Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Power Of Example

Monday, September 15, 2014

Changes.....are getting really old

The neighbors asked us to store their "cabeza de rez" in our fridge cause they dont have one. And they invited us to eat posole of cow head with them. Not gonna lie, the chances of them getting an RSVP are slim to none.

    Alright, the big news this week, which wont come as much of a surprise to most is that i have changesssss. Yuppp, my time in Atlixco is finally up. Not gonna lie, im gonna miss it. Ive gotten pretty used to the life here by now, and i feel like that is EXACTLY what the Lord DOESNT want to happen, so he knew it was time that I had a change. Sooo next week i will be writing you all to let you know where my new area is and who im with!

       Sooo to start out with my Dads questions, we are going to dive into the email! 1) Yes, i still have my guitar, and im actually growing more and more attached to it every day haha 2) Yes, i have written quite a few songs lately, that i actually think are the best ones that i have written, but right now im in the process of converting some hymns to a classical-guitar type feel and adding in a little bit of singing from time to time also. They are coming out pretty cool. So far ive figured out how to play "I am a child of God", "Lead Kindly Light", "If you could hie to Colob", and "My Heavenly Father Loves Me". Im really enjoying it. ANDDD 3) The last time i "performed" for someone was every now and again when people find out and i play a few songs for them. Its usually Elders over at my house and i put on a mini-concert haha but only on P-day ;)

       Welllll this week was filled with running around trying to prepare the investigators in the best way possible for the chance that both me AND my companion have changes, butttt its just me that has changes, so luckily the investigators can keep progressing with Elder Párraga in the meantime. We were able to put baptismal dates with a few of them this week for the end of this month! So that will be awesome! Anddd that pretty much brings me to my spiritual thought.

       Sooo I have been seeing a pattern emerging as i have been going through my mission, and ive stumbled across something that has led me to a spiritual insight. So in my mission, i have had the blessing of baptizing several people, and for that im very greatful. However, there have been incredibly MORE times when i have gotten to my areas and worked hard in finding and preparing people for baptism and then having changes before being able to see them actually get baptized. BUT the point of this is NOT so that you feel bad for me. Actually, its almost the opposite. I want you all to know something that is vitally important in the church. We ALL have different roles in the work of salvation, but that doesnt mean that we are any less important than the next person. Members, missionaries, and leaders all have their different, and equally key parts in bringing souls unto Christ. Elder Uchtdorf once said "Lift where you stand!". We cannot do it alone! D+C 84:109 reads: "...and let not the head say unto the feet it hath no need of the feet; for without the feet how shall the body be able to stand?" Its the truth. We are all needed in this work and no member can give up, or stop doing their part, without expecting the whole body to suffer because of it. The work will move forward regaurdless, but each of us can take part in this great hastening as we understand and act out our individual roles.

Elder Josh Hamm

Monday, September 8, 2014

Walk with Me

    HEYYYY GUYS!!! Well this week was alright. The mission clock continues ticking and I am just trying to work as hard as i can for these last few months, and of course see if i can enjoy a moment of it here and there ;) Butttt Im gonna go ahead and start out with my Dads questions!
Oh, and i have SpiderMan in my be jealous
       Alright, well the qustions from my dad are pretty short this week so i will just knock them out right now! 1) I get my hair cut in a barber shop and let me tell you its HARD to find a guy who knows how to cut a white mans hair haha BUT luckily i have found a guy who has been in the US and cuts it up real nice like. Its great. It costs about 35 pesos so thats like 3ish dollars. 2) With my study time in the morning i usually dedicate a day to each thing. Lots of Elders like to study like 3 different things in one hour, but i dont. So i usually switch off day to day between PMG, The Pearl of Great Price, The New Testament, and The Book of Mormon. AND 3) One of my favorite families here that we visit is the Lima Family. They are awesome. They have their son and his wife listening to us and are greattttt, they have a son who is planning on going on a mission, and is very active, they have the Mom and the Dad who i helped reactivate and are still learning new things every time we visit them. But they are hilarious and they always invite us to eat and talk with them and we have great lessons. So id have to say them!!

       OKKKKAAAYYY, well this week was...up and down. Theres good news and bad news andddd since i cant ask you all personally which of the two you would like to hear first...we are just gonna start out with the bad news. We are teaching 5 investigators right now who are doing awesome....except not a SINGLE ONE of them showed up to church this Sunday and for one of them that makes it 3 weeks in a row without coming. And im kinda out of ideas at this point, so we are gonna have to go back to the drawing board and figure out how we are going to encourage them to come back to chruch. Sooo now for the good news! This week we were really able to make some progress with a few of the investigators we have been teaching. We were worried about teaching the law of chastity to 2 investigators because one of them is 18 and is going to have a baby soon, but we talked a lot about how the atonement can be a powerful influence in our lives in letting go of past sins and guilt. It was great! And we also finally got a couple to start reading together. The next step will be praying together, but they are growing soo much closer as a pair. They have come a long way since when we first found them. So that was great.

