Monday, June 12, 2017

Cambios en Ocotito

Hola Familia!
It was another good week in La Gran Misión México Cuernavaca! Today we had changes and I´m staying in Ocotito with a new companion, Elder Lopez, from Guatamala City, Guatamala! Also, Elder Stevens, one of CCM companions, got transferred to the Chilpancingo Zone as well which is sweet. Elder Silva and I got along well and I learned a lot from him, but I was ready for a change of things and I have a feeling Elder Lopez and I are going to work even more effectively together.

Elder Lopez, 20,  converted to the Church when he was 17. He has 16 months in the mission. His parents are non-members and his siblings are less-active in the Church. I met him for the first time in Cuernavaca when we got called to be trainers and then I saw him again when we first got called to be district leaders. I already have a lot of respect for him.
This week, I went on exchanges with Elder Chiquete in Chilpancingo and Ocotito while our companions went to leadership counsel. Also, I finally decided to repent and clean the house this week and I´ll have to send pics next week because it´s so much better. I was scared to send some before because it was pretty nasty hahaha.
Other than that, there´s not much more to say this week, but we found some NICE nuevos that I´m excited to start teaching. Excited to get to work with Elder Lopez! Have a great week!

Elder Tucker

View in Chilpancingo

Hermanas y Sombreros

Elder Silva and I with a member in Chilpo that has a ton of sombreros

Compa nuevo mientras escribir

Monday, June 5, 2017

!Bautismos en Ocotito!

Hola Familia!

First of all, Happy Birthday Dad! You´re the best and I love you so much.

Another great week down in La Gran Misión México Cuernavaca! It´s been starting to rain pretty often now and I´m loving it. Yesterday, I completed 8 months as a missionary and 3 of mine and Elder Silva´s investigators were baptized and confirmed this weekend!

Marlen, 28, is a single mother of 4 that lives in a town in our area called Tierra Colorado (Colored Earth). It´s only about a 20 minute taxi ride from our house, but it always feels like it´s about 15 degrees hotter over there. Anyway, Marlen has known about the Church for a while, but has had a bunch of family, financial, and spiritual difficulties that have impeded her from progressing. She has a long story. Her four kids come from 4 different fathers. Elder Silva and I have worked to help Marlen understand and achieve true repentance. Through many commitments and perseverence on both ends, Marlen passed her baptismal interview with President Ávila. Only in certain cases do investigators have to interview with the mission president. She is now one of the most sincerely repentant women that I´ve had the privilege of knowing. Last week, after attending stake conference, she shared with us that she felt more peace, comfort, and joy that she had felt in a long time and that she knows the Church is true.

Jazmin, 11, is Marlen's second daughter, and she´s so awesome. She´s a bit shy and hides her face when she prays or reads scriptures in front of us, but she completes all the commitments we leave with her and has a strong testimony. I was shocked to see her walk up to the pulpit in front of the whole branch this Sunday to bear her testimony during sacrament meeting, the same sacrament meeting that she had been confirmed a member of the Church. But then she roasted me after Church when she said, Elder Tucker, why didn't you bear your testimony? hahaha

The only other child of Marlen that is old enough to be baptized is Rosa, 13. Rosa is really great too, but she´s had some very hard situations in the past that have lead her to have some psychological problems. It´s hard for her to trust men, especially new ones that come into her live like me, so she wasn't baptized this weekend, but we´ll keep working to help her. She attended the baptisms and confirmations of her mom and sister this weekend and was sad because she realized she wanted to be baptized too. I´ll keep you posted on the progress. I´m not giving up because part of our purpose as missionaries is to unite families.

Nora, 58, is a street contact of Elder Silva and his last companion. She´s a widow. She has the best personality and the best laugh. Reminds me a lot of Margie Aslett. She´s a golden investigator. Gives great prayers which almost always lead to tears.

Great, great week. I am learning so much from Elder Silva. My testimony is stronger than ever. The work moves on! Excited for what´s ahead.

Élder Tucker

1,2- baptisms

                                                                    3- Perfect Companions

Letter Number Two:  

Hi Mom! Sounds like fun at the new house! Sweet that you made Al Pastor, it´s my favorite. Yes, sometimes we have guacamole! Sweet that Alcatraz is coming up! You´re thoughts about the temple are so true. Keep going!

