Monday, October 27, 2014

Scrambled Pancakes

Not a ton of eventful stuff happened this week, just a couple big things...

First off, Me and my companion now make up the smallest district in the entire mission! The other two elders in our district are gone now, one left for sickness, and the other leaves in about 3 weeks, so he got transferred into another area for the rest of his mission, and they closed our other area for now. I really wish we could take on both areas, but that's a lot of work and we didn't get permission. 

On Tuesday, I went on splits with my zone leader, Elder Merrill! He's really a great missionary, 20 years old, 13 months into the mission, super humble, loves contacting. At at least half of the appointments we had with people, they started crying, the Spirit was really strong. Early in the split, we were walking to an appointment, only to find the sister wasn't there. We started walking to our back up appointment, when I felt impressed to turn around and go visit another family, the Bobadilla's. I wasn't perfectly sure how to get there, but I knew the general direction. 

As we walked, we bumped into some old ladies dragging a heavy stove down the street, so we stopped them and helped them the rest of the way. We asked if we could meet with them another day, and they declined, which is a bummer. But that's ok, planting seeds! We headed back only to bump into our original appointment! We got to meet with her and had a really nice lesson. 

We never actually got to go visit the Bobadilla's, but I think I know why I was impressed to head back. If I had just been told, 'walk the other way,' I would've ignored the prompting and kept going. But with a specific target in mind, I find I am more willing to go for it. I know God was aware of those ladies and their needs, as well as my thought process and what I needed to be pushed in the right direction. 

And now for a commercial break: Elder Merrill apparently had a band before his mission that had some pretty successful shows, so he asked me to advertise it back home. If you go to and look up 'Sonsapapa,' you can listen and tell me if they're any good. He writes the songs, sings, and plays guitar. 

Later in the day, we had a guided tour with Maribel, Ana, and Angel from last week. It was crazy, here's what happened: 

We went to pick them up, and one of them was in the shower, so we ended up waiting for about 20 more minutes. We got to know more about them though, and their needs, so it wasn't a waste. When we finally got to the chapel, we realized that the other ward was having their youth activities that night, which was kidn of annoying. The youth were being kind of rowdy too, at one point, there was a group of deacons and teachers WRESTLING in the hallway. Elder Merrill sorted that out quick (Do you realize you're in the house of the Lord!? There are investigators over there and you just made a TERRIBLE impression of the Church on them!). They were also having an Institute class in the actual chapel, which is like, the crowning moment of every guided tour. Despite all the upsets, we still got into the Chapel and they were able to feel the Spirit. It turned out to be a very nice tour. 

Other than that, I don't have much else to report, other than I made scrambled pancakes this morning! I couldn't flip them in the pan we have, so I just scrambled the batter, and it turned out fine haha. 

This week, I want to share Mosiah 4:10
'And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.'

I really like the wording in this verse; not only should we repent, it says we MUST. There is no way we will feel comfortable in the presence of God, who is perfect, if we are unwilling to repent of our sins. Part of that repentance is forsaking that wrong thing we have been doing. Repentance is never a one moment occurance, it is an ongoing process that takes time, so you can heal from the Spiritual harm and be able to overcome the temptations as they arise. Repentance is in reality an act of faith and humility. When we truly repent, we also believe we can be forgiven and we realize that we cannot return to His presence without His forgiveness, a gift received only by those who truly seek Him. It is given to all, but we must accept it and forgive ourselves as well. My favorite part is the end. As we come to truly believe in things, we are not finished with just faith. We must DO them. We must act on that faith and do those things we're commanded to do, including repent and forsake. 

I love you all! 
Elder Connor
  1. Sometimes, people don't want to listen to our message...
  2. But then they can feel the truth! :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Best week EVER!

Hello all! 

This week was awesome for so many reasons. Number one, I got a PACKAGE from the fambam and letters from Gina Han, Sister Lortz, and Nicole! They are the winners!!