       Alright, well the spiritual thought that i wanted to share this week comes from the Pearl of Great Price which (as i have previously explained) I am studying. Well, in chapter 6 it relates the story of Enoch. In the story Enoch is walking in the wilderness and the spirit of God descends on him and calls him to his work. Enoch obviously fairly surprised, asks God why he chose him. He expresses the worry that he is only a man, and actually has a speech impediment of which the people make fun of! But to this concern, God gives him some consoling encouragement. Verses 32 and 34 read "32 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good. 34 Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify...and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me." I LOVE that invitation. The Lord invites Enoch as he invites all of us saying: "Walk with me". What an incredible invitation backed with a powerful promise. Sometimes, we have a hard time sharing the gospel as members of the chruch should do. We might be worried about what we will say, how people will react, the persecution or rejection that might come, or any other pretext. But we have to remember the promises that the Lord is making when he invites us to walk with him. Each and every one of the members of this church covenanted when they were baptized to in some way or another - walk with the Lord. And the invitation is the same. Brothers and Sisters, i can promise you that if you open you mouth to share the gospel with your friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, the Lord will fill your mouth with the things you need to say and his spirit will be upon you if you only abide in him. So my inviation to each and every one of you, is to accept the bidding call of the Lord and WALK WITH HIM! I promise that if you strive to abide in the Lord and do what he has commanded you to do, he will be with you every step of the journey walking beside you.

Elder Josh Hamm

Monday, September 1, 2014

Come What May, and Love It

Me and Elder Scott with matching ties at the interviews
   OOOOOOOOKKKKIIIIEEEEE DOOOKIE CAMPERS! Well this week was pretty good. We got to have interviews with our president (The first ones with President Stellmon), got to make some bread (something ive wanted to do my whole mission), ANDDDDD we were able to ALMOST put a baptismal date. But more on all that in a moment. First, my dads questions!

       Alright, well my Dads questions are really good this week. Not that they arent good every week, but you know, there are better goods and worse goods haha but anyways here we go. 1) 2) When i think of Moms cooking and miss always thinking of something different - calzones, teriaki chicken, chicken pot pie, shephards pie, fast sunday roast and potatoes and carrots and gravy and homemade rolls, and....yah its just always different. BUTTT the most recent was when i was working in a panaderia (more on that to come) and I thought of my Moms homemade soft pretzels....and almost died. But i kept it together. 5 more months! haha 3) NORMALLY, the Mexico city temple is where everyone goes, and its about 2 to 3 hours. However, the temple in DF is closed so they go to Veracruz which is about 4 hours away from here. But thats lucky there are people in the south who live veryyy far from the temple. They rent buses as a ward and go once a month. ANDD 4) Something you see in a Mexican house that you dont see in a house in America would be no just dirt, and a special flat metal panish thing that they heat up tortillas on.

Making bread at the Panderia!!  It was so awesome!
       Alright, well this week was pretty exciting. Like I said we had our first interviews with the new president, President Stellmon, and they went really well. Well, mine at least haha I felt like i kinda got to know him like i havent been able to so far and the bonds are being strengthened. Andddd i got to see Elder S. We got matching ties and took pictures. Yah, be jealous. Then as i mentioned I was finally able to make PAN (bread)!!!! It was so great. Elder N knows some guys who have a hugeee bakery and we went on Saturday to help them! It reminded me of my days working at Scottos haha but it was great. I got to make donuts, conchas, cuernos, filled cuernos, empanadas, and more! It was sooo sick haha and we are going to go again next Saturday too! Andd then to finish it off our investigators were able to get their ACTA that they need to get married so they will be getting married this week and then hopefully also baptized!! YAY! so hopefully that all goes down this week. So all in all, it was pretty great.

       So for my spiritual thought this week comes from a talk we studied during the interviews that im sure you have all heard. Its called "Come What May, and Love It." by Joseph B. Wirthlin. It is one of the all-time greatest talks. Seriously its great. Buttt it talks about how we can take adversity and make it into a blessing in our lives, one which when taken correctly can help us to progress spiritually. In one part of the talk Elder Wirthlin says: "Sometimes the very moments that seem to overcome us with suffering are those that will ultimately suffer us to overcome." My Mom also once told me that i should learn to love change, because its a part of life and the sooner i learn to love it, the happier i will be. I think we can also apply this council in every aspect of our lives. Tribulations come, they are hard, they are trying, and they are sometimes lasting, but they are an inevitable part of a perfect plan that our Heavenly Father has for us, and he has promised us blessings when we endure well. The talk also says: "...every tear [of sadness] today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." I know that we all experience trials in our life, but instead of looking at them with fear, let us take them with trust. Trust that our loving Father in heaven knows what we need and he knows how to help us grow. It is all part of his plan and he will compensate us for all loses that we incur along our journey back to him.

Elder Josh Hamm