Sometimes as members, we think, that there are two parts to the Church- Missions and Local. This isn´t true at all, missionaries and members are part of the same Church. In order to have the most success en building God´s Kingdom, we must work together and have the same purpose. Sometimes it can be scary or hard to share the Gospel with someone because we fear that we could risk losing someone as a friend. Our friends are sons and daughters of the same Father in Heaven and they need what we have. 

Other times, we think, this person could never repent or accept the Gospel. When we say or think those things it is a lack of faith. Not only that, but its as if we said to Jesus Christ himself, your atonement wasn't enough for that person, you should've have suffered more in the Garden of Gethsemane. He already paid for the sins of the world. Have the faith that all can accept and be redeemed of Him. 

I've meet a lot of really humble people on the mission her in Mexico. Through all their trials, they find strength in the Gospel. Also, I´ve realized that Heavenly Father is always helping and serving us, especially when we serve others. The times where I have felt like I´ve been doing the most to serve others on my mission are the times when I´ve received the most support from my Father in Heaven.

One of my zone leaders is named Elder Carter from Independence Missouri, and his grandpa served a mission with Grandpa Funk in Brazil in 1956! Heres a pic of us.

Love you Mom

Elder Tucker

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Quick One Today

Hola Familia!
Wow, I was not looking at the time at all while I was reading and responding to emails and don't have much time, but this was another good week in the Gran Misión México Cuernavaca!
I was feeling a little down these past couple weeks thinking things like: Why don´t I have just a perfect answer to every question possible about the Gospel? Why didn't I prepare more before the mission? Why don't I have more baptisms/success in the mission?
But then I realized something. All of those thoughts and questions are about me. The mission has nothing to do about me or my needs, but the children of God in this part of the world that I am called to serve.
What I and every missionary should focus on more is being as diligent and obedient as possible. Success in all aspects comes with time. Thoughts of discouragement, doubt, and impatience come directly from the adversary.
I'm committing myself to be more diligent and patient.
Thanks for all the love and support always. That´s all I have time to write this week, but it´s all great out here. I learn an incredible amount everyday and I never thought that my testimony could grow so much. There´s no doubt in my mind that this church is true.

Elder Tucker

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Zoo!

Hola Familia!

I don't have a ton of time, but this week was good, only a little bit of a bummer because Elder Silva and I almost didn't have time in our area this week.

Last Pday, we visited the zoo in Chilpancingo. Super sweet. I can`t remember the last time I went to the zoo.

On Tuesday, we did exchanges with the zone leaders. I´ve really loved all the zone leaders I´ve had so far in the mission. They´re always super chill and super effective in missionary work. I learn a lot from them.

Thursday, we had a  multi-zone conference in Iguala. And I realized how grateful I am to be in of the zones with the best weather in the mission because Iguala is HOT.

Saturday, we had a rescue activity in the sister`s area, Heroico. Still getting used to being in a district and zone with sister missionaries. Hahaha so weird.

Today, we played soccer as a zone at synthetic grass soccer field. Super fun!

I`m still positive and happy to be out here. This week should be nice because we´re going to work really hard in our area. Thanks for all the love and support.

Elder Tucker

Monday, May 15, 2017

¡Felíz Día de Las Madres!

Hola Familia!

Happy late Mother's Day to all the moms out there, especially mine! I love you so much, Mom. It was so good to skype the whole Fam for a little bit yesterday. Mothers in all parts of the world are amazing. They do so much and love unconditionally. I know that missionary work isn't easy, but I'm convinced that being a Mother is the hardest calling out there. Heavenly Father loves and blesses all mothers.

Ocotito has been so sweet these couple weeks. We're a lot more productive throughout each day going from lesson to lesson to lesson and we're about to start seeing the fruits of our labors.

In other news, Maria, Rosa, and Lorena Hernández were baptized and confirmed this weekend in Jamiltepec by my trainee, Elder Tilley, and his new companion just as planned! I'll forward the pic.

Saturday, I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time in spanish. What caught my attention this time around is the importance of prophets. God always has and always will call a man to be his mouthpiece on the earth. And we can always know that we are taking the right path when we listen to and follow the prophet. Anytime the people in the Book of Mormon prospered in the land, it was because they listened to the prophets. Anytime they fell, it was because they rejected the words of the prophets. This is applicable for us today. We have a living prophet in Thomas S. Monson. We must heed to his counsel to be guided through a world full of iniquity. Joseph Smith also was a prophet of God. Through him, Jesus Christ restored His Church. There's no doubt in my mind that this is that Church. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary in the México Cuernavaca Mission and to share this truth.

