Sunday, January 31, 2016

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Elder Uicab and Elder Finkner 

Continuing The Work

Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing great! Is everyone reading their scriptures daily? Saying their prayers? Looking for opportunities to serve others and share the gospel? I invite you all to strive to be a little bit better everyday; I promise the Lord will bless you for your efforts.

So here's the weekly update; this week was a little rough, but I remembered to keep my head up and keep working hard, without thinking about myself. Without further ado, here's the weekly update:

Tuesday, we had our weekly district meeting, then we visited Angela and San Juana. We showed them the Restoration video, and then we challenged them with baptism, and they accepted! Afterwards, we ate lunch, then some more lessons, and then we got to know Rafael and Xochilt.

Wednesday, we had our worldwide missionary training broadcast. Elders Neil L. Andersen and Dallin H. Oaks were 2 of the 5 speakers. They taught from Preach my Gospel, and afterwards, I felt ready to work super hard. But, the Lord had something different planned. A lot of our appointments fell through, some of our investigators didn't make good decisions in their lives, and so my companion and I felt down. But we said to ourselves that we're going to have faith and work diligently no matter what. So out of no where, we were able to have several service opportunities. We shared a little bit about the Church too. So the Lord blessed us for our faithfulness and diligence.

Thursday, not much work, it was a slow day. Appointments cancelled, and we were struggling to find something to do with our time. We had our weekly ward mission meeting too.

Friday, we had our weekly planning session. A Jehovah's Witness knocked on our door to give us some of their materials. So my companion and I exchanged, and we gave the JW a pamphlet of the Restoration as well. We ate lunch, we got to work, and we  tried finding people to contact.

Saturday, We had our zone conference. Our zone leaders gave us some training, and then it was time for lunch. We had lots of work today. Usually the weekends are more busy; families are home, people aren't working, so we take advantage of the weekends and we had a lot of appointments. We visited the Fam. Guerrero Gaxiola, the Fam. Ortiz, and some others.

Sunday, we had church. But Diego and Alejandra didn't show up, so their baptism dates fell. Not going to lie, I was frustrated with them. I know the gospel brings so many blessings and real happiness, but many people pass on the opportunity to salvation. In church, I volunteered to teach Gospel Principles. After church, we returned home, ate lunch, when all of our appointments cancelled. So we walked around our area, looking for opportunities to teach or contact.

So yeah, that's about it. My plan is to work harder this week, even though the last few days weren't too good. I invite you all again, if you haven't picked up the Book of Mormon in a while, to pick it up and start reading. I know that you'll learn something and you'll receive blessings. Talk to you all next week!

Elder Finkner

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Gettin' Down to Work and Stayin' Busy

Hello everyone! Hope you all are doing good and staying busy like I am! I'm doing great, I'm really happy, and I'm always looking for ways to help others.

So this week, I'm still transitioning to having a new companion in the sense that I need to teach him the area, show him around to all the investigators, all the members, etc. while planning singlehandedly for us as a companionship. It's a bit stressful with the all the work, but there's nowhere else that I'd rather be at.

Anyways, here's the weekly summary. I'm going to try to start cutting out some of the little small details so that my weekly emails are more efficient and so that I can have more time to write personal emails to everyone who emails me.

Tuesday, district meeting, a few lessons, lunch, a few more lessons, and then dinner with Hermano Guerrero. He invited me, my companion, and the zone leaders over for dinner so we ate lots of posole.

Wednesday, we received a reference from Hermano Sepulveda to visit a friend of his. We began teaching the Plan of Salvation to Enrique Diaz, while Hno Sepulveda accompanied us. We had a few more lessons that day with the Fam Carrillo, a less-active family, then the Fam. Guerrero Gaxiola. Afterwards, we taught Armando and his girlfriend. Armando is Hermano Guerrero's son and he's a member. He's 19 and thinking about going on a mission. This week Hno Guerrero asked me to share my experiences with a girlfriend and the mission, and the blessings I have received. We also managed to put a baptism date for his girlfriend who isn't a member for Feb. 13th.

Thursday, we taught Enrique Diaz again with Hno Sepulveda. We had a few lessons, and we put appointments with Emanuel, the Fam. Lopez Madrid, and Josefina for another day. We then visited Teresita. She's 88yrs old and she's really sick. She had asked us for a blessing, so we went and gave her a blessing. Then her daughter had to leave, so we were asked to watch Teresita for about 45 minutes until another daughter of Teresita arrived. My companion and I decided to sing some hymns to her while she rested in her bed. The Spirit was strong. Probably an experience that I won't forget for a long time.

