Tuesday, June 24, 2014


 Well, another week down in the mission and it was a pretty good one! Details to come! My dad didnt really have any questions this week cause hes busy with scout camp and trek and stuff like that, butttt next week there will be questions! haha

       Alright, well this week was good. First things first, we have changes. I am staying in Atlixco, however my companion Elder A has changes. Sooo Im pretty glad to be staying here cause i like the area...however, Allred AND Dougherty the 2 Zone Leaders who happen to be my best bros on the mission now are leaving after only one change together. They also leave for home in 6 weeks so thats kinda sad, but oh well, not much i can do now. So Im getting a tonnn of new people in the district and im gonna have 2 sisters training. Wish me luck. In other news, the US is doing farely well in the world cup. I just wanna let you know....people here are NOT fans of the United States haha every soccer game played theres a huge group of people hating on the US. In the game verses Portugal, I even saw a man in a Barcelona jersey chearing for Portugal. EXCUSE ME?! Do you even KNOW who plays on the Portugal team? Cause im getting the vibe like you dont....but alas, its okay. This week we were able to have a sickkk lesson with 2 new investigators. Its actually a cool story! We dropped an investigator and her husband last week because they werent progressing and we were superrr dissapointed cause they had baptismal dates and everything!! But then this week we went on visits with a councilor in the stake presidency and he told us he has been thinking about 2 people a lot recently. He took us to a house....and it was the house of the dropped investigators. He told us that this old investigator had a brother who was living with his girlfriend here and some time ago they were investigating the church. So we went in and talked to them and the wife told us that she has been hoping every time when we have come over that we would talk to her again, and that maybe someday when we came over, we would be coming over for her and her husband. We talked with them and she told us that her famliy is very against the church and they had a pastor come over and tell her that if she was gonna be in a religion she needed to pray and ask God which one was right. And so she prayed to get an answer about which church to join and she dreamed about the Book of Mormon! The lesson was so powerful and we put a goal for a date for them to get married AND baptismal dates with both of them! It was awesome. The rest of the week was pretty slow, but that pretty much MADE the whole week worth while haha

       Sooooo the spiritual thought for this week comes from Alma in chapter 3 verses 26 and 27. I was reading in Alma and they were talking about all the wars that they were having with the Lamanites and how great the number of deaths were in the land. Then they put an interesting spin on the high death toll, drawing a very cool message from it. It reads: 

26 And in one year were thousands and tens of thousands of souls sent to the eternal world, that they might reap their rewards according to their works, whether they were good or whether they were bad, to reap eternal happiness or eternal misery, according to the spirit which they listed to obey, whether it be a good spirit or a bad one.

27 For every man receiveth wages of him whom he listeth to obey, and this according to the words of the spirit of prophecy; therefore let it be according to the truth. And thus endeth the fifth year of the reign of the judges.

I LOVE how that reads "Every man recieveth wages of him whom he listeth to obey..." That is so true! If we look around at the world, we see many people listing to obey a great variety of bad spirits. Whether it be alcohol, drugs, video games, violence, or immorality, these people are reaping what they sow and what they sow is eternal misery according to the spirit which they obey. Satan wants us to be miserable! He makes us think that what we are doing is alright and that we are going to recieve good wages at the end of this life. But as we learn in Alma 30:60, The devil WILL NOT support his children at the last day. Those who list to obey the spirit of the devil, opt out of recieving good wages for their work, but will instead reap eternal misery. So list TODAY to obey the good spirit. Sow good deeds so that in the next life we can reap eternal happiness and recieve the wages that have been promised to us by our Heavenly Father!

Elder Josh Hamm

Monday, June 16, 2014

The World Cup

Me with President and Sister Reeves!
     Seriously though. Am I the ONLY ONE here who gets sickkk of starting off the emails in the same way? I mean seriously, "Sooo this week..." is seriously getting ridiculous. I open up an email tab to one of my friends and my muscle memory is so strong that I just type "Sooo this week" In EVERY EMAIL! I dont even try to erase it anymore, I just leave it and then at the end i go back and delete it. Ugh. Sorry, that turned into a lot more than i planned, but hey, at least this email started off differently.
       Sooo this week......
Well, I guess Ill start with the questions from my dad! 1) The thing I remember most about Trek was trying to sleep outside the tent cause Im a gentleman and was the only MAN who would do it....and getting rained on so bad that my plastic sheet under me (normally used to protect one from unwanted moisture) had kindly converted itself into a concave shape thus creating for me a small pool to sleep in. 2) My favorite thing about Trek would probably be how we were put into groups of people we didnt know, and sometimes (like in my case) maybe didnt like at the moment, but how over time we grew really close and made strong friendships as we converted into a real "family". In the end we were wanting to help eachother out in any way we could! 3) They DONT have early morning seminary. Instead they have seminary at a normal time during the day after school gets out and I have only been ONCE when i was in the little Branch of Chilac. 4) Summer break here is wierd. I think they are on Year-Round school cause it seems at least to me, that they are NEVER in school. So yah, its all year, and they have a few weeks break right now for summer. 5) Yes, they celebrate fathers day here. Yesterday the center was PACKED with people celebrating it haha 6) Anddd something they use here in the kitchen that would seem wierd to people in the US....2 things....a special flat piece of metal they put on the stove to heat up tortillas....and a 

