Monday, September 30, 2013

Whats Up In Heujot

Awesome View!
September 30, 2013

Soooo not much news this week guys. We have been working really hard with not a terrible amount of success. Buttttttt its okay because the Lord continues to bless us in different ways. Like when the zone leaders lost our number this week. That was a good time. But he really has been blessing us in a lot of ways! So yah, the big news this week isnt very missionary-work related soooo hopefully I can pull it all back in with the spiritual thought at the end.....we'll see.
       So the craziness that happened this week all has to do with the entire city celebrating a catholic saint known as San Miguel. Sooo to accompany all this celebrating we have been going deaf from all the fireworks, enjoyed getting about 2 hours a sleep a night cause we live near the center of the city where there are concerts everynight and where they have set up a fair type deal with rides and snacks and all kinds of cheap clothing and sick stuff. But we have been pretty much trying to avoid all that stuff since its all surroundedddd by drunk people. Its been pretty hectic. Then Sunday was the biggest day of all and they had a continuous strand of fireworks (not the cool colorful kind, just loud) that lasted 3 hours. Continuously......seriously i dont think you understand. 3 HOURS OF ABSOLUTE TORTURE! It was pretty rediculoussss. But then that passed and today we got to go check it all out. We may or may not have also ridden one of the roller coasters they have set up. Mom and Dad, i tried to tell Elder G that my parents forbid me from riding fair rides but he wouldnt take no for an answer. Something about being a man and only living once...i cant remember exactly but it was very convincing. Then we also got to go to check out the rest of the fair and some concert from an absoluetly terrible group, but its cool cause we're in Mexico.

The pyramid ruins
More pyramid ruins
The Altar where they performed
       So today we actually got to go and check out something awesome this morning. Sooo there happen to be pyramids here in Puebla in the city of Cholula which is only like 20 minutes from here. So we went, and it was SICK. First off, it is under a hugeeee spanish church that was built up on the hill above the pyramid like a bagillion years ago....okay not that long, but it was built by the spanards and it was pretty cool too. So we got to hike up this hill that is like walking up Y mount but steeper -_- not the best time but we finally made it to the top and I only went into cardiac arrest like twice so i count that as a win. Then we took pictures up there. But thennnnnn we got to go into the tunnels under the pyramid that were dug by the indians (p.s. Those are the lamanites). They were soo cooooool! And we even got to go to a special area that isnt exactly open to the public....but there werent any restrictions, and all you needed was a boost up! Scarry stuff though. Then we got to walk around the ruins of the pyramid and we read about how there was one location where the Indians (remember....these are the lamanites) performed marriages. The tour guide said that the indians actually believed that if they performed the marriages in a special place on an alter they had, that they would be married for "time and all eternity" (his words, not mine) And we are all like hmmmmmmmm.......interesting....... haha soo cool. And then we got to buy a couple little souveniers from the pyramids and I got a special bracelet made with the missions new favorite phrase. I kid you not, i hear people trying to use this ALL the time now haha but it was soo cool! Oh, and then we were walking around and a tonnn of American girls were calling out Guerros.....oh i see you girl, but im married to the GAME right now. #MissionProblems

Pyramid Tunnels!
More pyramid tunnels!

My new bracelet hahaha  yessss
       So the spiritual thought today will be kinda short cause after all the pyramids and everything, we have like 20 minutes before six o clock haha butttttt the spiritual thought comes from the book of Enos, which isnt terribly long luckily ;) but in the very last verse of the very last chapter (see what i did there?) Enos is writing the conclusion to his book and he says in verse 27: "And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. AndI I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen." When I read this my heart was filled with the spirit and then a little bit of....aprehension. That day is coming. The day when we shall stand before our maker and our Savior and they shall decide our eternal fate. I know that I want to have this type of moment.....but if i dont live worthy here on Earth, that moment will be very diferent. As we strive to be good and keep the commandments, may we continually remember this moment, and exhort ourselves to reach this type of happiness and find that rest in the mansions of our Father. I hope that we can all live worthy of that moment. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Me and my new BOI "Da Pyramid"

