Monday, December 30, 2013

And A Happy New Year!

The Four of Us Elders on Christmas Eve!
      Soo for starters, thanks for all the Christmas wishes. Christmas turned out to be very different, but it wasnt too bad. Christmas Eve we went and had Christmas dinner with a family and it was delicious and filling as a Christmas feast should be. Then on Christmas we didnt really do anything.....EXCEPT TALK TO OUR FAMILIES!! haha so that was super fun. And....well thats pretty much it. We didnt have any lessons cause alllll the appointments fell through. Turns out people actually do things with their families around this time of year....go figure.
We even ate Breakfast there.  It was a little lake-side restaurant. 
       So as for here, yes they celebrate New Years, actually pretty intensely (if thats a word haha) They actually make life sized....scarecrows you could say. Like huge figures and stuff them with fireworks and then paint 2013 or the year that is going out on it.....and then they soak it in gasoline and light it on fire haha so im stoked to see some of that going on haha Thats all they have i think. No boxing day, but it should prove to be legit anyway haha
       Sooo we didnt really have ANY lessons this week. I mean i think we had like 3 in total, but that was it (lame i know). But that was probably in part because of the lack of people in their houses...and the abundance of holiday. (I have a developing theory that the two are connected. shhhh) Butttt the point is that there isnt much to tell really! Elder S, our zone leader, goes home....well tomorrow, but they actually left Tehuacan yesterday to go back to Puebla. Best of luck to him...not that he will read this haha
A picture fro our second lake trip we took this morning! 
       Andddd the spiritual thought this week comes from yours truly. Its more advice than spiritual thought, but take it for what you will. There are a lot of things i wanna accomplish on my mission, and sometimes when I think about how much time I have left on the mission, I cant decide if its a lot...or a little. I feel like I still have so much time to work on my goals, but in the same moment, time is passing by. Well, we dont really know how much time we have left on this Earth. Sometimes, it seems like it will never end, and other times it seems to be flying by. But the point of it all is, we have to be constantly working on ourselves. Someday, Christ is going to come again. And when that day comes, I want to be working diligently on myself, and feel free of regret. The new year is the perfect time to set goals, and i would encourage you to do so! Its a tradition in my family and while we arent always so diligent in keeping up with them, the goals are a good way to check our progress. So anyways, hope you all have a happy new year! Enjoy!

Elder Josh Hamm 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

This is why we polish our shoes.  haha
       MERRY CHRISTMAS! I figured Id lead in with that since it is most assuredly on everyones mind at this point. Today is the 23rd of December afterall, which means that we are exactly 2 days from Christmas. I dont wanna take up too much time with all of the Holiday wrapping, preparing, shopping, cooking, ect. So this weeks email will be a little short!

Elder Scott, Elder Gerber and I at the Christmas Conference!
       The only news from this week is a story I have that might not be terribly exciting to all of you, but it was like almost the highlight of my week haha So on Thursday, we had to go pay the rent.....yes this is real....on the 19th of the month, my companion realizes that they never paid the rent, and the owner is now a little upset. So we go to the 3:45, 15 minutes before it closes. We get lost on the way, and arrive at 3:53, and it is PACKED in every sense of the word. Like seriously there are at least 50 people crammed into this bank shoulder to shoulder. So Im a little frustrated that we didnt get there earlier in the month or any other time that day. Then I tell my comp we have to go stand in line, and hes like "But thats gonna take a long time." Im like UHHHHH we dont really have a choice right now man!! So we go in and then my comps like "I think we need a number....but idk cause ive never paid the rent before." So now im super frustrated, not with my comp, but at the situation. So I'm like okay, we HAVE to do something right now. So I walk over to this desk where theres a man doing consultations. And Im like "Hey, I'm sorry to bother you but we are trying to deposit money in an account and my companion....i mean WE dont know how to do it and we are late to pay it." And this guy smiles at me and says "I respect you for taking responsibility for the problem, even if you werent part of the cause. Then he signs a piece of paper, and points to a VIP line and says go ahead and wait in that line. I was in shock. So we walk over to the line that has 4 people in it, and wait about 5 minutes before getting to the counter and paying the rent. I was sooo relieved. It was truely a blessing from God in that moment, and there was really no way to deny it.

My new District!
       Sooo the spiritual thought from this week is about Christmas, and I know you are probably a little tired of hearing all about the true meaning of christmas and all that jazz, but just hold on for oneee more haha I'm not gonna lie, I'm not terribly excited for Christmas this year, and I dont see any problem with that given my current situation. There will be no celebrating with family, no gifts, no traditions, and in all honesty, not even a break from work. But what this Christmas season HAS given me so far, is the chance to think about just how important Christmas is. Im sure, like me, many of you have thought of the true meaning of Christmas before, but have you thought about what that all lead to? For me, this was a new perspective. Yes, Jesus Christ was born on Christmas day, but it was so much more than that. In the small town of Bethlehem, the son of God was born into a mortal world. A world that was full of trials, a world that would deny his Godliness, a world that would condemn him for his miracles, a world that would reject him, a world that would spit upon him, a world that would crucify him alongside theives....a world that he loved. More than we can understand right now. Christ wasnt just born on Christmas day. Christmas marks the day that Mankind saw hope for salvation in this life and in the next. And there is no other name under heaven, save it be Jesus Christ, whereby man can be saved. So on the morning of the 25th of December, just remember why it is called CHRISTmas.