Well, Monday went by alright. Tuesday we had the leadership training meeting in Puebla. It was pretty good. It was the LAST leadership capaciation we are going to have with President Reeves so it lasted from 9 in the morning until 6 in the afternoon! It was crazyyy long! But it was also really instructive. He gave us a tonnn of instruction on new rules and old rules in hopes that when the new mission president gets here in like a week, the mission will be running smoothly and strictly. So that was good. He said goodbye to each of us personally at the end as it will be the last time those who dont have changes will see him. I also took the opportunity to take a picture with him and Sister Reeves as its FOR SURE the last time I will have the chance to do that! Then the rest of the week was pretty slow. Mostly because of the world cup. If you are wondering (and Im PRETTTTYYYY sure you are) Yes, yes the people here watch it almost religiously. So on Thursday it started and everyone was watching the game. Seriously, we were walking down the street and EVERY house and store, or little food stand had it on. We didnt enter in anywhere, but i didnt miss more than 5 words that the comentator was saying the whole time we were walking haha that crazy. Then the Mexico vs Camerun game was on and so NOBODY was willing to talk to us. They actually put up 2 huge tvs in the center of the city and there were like 150+ people there watching it. Then the rest of the week was also pretty hard since there are 3 games a day and people are always watching them. But oh well. It ended up okay in the end.

       Alright well the spiritual though this week comes from the bible dictionary which actually might be one of the sickest things about the scriptures. There is sooo much cool knowledge in there! I highly advise checking it out. Butttt this week i was reading about Satan. They say you gotta keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, so i decided to take a peek. It was awesome. It says a few things about Satan: "Latter-Day revelation confirms that the Devil is a reality and that his desire is to make all men miserable like unto himself." "One of the major techniques of the devil is to cause human beings to think that they are following God's ways when in reality they are decieved by the Devil to follow other paths." "It also says that he can work miracles and appear as an angel of light so as to decieve people." So thats a lot of pretty scary stuff right? haha But, not to worry, because in the very end it gives us a way to escape these things. It says: "Protection against the adversary is through obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ and living according to his teachings." That simple!! All you have to do is be obedient and even though Satan has allll that power, God has given us even more power when we are obedient and allow him to bless us! So strive to be obedient so that we can have that protection from the onslaught of Satan and his angels!

Elder Josh Hamm

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

55 Contacts!!!

Me and My Cactus's....ignore the hair...it was raining.
     Welllll, this week was pretty uneventful. I feel like I always say that, but then again, i feel like its always true haha so Ill go ahead and start with my Dads questions first. 1) Yes, I wear long sleeve shirts. Its super hot most of the time but then at about 5 oclock it starts pouring rain and if i dont have a jacket, sometimes its a little chilly....and i hate carrying a jacket AND an umbrella soo yes. 2) I USED to carry 3 but now i only carry 1 because we were forced to switch to side-bags and you can hardly fit anything in them. 3) Most of the time people here have pictures of the Virgin Mary, or of the Virgin Guadalupe. Sometimes there are pictures of Christ, but more commonly of crosses. 4) I think the biggest difference between a successful missionary and the rest doesnt have to do with how obedient they are (not that that isnt veryyy important). But the biggest difference between the two is really the dedication. If you really give your all to God and work your hardest, you will be successful on the mission.

       Sooo like i said, this was a pretty bland week. The highlights would be this. In the district meeting we had, we were talking about some of the problems we have been having in our areas and we set a goal to get 50 contacts for each companionship this week! 50! And everyone was kinda nervous about it at first but we finally all got excited about the idea and in the end everyone was ready to work towards the goal. Soo....we worked on it....and on Saturday, we only had 23 contacts -_- sooo we were gonna need 27 more all in one day! I didn't want to be the district leader who sets a goal and then doesnt accomplish it! So I made a plan with my comp and although he was reluctant to say the least, we finally agreed. So Sunday we woke up at 6 am so we could shower and eat and then be down at the church at 8 oclock (one hour before the services) and we stood outside the church and contacted EVERY SINGLE PERSON who passed by and invited them to the servieces at 9 oclock and took down their adresses. We also called a few of the RMs in our ward to help us contact, while my comp and another member went and picked up our investigators in a car. At the end of that hour...we had 32 contacts. It was such a cool experience, cause a tonnn of the people had already heard the missionaries, and others had been always wanting to talk with us. It just took us opening our mouths to EVERYONE we talked to to find those people, and thats exactly what we are promised by the Lord. It was a cool experience. But that is literally it from the week haha

       Soooo the spiritual thought this week comes from a talk given by Elder Deiter F. Uchtdorf called "Grateful In Any Circumstances". Im not going to give much of a summary cause I am out of time. But i would encourage you all to go watch it. It talks about how we can truly be happy, even when we are faced wtih challenges and hardships in this life. Its really good, so go watch it!