Elder Josh Hamm
Oh, and here's Me and Popo

Oh, and here's us on a roller coaster haha

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's NOT sick being sick

A SUPERRR foggy day we had. Pretty errie.
September 23, 2013

So there really isnt much to tell this week. I was pretty sick last week and then this week i was still fighting it off. We had a couple lessons each day and worked really hard. Then Saturday night we had 4 appointments fall through back to back and i was like ughhhh. So it was seven o clock and im like lets go home. But when we got to the door i just couldnt open it. Stupid conscience. So i told my comp we couldnt go home yet cause we still had another hour to work before we had to go home and get things ready for tomorrow. So we walked around in the rain and knocked doors cause we dont know where anyone lives for about 35 minutes and had nobody open the door except for one guy who told us he wasnt even remotely interested. I felt like crappp. So then at 745 we headed home and i knew i was sick again. So i went straight to bed and endured a night that pretty much felt like 4 years of my life. Woke up and found out i had a throat infection. Went to the doctors....well....if you can call it that. they gave me some medicine and i was in bed since. its been prettyyyy lame. But at least i could get to internet to let you all know im alive and well...ish

        Spiritual thought for this week comes from Jacob 5 which if you remember is pretty much my favorite chapter in the book of mormon. Anyways, its talking about the parable of the master of the vineyard. And in verse 65 the master of the vineyard is talking and it says 65: and as they begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strenth of the good and the size thereof, and ye shall not clear away the bad thereof all at once, lest the roots therof should be too strong for the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and i lost the trees of my vineyard. I had never noticed this part before but the Lord is saying that he is going to let some of the bad vines stay there and try to ruin the good branches. Why would the master of the vineyard who says 8X in this chapter that "it would grieve [him] to lose this tree" let these bad branches persecute and try the good? Because just as he says, if the tree were to be nothing but good branches, it would be too good for its own good, and thus it would grow too fast and would perish. I am reminded of the scripture that says that God will not allow us to be tempted above that which we are able. He is not going to let these "evil branches" overgrow us and take us down to hell, but he IS going to let some of them come tempt us depending on our strength and size, so that we can grow at a steady rate and overcome the evil. There is another scripture that says that God gives us weaknesses to make us turn to him and that our weak things will become strong in him. God allows us to be tempted so that we can grow. So when you are in hard times in your life or in times of great temptation, know that the master will not allow the vines of the evil one to suffocate you, but that as you battle what you can, he will eliminate the rest little by little, until you have grown into something beautiful.

Elder Hamm

#youknowyoureinmexicowhen too funny
Dang! only 10 dollars for 2 large pizzas and a girl!!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Shame of the World

A little bit of what some of my area looks like!

September 16, 2013

The map I constructed out of pure miracle

So this week was pretty slow work-wise. I finally decided i was sick of getting lost and so we went to an internet place and spent 2 hours slowly panning over google maps, taking screen shots, taking them to the house, and pasting them together on the wall carefully. So FINALLY we have a map, and yet....that didnt really help. So half of the addresses we have, we found out dont exist....funnnn. So then we decided to do something that most old timers wont think is so drastic but in this mission is very rare......KNOCKED DOORS. *GASP* I know, a little bit crazy, but we were desperate. So that didnt work a whole lot either haha but hopefully this week will be better and we can have some success.

        So the big news this week is we have a new visitor in the house!!.........drum roll.....CHINCHES!! Dont even ask me what that means in English. I think its something like bed bugs or fleas. Who knows all i know is that we GOT EM, we got em in BULK, and I got the scars to prove it. So that was fun. Cause on Thursday we realized we had them, then on Friday I actually got sick and then we were in the house pertty much all day except to go out and buy raid. Then finally on Saturday we were able to spray the room, spray the beds, bed spreads, sheets, matresses, walls, pillows, pillow cases, ect. And let them air out. So we think that they are gone now. But let me tell you something. If you have never had chinches....count your flippin lucky stars, IT BLOWS. 

