Tuesday, January 31, 2017

La Capacitación Mundial y Las Entrevistas

Another great week in La Gran Misión México Cuernavaca!

Wednesday we traveled to Pinotepa to watch the Worldwide Mission Broadcast in the chapel with all other Elders in the zone. It was really good! I especially enjoyed two comments that Elder David A. Bednar made. One, that a good indicator to know if you are a successful missionary is when you stop wondering if you are a successful missionary or not. As long as we are working hard and always doing what we are supposed to be doing, we will be successful. The other comment was that we don´t need to receive revelation from the Spirit of every second of every single day. God has blessed us with agency and with the ability to know right from wrong. He trusts us to make our own decisions.

Also in the broadcast, they announced changes to mission schedule and key indicators. Missionaries in Latin America now get up at 7 AM and can proselyte until 10 PM. And missionaries in Africa get up at 6 AM and have to return home by 6 PM because they don´t want the missionaries out after dark. So it turns out that I´m actually a missionary in Africa because we have to home before dark too! Hahaha no, thats just a joke we say because the mission presidents actually decide the schedule for their individual missions and in Cuernavaca, thats when we have to be home.

Friday, we had interviews with Presidente y Hermana Ávila in Pinotepa. They went well! Hermana Ávila said that my Spanish is really good which was comforting. It also touched my heart when she said that she´s grateful for my hard work and the love I've shown for the other missionaries in the zone.

I've been really positive and happy and the work is moving forward! I´m eternally grateful for your love and support.

Elder Tucker

A pig haha. There´s so many animals haha. Everyone has roosters too. A lot of people do cock fighting.

A Mixteco and Spanish Bible that the investigator family Hernandez Hernandez has!

In the back of a pasajero or truck. We´re always traveling in Pino.

Una iguanita

 With one of the Zone Leaders, Elder Arias

 Cool abandoned airplane in Jamiltepec
Me with a goat that a member just bought and is going to eat.   

Monday, January 23, 2017

Divisiones, Viaje y una Capacitación

Hola Familia,

Another great week to be a missionary here in La Gran Misiòn!

To start, on Wednesday, Elder Noh had to do divisiones with Elder Fernandez in Huazolotitlan so I got to work with Elder Martínez for the day! Elder Martínez is chilango, or a person from México City. It was pretty chill and a great experience to work with another companion for a day. I thought that it would be difficult to work with someone new given that my spanish is still a work in progress, but I was suprised at how well I could still follow and participate in conversations and lessons with him!

Thursday we had a Dia de Rescate in Huazolo which is when all the Elders in the district work in the same área for the day.

Saturday, Zonas Acapulco and Pinotepa had a training in Acapulco with Presidente Ávila and Elder Pieper of the Area Presidency! It was so great and I learned a lot about how to be more successful as a missionary. My understanding of the language is getting a whole lot better, I understood about 75% in the meeting. I also met a lot of new missionaries in Acapulco. Kinda weird seeing white guys other than Elder Hughes, the only other güero in Pinotepa, again. Hahaha there`s even some white Elders that haven`t had latino companions before which is weird. I hope I don`t have an American companion anytime soon because I`m learning the language so much faster! Also, they took all the Hermanas out of Acapulco so now it`s only Elders in Pino AND Acapulco.

Sunday, we attended sacrament meeting in Acapulco in an actual church building! I thought that meant there would be someone playing the piano when we sang the hymns but it turns out that its not just us in Oaxaca that sing acapella hahaha. I`m kinda worried that I won`t be able to sing when I get back from the misión because I`ve sang hymns acapella for the last 10 weeks and almost everyone hear sounds tone deaf. Hahaha but its all good, the spirit is still so strong here!

With all the travel and everything, Elder Noh and I only could work Tuesday in our área on Tuesday so not a lot of news with investigadores, but we`re excited for these next two weeks of work together. I`m thinking that with the next cambio coming up, Elder Noh will be transferred to a different zona because he`s had more than 6 months in Jamiltepec and more than 10 months total in Pinotepa. I`ll probaby stay in Jamiltepec because there`s no good maps of it so there pretty much always needs to be someone there who knows how to get around. Also, I don`t think anyone has had a less than 6 months in Pino. But I`m also one of the first güeros to be in Pino in over a year so ¿Quién sabe? anything can happen.

Everythings still been going great out here. Mentally, physically, spiritually. Thanks for all your love and support.

¡Pon tu hombro a la lid!

Oh that reminds me! There`s been two hymns that I`ve always been singing, Pon tu hombro a la lid and Amad a ortos, which are Put Your Shoulder To The Wheel and Love One Another. Put your shoulder to the Wheel because it reminds me of Grandpa Tucker and it always inspires me to man up when I think I have it hard out here. Love One Another because it reminds me of Grandpa Funk and to try to have Christ like love for every one of God`s children. I know those two amazing men are supporting me in my misión from the spirit world. And you`d be surprised at how often I feel their specific presence. Missions are so special.

I was gonna send hecka pics this week but the camera died again right when I started downloading the pics on the computer. I promise I`ll start carrying extra batteries and sending pics every week from now on.

Love you all!

Elder Tucker

Monday, January 16, 2017

Más Animo

¡Hola Familia!

Thank you for all the emails this week! I spent a lot of time reading them and the computer is slow here again so 'disculpeme' for this short email 'sin fotos'.

