Thursday, December 1, 2016

Roberto's baptism was great. The ward kind of supported us...we invite a lot of people to baptisms but not very many come...I'm sure its the same everywhere, but it lets us see which members we can count on and who want to help/work with us. It was good and about 20 members went and also a few investigators from other wards and the missionaries. Roberto's a cool guy and he's ready to work. He wants to be a missionary (he was a JW missionary before). He's really humble and focused too, he comes to church every sunday on his bike and right when its over he leaves, he's really shown us he comes to learn and be a better person and not even to get to know other people, its hard for us to get him to stay 5 minutes extra to get to know some of the members. 
We also went to the CV (visitors center) with Ivonne and her kids. It was awesome but her husband didnt come because he had to work (the good thing is is that they loved it and they are going to talk him into going with them another day). He isn't against the church but he doesn't seem that interested either (and well...we've only talked to him once and it was at church). We hope maybe Estefani, Ivonne's 13 year old daughter can maybe get baptised with her on the 28th but we have to check because we haven't hardly taught her anything. Ivonne is really cool and she knows the church true. She's got a really crazy life story and she's always told us she is the normal one in her family (which is funny because she's kind of extreme: bright red hair, lip pearcing, she always wears belly shirts and she likes screamo music) but we didnt realize until she told us about her family that its true. Shes a really great person and she's working hard towards her goals. 
The Angeles family went to church yesterday but the rest of the investigators haven't progressed that much this week so theres not much to tell. We were super busy this week and it went super fast. 
My converts that are going to complete 1 year: well all of them from Muzquiz have completed a year but I haven't really heard from any of them and 3 of them are still young so we'll see. From Mixihuca Jasmin and Yulieth will complete a year this month, we'll see if Jasmin gets married to her boyfriend (he's a member) soon and Yulieth...I think she's still in preparation. Erika, Arturo and the Desantillana family are also close. I'm super excited for Josafat and Evelin Desantillan because I know they are going to be ready the 5th of november to be sealed, its always been their goal. I will get to go too. It will be so awesome seeing them in the temple with little Abdon their 3 year old. I talked to them recently and they are doing great, Josafat is the 1st councilor in the young mens and Evelin is in the Nursery (which kind of stinks because she doesnt interact with the other sisters and doesnt get to learn in the classes) (it might be because Abdon is wild) but she also does her visiting teaching and she visits Erika (who has been having some problems in her family). Arturo is doing great, started a new job, and just entered college and is studying computer engineering, he asked his girlfriend to marry him (also a member), but she said no because she wants to go on a mission haha, I want Arturo to go too!!! But we'll see. The rest have still got a while. I also recieved an email from Fernando Duran (one of the youth that I love from Mixihuca, he's a great friend, that did visits with us a lot and I skyped home from his house in May (I love the whole Duran Family)) just got his mission call to Monterrey East! I leaves sept 6th. He'll be there with my friends from the CCM. 
What else...
Well the pictures of the house look awesome!!! I want to see more! And of the inside! What are the plans with the porch? 
The camping pictures looked good too, Joise looks like she's been a great fisherwoman like always, and it looked like you had fun! Was is hot? Its been hot here too but its also been raining. The weather here is really nice because it doesn't get THAT hot and not too cold either but in one day it'll be way hot and then it rains and gets cold. 
I sent pictures of the baptism, the CV trip with Ivonne (it takes us an hour to get to the temple from here 40min in metro and another 20 in bus), and also the veiw out the window, its pretty and you can see all the houses that are up on those steep hills, they are so steep that most of them dont have streets they have stairs...and the crazy mexican powerlines haha. 
I'm not sure what the activity rate is here but the attendance on sundays is like 130ish and theres like 600 on the lists...but who knows how many actually like here and how correct it is. Mixihuca had like 210 on sundays and 800 on the list Industrial like 140 sundays and 700 list and Muzquiz like 60 on sundays and I dont remember how many were on the lists. How is the percentage at home? Better? They say that here it doesnt matter how much we baptise the inactive percentage stays the same so our goals are baptise more, reactivate and mantain active. Our goal for the zone in august is 21 baptisms in 7 wards, its super doable and president promised us if we have faith we will be able to do it, and faith means works. And hopefully next month we can baptise even more! 
I'm super excited Anna is saving up for her mission! The mission is the best, I hope she comes to Mexico! Speaking of Anna, Anna and Kelsey haven't written me! :'( haha and the rest of them hardly ever. 
Good luck with everything! Do get stressed out! Love you lots! 
Elder Inskeep
 Our president and his family are in a new church pamphlet, he is the taller balding one and his wife is recieving the blessing. and his 2 younger kids are the 2 in the background

 How does the power line look, Dad?

