Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 42 December 30, 2013

Hey everybody!

I’ll be a little shorter this week for time’s sake.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everybody! It has been a little harder for us with everyone and without really knowing anyone. It made it a lot more work for us to reach our goals. Not that it is a bad thing. Just not exactly what we are used to I guess. It has helped teach me more about the importance of work in missionary work. It really is the secret. We could have gotten really down on ourselves or made excuses but we just kept working and working and the Lord did the rest for is. 

I have really loved being able to teach about Christmas. There is really a special spirit in the air and it is always great to help people remember about Christ in this time. We showed the new bible nativity video by the church to a lot of people. I recommend that you all go and watch it before this Christmas season is up!

I gave a talk yesterday on the true spirit of Christmas and talked about gifts. In particular a gift we can give to god. I focused on sharing the gospel with someone. I invited the branch to give a gift to God this Christmas season. And I would like to invite all of you to do so as well. Show our heavenly Father your love to him by reaching out to one of his Children.

Hope you are all doing great and have a wonderful holiday season

Until next week
Elder Lightheart  


Monday, December 23, 2013

Week 41 Letter December 23, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS

I hope that all of you are having a great Christmas so far! And colder than mine is. Yesterday it was about 80 degrees outside so it does not feel like Christmas so far!

It has been a crazy week so far! As I told you last week we had a transfer last week and so I am now in Reforma Chiapas with Elder Navarro. He was in Minatitlan so we are new here in Reforma. Basically we were lost all week. A different experience but it went pretty well actually. We had quite a bit of success considering.

Reforma is a great ward. The members are great so far.  The first day one of them came to pick us up. And then they made us hamburgers! I was not really expecting that but it made me excited to work here! The members were such a great help this week. Showing us around the town, giving us directions, showing us the investigators, giving us references. I feel that we will have a lot of success here!

My companion is great as well! Elder Navarro is from Tijuana. He is pretty crazy but we have been having a lot of fun together. And we do not really stop talking. I am excited to serve with him! We have had the Spirit with us a lot so far which has been great we had one lesson this week in which the Spirit came very strong. Everybody felt it. The Spirit really has so much power to touch the hearts of men.

One thing that has been different is our house is super small. We moved things around today which helped but there is not a lot of room to move around. We are renting a room in a non-members house. They are great people and have helped us out a lot! I hope that they will be baptized some day.

We were able to set a baptismal date this week! Her name is Maria. She is very ready to be baptized. Her baptism will be January 10th and I can’t wait!

Don’t forget to have a great Christmas!
Elder Lightheart
Hermano Manuel and Elder Lightheart

Elder Navarro and Elder Lightheart

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Video from flooding in MEXICO

Week 36 Letter November 18, 2013

Hello Everybody!

We had a pretty crazy time this week. It was way fun though

Well first of all we had another baptism this week!! I told you that we were going to have it already. Well it went very well. His uncle Antonio baptized him and Elder Galicia confirmed him. Nefi was super excited for the baptism. It´s great that he finally got baptized. I’m glad that I was able to be a part of his baptism.

Like I said this week was crazy. It pretty much rained all week long. Also it started to flood and it got pretty bad. Everybody is leaving their houses and the military came to help out. I think it was on the news here in Mexico. The good thing is that we aren´t near the flooding. We did spend three days this week helping people out with the flooding. It was good to be able to do a lot service this week but it was weird to not do as much proselyting. 

With the service we had a lot of opportunities to teach new people. We are starting to teach 4 new families this week and we are very excited for them. They are all very interested in the church and 2 of them already have family members in the church.

Well that’s all for this week!
I hope that everybody is doing well!
Hasta Luego

Elder Lightheart

Week 34 Letter November 4, 2013

Hello Everbody!!

We had a pretty fun week this week! It was pretty crazy. We were running all over the place. We had several different meetings during the week. We were not really in Las Choapas though it was  a good week.

First of all we had divisions this week. I was with an Elder named Elder King for the day. He is a great elder and we had a lot of fun during the day. We did all of the normal stuff but the best part was when we went to play some basketball. It was really fun to play basketball again though the both of us were sore the next day. I have missed playing basketball. It was fun to get back to it this week.

We also had our Stake Conference this week. It was a great conference focused on missionary work. In particular focused on the missionary broadcast we had this year. Our Mission President was also there and he gave a great talk on how members and missionaries need to work together. "Somos Uno." It is what we need to do to have success and to bring about the work of the Lord.

Also we are going to have another baptism this week! I am really excited for it. He is from a member family but still has not been baptized yet. So do not be surprised that we are baptizing Nefi (Nephi). It will be next Sunday and I will let you all know how it goes!

Until next week!

Elder Ligtheart

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 32 Letter October 21, 2013

Hello everybody!! 

Hope you are all doing fantastic!! Everything is going great down here!! 

Well in case you didn't know, I'm going to have a birthday this week!! I'm not sure who’s most excited: my family, the people here, or me? Who knows. The people here are awesome!! One of them has already promised me a cake!! And her cakes are AMAZING. I am excited for that. Oscar wants me to by him food on Thursday... We will see about that.

Well in the next two weeks we should be having a couple of baptisms. We have one with a nine-year-old kid and later with a family of five! I am super excited for them and it should be a great couple of weeks with all them.

We also started teaching two new families this week! They are both awesome as well. One of them is just a couple. They are really excited to learn and so far it has been way fun teaching them. The other family is enormous!! There are like 20 people to teach in the house! It will be great teaching them as a family.