Hey guys! I hope you have a great time on Christmas. Ill be thinking about you guys and I cant wait to talk to you all!
Elder Josh Hamm

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


We took a hike on PDay up to these lakes and they had these huge
Jurassic looking plants there so we climbed one! It was sooo cool!
      Soo this week has for sure been full of changes and adjustments ect! But it has all worked out really well, so im excited to tell you all about it! And so I guess we should just dive in.

       Soo after Elder A, I, V, P, and Me went to KFC we hopped a cab to the CAPU where the busses leave, and me and another Elder took a 2 hour ride to Tehuacan...where we were picked up by none other than Elder Pe! haha it was cool. We are going to be in the same zone and in areas that are right next to each other. Then we got to the house and did boring stuff but lets fast forward a little bit. So my new companion is Elder S, and he was comps with Elder P 2 changes ago! He is 18, from Honduras, and has 9 months on the mission (so just a little bit less than me!). He is a pretty hard worker and we have a pretty good time together, so things are pretty good on that front. Our ward is pretty cool! We have 4 Elders here in the same ward like we did in Huejotzingo so we get to eat with them everyday! The members are helpful, the ward mission leader actually helps us and has coordination meetings with us and stuff, and the bishop. But the area is good! We have some solid investigators and even 2 with fechas! Our house is nice...well now. When i first got to the area, it was kinda like the house in Huejotzingo- nice house but really dirty and abused from the Elders, but one morning I started cleaning and my comp jumped in and we cleaned things up, organized stuff, and then we even got some new stuff from a house they are closing in another area. So now the house is awesome, and all we have left to do is clean up the kitchen a little bit!

       Okay, a little recap of the week since it was full of cool stories! I will only share one since I dont wanna waste your lives, but ill include some news along with it too. First off, we went to eat with a member on my first day here, and we had sardine pattys...and they were....well lets be real, they were sardine pattys man. BUT while i was eating, i happened to find a small cricket in mine, and so im like oops, well ill just move that over to the side of my plate....but then i was like wait....ive eaten some pretty wierd things here and maybe it was intended....and i didnt wanna offend the Hermana, so i went ahead and ate it. NBD....till after the food, we are all talking about how....interesting it was, and Im like yah, and the crickets were nasty too! And theyre like uhhh...what crickets? And thats when I realized I had made a terrible mistake haha so it was funny.

      So in other news, Im not going to be able to go to the temple with the G Family on the 21st like i had been looking forward too. Since I had emergency transfers, Im now too far away to go to the temple and then make it back by 6 oclock to work again, which is the rule for going to the temple. So its pretty sad, but Elder P is gonna go with Elder T in my place, and he isnt happy that i cant go either haha but I guess the important thing is that they are going to be sealed as a family for all eternity! So thats the update on that. 

      Anddd finally, we had our Christmas Conference as a Zone this week and the night before, we had 6 other Elders stay at our house with us cause we have those extra beds. It was awesome. We basically talked and then they had me play them all my new songs and stuff on guitar and then we sang some covers, and it was awesome haha So that was fun.

       The spiritual thought this week comes from King Benjamin who is pretty much the greatest guy ever haha His chapters in the Book of Mormon are awesome. But the part that drew my attention the most this week, was something I think Dad will like haha. In chapter 4 in verse 10 it is talking about how belief isnt enough without action. Well at the end of the verse he says "and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them." And if you know my Dad at all, you know where this is going haha a phrase commonly heard in my household (more often than not directed at me) is "If you know, then DO!" And the more I think about that and apply it, Ive realized just how true it is! How easy is it to say that we believe something? Pretty simple. But to then take that next step and apply that faith with action, trusting in God, well thats the hard part! If we know, then we must DO! Because if we dont, our faith is dead and we are going to be held accountable for actions and innactions after this life.

Hey guys! Love you all a ton! Have a good time this week and I will skype you all soon!
Elder Josh Hamm

Monday, December 9, 2013

Eternal Perspective

The Once Great Uh-Oh-Oreo
Soooo I dont really have much time today.And the reason for that is because I have some pretty depressing news. Basically when you are in a Trio, you have to be constantly worried that a couple of STUPID Elders will do something dumb which leads to them getting split up and YOU having emergency changes. Well, thats whats happening. Just a few hours ago I got a phone call from the Assistants telling me that I have 2 hours to pack all my bags because I have emergency changes to Tehuacan. Apparently 2 Elders got in a fight and so now i have to be moved out of my zone where we just put 6 baptismal dates in one week, to an area i dont know, in the middle of a change, with almost NO details. So thats pretty much the big news this week. Next week I will tell you all about the details but the point of it is, I am NOT a happy camper, but as I will talk about in the spiritual thought, I just need to trust Heavenly Father.

