D&C 76:22

And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! D&C 76:22

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

9 days

Monday, August 26, 2013

So, I have received a 90% confirmation that I will be leaving my area in 9 days. I have spent so much time here, and now don´t know what to do anymore. I am positive that this branch will be closed before I get home next June. We were seeing such progress, but it has dipped to where it was when I got here. It just does that and I don´t see much changing. I am sort of at a point with the members where I just sort of tell them what´s on my mind now, and that mostly has to do with them not coming to church. Most of them don´t take it to well. I feel like a parent here. I have tried to be so nice, but if you don´t understand, it´s hard lovin time. I have razurared, or shaved, quite a few members. Not for anything stupid. It's for stuff like, they choose to go to iron clothes for money instead of come to church. Or they say that they don´t want to come anymore to 2nd and 3rd hour because they don´t want their calling and are mad because their daughter got released from being the primary teacher. Or they say they just want to come and sit and listen, but don´t want to take part in anything.
My response is almost always, if you want that, go to any other church.  Here the lord asks of us. And we just give. We just do. Not because we understand it. Or because it makes sense. Or because we want to. We just do. It's just how it works. I haven´t quite lost my patience yet, but I am getting very stern with a few people. I am just fed up. I think I am getting a taste of how God feels when he was to chastise his children. He doesn´t like to, but he does due to their disobedience, and it's to make them depend on him. So it's for a good cause. 

Also, in respect to what I said last week about being a horrible missionary, its not that I was trained bad. I had a great trainer. I am saying horrible because I have been doing things not the Lord's way, and Christ says that he who is not with me is against me. I feel like I had not made good use of the Lord's time. Remember Elder Oaks talk on Good, Better, Best?? I was doing good things. but I couldn´t even see the better things, and I am working towards the best things. 

Speaking of that stuff, my week was hard. We worked Tuesday like normal, and then were told that we had to be in Teguc on Wed for a training. So that ate the whole day. Then Thursday I did divisions with Elder Edwards, one of my good buddies. He left for the temple early Friday morning with Elder Sol, as I stayed in the bathroom throwing up the bad mayonnaise I ate the night before. Then Saturday I finished divisions in the Villa of San Fransisco doing baptismal interviews for half the world.  I did four last week, and I am finding that if I do them right, and try to be the most in tune with the spirit I can, it is a little taxing. But I love it. I don´t know where I will go this change, but I can imagine I will still be a DL. Which is fine with me. 

Yesterday we fasted, and the Lord is seriously trying our faith. Everything we had fell through horribly. None of our citas were there, nobody wanted anything, and I am stressed because other elders in Yuscaran had a baptism that fell. And the ZLs were pressuring me to pressure them. It was a nuts weekend. The whole zone, or at least my district, is really struggling finding people to teach right now. The ZLs are super concerned, and I really don´t know what else to do. But I am sure that God will bless me. I don't understand, I don´t know how, and sometimes I feel like I don´t want to, that it´s easier to not to. 
Two quotes that have gotten me through this area have been,

"Do your duty: That is best. Leave unto the Lord the rest."

"It takes maturity to do what we ought to do whether we want to or not."

I feel like here, I have done that.

All I really know right now is that God will bless me, and that after this place, I can do anything. 

Dad, I don´t know if you remember the first time we went on high adventure to the Uintahs, on that hike. I don´t know if you remember what happened as we were leaving. I just remember you and I were in the back of the group, and something happened. I just remember being so tired and sore and sick of all the stinking priests and everything else. I vividly remember crying...and just feeling like it would be easier to just stop and do nothing. You picked me up, looked at me, and said, ¨Then you stand.¨ and you pushed me off to keep walking. That is what this area is. I am at my wall. I don´t know how much more I have to give here. I feel like the next week I would rather sit in my house and study all day. But, I just think of that quote. I think it is from that one Rascal Flats song. 