Well that's all for now!! Hope everything is great for all of you
Elder Lightheart

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week 30 Letter October 7, 2013

Hello everybody!!

Hope everything is going well! I had a great week this week. I am so grateful that I was able to listen to Conference. I am excited to be able to share my experiences with you of all that I have learned.

First of all, as I have a new companion straight from the MTC. His name is Elder Galicia. He is from the state of Chalco Mexico. It has been fun getting to know him this week. He is really excited to go out and work as a missionary and I am excited to get to train him. He also really likes cleaning. We spent all of this morning getting the house sparkling clean. I think even my mom would be satisfied!

I have received a lot of blessings from this responsibility I have to train him and also in being a senior companion. It has really helped me to get an even better focus on the work. Also, more importantly to draw closer unto the Lord. I am excited for this time I will have as a trainer to make a difference in his and my mission.

General Conference was really great. I had the opportunity to watch the first three sessions in English with the other elders in my district. They came over here to Las Choapas to watch it with us. Then I watched the Sunday sessions in Spanish. I learned more when I was watching it in English but I also really enjoyed it in Spanish. One of my favorite things was that Richard G. Scott translated his talk into Spanish for us. It was awesome to hear his voice but speaking Spanish.

I also really felt the importance of having modern day revelators in these times. Probably the talk that made me think about it the most was Jeffery R. Holland. It is amazing to receive direct revelation for all those who are handicapped. I could not help but think about my Aunt Tara when he talked about the joy we will have together when we are in the heavens.

Thanks for all the support you give me and the letters I have received.

Until next week!
Elder Lightheart


Week 29 Letter 9/30/2013

Hello Everybody!!

Hope you are all doing well!! I am doing great here in Mexico and I am really excited to be able to write you again.

Well first things first, we had transfers this week!! Elder Ygnacio is going to leave to Minatitlan. So I only had one transfer with him. But I do get to stay here in Las Choapas!! And I am going to train!! I won’t know who my companion is until later in the week so I’ll have to tell you next week. I am really excited for this opportunity and to welcome an elder into the mission.

Everything is great here in Las Choapas. Our investigators are doing really well and the branch is doing great as well!! I am really grateful that I get to spend at least another transfer here. It is a great area. It will be really fun to introduce my new companion to my first area.

Well I am going to be busy this week. I have to go to Villahermosa which is three hours away and I am not exactly sure when I will get back to Las Choapas. Hopefully soon! We have a lot of work to do here!

Well I don’t have too much time today so that’s all for now

Until Next Week!
Elder Lightheart

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 28 Letter 9/23/13

Hello Everybody!!

Hope all of you are doing well!! I am having a great time here, burning in the sun and drowning in the rain but an amazing time!!

We worked really hard this week!! In fact we had the best week of our time together. But the baptisms all fell through. It was a little disheartening. However, the Lord reminded us that if we put in the work, he will carry out His work. This week on Sunday we were talking with some of the members and one of the families told us that we are going to have a baptism this week. One of the children of the ward is going to be baptized. His name is Miguel Angel. We are really excited for the baptism and the help the Lord gave us in our work.

Our other investigators are doing really well too. Blanca is really excited to learn and has been reading a lot of the Book of Mormon. She does have a problem in her family though so she has not been able to go to church. The doctor we are teaching is also excited to learn. He has some really different ideas about religion but he is beginning to learn really quickly. 

We have also been teaching a lot to the Castillo Sevedra family. We are really excited for their progress. Especially for one of the sons. He just turned 19 and is really excited about serving a mission. He had been in Mexico City and just came back. He is going to be the one who brings their family back to the church. I am really excited for him to serve a mission.

This week we did exchanges. Elder Ygnacio stayed here and I went to Cuichapa with Elder Estrada. I had a great time with him. He is a great Elder but is about to finish his mission. It was great to get to know him a little better for a day. I also really liked Cuichapa. The members are great and really work hard. I would like to serve there during my mission.

Well that’s all for know. Next week are the transfers and I’ll keep you all posted with what happens!!

Take care!
Elder Lightheart




9/22/13 Letter from the Mission President

Dear Family:

The most recent meteorological reports about the country show that hurricanes Ingrid and Manuel have caused floods and damaged several States. Nevertheless, no zone of the Mexico Villahermosa Mission, where your son is currently serving, has been harmed. All of the Tabasco state as well as the sectors of Campeche, Chiapas and Veracruz included in the Mission district are safe for missionary work.  

 It has been raining constantly throughout these days, but it is not a risk for the safety of the missionaries. We have been tracking the weather news and we have informed all the missionaries about the circumstances.

The Lord revealed to Prophet Joseph Smith “…if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear” so we had followed His advice. The Mission has security standards that will be applied if necessary. Up to this moment, proselytism will proceed normally although missionaries have taken precautions.

 We all are serving our Savior and we trust He will protect us always because we are working for the salvation of souls. We thank you for your prayers and we invite you to keep praying for the missionaries. We will inform you if the instructions change.

 Sincerely,

Pres. Israel Morales Gutiérrez
MEXICO VILLAHERMOSA MISSION

Week 27 Letter 9/16/13

Hello Everybody!!

Hope you all are doing really well!! I do not have too much time this week so I will not be able to write too much but I will do what I can!!

We had a really great week actually!! We saw a lot of changes in people that we were not expecting. It helps me remember how much we need to depend on God and not on what we can do. He is preparing the people and we are here to find them and help them learn about the gospel. Without him, we cannot do anything.