 Views from my window

 Roberto's Baptism
Do you like Ivonne's red hair? Her kids are Estefani (13), Christofer (7), and César (4). César couldn't hold still for the photo, he wanted to keep playing in Zarahemla (the kids activity room in the Visitor Center) 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Looks like you're having fun camping! I'm glad you get to rest a little! 
This week has been alright, we found some new investigators that we are excited about, we've also been in the process of doing divisions with everyone in the zone so its been interesting. On tuesday we did divisions with Rio de Luz ward who are Elder Winget (st. George) and Elder Ruano (Guatemala City) it was good, I went with E. Ruano and sense I'm still not really familiar with the area we were looking for a street where a part member family lives when we found an elderly sister (Sister Carmona) walking in the street, as we were talking with her on the other side of the street (where there was a soccer court with a bunch of kids playing (those things are never empty in MX)) she saw someone she thought she knew, she waved at him and he came over she greeted him with a kiss (like Mexicans do) and realized that she did not know him haha. But he knew us, he started talking to us and told us that a few years ago he had a girlfriend that was a member, he went to church with her almost every week, went to her little brothers baptism and had even been invited to be baptised himself, the cool thing is is that he wanted too! But before he could he broke up with his girlfriend (who lives in another suburb called Texcoco) so he didnt know what to do, he liked the church but didn't know where to go or how to keep going. Until he found us. His name is Alejandro and he's 21. We made an appointment for the next day and he even called us that night to confirm it. We went the next day and he introduced us to his mom, Silvia, who is in bed paralyzed from the arms down after a car accident a few years ago. They are both super interested and Alejandro said one of the coolest prayers I've ever heard. He said he was going to go to church yesterday but at the last minute cancelled so we'll see what happens with them this week! Anyways after talking with Alejandro, Sister Carmona showed us where the part member family lived, the Melendez family is a huge inactive family (that includes the grandparents, their 4 kids and their spouses, and 10 grandchildren) that has young kids that are not baptised. We're working with them to reactivate them and baptise a little 9 year old girl named Michel (Meechel). Michel and her mom Sandra are the ones that are showing the most interest, we're not sure about the rest but Sandra said she wants her daughters (she has 2 more that are 6 and 4 years old) to grow up in the gospel. Michel has a baptismal date for the 4th of september. Things with Ivonne are going well and Roberto is ready for his baptism this week! 
Yeah we've been fed everyday here, the food in the state is better than in the city because the people aren't as rushed. The tacos and other street food are better in the city though, but more expensive. The ice cream in Mexico is really good, there's a little ice cream shop that is everywhere (like everywhere) called the Michoacana that is awesome, they also sell homemade juices that are amazing, theres also a lot of fruits here that we dont have like mangos, guayabas, guanabanas, mamey, fresh coconut (which are my favorites but theres more I cant remember right now). 
My companion is alright, he's a hard one. He's got a super bad cold right now and the pollution makes the colds here worse. Elder Gomez is like Neal, Elder Sumano and Elder Jimenez were great too. In the beginning I thought elder Jimenez was super weird and he was but we got along well and I miss him, his weirdness made me laugh a lot and we had fun. I also saw Elder Pardo a few weeks ago when he came to the city to go to the temple and on sunday went to a ward where he had served which happened to be one of the wards that shares our building. It was nice to seee him and talk with him. I've learned a lot from each of my companions and I'm grateful for each of them. 
I am a so grateful for the great example you have always shown me that we always go to church, its awesome you went to church in stanley, not a lot of people do that and its important to partake of the sacrament every week. I hope people start to understand that better like you have. I was thinking about it and I honestly cannot remember the last sunday I did not go to church, I think its probably been several years.
Time goes by sooo fast. I cant believe Tanner and Jacob are already home. Caleb gets home this week, you should find out when his homecoming is and go. (Anna and Mom). 
That is extremely sad about the tongan sister. How has the work been going with the sisters in the blackfoot east stake? I have realized that the ward/stake names are really boring in the US. In mexico its cooler, but it also helps that all of the neighboorhoods have names to name the wards after. The wards in our stake are Guerreros (warriors), Aguilas (eagles), Fuentes (source or fountain), Queztalcoatl (the mayan god the feathered serpant or Jesus Christ), Central (central haha or downtown), Mayas, and Rio de Luz (River of Light) I like it too because the neighboorhoods in Cuidad Azteca alll have something to do with the Aztecs or Mayas. 
I'm ready to see pictures of the house! Tell everyone I said hola! Love you thanks for everything!!!
Elder Inskeep 