Elder Tucker

Monday, May 8, 2017

El inicio de algo nuevo, OCOTITO!

Hola Familia,

It was another great week in La Gran Misión México Cuernavaca with my new companion Elder Silva in our area Ocotito!

Ocotito is a small town one hour outside of Chilpancingo. But our area covers a ton of other towns in it up to 2 hours away by taxi and it´s one of the biggest areas in the mission. Luckily, Elder Silva is in his 6th transfer here and knows the area pretty well. The Ocotito Branch is the oldest in the stake, and the stake is mainly wards. But, we have a church building which is nice! Went to my first ward counsel meeting on Sunday since in Jamiltepec, they never did them. Our house is ok haha, it´s two stories but the owners live on the second floor. We have a treadmill and a basketball hoop. I'll send some pics next week. There were about 35 people at church this Sunday. I really enjoyed testimony meeting and shared mine. The second counselor of the branch presidency, Ricardo, and his family met the missionaries in the United States when the lived there for a time and is really great. His wife is the Relief Society president. The people here are generally more well-off financially than the people in Jamiltepec. I finally got the opporunity to teach lessons INSIDE people's houses this week instead of in front and outside. Our area is surrounded by mountains and super cool, but it´s kinda dry right now, I'm sure it gets a lot more green and pretty when the rainy season comes (June-August).

This week, I felt like I didn´t get to talk very much because Elder Silva already has so much time here and knows people really well. I also probably just gotta get used to the change haha, sometimes my mind was still in Jamiltepec or other places. But Elder Silva is so chill. I'm sure he was a great guy before but he seems like that classic missionary that's about to finish who has just totally changed for the better on his mission. We should be successful together. We have some investigators that our progressing towards baptism.

Other news of the week is that yesterday, our Zone had a quick meeting with President Ávila and he announced that now, investigators are required to attend church only 3 times (sometimes 2) instead of 5 times before they can be baptized. Sounds good to me! hahaha

It was overall a good week, but I bet this week will be a lot better! If we don't have a positive attitude, it's a lack of faith! Always do what you know you should and build your faith and testimony. Can't wait to Skype with the fam and especially Mom for Mother´s Day!!!

Elder Tucker

1, birthday cake that Elder Silva bought for me and the district

2, branch building

3,4, if you ever wondered how a pineapple grew (like i did)

5, Sister Lolita and I. This cute 70 year old member of the branch that lives on her own and goes on visits with us! Even though she can´t hear us half the time, she is amazing!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

¡Mi primer cambio: Ocotito, Guerrero!

​¡Hola Familia!

Thank you for all the happy birthday wishes!!! I couldn´t believe how many people remembered and sent me loving messages! 19!!!!! Hahaha crazy. I feel old.

Well, Saturday night the zone leaders called me and told me that I had changes and just now, I arrived to Chilpancingo which is the capital of Guerrero, 8 hours from Jamiltepec! We don´t go to my new area, Ocotito, until tomorrow, but so far, the Chilpancingo Zone feels like a completely different mission. The weathers cool like Cuernavaca which is great because we just entered into the hottest month of the year and it's a real city haha. My new companion is Elder Silva from Monterrey and he has 21 months in the mission and is the district leader. I´m actually chill with not training or being district leader right now because I´ll have more time to focus on our area and what I can do to learn and improve.

It was a little sad to leave all the members and investigators that had been my family for 6 months in Jamiltepec, but they´re in good hands with Elder Tilley and his new companion!

I don´t think I could be more excited to work with Elder Silva in my new area, Ocotito! My first impression of Elder Silva: amable (kind) . And the spanish is only gonna get even better which is nice.

That´s all for this week! I'll tell all about the new changes next week! Thanks for all the love and support! This is a good birthday, not lying!

Elder Tucker

Kitten sleeping in my arms at the Hernández Family´s house

Final Activity this Saturday in the Casa de Oración for El Día de Niño

Rogelio, the second counselor in the branch presidency in Jami. Le voy a extrañar mucho!​

2-6 The house in Jamiltepec

Elder Silva, my new companion
Ocotito Guerrero, Mexico