        So thats pretty much all that happened this week. We actually had a party as a stake for the 16th of September which is known as "Noche Mexicana"! It was pretty awesome! They hired a mariachi band to play and then they had all the youth from the different wards put on different dances....yes mom and dad, it made me think of the dance festival....and they had chalupas and gorditas, and elotes, and lotssss of food! It was really fun, and it had a tonnn of the mexican culture. Then of course last night was pretty crazy. We had to be in the house by like 7:30 and we werent allowed to leave cause it was the day before September 16th which is like the Mexican version of 4th of July on STEROIDS. People hire mariachi bands, and eat traditional foods, and throw parties, and get drunk. Sooo that was TONS of fun. But we at least got to hear the chant they were doing in the center of town and see some fireworks and hear bands play nice and loud while we tried to sleep! haha it was pretty cool. We also spent most of the night with Elder G and his comp! We made waffles, and played RISK! It was awesome.

          So spiritual thought this week comes from the Book of Mormon in the book of Jacob in chapter 1 verse 8. Nephi is about to die and so Jacob is talking about how they were laboring to help the people believe in Christ and partake of his goodness. But I loveeeee what it says in verse 8. It reads: "Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfill the commandment of my brother Nephi." I love the part when he says that all men might view Christs death, suffer his cross, and bear the shame of the world. It made me think about my life and how hard it is sometimes to give up the world. How many cheesey stories have you read in the Friend about someone at a friends house, and they put on a bad movie, and they stood up against their feelings of embarassment and told them to turn it off. Well as cheesy as that is, in our lives we have bigger problems. We arent 6 years old anymore. Now we have poeple trying to tell us that its okay to break the law of chastity, that we can have just a sip of beer or a shot of vodka, that its cool to get awesome tattoos and piercings, that you can smoke....but its even cooler to do drugs, and even little stuff like modesty. Its all so much more real than a movie at a friends house, because we are living in this world. This isnt a one time situation. This is every day of our lives. So I ask you now very sincerely and seriously, Are you willing to bear the SHAME of the WORLD? Are you so firm in Christ that you can give up those pleasures, and take up his cross? Can you love you savior enough to bear his name, whether shame or shunning or ridicule comes? Its not some question in a for the strength of youth handbook. Its not some catchy phrase on a facebook wall. This is your life. You and you alone, decide if you can actually love God so much, as to give up on being just like everyone else. Are you willing to bear the shame of the world? Ask yourself.
Elder Josh Hamm

A dog or a horse...I'm not sure which

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Miracle of Life

My family tree!!

September 9, 2013

A railroad we found in our area....if you look closely
 you can see the Chupacabra sitting on the tracks
 in the background.........
Sooo I got my new companion!!! Soooo changes went well. I got to take a photo with Elder P. (My Elder P´s Trainer), Elder P (My Trainer), and Me and my new Trainee....oh and the other Elder that Elder P trained. So that was good. Buttt some of my favorite Elders on the mission are Elder P, Elder A, and Elder D, and they just happened to all be in the same zone AGAIN....without me haha sooo that was a bummer but Im with my new District Leader Elder G who is also pretty sick. So we have a good time. So after changes, the Municipal President of Puebla helped us with our bags haha casue he is apparently LDS. So he took the bags in a van back to his house in Nealtican (MY NEW ZONE!) and then we took....3 buses and a members truck to get to our area haha we are opening a new area in Huejotzingo which is in the NorthEastern part of Puebla....actually its big enough that it shows up pretty easily on Google maps! So you can check it out! This area is kinda like Loma Bella actually....except it has like a bigillion more Catholic churches....oh and then the Giant Ex-Convent for all the nuns haha one of these days we will go tour it. Nealtican Zone is veryyy sketchy when you get called to it haha cause there are a tonnn of pueblos and....well the city life and the pueblo life are two VERY different things. But this place is the perfect balance between the two! 

