! Hahaha! I NEVER thought that I would see alphabet soup here! I haven't seen that since I was like 10! It was the same as America too! I couldn't find any ñ or í or rr or ll, sadly. Hahaha! I think it would be awesome to have some Chinese Alphabet soup! Hahaha! Sorry, simple joys in life :)

Look! A sign of hope in the midst of a storm! (See the symbolism?)
It rained so hard the other day down here that the streets were flooded! My comp and I had to run through the street rivers for a couple hours! Hahaha! We got soaked! The first time we had to run through, I REALLY didn't want water in my shoes! But I yelled, "VIVE MEXICO" and charged! Hahaha! I got SO wet. But it was fun:)

This is what looking at a computer too long...

Speaking of fun -- something interesting happened to me on Sunday. I thought that my legs were feeling a little warmer than usual. And for some reason, my belt just didn't fit right that day. It wasn't until we were at a member's house when I went into their bathroom and pulled down my slacks that I realized that I was still wearing my basketball shorts from this morning!!! Hahahaha! I must have been really out of it that morning! It must have been because I was fasting. Hahaha! We fast from lunch to lunch here. So nice -- go to bed hungry; wake up not so hungry. :)

...does to your eyeballs!

Speaking of fasting, as a missionary I've really started to better understand the power and blessing that it is to fast. God has given us the opportunity to sacrifice a little so that we can bless others immeasurably. The sacrifice really isn't that bad either. It hurts sometimes while we are doing it, but we completely forget the pain as soon as it's over and we have food and water again.

Such a small sacrifice that can bless others so much is such an amazing opportunity we have each month! And, when our bodies are weaker, due to a fervent and true fast, we become more sensitive and in-tune to the spirit. The Sacrament is an INCREDIBLE time to feel the peace of the spirit and the joy of the Atonement working in our lives. Taking the sacrament while fasting is even more so. I know that when we offer true and willing fasts that we will bless the lives of others in ways that we may never know in this life. But we do it faithfully, knowing that those people need help more than we do. Together with God, you can make the world a happier place through fasting for others, and take joy in seeing the joy of others :)

Love you All! Stay Safe! Love Life! And Love Christ!
Elder Greenwood :)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Hello All!

Hope your week has been Swell!!!

This week we had our first official sit down lesson with someone!!! It started off really well. We got on the subject of hymns, and my comp asked them if they would like us to sing one for them. I had a prompting that we should sing "There is Sunshine in My Soul Today." They said "yes," and my comp and I opened our hymn books. I looked at my comp, and he had received the SAME prompting! We both felt like we should sing that song! How cool is that? Out of 209 Spanish Hymns, we both thought of that one. The Spirit is real. Just follow the good thoughts you have in your mind and you will find out later that they were spiritual promptings. Seriously. Do it! It feels SO good!

View of 1st area

 Speaking of promptings, I was also prompted to bear testimony to an investigator that my comp has worked with for a while now. He has troubles with the Word of Wisdom. But I was prompted to bear testimony and I did. The spirit helped me say the words I needed to. The gift of tongues was there and so was the spirit. Tears  came to his eyes. He really wants to change. Though my words were not complex or my grammar perfect. The simplest of words can bear the most powerful of testimonies. There's a church video about that, with Brigham Young and the missionary who helped in his conversion.

1st area Kitchen
1st area Bed (no sheets!)

1st area House Stairs

1st area Desk


Now that's a serious water bottle!
A favorite from the States!


I took a spill on the sidewalk this week. Mexican sidewalks are SO uneven. You never know when there will be a bump or a drop unless you're looking. In this case, it was dark with no lights. I was walking with my comp, and there was a GIANT hole in the sidewalk about 3X3 big. And I stepped right in and WHAM! HAHAHA!! I can laugh now; it hurt then, but there was no real bad injury.

One of my member meals this week was given to us by the owners of a KFC down here. And Mexican KFC is the best KFC I have EVER had EVER.  It was SSOOOO good!

Also rode in the back of a truck from Cuatemuc to Anahuac after a meeting this week. AHAHAHA! We needed a ride and the last bus had already left. And Laws don't exist down here. :) We also J-walk EVERYDAY!!! GO MEXICO!

I passed my "50th day on the mission" mark! Threw a little party and had a PB and J! Hahaha!

My ponderize scripture this week was 3 Nephi 5:1 -  READ IT! SO GOOD! I'd love to hear all of your scriptures as well!

Love you All!!!

Elder Greenwood :)

Monday, October 5, 2015

First Full Week in the Field

[FYI - Photos sent this week that apply to last week's post were added to last week's post. =)]

Hello All! 

Landscape of 1st area
 The mission field is MUCH harder than the CCM. I didn't realize how good we had it there until I left and actually had to live in the living circumstances of average Mexicans. It is truly humbling. My comp only speaks Spanish and I am learning the language rapidly, I feel. The times that I know I am learning the most are when I put trust in the Lord and talk to people on the streets. The Lord helps me every time and I find that I know more than I think I do.

Nice perros


My comp and I contacted all week. While contacting one day, We met someone from North Carolina who only spoke English! My comp was at a loss and I took over the whole thing. With help from the Lord in knowing what to say, I was able to speak to her about the Gospel! It was so cool to be able to do it fully and completely. I feel that it was a blessing from God. I saw and felt the joy that comes from missionary work. Now I can't wait to learn the language better so I can do that everyday!

Plaza in green
General Conference was INcredible. I couldn't get enough. As a missionary you just Eat up the words of the Apostles. Because they're true and because we are out here testifying of them everyday.

In between conferences, I was on exchanges with the district leader, and we and another companionship set out to find people to bring to the next session of conference. We were talking to some people when two guys who were OBVIOUSLY high on something walked up and said (in Spanish, translated) "Who's the boss here?" I looked at the district leader,thinking that He would take over and talk to them, but, to my surprise, he pointed at me and said, "He is!"
Plaza in blue

The high dudes turned to me and started talking to me about WHO KNOWS what! They tried to get me to read some little book upside down for them. I understood what they were asking but I just said, (In spanish) "Sorry I don't speak Spanish! Have a nice day!" Hahaha! it was so funny! My district leader felt so bad afterwards that he made me a missionary lunch of eggs mixed with hot dog bits and noodles. Thanks man. Hahahaha!!

More landscape of area (kilns?)
Final experience, After the Saturday morning session of conference, me and Elder Valdivieso (the district leader's comp) went on an exchange to a member's house for some food. We had a hard time finding the house since I'd never been in their area before and he was new to it. But we finally found it and started eating. I REALLY wanted to make it back on time to conference so we could watch the sustainings and see the revealings of the 3 new apostles. I was so excited. But the member didn't have the food completely ready and was running a bit behind. It didn't look good for making it back on time. I started to freak out a bit at 1:58ish because it's a 10-15 minute walk back to the church. I wasn't focusing on anything but getting back. Then I had a quiet and chastising thought enter my mind, "This is not my time."

Mexican Mystery Machine
All I was thinking about was myself. But I am on a mission. I have chosen to sacrifice two years of my time and give it to the Lord to use however He pleases. And right then and there, He needed me with those members so that we could uplift and strengthen them. I am learning more every day to sacrifice my will and give it to the Lord. When we follow the Lord's will, EVERYTHING will turn out ok. I didn't find out the Apostles when I wanted to, but I did get to find out, and we rewound the conference at the end so I could watch the sustaining of them. The Lord needs us in certain places at certain times and we must be humble enough to submit to his will.
I love you all and hope the best in your lives! And I know that you can achieve "the best" through following the words of God and Christ and his prophets.

Hasta Proxima Semana
Elder Greenwood :)