One of the changes is in a new investigator from this week. He is a doctor from here in Las Choapas. My companion calls him doctor loco because he is a bit crazy but in a good way. He is really energetic and really excited to learn about the gospel. He told us what he feels is going to happen with three words. Read, Believe, and Make. Read what we give him to read, Believe what we teach him, and Make him a Saint. A Latter day Saint!! We are really excited for him.

Blanca has also been making a lot of progress. She does have an obstacle with her family. It is the only thing impeding her though. She really wants to know if it is true and is reading a lot!! She understands really well too. Because of her family she has not gone to church but we feel that when she does she will really feel the Spirit and know that it is true.

We also had a Noche Mexicana this week. This week was independence day for Mexico so we had an activity in the church. We had a lot of fun!! I really enjoyed being part of the holiday. The members brought a lot of non member friends. All in all it was a great activity.

We also had a lot of people at the church this week!! It was great to see the chapel full. The branch is really changing and I am excited for all of the people here.

Well that is all the time I have
Until next week!
Elder Lightheart

Week 26 Letter 9/9/13

Hola Familia!!

Another week gone by here in Mexico!! Everything is going great! I am learning a lot and feel the help of the Lord every day as we preach the gospel!

It was a pretty fun week the week. Mexican Independence Day is just around the corner and the people here are going crazy. Everyone is in Red, White, and Green and extremely excited for the holiday. The Center has been converted to a fair and there are all kinds of rides and stands right in the center of the street. It is super crowed there. Basically a party all day long. Makes me remember our Independence Day. Different but just as crazy.

Well all of our investigators are still doing well. The best part of this week was our lesson with Ismael. He told us that he now believes that the Church is true!! We put a baptismal date with him for the 28th as well and I am super excited for him.

Unfortunately, Eduardo got sick this week. We were not able to see him all week and he was not able to go to church. Sounds like everything is still going well though and we will be going to visit him tomorrow.

The Campos Sanchez family is all doing really well. They are continuing to prepare for their baptism the 28th as well. Blanca is having some doubts but the good thing is that she is reading the Book of Mormon. I feel that she will get an answer. Daniella had to go to Coatzacoalcos this week so she was not able to go to church either.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. I am having a great time here in Mexico and hope that you all enjoy sharing in my experience!

Cuidense!!
Elder Lightheart

Week 25 Letter 9/2/13

Weekly Letter

Hello Everybody!! I hope all is well and that you all had a great week!

We had an awesome week this week and found a lot of new investigators to teach. One of them is Eduardo and he is really great. He is learning super quickly about the gospel and really wants to know more. The great thing is that he works for a member so he can talk with her about any question that he has with her. He accepted a baptismal date for the 28th of September and I know that he will be ready by then. He went to church this week and had a really great time. I could tell that he learned a lot and wants to come back again. We did not have the chance to talk with him about it yesterday but we are going to go visit him tomorrow.

The Campos Sanchez family is also doing really well. They all are learning a lot and keep their commitments. The problem is the got sick this week so we haven’t been able to teach them for a while and they were not able to go to church this Sunday. We will be going to visit them Wednesday though so hopefully they are better by then!

We also had a lot of other great new investigators this week. One of them is Blanca. She also works for a member and is really excited to learn more! She says that she wants to serve a mission already! We have only taught her once but we are really excited for her. Another is Yaritsa. She is Catholic and very firm in her beliefs but the good thing is that she has accepted what we have taught and to read the Book of Mormon as well. If she reads and prays I feel that she will receive an answer.

Also I wanted share what I learned about fasting this month. I have always fasted but have never really learned the true power of it until now. It is an amazing opportunity we have to sacrifice food for one day out of the month. The Lord has given us the opportunity to use a fast so that we can better feel the spirit. It allows us to draw much closer unto him every month and helps us to receive the guidance we need in our lives. I always had thought of it more as a different was to pray but in reality it is a tool that our Father has given us so that have his presence in our lives and better exercise our faith.

Well that all for now!! Thanks for your prayers!!
Until next week!
Elder Lightheart

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Week 24 Letter 8/26/13

Hello Everybody!!

Hope that everyone is doing well!! I am having a great time here in Mexico!! It is a great experience to be serving a mission especially with these wonderful people.

Well first of all Elder Ygnacio is great. His last name actually starts with Y not I. It’s a little strange and everyone asks him about it. He’s a little different than most people but I have been having a great time with him!! He teaches really well from the scriptures and I am already learning a lot from him. He works really hard and we are going to have a lot of success together.

We had a lot of success this week with our investigators. The Campos Sanchez family is doing really well. We have set a baptismal date with them for the 7th of September. They are a great family and we are going to work really hard with them.

Anai is also doing well. We had a really good lesson with her this week. She is really starting to feel the spirit and the truthfulness of the gospel. She has some doubts but I feel that she will receive an answer to her prayers.

We also have a great new investigator named Eduardo. He works for one of the members in the branch and is really excited to learn. We have only had one lesson with him but believe that he will learn really quickly

We have been teaching a the Hipolito family a lot recently I have a good time with them because there are a lot of kids and it is like being with my family. They are a great family and always want to give us food as well.

Well that’s all for now!!
Until next week!!
Elder Lightheart

Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 23 Letter 8/19/13

Hola Familia y Amigos!!

I am very grateful to have another opportunity to share my experiences with you. There is nothing like being a missionary and I hope that all of you can be edified by my experiences that are changing me. 