The Ex-convent building for Nuns
            So my trainee is Elder P. (haha another P).  He is from TorreĆ³n, Coahuila which is up North in Mexico. He comes from a family of 7 like me! He has two older sisters and an older brother, but he is the first one in the family to go on a missoin. His older brother actually isnt a member and some of the others are inactive but he is veryyy excited to be on a mission. He speaks veryyy little English but enough that we can figure out what the heck I am trying to say when things get mixed up haha He went out with the missionaries a lot when he was back home so he is already pretty good at teaching! Its fun to see him experience Puebla just like I did when I got here. I remember the newness of everything and how shocked I was about the mission rules, places, customs, ect. We get along really well too which is a big relief. He is a hard worker and we should see some success here in Heujotzingo together. That being said....we have been here 5 days and gotten lost time for an hour haha its a pretty big city. He says he has done more walking here on the mission than he has the entire rest of his life haha there are actually 4 Elders in our ward. My companion and I, along with Elder G and his companion. So we get to eat together the four of us everyday which has been fun. Success story for the week would have to be when we got 6 less actives, two families to come back to church! We went and walked 20 minutes to pick them up for church and it was great to see them all getting ready with their families. They hadnt been to church in 15 months!! So things here are pretty good! Our house is actually really nice here! And we live near a lot of members. We had to wash our laundry by hand again today....but we are working on that haha 
We are Wayyy close to Popo in this area
           Sooo Spiritual Though this week comes from experience. So we seriously did get lost this week for literally an hour. We were coming home from the store and we took a wrong turn somewhere and just kept walking....and walking....and walking. It definietly sucked. Buttttt....the thing is, it was really cloudy. And that doesnt mean a whole lot to you guys, but the whole time we were lost and walking, i just kept thinking how much it is gonna stink to have it be raining at the same time that all this is happening....but it never came. We were lost for an HOUR and the clouds were blacker than Jake ever wanted to be...and yet the rain never came. When we have times of trial (notice the WHEN and not an IF) we really do need to count our blessings. On the bad side, we were lost and we didnt get home for an hour. On the good side, it didnt rain, we planned out time for an accident and so we still got to our appointments on time, and later we found where we were lost and now we know where that area is! I know that trials come, but i also know that God loves us and will continue to bless us. Turn to him in trials and he will bless your lives.
And we are also close to IZTACCIHUATL

Love you all! Glad Jake got all moved in and stuff! Hope everyone is having a good time! Talk to you next week! 
Elder Hamm

Monday, September 2, 2013

Doctor's a boy

Goat with its head through a wall....on a main city street.

September 2, 2013

Popo Sky!

Soooo this week i was a little bit sick...not much but a little stomach pains and what not. But then on Thursday night the Zone Leaders called us and asked me if I was sick. I said no, but my stomach was a little upset. And Elder E said well i know why....and i was like uh oh, VIRUS. And he said well Elder Hamm, you've been having these pains....because you are pregnant. You are going to be training next change. 

So yah, ill be training and I am leaving the area of Loma Bella at last. Its a pretty sad day cause i love it here. The members, the bishopric, the food, walmart, the city, walmart, my converts....WALMART. haha but for that reason i dont have a lot of time today. I have to wash clothes, shop, clean the house, say bye to people, and pack my bags all in a few short hours haha soooo this entry is going to be short. But consider it a warmup cause next week will be FULLL of details about my new area, comp, how training is going, ect. Sooo thats about it. 

Not much happened this week, my companion was reallyyyy sick for about 4 days so we didnt leave the house much. ANd then of course the announcement that Im training and he will be staying here. Thats pretty much all of it.

Spiritual thought for this week....the church is true. Chirst lives. The Atonement CAN and WILL help you in your life. I know it.

Elder Hamm

HEY FAM!! Sounds like things there are a little hectic and a little sad. But hopefully everything is going relatively well for you guys! I hope you are all having a good time before school starts reallyyy soon!! Love you!

One of my favorite families here in Loma Bella

Popo and I

My new agenda I made

My friend

All the ties I have....right now ;)