|This is a fruit here interestingly called Tuna! It comes from cactus|
and although it looks like a giant ball of boogers, its DELICIOUS.
You eat it whole, seeds and all!
Monday, August 25, 2014
HEY EVERYBODY!!! So this week was alrightttt. Nothing too exciting, but youve probably gotten used to that, HA!....but seriously i appologize. This week we are going to have interviews with President Stellmon, so hopefully there will be something cool to write about! Buttt in the meantime, on to the most exciting part of the emails - My dads questions!
Okay, so as for Dads questions this week - 1) Kinda....you can see Popo from almost everywhere in the mission, but there are a few areas that are super far away so you have to be up really high to see it in the distance. 2) Yes, they use the metric system, and it is very annoying sometimes haha lemme tell you. And that also means that they list all the temperatures in ONLY Celsius, and then i have to pull out my phone and convert it to fahrenheit. -_- 4) And last of all, yes, the packages have everything written on them in justtt spanish. If there is something written with BOTH spanish and english, i assure you the english is very poor.
Soo this week was pretty normallll. Sorry about it, but thats just how the mission is sometimes. HOWEVER we were able to have a few great lessons with our investigators. We are really working well with the members right now and its been showing in the progress of our investigators. The hardest thing to do usually is get them to come to church, but if the members are helping us with teaching them and everything then they feel welcome and its not so hard! We usually go to pick up our 2 investigators M y P at 8:40 on Sundays so we can get to church about 5 minutes early. But this week at 8:35 they called me ad were like "Oh hey Elder, dont worry about passing by our house for us. We already left so we wouldnt be late. We will just see you there!" I was blownnnn away haha ive never had investigators do that and its cause the members are really getting involved. Its been great. And then we are helping 2 of our other investigators with some challenges they are having that are preventing them from being able to get married and baptized. But they are SOOOO great! They are progressing soo fast and i want them to be ready NOW! But the Lord has already helped them soo much and im sure he can do more miracles for them in his own time. Soo thats whats going on right now as for the missionary work.
Alright, well the spiritual thought from this week...is kinda long... and comes from Moses (which is a book from the Pearl of Great Price). We have the Book of Moses because Joseph Smith translated part of the Bible and by the grace of God recorded many truths which were lost over time. In one part of the Book of Moses, we read the story of Cain and Abel. In part of the story Cain becomes angry because he offered an inapropriate sacrifice to the Lord which was rejected, while the righteous sacrifice of Abel was pleasing to the lord. The bible relates what happens next but leaves out some of the powerful wording that the Lord really used in his communication with Cain.
Moses 5: 22-23 reads: "22) And the Lord said unto Cain: Why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen? 23) If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted. And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door, and Satan desireth to have thee; and except thou shalt hearken unto my commandments, I will deliver thee up, and it shall be unto thee according to his desire..."
In this verse we read such a profoundly simple yet powerfully clear admonition from the Lord to all of us. I feel like sometimes we forget that what we do (whether wicked or righteous) will ultimately determine our hapiness in this life. So if we do well, then come what may, we have the promise of having joy. HOWEVER if we do NOT head the councils of the Lord and we DONT follow the commandments we will inevitably reap the misery we have sown. Satan really desires to have us "that he may sift [us] as wheat". His one and only purpose is to make us horribly miserable and because of such a purpose, SIN LIETH AT THE DOOR!! Dont open it! The world is full of Lucifer's clever tricks - the most deadly of which are snares disguised as commonly accepted daily practices such as pornography, immorality, drinking, smoking, and many others. And if we give into the temptation, God, being perfect, has to withdraw his spirit from us and it will up to the devil and his will, what happens with us. So keep the commandments, follow the prophet, and pray always that you might not enter into temptation!
Elder Josh Hamm
Monday, August 18, 2014
Soooo Ive been feeling a lot better this week. Not such a whinner now that ive grown up so much. I DOOO have 18 months now ya know. Sooo anyways, we had a good week in addition to me feeling better so lets get to it!
As for my Dads questions, they are as follows - 1) Almost all the kids here go to school, but there are a good portion that just work with their parents. 2) They get summers off...kinda, but they have year round school so they get off only like one and a half months and then have a tonnn of vacation time throughout the year. 3) Most of the time, we are in pretty safe areas. But there are always drunks and gangs that hang around especially at night when we are on the way home from appointments, and you have to be careful. But, most of the time youre just thinking, please dont say anything, please dont say anything, and then they dont say anything and we keep walking. 4) There are police everywhereee haha like we actually live right next to the court and prison so there are more, but even in the center, there are always police around to help with the drunk guys. ANDDDD 5) The drink that i have discovered that i will miss when i go home has to be a tie between orchata (a cinnimon milk drink) and Manzanita which is an apple flavored soda but it comes in the 3 different flavors - green apple, red apple, and yellow apple, with names all in spanish haha
|And....my lovely companion|
Alright well first things first, we were able to really help our investigators this week and we have some AWESOME investigators. A and M (the ones with the miraculous baby healing) are progressing like maddd. They are reading and understanding like nobody ive ever taught before. They are even receiving insights through the Holy Ghost that i have read in the Liahonas haha seriously they are on topppp of it. So they are doing great. Unfortunately they are also going to have to get married and we are STILL working on the other investigators we are trying to get married. BUtttt thats just part of the job haha and we also have a mom and her daughter that we are teaching. They came to church and the members were really trying to help them feel welcome this week. They even passed around the calender in relief society and they signed up to give us food this week! haha so things are going really well.