Well we were able to baptize Gloria this week!! I had the opportunity to baptize her. It was awesome to be able to baptize again. We had a great service. She was really grateful that she could listen to the lessons and come closer to the Lord through baptism. It is really great to see the changes in people and to watch as they learn and grow. We are really excited for her progress as a member of the church and for the support she has in her family.

Montserrat is also doing really well she is really excited to be a member and really devoted to continuing to learn. She told us this week that if and when she has challenges she will turn to the gospel to help her through them. We know that she will stay firm in the church with the progress she is having.

We are continuing to work with the Campos Sanchez family and Ismael. They are both doing really well. Their issue is church attendance. We will keep striving to help them learn more and come closer to baptism. I know that with the help of the Lord they can learn and come unto Christ.

Well transfers were today. And I am not going to be with Elder Montañes anymore. He is going to leave to Minatitlan. I am excited for him and will sure miss him. I am going to stay here in Las Choapas and Elder Ignacio will come here to serve with me. I am excited to meet him and will let you all know more about him next week!

Well Hasta Luego!!
Elder Lightheart

Monday, August 12, 2013

Week 22 Letter 8/12/13

Hello Everybody!!

Well I hope that everything is going great for everyone. I´m having such a great time here in Mexico and more importantly serving a mission. I have seen many people change already and am excited to see more people change their lives through the gospel. 

First of all, we had another baptism this week!! This Saturday we were able to baptize Montserrat. It was such a great experience. This week she wasn´t sure if she wanted to be baptized. Her whole family is Catholic and she saw a lot of problems coming. However, we helped her to remember why she needs to be baptized and the experiences she has already had with the gospel. At her baptism we could really see her spirit. She gave a great testimony and will be a great member. She is married to a member so that will be a great help and we hope that in a year we will be able to see them sealed in the temple.

Well we are also going to have another baptism this week. Gloria is coming back from Mexico City this week and has already told us that she is ready to be baptized. We are really excited for her. She is also living with a member family and will have a lot of support. 

We also received a lot of help from the members this week. They are really getting excited about the work. One member gave us five references, another has been helping us with rides and another has been going to a lot of lessons with us. It has been great to have their help and it is really helping them out as well. It is great to see the progress in the branch.

Also we had a bit of fun this week. For one of our dinners one of the members wanted to make flour tortillas with us. All of the tortillas here are corn. So we made a bunch of tortillas with them. I think one turned our looking like a tortilla. They were not the best and they didn’t look so good but we sure had a lot of fun with the family!

Well that’s all for now!!
Hasta Luego
Elder Lightheart

Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 20 Letter 7/29/13

Hola Familia y Amigos!
I hope everything is going well for all of you. I am having a great time in Mexico and am glad that I have the opportunity to share my experience with all of you.

Well first of all we had another baptism this week!! Her name is Keila Juarez. She is from a Less-Active family and it is great that she wants to be baptized. She has been going to church for a while and just recently her parents started coming back to church. It is great that the family is reactivating. They are going to be a strong family. Well Elder Montañes performed the baptism and I gave the confirmation. It was a little hard in Spanish and I have never given one in English. It went well though and I did not have too many problems so all is well.

One of our investigators, Montserrat, was able to go to the baptism. She really liked the service and this week accepted a baptismal invitation. We have not fixed a date yet but should be able to this week. 

We also had a really good lesson with one of the families we are teaching. Family Campos Sanchez a family of five. They are a really great family and have been going to church the past couple weeks. This Sunday we went to teach them and they invited two more people to the lesson. We taught the restoration and the spirit was really strong. We were able to set a date with all seven of them in that lesson. We are extremely excited for them!

A couple of our other investigators were out of town this week but both of them told us that they want to be baptized when they get back!!

There were a lot of members at the church this Sunday! We have seen a lot of change is this branch and are extremely excited for the progress we have seen. A lot of the Less-active members are returning to activity and are coming back to church. The Lord has really been helping us here in Las Choapas!

Hasta Luego!!
Elder Lightheart

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 19 Letter 7/22/13

¡Hola familia y amigos!!

Everything is going great here in Las Choapas. My companion and I are having a really good time together and a lot of success here. There are so many good people here and I am really happy to be serving here.

Well first of all Sofia and Christian are doing really well!! We have been visiting with them and Sofia is continuing to learn more and progress. She is continuing to be active in the church and we are really excited for her!!

We also fixed another baptismal date!! Anai is going to be baptized in about two weeks. She is extremely excited to be baptized. She really wants to do what’s right and follow Christ. We have been visiting with her every day and we can really see the progress in her. She will be a great member!!

We have also been teaching a wife of a member a lot as well. Her name is Montserrat. She is really interested and excited to learn. We haven’t fixed a baptismal date with her yet but plan on doing so in the next lesson. She seems like she will learn really quickly and we are excited for her and her husband as well.

Ismael continues to be doing well. He is excited about the church and excited to learn more. He loves reading the Liahona and The Book of Mormon. He is unsure about going to church but we know that as he continues to read and pray that he will receive an answer.

We spent some more time with Leo Lara and his family this week. They are a great family and we excited to teach them more. This week they took us to one of the rivers here so that we see some more of Las Choapas. They also made some really good chicken for us as well!

Well that’s all for now.
Until next week!!
Elder Lightheart

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 18 Letter 7/15/13

7/15/13
Hola!!
Espero que todas esten bien!! Estoy muy animado que tengo este oportunidad para servir y que puedo compartir todo de mis experiencias con ustedes!

Well we had a really good week this week and taught a lot of different people this week. First of all, Sofia and Christian are doing really well. It has been great to see that they are continuing to be active and coming unto Christ. This week we are going to make a goal with them for their sealing in the temple!!

