Monday, March 31, 2014

My Brothers Goin on a Mission!!!

"I guess that means us?....who are we kidding? Yah, That means us."

Me and J taking a break to color some pictures
 Soooo before ANYTHING, I gotta give a huggeee shoutout to my brother Jake who opened up his mission call TODAY!!!! WHAHHHH!!! He is going to the Juiz de Fora, Brazil Mission and he will report to the Brazilian MTC on July 23rd!!! He will be attempting to speak a form of drunk mans spanish...., im sorry I mean he WILL be speaking a form of drunk mans spanish ;) Portugese.  I would also like to note that he will be there RIGHT smack dab in the middle of the 2014 World Cup (where he will buy me several cheap jerseys when it ends), But kharma came in to equal everything out because he will only JUST miss the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on August 5th. So Big congrats to him. We will officially see eachother in about 2ish years haha

Oh, and Elder M is leaving too. Im gonna miss all
these guys!
       Sooo now for my dads questions: 1) Most people have to go to church for conference. Yes, they have internet....but mostly in cafes and nobody wants to try to feel the spirit there. 2) The church doesnt have a satelite. We just use the internet and last time it was failing....not awesome. 3) People here do play soccer the majority of the time. Buttt its not too uncommon to see a few people playing basketball. 4) All the soccer goals they make here....seriously ALL of them, are dual soccer goals and basketball hoops. Thats what they have in all the parks where we would see a basketball hoop in the US. And yah, all the churches are built with those things at each end of the parking lot. 

       Well, not much news this week. Another shout out to Elder P (My Trainer) and Elder G cause they are going home this change....AKA in 2 days. Yah, Wednesday morning they are going home. Pretty ridiculous if you think about it. They will be missed but you know, theyre going to a better place ;) The only other news would be that my companion and I dont really have changes...but we do. Idk, we are going to changes meeting tomorrow and hopefully will come away with somewhat of an idea of whats gonna happen. But either way it will be nice to see all the guys going home and say goodbye to them. So apart from that, not much. We put a few baptism dates, and well see how those go, but for now, well just go to the spiritual thought!

Elder S came back to visit!!!

       Spiritual thought from this week is short, as i am pressed for time. But its sincere. Alma 41:10 you have all heard before. "10 Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you wickedness never was happiness." So simple, and yet, so true. The world would have us believe that wickedness indeed, can be happiness. But it is a lie. Wickedness, no matter how much we justify, rationalize, and protect it, IS WICKEDNESS. It will never be happiness, and it will never be able to give you the kind of lasting, pure happiness that righteousness freely brings. So dont worry about being happy, because the world will show you many ways to supposedly arrive at that destination. Worry about being righteous and an overwhelming REAL happiness will ensue.

Elder Josh Hamm

Comforting wall paintings in Chilac

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Soooo Sunburned

Alright, so as always, I'm gonna go ahead and start with the questions from my father. #1) The thing im looking forward to most about General Conference, besides the fact that its like the greatest thing ever....would be my boy Jeffrey R. Holland. He ALWAYS throws down with a sick talk. And of course the planch that is of course coming from Bednar. Its all around awesome. #2) We do NOT have an oven in any of the missionary apartments...but we do have stoves....ish. We have what is not so unsimilar to a coleman grill haha 2 hot plates that you plug into the wall. its not bad most of the time....and then sometimes its awful and cant even bring water to a boil haha its the struggle #3) The farthest i have ever lived from my district leader....ummm like 25 minutes in a combi....but the zone leaders were 10 minutes away walking haha so pretty close most of the time to at least one leader. But there are some areas in the mission where you are like 30 min from the DL and like 3 hours from the ZLs. and #4) The biggest difference between being a district leader and have to say just the added responsibility. Like, you have to be even more obedient cause youre an example, and if your sisters or elders have a problem they call you, and you have to give district meetings and do baptismal interviews. But apart from that its normal life haha
My Spoils.  NOM NOM NOM
       So this week was alright. It has been unbelievably hot. I know, i know, all you folks on the East Coast and Idaho and all other places unbelieveably cold are jealous....but trust me when i tell you that it has seriously sucked. Straight up. We were in a pueblo this week called Chilac and it was 105 degrees. Yes, ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE CURSED DEGREES. It was unbareable. And then today we had a zone activity and I usually dont need sunscreen....but due to the weather in Chilac and the sun today....I am sooo unbelievably sunburned. Pictures will be attatched but viewer discresion is advised. Lets see, tuesday....nothing. Wednesday....district meeting went well...and then we helped the zone leaders design a zone shirt. And after we went to help them pick out the food for the zone activity. We settled on hamburgers...BUT we were in Sams Club....and I found TREASURES OF DELICIOUSNESS, yea, even hidden treasures. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are talking of the top American Products you can find NOWHERE here. I....B....C...Cream soda. Yes. AND Black you know i bought that. And then i also found jelly beans and potato skins from TGI fridays. It was moneyy. Then thursday we were in Chilac, then Friday we were in Chilac again, and President came to give a talk to the youth of the ward about missions. It was awesome. Seriously it was sooo cool. Then Saturday we worked in 4 of our pueblos and helped the zone leaders with some service at a guys house, at one point we turned a cardboard tube into a bat....and a toilet floater into a ball....and i crushed it....and it landed on a metal roof about 10 houses over....we decided that it would be best to go inside after that haha Oh, and then we got to eat lunch with that sick family in our ward and they bought us pizza. Gotta love em. Then Sunday we had church services in Chilac and then that night the branch had a movie night and we watched The Testaments. I freeking love that movie. But I ALWAYS cry at the end. Its kinda obnoxious. But oh well.