This week was pretty good but I realized that I had lost some of the fire and enthususiam that I had a couple weeks ago. This is something I know everyone missionary has gone through. But don´t worry because after I had read the emails my family had sent me and also read how my friends who are serving missions are doing I was reminded how wonderful this work is and I am determined to be the best missionary that is possible for me to be!

The family that I have been writing about continues to progress and attend church! They are moving closer and closer to true conversion and it´s so inspring. They are so great. Elder Noh and I are always looking to find more investigators like them.

I am working hard and I always doing what I´m supposed to be doing. I know that I am being blessed in more ways than I can understand.

I hope you´re all doing great. Thank you for your love and support. I testify of the power of prayer. I know that Heavenly Father listens to the prayers of everyone of His children, everyone of us!

Elder Tucker

Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy New Year!

¡Hola Familia!

Not a huge week for us here in Santiago Jamiltepec, or maybe I just need to improve my journal writing. I've noticed a correlation between the frequency of my journal writing and the quality of my weekly emails. There´s always something that I can improve as a missionary, which makes it kind of fun!

This week, Elder Noh and I taught two more great lessons to the investigator family that I told you about last week. Their apallidos, or last names, are Hernandez Hernandez. In México and all Latin American countries I´m pretty sure, the people go by the last names of their father AND their mother. In this case, both are Hernandez hahaha. Anyway, Tuesday we taught a lesson to them with a member family. There was kind of a lot of pressure because these are really important investigators to me and with the member family, it was 7 people turning to me to hear the most important message the will ever hear in their lives and I can´t even speak the language very well. Luckily, I had the help of two very important people, my inspired companion Elder Noh, and the Holy Ghost. And the lesson went great! We have so much hope for this family. Funny story, at the end of the lesson, they were feeling very happy with us and graciously offered us some coffee, hahaha I almost started laughing because we had to explain that although it was a kind offer, we couldn't accept and it could've lead into a whole other discussion on the Word of Wisdom, but we´ll save that for a little later.

We had three investigators attend the Casa de Oración this week! Diana, Reynaldo, and Roberto. Roberto is the oldest brother of the Hernandez Hernandez family. The rest of the family would've attended, but they couldn't. We think they will next week. The members of La Rama en Jamiltepec were so welcoming and friendly this week which was great. We've really been praying and working hard to build this branch and it's paying off!

Missionary work is so powerful and important. I know that our message is true and that it needs to be shared with everyone.

Thank you for your love and support.

Elder Tucker

the computers really slow again this week so i couldn't send any pics, sorry.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 Está Aqui!

​¡Hola Familia!

Felíz Año Nuevo! There were a bunch of loud fireworks in Jamiltepec on New Year´s Eve and I actually stayed up past midnight! Hahah the reason is because on Friday, the first counselor of the rama told us that Elder Noh were speaking in church this Sunday and I only had time to prepare at the end of the day on Saturday. But its all good because my talk went well! I talked about families. I was still reading the whole time but it was about 10 minutes! This week there were a bunch of fiestas and markets in Jamiltepec so it was difficult to find and teach people this week, but it was a good week nonetheless and we still made something of it.

Tuesday and Thursday, Elder Noh and I taught some great lessons to a new investigator family. It´s been really cool becuase it all started with a street contact with one young man and now we are teaching him, his older brother, and his two younger sisters together! The lesson on Thursdsay was particularly interesting because we were teaching them at the same time that missioanries of a different faith were teaching their parents about the ´Restoration´ of their own church hahaha. Awkward! It´s funny how I had never seen Jehovah´s Witnesses or missionaries of other religions in my life before my mission. But now I see them in Jamiltepec all the time! Anyway, it´s all good because the kids really like us and we´re hoping this week to get their parents to join us in the discusions. We think the father might only speak Mixteco so we are inviting a member of the rama who speaks Mixteco to join us too.

Another funny thing that happened this week is that somehow, a beehive had grown on one of the fans in the Casa de Oración in one week, so after church, Elder Noh hit it down with a broom and I got the funniest video of it! I´ll send a link with the video.

Part of this week, I was feeling a little discouraged because even though my spanish is a whole lot better than when I arrived, there´s still moments with some of the people in Jamiltepec where I have to really struggle to only pick out a fraction of what they say. Sometimes when we´re working in the area, it´s hard to see my improvement and it can be humbling. Especially when you get asked to give a blessing in spanish when you´ve never given one in english before. But then, when we go to Pinotepa each week for district meeting and I have the opportunity to talk in Spanish with the other missionaries in the zone, I realize just how fast my spanish really is improving! And the Elders are always quick to tell me so which is really motivating! By the way, I can give a blessing in Spanish now haha ;)

I can´t believe it´s already 2017! Time is flying! I´m already half-way done with my training! I´m so excited for what´s to come in this new year. I will become fluent in spanish and hopefully lose the rest of the weight I gained in the CCM hahaha! It´s always fun to make resolutions and work towards them. I hope you´re all making goals to improve yourselves and strengthen your relationships with our Heavenly Father! Keep emailing me and telling me about your lives, I love reading emails!

Elder Tucker

One of the kids of a recent convert with face paint

Año Viejo at Juan Merino's, the man with one leg, house

Another view of Jamiltepec

Our battle with the bees at our church house.  

Drinking out of a coconut at a member's house Sunday 
Some pics from Playa Corralero which we visited last week. Miles and miles of beautiful, clean beaches with no hotels and hardly any people.