We also found another Less-active member who seems very excited to go back to church. His name is Ruiz and he drives an ambulance. He has been working every Sunday for a while now but just got off last Sunday. We have a lesson with him this Saturday and he seems excited to come back to church.

One of our new investigators this week is another wife to a member. Her name is Monzarat and she is married to Limon. She has been to church the last couple of weeks and she really likes it. She seems excited to be taking the lessons and it is really helping her husband as well.

We are teaching a lot of spouses to members. Another one that we are working with is named Deisi. She is very ready to learn. It is great to teach her because she always asks a lot of questions. It´s good because we know that she understands most or all of what we are teaching.

We are also teaching a really awesome family. The Campos family. They are the cousins of Leo Lara. They are really great and seem to be super excited to go to church. They are extremely nice and really like having us over.

In fact, this week they gave us a BBQ!! It was good to have a little bit of American food for once. The one problem is that they gave us a ton of food. Plate after plate after plate. At least it was good though.

I also went to Villahermosa this week. It is a long trip. 4 hours each way. I had to go and sign some papers and give my fingerprints so that I can get my visa. Easy and long, but necessary.

Well everything is going great here in Mexico!!
Quidense!!
Elder Lightheart

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week 17 Letter 7/8/13

7/8/13
Hola!!!

Wow!! I have already finished a transfer here in Mexico! It went by super fast!! I still feel really new here. But it sure is great!! I am super excited to be serving the Lord and the people of Mexico!!

Well Elder Montañes and I are still together!! Yay!! And still in Las Choapas. The other two elders in our district left this transfer. Elder Montañes and I are extremely excited for this transfer. We know that a lot of good can happen here in 6 weeks. We hope that we can prepare this area for two more elders during this transfer!!

Well this week was a week of miracles. We worked really hard this week and had a lot of success!! A lot of people came to church on Sunday!! Including some people who we have worked with for a long, long time! The chapel was full for the first time and it was really great to see the progress in this area!!

First of all Ismael finally came to church!! He is definitely set in his ways but he is really close to God and we have seen that work a change in him. This week we were teaching him and he was really excited to learn more. About a week or so ago we gave him a Liahona to read. This week he asked us for another. He is reading the Book of Mormon and praying and is progressing quickly. We saw it this week really well when he gave a prayer. During the prayer he was giving thanks that the Lord sent us to teach him and the Spirit came and he couldn’t continue. He just ended with Amen. Then he said forgive me but my Father was speaking with me. AMAZING!! We are super excited for him and his family!

We also had a couple of less-active members who came who haven’t been for a long time. The most incredible was Hermana Severa. Elder Montañes has been teaching her since he arrived here in Las Choapas and she never came to Church. And finally this week she came!! It was great to see her there. Also all of the Castillo Severa family came. It was great to see them there. They are great people who don't have a whole lot. Extremely humble. They are going to be great!! They also want to teach me to make a hammock!!

Not much happened throughout the week. Just a lot of work. We are getting ready to move to another house though. Also one night was a bit crazy. We woke up at about one because of thunder. Oh gosh it was extremely loud!! It sounded like the sky was about ready to fall!! It is extremely loud here but I am getting used to it. Well all is awesome here in Las Choapas. Love you all!!

Elder Lightheart

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week 16 Letter 7/1/13

Hello Everybody!!!

Hope everyone is well and if not know that you are in my prayers!!

First of all I had my first baptism this week!! It was such a great experience but it sure was crazy. So we had been teaching Sofia for a little while but had not been able to teach her a lot because she had a child about 2 weeks ago. Well anyway, Saturday morning we got a call from her mother-in-law and she told us that Sofia was ready to be baptized and that she wanted the baptism to be at six. Wow!! It was crazy the rest of the day. Sofia had not been to church enough times so we had to get special permission from President Casteñeda. We spent 5 or 6 hours trying to figure out if she could be baptized. Finally around 4 we finally had a yes. 

From there it got even more crazy. We had to go fill the font first and that took about 2 hours. Then we realized that I did not have my clothes to perform the baptism so we hurried to the house and grabbed my clothes. Then after we got back to the church we started to look for the baptismal clothing for Sofia and then Elder Montañes realized that they were back at the house so we hurried back... and forgot the keys at the church. So our ward mission leader had to bring them to us.

But after all that Sofia was baptized on Saturday the 29th of June and confirmed a member the next day.

We almost had another baptism this week as well. Gloria is the mother-in-law of one of the members in the ward and she actually had her interview this week. However she and the president of the branch decided that she should wait. We will keep teaching her and she said that in two weeks she thinks she will be ready.

Anai is continuing to progress and she as well should be able to be baptized in about two or three weeks!!

Well I had a little miracle happen this week. During the week we were at the church waiting for the president Rivera playing a little soccer. Some other kids came and played for a little while with us and while we were playing I took off my watch. Then we left for another appointment. I then realized that I didn´t have my watch. We headed back to the church by then someone had taken it. The watch is a little important to me because it was a gift from my dad. I was a little disappointed that I had lost it. That night I prayed and asked the Lord if he could help me get it back. 

On Sunday I was playing the prelude music and Elder Montañes was talking with some of the members. Then in the middle of it all he waved me over to talk to Freddy. Turns out he had my watch! He bought it from whoever had stolen it and so I was able to get it back for just 300 pesos. It was great to have the Lord answer my little prayer like that. 