Starting Tuesday, I came down with some really obnoxious stomach virus thing. It also rained a ton this week, super wet and cold. I know, that doesn't sound fun, and it wasn't, but somehow, this week turned absolutely amazing. Here's why: 

It started off with splits with a recent RM, Johnathan, the Bishop's son. He's really cool, and super good at teaching. We had a lot of really nice lessons and he helped me a lot with the language. 
The day I really want to focus on though is Saturday. It rained the hardest on this day, and my stomach still hurt a bit, and I really didn't want to work that much. But, we're missionaries, and so we work, rain or shine! 

Our first appointment fell through, so we plodded through more rain to a recent converts place, Hermano Nacho, to talk about Christ's Gospel. We went through faith and repentance, and lightly touched baptism, and then got to talking about The Holy Ghost. As we talked, I could feel the Spirit guiding my words and I would know what scriptures to read and what answers to give. It was an amazing experience, one I am so thankful for. 

After this lesson, we went all the way to the other side of our area, about a 20 minute walk in the freezing rain. We had an appointment with an investigator, Maribel, and the people that lived with her. When we arrived, there was a guy visiting. They were all reading the Restoration pamphlet and waiting for us, which was amazing, because before Thursday, we hadn't been able to meet with them for a couple weeks (they would always tell us to come back tomorrow, and then not be there...) We talked about what they'd read, and were about to leave, when the visitor guy (His name is Angel), in perfect English, said, 'Hey, are you from the States?' Turns out, he'd lived his entire life in California, up until three years ago, when he came here to live nearer to his mom. He could understand spoken Spanish by now, but he didn't really know how to read it, so he didn't very much understand the pamphlets. 

As a result, we ended up staying there for another half hourish, as I explained the Restoration IN ENGLISH. It was kind of weird, teaching again in English, I forgot a couple words, but it was really an awesome experience. At one point, he told me he had been baptized Catholic as a baby, but never went to church. He wanted to understand what it was God wanted in his life, but had no idea where to find it until now. He said if that's what we were offering, was a way to understand God's will, that's what he wanted. He asked if he could still be baptized, even though he was already baptized Catholic. I was seriously so floored, and so felt incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to talk with him. I know the Spirit was there, even before we arrived, in Angel's heart (haha) working the changes in him that he will need as he listens to the lessons and seeks to know God's will for him. 

The rest of the day was almost as amazing. Despite the rain, and the cold, and the upset stomach, I've never felt so much love for these people here. This work is so far beyond me, my own capability, and yet, God has seen fit to make a tool out of me to do His work. I am so incredibly blessed to be here. I know this Gospel is true and I am so glad I have the opportunity to be a part of sharing it with the Children of God in Mexico. 

I know it's true, but maybe you don't. I want to share a scripture, found in 2 Nephi 32:4; 
'Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.' 

I know what I've said in this email is true. Now that you've read it, it is your responsibility to ask God, to knock at His door. I know He will answer you as you do so and you will receive that same confirmation I have received. It is so important that you do so. 

Cool things of the week: I was put in charge of the phone and keys by my trainer. I had to answer all the calls and unlock all the doors (Ok, just our doors, but whatever). At one point, we had a lesson with an investigator and she said, 'You know, when you speak, you say 'um' a lot.' I apologized, feeling kind of sheepish, but then she said, 'not you, your companion! You speak fine.' Wut. Haha, well thanks, don't know I deserved that, but I'll take what I can get! Also, we had bacon wrapped hot dogs for lunch on Saturday. What the best thing ever. We also had interviews with the President this past Friday, which was so great, he is such an awesome president, so full of love and charity for everyone he comes in contact with. AND Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an Apostle called of God to preach His word, is coming to visit us at the end of this month!!! Too pumped. I love you all! 

Elder Connor 

My Sunday breakfast, French toast and Reese's!
Pictures a little girl drew for us on Sunday, awesome. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Lesson on Geography

This week, I've had to lead all the planning sessions for every day, and then direct us everywhere. It's a little tough, Mexican directions are way different from American... but I'm doing pretty well and learning lots more about the needs of the investigators this way, which is good! I also had to report to our Ward mission leader, brought me back to the days of ward missionary-ing with Brother Pacini. Boss. 

We also had emergency exchanges this week on Thursday! Elder Long left and we got this elder named Elder Yupanqui. He's from Lima Peru, same mission generation as Elder Jimenez. I don't know much else about him as of yet.