wow well dad must be really busy because its the first week in my mission that he hasnt written me! Good luck!! You havent sent me pictures of the house in a long time. And I told you I'd be writting earlier from now on, well today was an exception, next week I should write around 11ish. The talk alot about pioneers here mostly about the pioneers that brigham young sent to the Mormon colonies in Chihuahua and also about the first people that were baptised in Mexico City a little bit after that and the trials they had to pass but they dont celebrate pioneer day. The story from the friend was good it made me laugh haha! And it sounds like the primary kids are pretty funny too! This week was alright.
This week we put a baptismal date with Ivonne for the 28th of August, shes super cool, we've taught her the restauration, plan of salvacion, and the gospel of Jesus Christ just in these 2 weeks I've been here and its been awesome. Normally the super cool life changing lessons are either the restauracion or the plan of salvacion but with her it was the gospel of Jesus Christ. She accepted everything really great but it was when we got to repentance and forgiveness/Atonement that we got her. Shes a really great person but she feels bad for things shes done in the past and is willing to doing anything to be forgiven. Its awesome. The front of her house is a farmacy where she works so we normally go over after the lunch hour when its calmer and she lets us in behind the desk to teach her. She says that she and her husband are pretty busy so thats why we havent been able to teach them in their house with their 3 kids (ages 13, 6,3) but that shes going to arrange her schedule so that we can and we kind of thought that maybe her husband was against it and thats why she hadnt let us meet him but on sunday she went to church with her husband Cesar and her youngest son who is also named Cesar haha. It was awesome. The sacrament meeting wasnt really the greatest in my opinion so I was a little bit worried that she wouldnt like it but I looked over and she was crying. When she left (she could only stay for sacrament meeting, 3hrs is hard when you're starting out) she said it was beautiful, she loved it. 
We also have a baptismal date with Roberto for the 7th of August, he's an ex-Jehova's Witness who realizes that the JW's are wrong, he came looking for the church and he is super prepared and has studied alot, he's one of those people who has actually studied the bible and applied it, he already knew about repentance, the law of chastity, and even the word of wisdom (except coffee and tea but he knows now haha) He said that he had been looking for the truth and praying to God for help so when he heard the first lesson he knew it was true. He said he felt so great he thought he wasn't diabetic anymore haha (he realized that he still is but he's still convinced on his answer). I think those are our main investigators right now...more to come.
The ward is cool. We live about the bishop and his wife Jessica and twin girls Sofie and Eveli (the are 6 years old and don't know how to talk normal, they yell...and they get it from their grandma haha) The bishop lives on the 1st floor, on the second floor are Jessica's parents Bro and Sis Rivera and Jessica's younger brother Ruben. There's also a really big puppy named Napo haha. Their cool too, they always give us food (like leftovers or dessert) and they let us use their washing machine haha. There's also another Ivonne who works in Ivonne the investigators farmacy who is awesome and really excited about sharing the gospel (thats how we started teaching Ivonne the owner of the farmacy). She introduced us to her son Jorge and Jorge introduced us to his friend Miguel Angel who are both looking for work (their both 20 and need money for college) yesterday we took them to the stake self-reliance center (do we have this program in the US?) Its really cool because they can take a free course to learn about being self-reliant and how to look for jobs, get hired, interviews, and everything you need to be successful, they can even help you find jobs with other members who own busnesses or busnesses who want to hire mormons, if we have it in the US I want to take the course. Jorge and Miguel Angel are really cool and hopefully they'll be new investigators soon, Jorge also has a girlfriend that Ivonne wants us too meet and theirs another girl that is Ivonne's neighboor that shes sharing the gospel with haha. 
The area is a nice mix of nice and not nice haha. Half of it is the actual Cuidad Azteca which is pretty much a huge subdivision of nice houses but their about 30 years old now so their still nice but its not the most beautiful neighborhood in the world. Cuidad Azteca is really big and there are 4 other wards (3 from our stake and 1 from another) that have part of it. Then theirs the cemetery and on the other side is the neighboorhood where we live called Riconada de Aragon, it has the mall and a lot of town houses that are all the same but they are also like 30 years old and the people can buy them so every one can do what they want (remodel, add on) so all they houses have the same base but they all look different (for example the bishops family added an apartment on the 3rd floor and thats where we live). Then behind all that is an area called Poligonos (theres like 6 but we have seccions 1,2,and 5) They are known for being a rough area a lot of weird things are there but its alright. The area is good I like it better than Muzquiz and Industrial but Mixihuca is still the best.
Sorry about the pictures I always put it off or forget about it until I'm here in the internet cafe. Love you lots! Thanks for the prayers and have a great week! 
Elder Inskeep
Elder Inskeep, 
I am glad the Lord called you to serve as a Zone Leader. I feel you have a lot to teach the missionaries in your zone. I also feel that you and elder Jacobs will learn much from each other. I want to give you some council as you begin this service and new part of your mission:

1. Be humble. Leadership positions may make some individuals become proud. Pride is a sense that one gets if we forget from whom all blessings and opportunities come. The best way to keep humble is to serve those you lead. Minister to them. Pray for each companionship in your zone by name. Instead of telling them what to do, offer your help. Most of all love them.