So Elder Montañes has been teaching me to play soccer. In some of the extra time we have he has been showing me how to play. It has been really fun and I have already bought a Mexico soccer Jersey!

Well that´s all for now!
Love you all!!
Elder Lightheart



Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 15 Letter 6/24/13

Hola!!

This week was so awesome! There were a lot of spiritual moments and so much going on. A really good week.

First of all, last Tuesday we had a Zone Conference because President Casteñeda is leaving. It was such a great conference. He focused a lot on being more effective in our teaching. He is a really good teacher and really involved us in the conference. We also did a role play in which two missionaries were teaching a family. I was selected to be one of the missionaries to teach and I got to teach with our zone leader, Elder Perez. He is such a great missionary and I learned a lot from him. It was hard to say goodbye to President Casteñeda even after so short a time but exciting to have a new president come.

Elder Montañes and I also had the opportunity to speak this Sunday. At first it was a little hard to know what to say. On Saturday we decided to pray to know what to speak on. We decided that we should speak on service. On Sunday I was a little nervous because of the Spanish but with the help of the Lord it actually went very well.

Church was also very good. We had our best attendance so far and it was good to see so many people there. During the week we gave assignments to some of the members to pass by the houses of some Less-actives. It was good how the service from the members really was a blessing for the branch.

Also we had the worldwide mission conference. I am not sure how many of you had the opportunity to see it but it was incredible. Not very often do we have the opportunity to hear from purely apostles. Also it was interesting to see how the church is adapting to the modern world. It was different but spiritual in how they used videos to teach us. It is awesome to see the hand of the Lord in this work.

We had a little bit of a disappointment this week. Anai is too busy with work to be baptized this week. She is going to have to wait another three weeks before she has time. We are excited for her though. It will be a little longer before she has the opportunity to be baptized but we know that she will be ready when the time comes.

We also had a miracle this week. Throughout the week we had a hard time finding new investigators. By Saturday we had still only found two. So Saturday night we knelt together in prayer and asked for help in finding new investigators. In planning, we decided to pass by a reference named Leo Lara. On Sunday we arrived at his house and talked to a family that was at the house and they said that he was not there. So instead we taught the family and we taught four new investigators! As we were walking away we saw someone who had been at church walking down the street. Turns out he is Leo Lara! He also gave us two new families to teach!! What an answer to our prayer.

So my mom asked me about my apartment so I decided to share with you all how it is. It is not too big. Just three rooms and a bath. When I first walked in the door I was thinking que feo. But it really is pretty nice. There are a lot of worse houses here in the mission. It is pretty hot in the house most of the time because we only have a fan but it is fine. Better get used to it I guess.

We also tried to make pizza again but this time it was just Elder Montañes, Oscar and me. It did not go so well. The dough was super sticky and didn’t bake quite right. We gave some to Hermano Conde, the dad of Oscar. We asked how it was and he answered. Queda bien, and then walked to the door and yelled out "Chato!" Their dog. Haha oh well. We tried.

Well until next week all!!
Elder Lightheart

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week 14 Letter 06/17/13

FAMILIA Y AMIGOS!!

Time is passing fast!! Already more than halfway through this transfer! I was realizing the other day that I already have 4 months in my mission! Crazy!!

I learned a little more about my area this week. So Las Choapas is in Veracruz, Mexico. But we are right next to Tabasco. There is a river that runs right by the city. Rio Tiburoneros. On the other side of this river is Tabasco. I have liked learning about this area! It is still a little confusing here. I get lost sometimes but I am starting to learn it better!

President Casteñeda is leaving at the end of this transfer. He is a great president and we sure will miss him. As a zone, we have the opportunity to sing for his last conference with us. We are going to sing a song that is only in the Spanish hymn book. "Placentero nos es trabajar" We translated it to English and are going to sing it for him. It is an awesome song and I wish we had it in English.

We have some great investigators and I believe that my next week you will be hearing about our first baptisms!!

Anai is a great investigator. We had a lesson this week and she told us that she had some questions for us. She began to ask us what the baptism is like and what kinds of things she needs to do. It was so awesome. We have a fecha with her for this Sunday!! I am super excited for her!

We also have a great new investigator this week. She is the mother-in-law of one of the members in the ward. We were at the member´s house for lunch and this hermana was there as well. She had gone to church last week and shared with us that she has been feeling a lot of desire to pray since she attended church. We started teaching her and invited her to be baptized this coming Sunday as well!

Ismael continues to be one of my favorite investigators. He is so humble and just really fun to talk with. This week we have started to teach the rest of his family, his wife and son. They have accepted a baptismal date for the 7th of July! They are an awesome family and really desire to learn more about the Lord. I think that they are going to be great members some day.

Ismael also has an incredible garden with all sorts of weird tropical plants. Well this week he gave Elder Montañes and me some Jicaras. Basically a hard shelled melon. Well the people here make these Jicaras into cups. So later today we are going to make some Jicara cups. I am rather excited!

There are a lot of people here that go around the streets trying to sell this and that. Every morning we hear "Agua," "Tamales de masa colada," "Pozol." Elder Montañes and I have a lot of fun mimicking them. Well my favorite part about them is their bikes. They are actually called triciclos. I think that they are very chido and I want to get one! Elder Montañes and I decided that I am going to pedal and he is going to stand up front and pass out pamphlets and Book of Mormons.

I also had my first Hamburger here in Mexico. There is a hamburger place here and I have wanted to try it since I got here and we finally had the time this week. It was actually a lot better than I expected. Mexicanized, but still good!