       So the spiritual thought this week again comes from President. He said something that was freeking awesome and it made me think that maybe it would help people who are a little bit nervous about sharing the gospel with people. President was talking about missionary work and he said: "Before this life, we were instructed and taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So when someone hears The Plan of Salvation for the first time...they are hearing it for the second time. And it only takes The Spirit to open their hearts and minds and testify of what they already knew but didnt realize." THAT BLEW MY MIND. So when we are talking with our neighbors about The Plan of Salvation or any other Gospel truth, we only need to bear our testimonies to them and in doing so, invite the spirit to enter into their hearts and help them know that they have heard this before. That this is something familiar to them, and that they know its true. Its THAT simple! But that all requires us to be engaged in a gospel centered conversation, having lived worthy of that spirit, and being willing to share our testimonies with the people around us. So take confidence. We arent starting a church, we are restoring it. We arent teaching something new, we are reinstituting lost truths. And THAT is something we can ALL do.

Love you FAM! Hope everything is going well for you guys! Enjoy March Madness!
Much Love,
Elder Josh Hamm
Oh, and in Chilac. Iguanas run wild everywhere. This one was in our
 house of prayer (that thing you have here when you don't have
 enough members for a real church building) and its totally normal.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Power to Lead

Ain't Nobody Fresher than my Clique

Whelp. This week was good....and lame haha In other words...there will be several pictures...but for the most part, the email should be fairly short haha Sooo to start out. We were able to find a new family this week which was good. We have really been focusing on finding as a mission. So we now have a weekly indicator which we report at the end of each week. It is "contacts made" and we are expected to get 70 contacts each week. Good news is neither me or my comp feel wierd talking to random people on the street or combi or store etc. So we have been doing good in that and we are actually finding a decent amount of new investigators. Then we had all the appointments the other days fall through. TONS of fun, lemme tell ya. Buttt the highlight of the week came when we had the leadership capacitation! whoop whoop. It was awesome. Got to learn some stuff, see P, D, A, S, I, and it was just great overall haha So that was the highlight. We also took advantage of what will likely be the last time we are together the 4 of us :( P goes home in literally 2 weeks. So we had a little photoshoot haha it was a good time. One of these pictures should go as my wallpaper on my facebook, thats all im sayin haha it was awesome.

The Baptism!
Andddd the only other highlight this week was that I got to baptize! As you know I had some unexpected changes a couple weeks ago and Im no longer working in my old area. Buttttt the missionaries who replaced me and my companion are sister missionaries! Sooo when they are now baptizing my investigators, it counts for them, but they cant do the ordinance. So the people choose me :) So yesterday after church I got to baptize one of my old investigators E! It was awesome and hopefully his Mom and Dad will be following close behind once they get married!