|My elbow.....smashed. haha it was def broken|
Buttt the spiritual thought for this week is about the priesthood. I dont know why God thought i needed some testimony boosters in reference to the priesthood this change, but apparently I needed it. So you already heard about the mom and dad who had their infant son blessed in church and the baby was healed of his skin condition. BUTTT now this week i had yet another experience with the priesthood. As you all know, im not the brightest crayon in the box, and thus, i have been known to do some pretty dumb things (lest we forget the paint thinner incident). Soo accordingly, this week we were waiting for an investigator and we were next to this ledge. The ledge was the height of my shoulder and as i was sitting on it, I told my comp that i could jump high enough to land on the ledge with my feet. Natrually he told me that i couldnt, and thus the irrevocable laws of manhood commanded me that such a feat must be attempted. Soo I backed up, got a running start and hurled my body at the ledge. Now, first off, there is NO doubt, nor reasonable speculation, that i did NOT make it up to the ledge. I did, and my comp will testify of that. HOWEVER, right as i was taking off, i threw my arm out to gain momentum....and absolutely smasheeddd my elbow in a most beastly manner. Im serious man it was awful. And when i reached down to feel it. I knew it was broken. I could feel a hugee separation in my bone, and the pain was that of when i have broken my arms before. Numb, painful, hott, painful, oh, and did i mention PAINFUL?!? So im like DANGG IT man, i broke my arm. But i had the distinct impression to get a priesthood blessing so we went to the store, picked up some ice, went to the house. My comp gave me a blessing and during the blessing we both felt like it was gonna be fine, even though my elbow was a bit disfigured and swollen like no other. So I took 2 ibuprofen and did ice on and off for 3 hours. The next morning my elbow was fine. It was still sensitive as if it was a bruise and there was an impact cut on it, but it was fine. No break, no immense pain, and at this moment 4 days later, it feels fine! So i want to testify to you guys that i know that the priesthood is God's power here on the Earth. It can be used to heal, to bless, to seal, and it can ONLY be found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know that it is real, and I know that it works miracles.
Elder Josh Hamm
Monday, August 11, 2014
|Burn Baby Burn|
Alright, well Id love to start off this email with some great enthusiasm....buttt this week has been pretty rough, and the worst part is that the work was great! Yes, that made sense. The work was great this week, but the week kinda sucked, cause all my close friends from the mission are home partying...while im here on the mission. Not that i dont like being on the mission. Ive decided that I would rather be on the msission than home with them right now, cause i wanna finish the mission with honor and serve FULL TIME. However, its a very different mission now. I have 2 young leaders who are above me and while I realize that time doesnt signify anything in terms of knowledge, they continue to call me with questions about things that they dont know. Sigh, God really knows how to test me haha come to find out that humility is not my strongest virtue. So thats the honest truth about whats going on here, but like i said, the works going well, so dont feel TOOOO bad for me ;)
Sooo im gonna go ahead and change things up! We are gonna start this email by answering my dads questions!! (I really hope you noted the sarcasm in that). Okay: #1) They do NOT have a tonn of American Restaurants here...however in the very center of Puebla, they do have Krispy Kreme and Chiles and a Carls Jr. Buttt they really dont have too many of the American restaurants unless they are chains, and even then in very few places. And the menus are a little different yes. They add in some things here that are more typical, and of course everything has been changes to spanish names. Sooo theres no ordering a "Angry Whopper" from burger king. Its called the "Whopper Furiosa" #2) Besides the fact that its in spanish, some of the major differences in the Sacrament meetings in the US and here are: 1- Sometimes (qutie often) there is no piano player, so the songs are sung accopella.....which is NOT the best idea for a large group of mexican saints. jussayin 2- Its normal for people to get up and go talk to the bishop or someone on the stand mulitiple times during the meeting if they have a question about something. Even simple. 3- The water has to be served from bottles of water bought and used to fill the cups. and 4- The bread is sometimes from Panaderias (bakerys) and every once in a while it is the most delicious sweet bread ever. So its pretty different.
Well, this week we worked really hard and it showed. We were able to FINALLY get 2 of our new investigators to come to church and they enjoyed the experience and the members are finally working with us more and were able to welcome them a little bit more and visit them with us. It was greattt. Then we were able to pick up 2 new investigators!