Well all is well here in Mexico!!
Until next week!
Elder Lightheart



Monday, June 10, 2013

Week 13 Letter 6/10/13

Hola Familia y Amigos!!

Another week another P-day. Its going by really fast already! What a great opportunity this is to serve here in Mexico and share my experiences with all of you!

This week was really great! Elder Montañes and I are having such a great time together!! We have been working really hard to help the people here in Las Choapas. It is a great town and such a fun place to be.

One thing that isn’t so great would have to be the heat. It is extremely, extremely hot here. Not only that but really humid as well. It is rare when we are not sweating. And when it’s not hot, it’s because it’s raining. It´s hard to work hard sometimes because of that and it was a little hard to adjust but all is well now. 

Elder Montañes and I had a great experience with fasting this week. We were not able to fast last week because we both had colds so we decided to fast this Sunday instead. We focused our fast on finding new people to teach. We really asked the Lord for help to find those people that were prepared here in Las Choapas. 

We ended our fast Sunday after church and again asked for someone to teach who was prepared to be baptized. We then went to look for an old investigator named Guadalupe. She was taught by Elder Cotrell who was here in Las Choapas 6 months ago, and he had told Elder Montañes that it would be good to visit her. Elder Montañes had tried before with his old companion to visit her but they were unable to find her.

We went by her house and outside there was a young woman sweeping the sidewalk. We asked her if she knew a Guadalupe and it turned out to be her. We started to teach her and really find out how much she had been taught and how much she remembered. She was really well prepared and really knows a lot. She brought up the Word of Wisdom and repentance and remembered a lot about the doctrine of Christ. In the end we invited her to be baptized and she accepted a baptismal date for the 28th of this month! It was awesome to see the hand of the Lord in our work. Especially in answer to our fast!

We also have some other great investigators. Ismael is one of my favorites. He is a 72-year-old man that just loves the gospel. He is so excited to learn more and has so much to share with us. He also loves his plants. After one of our lessons this week he took us out to his yard and showed us all of his plants. The only one I recognized was the corn. It was a great experience to see all of the plants of this area and to see all the work that he puts into his land. 

We also had more of an interesting experience with our investigator Carolina. She is the friend of one of the members in the ward and we taught her the first lesson. We gave the baptismal invitation. "Will you follow the example of Jesus Chist and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" Instead of just a Yes or No however, she went on for about 15 minutes. I quickly got lost because of the Spanish. After she was done, my companion said "So we will take that as a yes." I was a little surprised he would say that but she simply said "Si". It was a little strange especially since I couldn’t understand most of it but oh well. 

Speaking of Spanish, it is still rather difficult for me to communicate with the people here. They speak really fast and a very informal Spanish. They use a lot of words that I have never heard before. It is crazy. I mostly have a hard time understanding what the people are saying. I get the gist of what they are saying but especially when we are talking about something other than the Gospel it is really hard for me to follow. I can say most of what I want to at least and my companion is a big help!

Church this week was so great!! We had a lot of people attend, a lot more than last week. Last week we had only 52 but the week we had 70! It was so great to have so many people there. We are really striving to keep increasing the attendance. Also one of the sisters talked a lot about missionary work. She talked about how the members could help us as missionaries and that they she feed us a lot of food. It was a little funny but still good!

We spent most of this P-day with the Juarez family. That’s because we were helping the put replace some of the tiles in their house. It was a lot of work and it was extremely hot in the room we were working in but it is always good to do some service. They also made us some pizza. They are really good cooks and the pizza was really good though they eat it with salsa and ketchup which was a little weird for me. It was a really good p-day though with them.

Until next week!
Elder Lightheart

P.S. I also found my own little bit of Oregon here in Mexico!!



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Letters

I'm sure Elder Lightheart would love some letters. The best way to write to him right now is through the pouch (the address is to the right).  These letters need to be on a single sheet of paper, tri-folded, with the address and stamp on the outside of the paper.  An easier way is to send a letter through the pouch is with  dearelder.com.  You just choose his mission, input his name and your email address and send a letter over the internet.  dearelder.com prints those up and puts them in the pouch mail every Thursday.  There is no cost for this.  Thanks!

Week 12 Letter 06/03/13

Hola Familia y amigos!

It is crazy being back on my mission! It is really crazy to be in Mexico! I’ll try to fit all that has gone on into this letter but I'm not going to guarantee anything.

First of all being in the MTC was crazy!! There was a lot of déjà vu going on for three days. The district I was with was so awesome!! They really accepted me and I made friends with all of them really quick. I also got to see Hermano King again!! Unfortunately not Hermano Bruce though. Not a lot happened while I was there. We did watch Sister Monson's funeral which was very interesting to watch. Best wishes to President Monson as we keep him in our prayers.

Now it gets a little more exciting because MEXICO!!! It is crazy to finally be here in Villahermosa! My first day I didn’t get into Villahermosa until 10 o'clock or so. All we did was go to one of the missionary’s houses to sleep. Though it was raining like crazy!! “Cats and dogs” doesn't quite describe it. I was outside for maybe a minute and I was almost soaked. A good welcome to Mexico, huh?

The next day we went to the stake center in Villahermosa to meet our companions. We had a couple of informational meetings with the president and his wife. After those we were walking around and kind of talking to the trainers and guess who was there?! ELDER LOVE. It has been a long time since we've seen each other. It was great to see him and we got to talk for a long time. He told me that I would be the one to break my ankle. Oh, Elder Love. Well he also said that he was checking with each transfer with the office to see if I had come in yet. I guess it was meant to be that he was training so that he was in Villahermosa to see me.