On Wednesday, we went to the temple!! We can't do any sessions, but there are tons of little church stores right next to it, so I got three new ties, a scripture bag, a nex shoulder bag, and a little Mexico City Chalco Mission keychain thingy, all for un 300 pesos (about $24). It was awesome! 

Sad news time, Sergio, the investigator who lost his fingers that I mentioned a few weeks ago, has basically decided he doesn't want to meet with us anymore. It's really sad when we go to his place and he's 'not there' or when he doesn't show up to church. I'm learning it's hard to have to let investigators go.
But there is good news! We picked up some new investigators, the Gomez Savala family! They have cousins that live right next door that are members, one of them just got back from his mission last year in Colorado Springs. They're a really cool family, super rich too, I don't think I've ever seen such a nice house in Mexico. Or in the US for that matter, it's really impressive. They were being taught some years back by Elder Roura's sister who served here, and they want to be taught again! The dad has a lot of questions and doubts, but he's really cool, and the mom just soaks everything right up, so I'm excited to see where this family goes. 

On Sunday, I went on splits with Immanuel, the Satake President's son, to go pick up some investigators. No one we stopped by was home. We walked back to the chapel feeling pretty crummy and who should show up, but 4 less active families! It was such an awesome miracle and blessing, I was so happy to see them! And, one of our investigators ended up coming a little late. Better late than never! 

Fun things that happened this week, we got a water heater thingy that we can use to heat our shower water! Why didn't we do this 8 weeks ago? Don't know, but we have it now! Also, we had a party on Saturday with the Bishop, don't know what for, probably Heather's birthday. We ate hot dogs and hamburgers! I surprised myself and ate 3 burgers. I don't even like burgers. Or at least, I didn't. 

Some funny things about Mexico, everyone here thinks there are only 5 continents; America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. Antarctica doesn't count and they don't split the Americas. Somehow they get all offended if you try to make a North and South America ('What, we're not good enough to be in the some continent?' So many things wrong with that statement haha). Also, if you're a white Mormon, they all think you're from Utah ('Maryland? What part of Utah is Maryland?') 

This week, I want to share with you 2 Nephi 27:19-20, which says: 

 'Wherefore it shall come to pass, that the Lord God will deliver again the book and the words thereof to him that is not learned;and the man that is not learned shall say: I am not learned. Then shall the Lord God say unto him: The learned shall not read them, for they have rejected them, and I am able to do mine own work; wherefore thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee.'
When Joseph Smith was translating the Book of Mormon, he had little more than a third grade education. He could only read and write basic English, and yet, he comes out with a 500-something page book in less than a year, all about the history, culture, language, beliefs, wars, etc. of a people who lived over a thousand years before him. As critics slander this God-given book, trying to disprove it with 'historical facts', they are time and time again confounded and proved wrong, as the world learns that in reality, the facts add up. There is no possible way that Joseph Smith could have done this without divine help. It just couldn't ever happen. It doesn't make any sort of rational or logical sense that a man of little education could have done so on his own. He must have had the aid of God to do so, to give him the understanding he needed to accomplish this great work. 
And so, that being said, I want all of you to know how truly convinced I am of God's hand in the writing, translation, and publication of the Book of Mormon. I know it's true. I've read it, and there is just no way it can be wrong. Given that knowledge, I also know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and thus, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in God's one and only true church on the earth. There is no other. I encourage all of you, member of the church or not to read the Book of Mormon and seek this knowledge for yourself. Doing so will bless your life in unimaginable, uncountable ways. 
I love you all! Have a safe week! 
Elder Connor


  1. Temple trip!
  2. New ties!
  3. Dog on our roof. During the night, sometimes he runs around up there and we can here the little pitter patter of his feet haha

The church is true....but I cannot rotate this picture to save my life. Tilt your heads? -Heather

Monday, October 6, 2014

In Which Joseph is a Chef, a Boss, and a Birthday Shouter-Outer

First off, we celebrate yet another wonderful woman of valor (I know, my family's full of them), my sister Heather!! Heather is GREAT because she is an awesome teacher! I remember when she taught me piano and I am so very thankful that she did so! She is also GREAT because she knows how to have fun! Also, she is super strong because she likes to climb mountains all the time. Annnnd she's funny and takes care of my mission blog. I apologize for my ward's behavior, but we won't be having a ward party in your favor this weekend...but I will just party all week to try to even it out. Love you Heather! 