Elder Josh Hamm

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Gardener

Me carrying my guitar up the hill to the church. The hill in the background is my area....yah it has its ups and downs.......teehee

Anddddddd.....another picture of Popo....
you knew it was gonna happen
 Sooo this week was....very eventful, much like the last, however the events which took place are not nearly as exciting. Sooo we'll see how this goes haha first my Dads questions - 1) I sang 4 songs at the baptism - "Because I have been given much", "My Redeemer Lives", and "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and then I did a personal rendition of "I am a child of God"  2) I played guitar and sang...alone haha 3) The fruits here are completely different than in the US. I mean, you have the normal ones but then they all a tonnnn of wierd ones that are only in tropical areas like papaya, chamote, mangos, guayabana, liche, coconut (dont know if thats a fruit, but they sell it like it is, guayaba, and more. Its crazy. 4) Pools are actually very scarce here which is wierd. If there is one, its sketchy and far away haha but they do exist.

Super Tortas! 
       Okay, so for starters, last Monday, before going to internet to write home, Elder A, Elder D, my comp, and I went to eat these things called "Super Tortas" and they are like these hugeee sandwhich things with everything you can imagine on them. Well, I enjoyed fairly adequately my super torta....but as fate would have it, it didnt in any sense of the word, enjoy me. 9 oclock, we get back to our house and I am puking my guts out and i have diarrhea.....
They were pretty good...all things
....and having 16 months on the mission now I have been able to realize what is "normal puking"....and what is "the devil himself is in my stomach" puking. This was the latter of the 2. So I suffered though it for several hours as instructed to do in the manual, and then called President at about 1 oclock in the morning. I appologized for the hour and told him the situation, to which he replied "Well the mission doctor wont be up till 6:30...can you wait till then?" Umm....no? But of course, i didnt say that. I told him that i would support it as long as i could and see where it got me. An hour later i was calling him back, this time with a significantly LESS amount of patience and he instructed me to go to the hospital. So we called a member, they took me to the hospital, I was incoherant, puking everywhere, trying to control everything that came out of my mouth, and finally I was admitted to a hospital bed. They then instructed me to pull down my pants so that they could give me a shot in a very unpleasant location, which they then did. If you are wondering, yes. Yes, it hurt, but at that point i was passing in and out of conciousness as to hinder my ability to yell. My companion tells me that I said "ouch", but i assure you, the pain was much more deserving. They then instructed me to try and sleep to which I replied "Oh SLEEP?! You think...that you can.......just give me ONE SHOT..................and that.....................somehow...................................Ill just...........................................
magically..........................................................................................................................................................................zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. BOOM. That shot is MONEY. I was literally out cold without any nausea within 30 seconds. So long story....long, I stayed there for 2 days and then I left. Now i feel fine so no use pittying over me. Its over haha and on the brightside, a few of the RMs from the ward who are bros brought me dominos pizza the second day in the hospital.........which of course i didnt eat......right? ;) 
The CREWWW in the hospital!
So yah, that was Monday...Tuesday, and Wednesday. But thursday was uneventful. Friday we had a mission tour with Elder Valenzuela from the Area 70. It was alright. He kinda planched us, but im sure it was with love so hopefully well be improving on....everything! haha nah, it was good. Then saturday was boring too. But on Sunday we had a miracle!! I was obviously very weak the whole week so we didnt get out and do much teaching apart from the locations that arent extrenuous to reach, but in sacrament meeting we had 2 Investigators.....and 13 LESS ACTIVES!!!! It was seriously a miracle! We have been trying for weeks to get them to come to church with no success and the week that we cant go by and visit they ALLLL showed up! So that was a really nice way to finish off the week haha

       So the spiritual thought this week comes from the capacitation we had with Elder Valenzuela. If any of you know me, and many of you do, I am not the best at taking critisism. Its just a serious character flaw that I am striving to improve. But for a person like that, having a 70 come down to your mission and literally tell you that "God is not pleased with you" is not the easiest thing to stomach! So I started to think about that and WHY its so hard for me to take things like that and how i can improve, and wouldnt you know it, we were teaching a lesson and my companion put on a mormon message called "The Will of God". Im sure you have all seen it. In this Mormon Message, D. Todd Christofferson shares a story told by Hugh B. Brown of a current bush which he found growing on a newly purchased farm. Left untamed, the bush had grown very large, however, bore no fruit. In the story, the gardener trims back the current bush drastically so that all which remains are stumps. He relates that he saw a drop of running down one of the stumps as if the bush had been crying out "How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener" The gardener then responds, informing the bush that he IS the gardener there and he knows what he wants the bush to become. He then gives this insightful statement. "Thank you Mr. Gardener for loving me enough, to cut me down." That really sunk deep in me. I have such a hard time accepting when someone is correcting me on something Im doing wrong, but in reality corrections are for our benefit. Elder Christofferson also said that "If we are to meet with our Heavenly Fathers expectations we need to willingly accept and even seek corrections." I have been working on this aspect of my character, and i would encourage everyone to accept and even seek this type of correction, knowing that it is because our Heavenly Father, the gardener, loves us enough to cut us down sometimes in what we are, so that we may grow into what he wants us to become.

Elder Josh Hamm

Here is a link to the Mormon Message Elder Hamm references  "The Will of God"