Friday, weekly planning session, and my companion and I decided to search for some old investigators. With some inspiration and revelation, we pulled about 10 old teaching records, some of them dating back to 2008. We then went searching for these people with the addresses on the records. Just about everyone wanted to resume the lessons. One family told us that they've been waiting and that they're ready for the missionaries to come back. We taught Emanuel and Emanuel Jr, two investigators. We visited the Fam. Ortiz, a less active family, then we went home.

Saturday, taught several lessons. We visited investigators, less-actives, and then we went to eat lunch. Afterwards, more lessons, with the Fam. Burgueños, Josefina, the Fam. Guerrero Gaxiola, and then Teresita and Flora.

Sunday, we went to church, then we went home. My companion wasn't feeling good so he rested until lunchtime while I studied my scriptures. We went to lunch, then we visited Paolita, then the Fam. Burgueños again, then the Fam. Carrillo, then Teresita and Flora again.

So yeah, lots of walking, lots of teaching, and I'm famous too haha. Some kids put a video on Facebook of me and my companion talking to them about the gospel, and Alejandra Guerrero Gaxiola saw it and showed it to us. But it's ok, cause we know where they live and their parents already invited us back to share more about the Church. That's all I got for this week. Talk to you all later!

Love you all! And don't forget, Jesus loves you all too!

Elder Finkner

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

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Elder Finkner and Elder Uicab chilling.

Sushi is more common than you think!
A serious selfie of Alejandro.

Getting Work Done

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great week! I sure did! I've been learning slowly but surely to keep on smiling and to keep chugging along no matter what happens. I've been improving during my study times in the mornings and we've been visiting a lot of people. Elder Uicab and I have set higher goals for this area. My new companion and I are really good during lessons. Also, I've started to develop a reputation in the mission for being obedient. Some other missionaries were talking about my obedience, haha. 

Anyways, I'll get to the weekly update!

So Tuesday, we had our weekly district meeting. My first full day of being in charge of this area, even though I'm a junior companion. We visited some old investigators and we're picking them back up. Later that evening, we visited Felipe again. He still needs his answer whether this is the true church or not, but I know he'll get his answer. He is sincerely praying for his answer, and hopefully we can put a baptism date for February.

Wednesday, we went to Sam's Club in the morning because my companion has nothing. Later that day, we had an appointment with the Fam. Guerrero Gaxiola, and we talked about faith. We had no intentions about putting baptism dates for Diego and Alejandra, but I felt the Spirit prompt me to put dates, so I followed the Spirit and successfully put 2 baptism dates for Jan. 30th. After the lesson, Alejandra asked me for a blessing of health, so I gave her one. And after this lesson, we went home, planned for the next day, and my companion asked me to make several phone calls to make appointments some members and investigators that I know. I felt a bit nervous to do it in Spanish but with faith, my Spanish was good enough.

Thursday, we did lots of walking. Lots of members gave us references of people to visit, inactives and investigators. So we got to work. One of the goals my companion and I set was to reactivate more members of the Church. 

Friday, was thrown off a little bit. The sister missionaries went to the hospital and one of them who just arrived this past Monday from the MTC needed surgery. So my companion and I decided that we needed to visit them in the hospital and give Hermana Zelaya a blessing. She asked me to do the blessing. It was a little crazy getting to the hospital by bus. I've never been, neither my companion who's been in the Baja his whole mission, knew where it was. But we managed to find our way there. While we were walking alongside a road, a pickup truck with police officers shouted at us, "Elderes, vamos por El Chapo!" which means, "Elders, let's go get El Chapo (a druglord)!" We visited Felipe again and continued with The Plan of Salvation. He's progressing really well and really open. He's learning a lot.

Saturday, we had our weekly planning session. We began updating our area map, we tried visiting a lot of inactive members, but not to much success. The sister missionaries asked us if we could stop by their house, pick up a prescription for medicine, and we ran to the pharmacy. We had an appointment we couldn't miss so we had to hurry and help them. We had a Family Home Evening and we taught about repentance.