2. Love your companion. Companionship as leaders is a high responsibility. You must be an example to your zone to show them the ideal companion relationship. As both of you are from the U.S., be extra careful and sensitive to the needs of those who are latinos. As I referred to in the first part, stay humble.

3. Speak Spanish with your companion. It is a bit of a temptation to speak English with another U.S. companion. Make sure you continúe to improve your language skills as it is crucial to continúe to teach the gospel.

4. Study how the Savior served as a leader. When you read His life, look at it differently than you have in the past; read it anew, trying to find patterns of leadership in all His doings. You will be amazed how the scriptures will take on another meaning. 

I love you Elder Inskeep. Know that the Lord wants to you serve at this time, in this assignment, and with this companion. There is no doubt in my mind.

Have a great Preperation Day!
Presidente Naumann

he's super awesome and makes me really feel loved and trusted. President Anaya was really great too and I also love him but I can really feel Pres. Naumann's concern and love for us. I know Pres. Anaya loved us and he showed it too but sometimes when I was with him I felt a little intimidated or pressured to be on my best behavior because I felt like he was grading me, with Pres. Naumann its different, I can be myself (which I have really learned to be on the mission) and I know he knows I'm a good person but not perfect. I have never recieved so much help and felt so  understood in an interview in my life. 
Yeah well this week has been a little rough... The area is really great. I like it. Its really different to be in the State again. Its a lot calmer, everyone that works in the city (which is like %80) goes really early in the morning and comes home late at night so the majority of the people we talk to during the week are old people or moms (theres more stay at home moms in the state too). Its cool because almost everyone lives in a house (not so many tiny apartments like the past year in 2 areas close to downtown) the people are more like people in Idaho...or maybe I've just been on the mission too long haha. I dont know but when I went to church yesterday the ward reminded me of going to church with grandma in Wyoming, (which is weird because I'm still in the city, about 2 million people live just in the suburb I'm in) everyone was super chill and half of the men came in jeans with big belt buckels (who knows why...we're in the biggest city in the world for crying out loud) and there are also a lot of families. (In Industrial there were a lot of old people and individuales who came to the city for work, not many families). Anyways I really like it and I'm excited to start working with them! My companion on the other hand...might be a little dificult, not because hes not a good person and I dont like him but theres a couple issues. Luckily we had interviews (the whole zone) with president today and he helped me alot. (I really love President Naumann, Im going to send you the letter he sent me just so you can see how great he is). Lets just say E. Jacobs worries a lot, hates Mexico (so he hardly speaks/understands spanish), and is lost in our area even though hes already been here 3 months.....but its good. I have something to learn from him. 
I'm really liking being a zone leader. Its a lot of work but I'm excited to be able to make a difference in my Zone and help other missionaries more than I could as a district leader. I also really like my zone alot. We have a few Elders with some problems but we're getting there. My zone is E. Gutierrez (Sinaloa, MX), E. De la Cruz (Mexicali, MX), E. Gomez (Oaxaca, MX), E. Vela (Aguascalientes, MX), E. Pola (Chiapas, MX), E. Garcia (Chihuahua, MX), E. Bartlett (Gilbert, AZ), E. Mendoza (Peru), E. Jimenez (Santiago, Dominican Republic), E. Gonzales (Monterrey, MX), E. Winget (St. George), and E. Ruano (Guatemala City). Almost all the zones in our mission have 2 districts, and ours is one of those. We have Zone class every month, district class every week, and zone conference (with president and another zone) every other transfer. I'm also excited because we get to work more with the stake because the zones are stakes so the zone leaders meet with the stake leaders to help solve problems in all the wards. The Azteca Stake has 7 wards. 
Honestly I cant say much about the work or investigators because they didnt have anything when I got here. But everythings going great and the next week Im sure we'll have several new investigators to tell you about. 
What food do I miss? Everyone asks that (the probably want to make us something we'll like, I love the people here soooo much) but I honestly dont miss anything specific, Just the food that mom cooks. 
Its good to hear you are busy and happy. It made me laugh to hear what you said about Landan, especially what Anna said hahahaha. Jace got glasses? Send me a picture haha. I loved the pictures in the field by the way, I'll try to send pictures of my area soon! If you want to see my area the limits are: Avenida Central Carlos Hank Gonzalez, Boulevard de los Aztecas, Circuito Exterior Mexiquense, and Boulevard Halcon. In my area we have part of downtown Cuidad Azteca, Plaza Aragon (a huge mall), Mexipuerto (a huge mall/important metro and bus station) and a cementary that is really annoying becuase its in the middle of the area and we can't cross through it so we have to walk around it all day.  Love you lots! ¡Les amo muchísimo que tengan una buena semana! 
Elder Inskeep