From what I remember the chorus goes something like

Cuz when push comes to shove you learn what you´re made of
you might bend till you break cuz its all you can take.
on your knees you look up, decide you´ve had enough
You get mad, you get strong
wipe your head shake it off.
Then you stand.

that typifies this fifth change here.  I feel like God has pushed me to my breaking point. Last night, I honesty didn´t know how much more of this I could take. but I know that I will stand for one last week, and do everything I can to leave here knowing I did everything I could. 
I will survive Yuscaran.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

So, not much has happened. I told you all pretty much how last week went like 4 days ago, and not much has changed....its been a short weekend. We continue to suffer with people at church. I think satan is really working harder with these people than before.
We are working with three different people right now. But one of them is turning into an eternal investigator, and it´s not even really his fault. You remember Roberto?? Well, he has to stay at home with 94 year old dad, and if nobody comes to watch him, he can´t come to church, and I can´t tell him to let his dad alone for hours. And then we are working with another lady named Delmy who is scared of what her husband will say if he finds out she is meeting with us. And a guy named Jorge, who midway through our first lesson with him told us to excuse him, but he had to go get a tooth pulled. So apart from that, pure finding and less actives.
I have been really trying to just focus on what I should have done at the beginning of my mission. My trainer with me never did the 12 week program that you are supposed to do with your trainer. So I started doing it with my ¨Kid¨, ....and I learned that I am a....horrible....missionary. I mean, I have baptized, but I have been so far below where I should have been. And the worst part is, I learned it at almost 14 months. If I would have learned it a month earlier, that would have been better. But now I feel like I have been wasting the Lord's time out here, and haven´t been doing the best with my time. Nothing bad, just good or better. Not best. That really woke me up. Cody, LEARN PREACH MY GOSPEL. See if you can get ahold of the district DVD´s and watch them. Ask any exmissionary, Jordan Widdison, he would know where to get those. anyway, that´s the key to being a good missionary. I know a lot of missionaries who have to work by their ¨method¨. Well, the best method is PMG, because it´s the Lords method. So I am really focusing more on it, to try and take advantage of the little time that I have left, so that I don´t waste more of the Lord's time.
Oh and by the way, I love the books you guys sent me. Elder Talmage is the man...he just threw down in Articles of Faith about infant baptism. Wow.  And I also am addicted to dum dums again. It's horrible but I can´t stop.
That´s pretty much it. I love yall.
and I only have ten months left....this can´t be happening.
Thursday, August 15, 2013  (Pday was Thursday this week.  Read on and you will know why.)

So this last week was good. Holy crap was it long, but good.We had a whole bunch of stuff happen. Mostly it was people telling us to come back and then ignoring us when we came back. Or pretending like they weren´t home.
There is some horribly depressing news from my area, however. And some other good stuff that happened. And some other news that is more or less important.
Well first to start with the bad news to get it out of the way. Friday I was doing divisions with my district, in Zamorano. It was dope. I felt super uncomfortable, however, because I was going to meet some people that had expressed complete disgust towards the missionaries, and a whole bunch of fechas had fallen, so the zls wanted to know what was going on. I spent three hours in citas with people throwing indirects at us, specifically. There we are, a mexican and gringo, and the people start saying things like...¨so let's say that in America, only an example, there are people there that have a lot of money, so they send people to preach about someone who isn´t god..¨etc. Oh boy. Somebody told this guy that apparently we believe in Joseph Smith. I literally felt like it got hostile at one point...and it was better that we just leave. Then when I got back on Friday morning, I got a terribly rushed phone call from Christian.

And when I heard the name he mentioned, a pit formed in my stomach....
and I broke into a cold sweat.
----------------- was found at approximately 9 in the morning, Friday august 9 2013, hanging from his roof of his room.
He wasn´t found in time, this time.
I had that old familiar feeling of complete desperation come over me, and then was immediately comforted....I knew that whatever had happened, it was according to his own free will, and that God was still in charge. In themidst of the mind swirling that was going on, I recalled the blessing I had given to him at the end of May.
Incredible, how the spirit works.
We found out that he had left a note, saying that he passed away happy because he died in the Mormon Faith. I learned that, like I had suspected, his health problems were worsening, and to top it off, something new I learned....  He had apparently practiced some other habits before his baptism.
I am including a gift that he had made for a bunch of members after a FHE that we did in his house a few weeks after his first attempt.
It will forever be a treasure to me.