      So, the only news we have other than that for this week is that we got to put 6 fechas in our area in one week. It was cool to be able to set so many people up to be baptized. Basically, things just started working out this change. 2 couples who couldnt get their information to get married suddenly had random luck which led them to be able to get married, and another man was able to trade shifts with a friend at work, so that he can go to church on Sunday! So that was really cool.

Some HUGE delicious Molotes we ate!
(Only one who finished? This guy.)
       Well, the spiritual thought this week is gonna be quick and it comes from my current situation and a book I read a while back. Today while i was frantically packing all my stuff as quick as I could, I started thinking of the WHY. WHY was this happening to me, WHAT did I do to deserve this, and HOW was I going to get over it all. Well, it reminded me of a passage from the Novel "Mans Search for Meaning" in which the author was relating a story. He explains that he was in front of a group of people who were seeking psychiatric help after going through significant amounts of suffering. These people were searching for answers to their sufferings, and WHY they had to endure them. The author then proposed a question which I now quote: "The question was whether an ape which was being used to develop a poliomyelitis serum, and for this reason punctured again and again, would ever be able to grasp the meaning of its suffering. Unanimously, the group replied that of course it would not; with its limited intelligence, it could not enter into the world of man, i.e., the only world in which the meaning of its suffering would be understandable. Then I pushed forward with the following question: ‘And what about man? Are you sure that the the human world is a terminal point in the evolution of the cosmos? Is it not conceivable that there is still another dimension, a world beyond man’s world; a world in which the question of an ultimate meaning of human suffering would find an answer?” In remembering this, it reminded me that there is a God watching over us. He is our Heavenly Father. He loves us, he wants us to be happy, and he has a plan in order to accomplish that task. Trust in him. In He who can see beyond this life and into the meaning of our suffering.

Love you,
Elder Josh Hamm

Elder Allred and I exchanged ties (The one he gave me is SICK)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Reunited, And It Feels So Good

Our New District!!
  Sooo Im gonna start out with my Dads questions.....but I have to save one of them, or it will ruin a surprising plot twist! So stay tuned for that. Here, usually the kids dont have game systems, like none of them, but what they do have are arcades where there are game systems and tvs, arcade games, and more all in one place! Thats usually what they do, but there are the majority of kids our playing in the streets. There are soccer fields EVERYWHERE and they are made specially so they are also basektball courts, so they can play either of them!....they always choose soccer :( Mostly we hand out pass along cards, but we always carry around 2 book of mormons in case the people ask specifically for that, or we are teaching an investigator and we leave one with them to read....and the other questions will remain a mystery!.....for like 3 more seconds.

       So big news this week would be the changes. Okay, so this is kinda a long story, BUTTTTTT basically we went to the changes meeting, and I got my new comp. His name is Elder V and he is from the Dominican Republic! (Yes, his accent is sick haha) he has 9 months on the mission and he is a very chill guy, but has strong desires to work, so i think we will have a lot of success. So if that was the only news, it would be kinda boring....bit it isnt. They then go on to tell us that Elder....A is once again my District Leader haha and more than that, he is going to be working in Huejotzingo 1, so we are gonna see eachother everyday at the food...but then it gets better. So Elder A's comp...just happens to have emergency changes (not cool) but Elder A gets moved....into a freekin TRIO with us (very cool) So right now Elder A, Elder V, and I are in a Trio and sharing the entire city and ward of Heujotzingo. It is sooo sick! Elder A's story is that he is from Arizona, he has 17 months on the mission, and is also chill. So we are having some good times.
Our new TRIO….The Inside-Out-Oreo!
       So apart from that we just taught a bunch of teaching lessons and boring stuff like that ;) nahhh im kidding. We actually had a few really powerful lessons with some investigators that we have. But on to the spiritual thought!
       So this weeks spiritual thought has to do with Thanksgiving...which has already passed but i was thinking about it this week (while not celebrating) and read a scripture that kinda made me think a little. Im sure most of us know the famous scripture in Mosiah 2 which talks about being in the service of your fellow man. But I think I have let this scripture capture my attention too much in the past and missed an interesting insight in verse 19. See King Benjamin has been talking to his people about how he has served and labored with them, but in 19 he changes his tune a little. It reads "19 And behold also, if I, whom ye call your king, who has spent his days in your service, and yet has been in the service of God, do merit any thanks from you, O how you out to thank your heavenly King!" I thought about that, and well he is right. I thought about how many times I have recieved some act of kindness from a friend or from someone I know, or even someone I dont know. And MANNN have I thanked them. One might even use the word profusely...but how many times have i then thought to thank my Heavenly King from whom all blessings come, even seemingly unrelated ones. To me, that was a new idea - that the next time someone does something nice for me, I thank them equally profusely, but then remember to thank my Heavenly King for coordinating all the blessings! Anyways, just a thought for when we are thinking about Thanksgiving and the blessings we recieve around the Christmas Holiday, to remember "him from whom all blessings flow".

Elder Josh Hamm