       Sooo i know it seems a bit early for the spiritual thought....but i tried to warn you, this week was NOT the most exciting time ever. So the spiritual thought comes from the leaders capacitation we had, and it, like this email, is short. But take it for what you will. At one point in the conference, President quoted Thomas S. Monson who said "The power to lead is the power to mislead. The power to mislead is the power to destroy." Although it was directed at a group of leaders, I believe it applies to everyone. Almost everyone has someone who looks up to them, whether it be a friend, child, or maybe even someone you dont know. But the point is that they look up to you. They might not consider you a leader, but the things you do affect the way that they act and the impression they have of what is acceptable. We ALL influence the people around us with the things we say and do. And that power is great. So it is up to you to choose whether you will lead, or mislead, knowing that the power to mislead is truley the power to destroy. Your move.

D and A photobombing an otherwise nice photo

Then the actual nice photo

Monday, March 10, 2014

S/O to @The_JacyHamm

All of us in the office!
My apologies to those who following the blog regularly (TW, TM, you know who you are).  I failed to post the letter and AWESOME photos that came in while we were en route to the Philippines to pick up Josh's sister from her mission, so I am posting it now, Blogger MAY let me slide it in where it belongs, but you still might miss it! Sorry!  Thanks for your patience!  Mom Hamm

March 10, 2014

  So I gotta start by giving a shoutout to my sister cause shes going homeeee! Yes, the tie has come and she is now going back to the homeland of Virginia. My parents should actually be there like rightt now! But anyways, thats just the semi-depressing, semi-exciting note of the week. Now for my Dads questions. 1) Yes, people go on vacations here. And 2) But its pretty much just to visit family. If you are really wealthy, maybe a trip to one of the port cities a few hours from herek, but thats it. 3) Dessert do they like for FHE? Normally we have something called atole. Its like thicker hot chocolate that tastes similar to mud most of the time haha nah, its just not really very sweet, but thats okay cause its usually accompanied by conchas which are like a sweet bread, unless your in Argentina, in which case i appologize. and finally 4) Yes....and NO. They make cake here, but its almost always bought at the store, not homemeade. Almost neverrrr is is home made. And the only pies they make are mini-pies that come in little packages you buy at a store.
Hermana O made me take this spoonful of olive oil and lime
 juice. She claims its good for your digestive system....the fact
 that I almost puked all over her leads me to believe that was a lie.

ANDDD We got to make cinnamon rolls! NOM NOM NOM
Sorry there are sooo many pictures this week! But I'm 
making up for when I couldnt charge my camera! haha
       So this week was tough, not gonna lie. We really didnt get very many lessons in cause we are still trying to figure out where the people are hiding. We are covering like 8 pueblos and we dont even really know where 3 of them are haha sooo we are looking into that but it makes for slow weeks, lots of walking, and very little success. Sooo it wasnt the best time we have ever had. But what can you expect? We are working in 2 different wards and a hugeee area. Youre gonna have some tough weeks. And there were a few when we went with a family in our ward (our ward mission leader Hermano F) And make Cinnamon rolls!! Just like Mommy makes!

Elder Parrish and I on the way
to the CAPU in Presidents car!
Well almost. But they turned out good, especially considering we had to translate everything....and he had 0 ways to measure the ingredients. We were eyeballing it like champs though. They turned out pretty delicious and it was a good patch on the heavy heart haha oh yah, and i also got to see P and A and D! It was awesome and it was a surprise too. We had to go to the offices for some stuff and Elder P and Elder A just happened to be there, and then Elder D and P reunited at the CAPU to finish their interchanges and the four of us had lunch together. It was sick.

       Spiritual thought for this week comes from my thoughts on our Savior. I was reading in the scriptures and came accross this passage in 3 Nephi 17:
7) "Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, … or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy."
I was really touched by this experience the Nephites had with Christ and it gave me a renewed appreciation for Christ and his love for us. His bowels really are filled with mercy, and his compassion for us unending. Have you ever really pondered about just how much Christ LOVES us? He loved us SO much that he chose to come to Earth when his heavenly home was certainly more inviting. He took upon him our sins and suffered great pains, when his salvation was already assured. He allowed himself, a perfect, powerful being to be mocked, spit upon, and crucified. All so that he could simply bring us safely back to our heavenly home with him. Think about that. Not a single moment of his Earthly ministry was spent thinking of himself. It was all for us. That we might embrace his atonement and his love, and return with him to the Celestial Kingdom. THAT is how great his love is for us. Not a terribly conclusive spiritual thought. But just something I am learning to appreciate more fully in my life.