This week, my zone leader told me I got letters!...and then proceeded to forget to give them to me until yesterday haha. Shout out to Sister Rickel and my sister, Nicole, who's serving her mission in Washington State! 

I also made french toast this week! I didn't have the recipe, but I kinda just threw everything together, mixed it up, and it was delicious! I mean, I guess it's kinda tough to mess up french toast, but whatever, I feel cool. 

Last week was transfers (cambios), and both Elder Roura and Elder Brewer left! I was so sad! Our new elders are Elder Olivos, who trained Elder Brewer, and Elder Long. They're both pretty fun, we quote movies together, and they're pretty boss teachers. 

Thursday, I had to be in charge of everything; weekly planning, what we would do when plans fell through (and the did) and reporting to the mission leader. It was kinda tough, but it was good practice and I learned a lot! 

This week was pretty tough as far as lessons go, almost every time we went to someone's house, they either weren't there, or just didn't have time or whatever. As a result, we only had 6 all week. That was very sad for me, BUT we did a lot more contacting! One of the english speaking guys I mentioned last week, Roman Telles, stopped us again and told us when we could teach him. We didn't even have to ask! He's working really hard on setting up his new store, so he won't be available for a couple weeks, but after that, he's really excited to meet with us!

GENERAL CONFERENCE. Oh my goodness, how I love conference! I don't think I've ever been so pumped to hear the prophets speak. A little bit of this might be the fact that I could listen in English, but other than that, I was super excited!! And it did not disappoint! For those of you who don't know, General Conference happens twice a year, the first saturday and sunday of April and the first saturday and sunday of October. During this wonderful time, the leaders of our church, those who have been called of God as prophets in our time, speak to us, teach us, and help us understand better the will and word of God. IT is a wonderful time when we can feel the Spirit and gain a greater understanding on God's will for us! Here are some of my favorite quotes (I don't have time to look up the real ones, so these are just my notes. Sorry for paraphrasing); 
  • When we think someone needs to pay for their sins, we must remember Someone already has (Christ) - Elder Boyd K. Packer, Saturday morning
  • Salvation is not the result of divine whim, but similarly is not achieved by divine will alone; we must ACT! - Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Saturday morning 
  • A testimony of the church is the MOST IMPORTANT thing we can gain in this life - President Deiter F. Uchtdorf, Saturday morning
  • No sign outside the chapel building that says 'your testimony must be this tall to enter', all are welcome!! - President Deiter F. Uchtdorf, Saturday morning
I have more, but that's what I liked from the first session. I'll send more from the later sessions in the following weeks!

Also, I finished the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi this week! Here's one verse from them that I'd like to share, found in 2 Nephi 16:9; 

'And he said: Go and tell this people—Hear ye indeed, but they understood not; and see ye indeed, but they perceived not.'

I really like this, especially in light of Conference this past weekend. Many times, we hear the prophets word, but do not understand them, or seek to do so. Many times we see miracles happen or experience blessings, and then put them off as mere luck, or coincidence, or even skill. But this is wrong! When we hear the voice of the prophet speak, when we hear the Spirit whisper to our hearts (and it whispers to ALL OF US), we need to heed their words! If we don't understand them, we can ask for help through prayer and then, through diligent study. God expects us to ACT, not just sit around waiting for an answer. Given this, I really encourage all of you to study out the words of the prophets, both those of ancient times and the modern days. As we do so, we will gain a greater understanding of who God is and His infinite, never-ending, incredible love for each of us. 

I love you all, have a great week! 

Elder Connor

Me, Elder De La Cruz, and Elder Kleinman! They're also in my generation, really great elders!

  1. A kid in my stake, Israel. He's pretty awesome, I've played some fun soccer games against him haha.
  1. Me and the Stake President's son, Immanuel. Ladies, he's an RM of 22 years old, single, and willing to learn English! 
  1. Elder Frederich and I. He came in at the same time as me from the Mexico MTC. He's a total stud and an awesome missionary!