On a happier note, we went to the Moncerrat again, and there is a photo included.
and on an increasingly happier note, I realized some stuff in the last week.
Stuff that if I would have realized ten months ago would have been good.
Makes me also realize that I am nowhere close to reaching my potential as a missionary.
I have been trying a lot harder, in these last few weeks. And I see fruits coming. I don´t know if I will see them, but I can imagine them.
Also, yesterday we had zone conference, so instead of going and coming back and going again to Teguc, we stayed over night with the aps...
Elggren is back. and I saw Beesley and my buddy Stone. He left at 10 yesterday morning to go home....he finished!!! I got one last pic with him. Love that kid.
And then I went to work with OVESON....Love that kid. and guess who he took me to see???

Good ol times!!! His teeth look great, dad. They are finally on the up and up! Luis found a job, and everything is good for them. They had two older daughters, the both of which have never wanted anything with the church, but the older one is slowly coming around. And that makes them happy. It was awesome to see them.
And then, this morning, Elder Sol forgot his recommend, so I sacrificed to come back with him. I am going in October with a family I baptized in the south, Carlos and Karla, so that will be sufficient. Plus, with them will be so much more amazing.
And that brings us to today. Just chilling and writing you guys. It is a good day, and I am loving the chill of it.
So, I hope that all of you can take a chill pill...and relax. Enjoy your thursday. I am sure enjoying mine.
Love, Zach...Phantom.....

At the Moncerrat

Elder Stone and Zach

The "treasure" given to Zach at the FHE.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

2nd week of changes

Monday, August 5, 2013

So this week has been somewhat normal. I have really had a chance to slow down and work like a normal missionary. We study all the time now. I love my new comp! Benning is awesome. We struggle a little bit with the language with him, but it is coming along. He asked me how long it took me to learn the language....I told him to ask a different gringo...I am not the best one to ask for that. It's weird for me doing language studies. I never had done them before...never had needed them, really. But now, it actually helps me.
We are working with some new people. Jessica and Dennis, a family we started teaching...They are super cool. We were already really good friends with them, and so it was easy to just start teaching them. They own a restaurant thing here in town, so we used to go eat there a few times a week, and we got talking to them. After a while, they closed it because their little daughter and the mom got sick, and couldn´t keep it open. Dennis started working elsewhere, and we lost contact with them. But we found them a little while ago, and are so stoked to be able to work with them. They really got it and we are hopefully going back tonight to be able to teach them more. 

We found another lady name Ofelia who lives in a part of our area that we had hardly ever gone before. She invited us in and we started teaching her. She accepted to be baptized, but we have to find out who her spouse is and get them married before we can really do that. But it can be done. 

Our zone leaders this last week have been really focusing on helping us find new people to be able to teach. They gave us a new formula that the mission has adopted for tracting and contacting. Bbefore I hated contacting, and really didn´t understand why we do it. I honestly would rather go spend time serving the members to be able to get referrals from them. But they gave us a new way to be able to do it. And WOW. It works. We are finding the prepared people in our area through prayer, repentance, and following hunches. Hunches...wow. Those hunches are the most important things we can follow. They are literally what Christ wants us to do when he wants us to do it. Is important stuff. And the more we listen, the better it goes. 

That is really it for this week. I love the pics that you guys sent.....flip, Mason is huge. And I am glad that you got to try some of that stuff. I am sad you couldn´t be here for mango season, or licha season, but you got some good stuff. And that city is just nuts. Completely and totally. Also thank you for all the stuff in that duffel bag. it´s FANTASTIC. My comp loves you all. 

I think I am pretty much done. I will chat next week with you all....

Oops.  Pictures from last week!
Zach and Elder Benning

Elder Benning, Zach and Elder Esparza

Good old American treats to keep Zach fed.