Elder Josh Hamm
How do I look in glasses? 

The Pueblo we are in Chilac, was celebrating its formation!
Sorry its so dark! I'll take one in the daytime later!

They have these really common purple flowered trees here! They look so cool!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Faith and God's Will

So this week has been pretty ridiculous, and Ill tell you why in a second, but first the questions from Dad! 
1) The food that I have found that I enjoy the most would probably be Molotes....those giant things we ate in Huejotzingo. They are delicious. Included in the list would be posole, tinga, and tort as. 
2) Most common thing here that you all would find shocking? Id have to say its a toss up between people peeing in public and 90 year old women carrying really heavy bags on their backs. These people never stop working, seriously. 
3) Cold? No. good loaf no. It is sooo freeking hot in my area right now. Im dyinggggg. Seriously its like 98 degrees every day in this pueblo we have called Chilac. Its seriously insane. And even when its cold its not really cold. Like coldest it gets is when it rains and thats like 55 degrees or something ridiculous like that. 
4) Almost everywhere there are only 2 elders to a house. Even if the areas are really close. Dont really know the reasoning behind it but yah 2 elders only.

       Sooo this week was sooo freeking busy. So we realized last week after changes that we have to take care of one ward, one branch, and 9 different pueblos (little towns). So we have been tracting all over everywhere trying to find investigators and find out where the members are actually located. Its been pretty stressful to say the least. Im sore from walking so much, we are straight brokeeee (so its a good thing our money just came) from taking all the combis everywhere, and we still have 4 more weeks of it. Its gonna be a longgg change. Lets put it that way. Highlight of the week would be when we were tracting and we ran into this guy waiting for a combi and we contacted him....This is not going where you think its going. We asked him if he had ever heard of Jesus Christ. He was like yall don know nuttin bout Jesus Christ...and Im like, i mean, i feel pretty confident saying I know SOMETHING about Jesus Christ. And hes like Jesus Christ wasnt crucified on a cross.......he was crucified on a cactus. I couldnt help it, i laughed. He got on the combi, and we both went on with our lives. But it was a tension breaker for the week. Me and my comp now have a friendly invitation we leave with all the people here. It goes something like this...."You should really consider actually reading the bible sometime. It'll clear up a lot for you." hahaha i think its funny.

       And the spiritual thought for this week comes from a terrible, yet enlightening experience I had this week. Sooo my zone leader Elder Mendez has a saying that he shared with me in my moment of defeat. "If you didnt lose a cell phone on your never went on a mission." Yes, ladies and gentleman, yes. I lost the cell phone. I put it on my lap in the combi and then proceeded to contact a woman and it was soo dark cause all the lights were out in the pueblo we were in and then we got off the combi and it hit me like a sack of bricks....i lost the cell phone. the brand new, higher model, cell phone. It was awful. And so we got back to the house, borrowed our neighbors cell phone to call it and i called it a hundred times but nobody answered it. Our member neighbors told us to have faith, that if we prayed we would get it back. And it made me start to think of something that I have been thinking about a lot for a while now. Ive been struggling for a few months now with the difference between Faith, and Gods will. I mean, Ive been thinking that it doesnt matter if i pray and ask with faith for something to happen, cause if it isnt Gods will then its not gonna happen. so then why pray at all? And if im not praying then whats the point of having faith? BUT as I had yet another oportunity to reflect on this topic....i finally recieved an answer. All this time I have been looking for the difference between faith and God's Will....but there isnt a difference. Having faith isnt praying that youll find your cell phone that you lost and then trusting that youll find it....Having faith is is knowing that God your Heavenly Father loves you. Knowing that He wants the best for you. And above all knowing that He has a plan for you. And if that plan involves losing your cell phone then you need to trust Him that its His will. That this experience will somehow make you stronger in some way. I had to realize that this time, and thats why I lost the cell phone. So God could give me the opportunity to get down on my knees and humble myself in my frustration with the trial He was giving me and tell Him Heavenly Father, I dont know why this is happening, but I will trust you completely, knowing thy will be done. Mosiah 15:7 "...the will of the son being swallowed up in the will of the father." I am His son, and I know He loves me and I will humbly sumbit myself to Him and all he sees fit to inflict upon me, and I will love Him for it. That is my testimony.

Elder Josh Hamm