Their story is actually pretty cool:
Ive been working hard for 2 changes to reactivate this family here in the area and they finally started coming to church last change. They are doing awesome now, but their son (A) and his wife had never accepted my invitations to listen to our message. So 2 Sundays ago, the family brought the wife (M) to church and blessed their new born baby. Their baby was doing well, but he had a developing skin problem on his face and the doctors couldnt figure out how to fix it. His skin was really dry and had sore red bumps on it and sometimes he would be scratching them and open up the sores. So the dad of the family suggested that they have the baby presented and blessed in sacrament meeting. So they did, and the next Sunday the Dad came up to us with the baby and told us that his son and his wife wanted to be baptized. He told us that after the baby blessing they went home and then went to bed. When they woke up the next morning the skin on the babys face was completely healed. The wife (who has grown up catholic all her life) was sooo interested in learning about the priesthood that had cured her baby. It was a greatttt lesson and she was deeply touched by the spirit. It was awesome.
Soo yah, that happened. And then we also were able to teach the non-member mother of a missionary who left the same time that I did! None of his family are members except for him and they were VERY against him going on a mission. But he left anyway and now has 18 months on the mission. WE met them a few weeks ago with a member and they still arent ready to join the church. But I made them a promise that we would teach only from the Bible, because the Mom is taking classes about studying the bible. The first lesson went great and she was crying talking about how hard it was to let her son go not knowing if what he was doing was right. But at the end of the lesson she invited us to come by and talk with her anytime. Oh, and i was also able to burn my pants for my 18th month mark this week with 3 other guys from my generation. It was pretty cool.
Soo thats about it for this week. Sorry its so long, but there really isnt anything to do on Pdays anymore. I feel like it was a pretty spiritual email, so im gonna go ahead and save the spiritual thought for next week!
Elder Josh Hamm
Monday, August 4, 2014
|Oh, and it rained.....alot|
Hey guys! Well the big news this week is that this is gonna be a farely short email cause i have to go and tour the mission today. On Wednesday Elder A, Elder D, Elder K, and Elder B all go home man! It sucks a little bit....but they are all pretty excited about it haha but the point is they are all going to visit their converts around the mission and so im gonna go with them so we can be 2 companionships and then tonight they are all gonna be spending their last night in the mission at our house. Sleep will be used only under extreme and fatal circumstances. Buttt the point is, i figured id at least let you all know whats going on!
The questions from my Dad this week were the following - 1) The news down here is pretty much the same as anywhere else apart from the fact that there is really no censure. Like there are usually pretty gruesome images out in the open in newspapers or on the tv. Wierd stuff. 2) Almost EVERYONE has a television. Like even the most poor of people living in a small house in the most humble circumstances have a small old television. 3) The thing they watch the most are things called Novelas which are spanish soap operas. And yes, EVERY time I see part of one on in someones house i think of that one episode of Psych. They are THAT bad, no joke haha and they watch them alll the time. 4) The radio has a mix. They can sometimes play a lott of American pop music, but for the most part, their favorite kind of music here is called "Banda" which is something you can look up and watch if you have the sudden desire to bleed from your ears. (personal opinion)
|My Chinche-Inspired Swaggg|
Soo this week was pretty good. First off, I have chinches (bed bugs) AGAIN! I literally have 45 bites all over my body and they itch soooo bad man. After i figured out we had them, it was a little late haha butttt i called the fumigator guy and he came like 3 days later. Sooo i was sleeping in a special outfit for a few days. Ill put a picture in here haha but the good thing is that they are gone now. HATE those things man. Andddd second off I DONT have changes, which makes me pretty happy. I really wanted just ONE more change in this area with my companion and I got it! We have like 5 prospects for baptism that we have worked sooo hard to find and now i will get to see them make that covenant with God! So im pretty excited. On Wednesday we had a GREAT lesson with a current investigator (P) and her Mom (M). The Mom had never listened to us before but we invited her to hear the message we have been teaching her daughter. We shared about the Restoration and then at the end I invited her to pray. She was reluctant because she had never prayed before, but i told her that I would offer a short prayer first, and then she could offer one. She agreed and in the middle of her prayer she just started crying, praying for her family and for her life and all the struggles she was having. It was soo spiritual. I have to say, my FAVORITE part of the mission would have to be helping people pray for the first time. Its like introducing them to the most loving person they have never met! Its great to see our Heavenly Father reach out to them in love, even the FIRST time they try to communicate with him. Then we FINALLY got all the details worked out with the city and the couple we have been trying to marry are going to be Wed on Thursday if all goes well, and then Saturday should be the husbands baptism. Its gonna be great. Its so cool to see people change so much when they hear the message of the gospel.
And finally, my spiritual thought this week really comes from the experience i had with M our investigator this week. I dont know how many people read this blog, or from how many backgrounds you are, but i can promise you something without doubt, and without regard to skin color, nationality, or religion. You have a loving Heavenly Father. He cares about you, He worries about you, And like any loving parent, He wants to hear from you. It is never too late to start building that relationship with Him. Get down on your knees and tell Him EVERYTHING. Tell Him about all the sadness you are feeling, about the joy you are experiencing, or ask Him for additional strength and help through an especially hard time in your life. He will hear you and He will answer you with an overwhelming feeling of love. When you pray, Someone is listening. Of that I promise you.