Sunday, we went to Church, I introduced my companion to almost everyone, and since he didn't  know any of the members, I talked with a lot of them and made plans to visit them and have them join us in other lessons this upcoming week. We took the sacrament to the sister missionaries, we tried getting work done, but all of our appointments fell through. But it didn't upset me. I kept my chin up and kept going.

So yeah, all though this week was pretty good, I learned to stay optimistic and hopeful. We're going to work even harder this week.

Love you all!
Elder Finkner

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

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Elder Finkner and Elder Lugo's selfie before transfers.

Elder Finkner's new companion, Elder Uicab.
Homemade flan.
Sisters and Elders.

Happy New Year's!

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a great New Year's Eve and Day with family and friends. How's everyone's goals? Realistic? Centered on self-improvement and helping others? Will your goals for this year bring you closer to Christ?

Anyways, this weekend we had transfers. My trainer, Elder Lugo, was sent to Mazatlan, and Elder Uicab was assigned to be my companion. I'll be directing the work here and in charge of teaching him and showing him the area. He's from Cancun, and has 12 months in the mission. He's our new district leader. I'll attach a picture of us.

So this week has been a bit busy and crazy with the holidays. It's been hard to find new people. A lot of people left to visit family or went out so the work was really slow on Dec. 31st and Jan. 1st. Here's the weekly update, day by day:

So Tuesday, not too much happened. We continued to paint a member's house this morning. We had our weekly district meeting, we visited a few families, and made appointments for another day because we were short on time. I tried making some contacts and messed up really bad. Flat-out rejected. I made some mistakes but Elder Lugo helped me to learn from them. 

Wednesday, we finished painting!! Afterwards, we tried contacting again. The reason we're trying to contact so much is because we have a zone-wide goal to have 25 contacts in one week, per companionship. In 2 hours, we were unable to contact anyone. No luck. Afterwards, we decided to invite a member to accompany us to a few lessons. She accepted and we went to the appointments. The appointments fell through so we decided to contact for the rest of the day, which was about 3-4 hours. So we walked for several hours, searching and searching, but not to much luck. Only three contacts. I think we walked about 15km that day, with our backpacks weighing us down a bit. Some people were deliberately rude to us but we continued on patiently and diligently. One woman actually saw us and turned around a ran away. So this day was tough and tiring but we kept the faith.

Thursday, New Year's Eve, we went to a member's house in a different area. We ate carne asada, quesadillas, frijoles charros, and salchichas. We went home at 9:30pm with our extended curfew. I got home, drank my sparkling apple cider (NON-ALCOHOLIC), and chatted with Elder Lugo until midnight. We wanted to stay up to hear the gunshots in the air to celebrate the New Year. Honestly, it sounded like World War III lol. I set my goals for the New Year and went to bed around 12:3am. The gunshots lasted for about 45 minutes.

Friday, we went back to the same member's house to eat brunch. We ate leftovers. Then returned to our area to eat lunch with another member. And homemade flan!! After lunch, we visited some investigators we have, I challenged the 3 of them with baptism, and they all accepted. Then, we visited Felipe Beltran, taught the Plan of Salvation, then we visited the Fam. Burgueños. We taught the dad and his son about prophets. Elder Lugo and I worked in sync with the Spirit and in unity. I know they felt the Spirit too.

Saturday, we found out about transfers. We visited some families, taught a few lessons, and we went home.

Sunday, we went to church. Our schedule changed from 12pm-3pm to 9am-12pm. Afterwards, we ate with the Fam. Guerrero Gaxiola, then another lunch with a member. We visited a lot of families so that Elder Lugo could say goodbye. I think in total we visited 8 families. Of course we took pictures with each family too. To end the night, we visited the Fam. Velarde, our neighbors. They're members of the Church. The father of the family, Hector, had his parents visiting, and so while my companion was playing and talking with Cindy, Grecia, and Andrew, Hector's parents were asking me about the church and missionaries. I taught them by myself. I answered all their questions, and I made sure to follow the Spirit. I know the Spirit helped me by putting the words I needed to say in my mouth in the right moment. I explained a lot of doctrine of the Church, and the whole time I was teaching, I was thinking of Colossians 4:6. Although my Spanish isn't perfect or really good, I know that I wasn't alone teaching. The Holy Ghost was with me and testified of eternal truths. 

Well, I think that's all for this week. I'll talk to you all next week! 

Elder Finkner