Hi! Whether you're friends, family, or total strangers who have stumbled upon this page I'd like to welcome you to my blog. My name is Elder Josh Hamm. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I am currently serving a 2 year mission in Puebla South, Mexico. This blog is kind of like an online journal where I will be recording all the experiences, both good and growing, that have while I'm on my mission.
Monday, May 5, 2014
Doubt Your Doubts Before You Doubt Your Faith.
Josh's mom apologizes to Parrish and others - somehow I didn't get the blog posted last week. ;)
April 28, 2014
Sunrise in Chilac
HEY GUYS! So this week was alright. But first, to my dads questions! 1) The thing that made me laugh this week? hmmmm...When i was on interchanges in Chilac, we visited the house of some members i met while i was there last change. The 4 year old daughter and her 5 year old brother were showing me the house that is being built for their family behind the grandparents house. They showed me where their bedroom would be, the bedroom of the parents, and at one point the little boy said "And this part here is where there is gonna be our bathroom!" And the little girl beamed and said "Yah! This is where I'm gonna go poopoo!" hahaha gestures were included and it was very funny haha i laughed 2) I have never blessed the sacrament on the mission but its not too unheard of, especially in the smaller branches or even smaller family groups. They just usually have an adult do it if there are no young men. 3) Testimony meetings are pretty much the same here as in the US. People get up and talk, some are good, some are....less good haha its the same. 4) and the most annoying bug ive had to deal with?....hmmm, well mosquitos were awful in loma bella, but in tehuacan there really arent any mosquitos. Chinches are absolutely annoying and their bites itch like crazy and stay for weeks, but one spray of the matress and you kill them. Idk, I might have to say all the cockroaches. Just cause they are everywhere in like packs of 3 and they fly and get on your face at night and in your suitcases. Just dumb stuff like that. Its annoying haha OH, and extra note. Elder P was a little bit upset by my last blog post because i said that in Mexico they dont do barbeques. Apparently that is a Southern thing, but in the North where he is from, they do indeed barbeque haha who knew?!
Soo like i said, this week was alright. What happened is that it was the second week of the time when all the people here are celebrating semana santa. Sooo pretty much nobody is home and the people that are make it very clear that they dont want to hear us. But it happens. We went on interchanges with the elders in chilac which was nice. I got to help the Elder in my district that is training his first missionary and it went really well. Ive got some excellent missionaries in my district. Then we were able to go to stake conference where a 70 member came and talked to us along with President Reeves which was very good. We have our LAST interviews with President Reeves this week, its gonna be a bitter/sweet. Oh, and I was talking one day with a combi driver and we got to be pretty good friends, now he gives us rides places for free and this week he invited us to the quinceñera (a big party for when girls turn 15) of his niece. So we stopped by and it was awesome. He has a really great family. Then last night our neighbors brought us a pack of assorted cookies and introduced themselves. They said they have a car and if we get sick and need a ride to the hospital or if we are ever going to centro and they are going there too, theyll give us a ride, and overall they just said they knew how hard it was to start living on your own and start somewhere new. It almost brought me to tears just how kind they were. People like that really help me see the good of the people here. It was really great.
A true Mexican microwave. haha this made me laugh
Well, the spiritual thought for this week comes from an old comparison that Elder G made for me when I was talking to him about people who have doubts in the church. I shared the thought with Elder W on interchanges and we came up with a few new ways to look at it. So there are many people in the church or those who have fallen away from the church because of doubts which they have about chruch doctrine, and beliefs. G originally shared with me the scripture in 3 Nephi chapter 26 which reads -
"6 And now there cannot be written in this book even a ahundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people;
7 But behold the aplates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people.
8 And these things have I written, which are a alesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, bfrom the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken.
9 And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the agreater things be made manifest unto them.
10 And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the agreater things be bwithheld from them, unto their condemnation.
11 Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord aforbade it, saying: I will btry the faith of my people."
So we dont even have a hundreth part of the doctrine of Jesus Christ. So G told me that it would be like taking a handful of puzzle pieces from a 1000 piece puzzle and then getting frustrated when we cant see the full picture yet, or are having a hard time completing the puzzle on my own. I thought that was really cool. And then the other night I was expanding on that a little bit. Jesus also said that if we learn and belive in these few things, then will more things be given unto us. So obviously Thomas S. Monson has a few more puzzle pieces than we do and thats why he can give us direction and guidance - he can see more of the picture than we can. And then there are also members of the church who arent taking advantage of the puzzle pieces that they have. They instead ask God why they dont understand the doctrine. They ask for more pieces of the puzzle when they havent even turned over the ones that they have. Just a cool thought we came across while talking about doubts. If you are doubting something, try taking a look at the puzzle pices we have (the book of mormon, bible, talks given by apostles and prophets, etc.) and then if you believe in and learn of, those things, then God will give you a few more, even until your understanding is great and your doubts few. So if you are having a hard time, remember what Elder Ucthdorf kindly advised us: Doubt your doubts beforeyou doubt your faith.
Elder Josh Hamm
A strange fruit here they call "zapote" it tasted kinda