And Elder Love and I are.... not companions... At least not yet! Hopefully we will be sometime. My companion’s name is Elder Montañes. He is from Coahuila Mexico.  It has been a little interesting this week because he doesn't speak English very well. At least I don't think so because we basically only speak Spanish. I actually understand most of what he says and we can communicate pretty well. There are some things that get lost but most of it I understand. We have had a great time together. He is a great missionary and I have learned a lot from him.

We are serving in a town called Las Choapas. It is actually in the state of Veracruz and is about four hours from Villahermosa. It is probably a good thing that I have a native companion because the streets here are just crazy. No road signs so I am lost most of the time. Just starting to figure out where everything is. The drivers are insane!! They don't stop for much. It's kind of funny actually because even though they put up stop signs, they also put up a ton of speed bumps so the drivers will at least slow down.

Our area here is pretty big for just the two of us. Without cars or bike it’s a good hour and a half of a walk if we want to visit some of our investigators. There are plenty of people we have to visit though. There are probably about 500 members here in Las Choapas but we only have a branch. That's because only about 60 members are active. We do a lot of work with the Less Active Members here. We probably visit 4 or 5 a day. We hope to be able to help change this branch into a ward. We have a lot of work to do but we know that with the help of the Lord we can accomplish it.

This week was kind of a hard week. We worked really, really hard this week. We got a lot done and had a lot of success. We committed twenty less active members and investigators to come to church. Unfortunately, it rained Saturday night. And when it rains not a lot of the people make it to church. We only had about 50 this week. However, we are going to work very hard this week to get as many people to the church as we can.

The members here are so great. There are a couple of families that are a very good help to the missionaries. One is the Conde family. Their child Oscar is a returned missionary and goes out and works with us a lot. This is important because he has a car as well so we can get to some of the people that live further away. We also do our laundry there so we end up at their house a lot.

The other great family is the Juarez family. They love the missionaries. They would do just about anything for us. If any of the appointments to have lunch with a family fall through we can always go to the Juarez family. Also Hermana Juarez and her daughter are bakers so they give us a lot of bread as well. They also love to have me try the food of Las Choapas. They have already had me eat Chile Quiles (YUMMY), Tuna (Delicious), Crab (Great), and unfortunately Pozol. Elder Love told me stories of the terror that is Pozol. How they make it is they take corn and grind it up and then they add cocoa and water and if you’re lucky some sugar. When they hand you the cup it looks like someone is giving you a cup of mud. And it pretty much tastes like it too. As you drink it, you almost have to chew on your drink. And if you forget to swirl the drink as you are drinking it you end up with a big clod of corn and cocoa at the bottom. Everything else here is very good but for some reason they came up with Pozol.

We had some great new investigators this week as well. The first two are actually a rather funny story. So there is this member here whose name is Freddy and he is a little bit crazy and is definitely an albur. (kind of like sarcastic person) Anyway he told us that there were a couple of less active members that we should go visit so we did. We got there and started talking and Elder Montañes asked one of them at what age he was baptized. Edgar responded "I think I was about 8 months old." We were both really confused. "You mean 8 years?" "No it was 8 months." Turns out that they’re catholic. Well at least we have some more people to teach!!

Well that’s all for now!! Hope everything is going well. Thanks for all of your prayers!
Until next week!!
Elder Lightheart




Friday, May 24, 2013

5/24/2013 Elder Lightheart is back

It has been great having Jonny home with us, even though it wasn't expected.  His surgery went well and he is finally recovered.  He left yesterday morning, Thursday, May 23rd at 5:00am.  He will be heading to Mexico on Monday.  He just called to tell us his flight plans.  He sounds great!  We should be able to talk to him again on Monday while he has his layover in Denver.  I'm excited for him to get back.  He will be a great missionary because he loves the gospel and he loves people.  Best of luck, Jonny - no more broken bones, okay?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Week 10 Letter 1/21/13

Hola Hermanos!

Another week already gone by! This week went by super fast! It was also a week of meetings. Elder Wood and I had two all day long meetings. It was crazy but it was extremely good. I learned a lot. President Hall is such an inspired man. I am so happy to be serving in this mission as I wait for my visa. 

Our first meeting this week was really fun. It was a training meeting for all of the missionaries who came into the mission when I did. It was great to see everyone again! Especially Elder Love. He is doing great in the valley. Probably the coolest thing about it is his trainer is Elder Grose who was Elder Wood's last companion. He said he is doing great and that he is glad to be serving here in San Fernando. In the meeting President Hall mostly went over the Missionary Handbook. He made it as clear as possible to us what every rule was. It was great to have him do that and show us exactly what he wants us to do. He also talked about how we can best build our faith. He gave us these five points: diligent studies, prayer of faith, service, obedience to the spirit, and obedience to the commandments. It was a very great meeting and it really was great to be with Elder Love again.

We also had our zone conference the next day. President Hall went over the Missionary Handbook again but in this meeting we focused a lot more on finding. President Hall has told us that we should spend 30 hours a week finding. He really showed us how we can increase our Faith to Find. The assistants also talked to us about finding through members which was really good as well. It helped us to know how we can better use the members in our area.

Elder Wood and I sure learned a lot this week from these meetings. It is really helping us find the things that are holding us back a little and helping us become better missionaries. We really put a lot of the things we learned into use already and I feel that it is really helping us out.

This week was a weird week. The two meetings were great but they took away quite a bit of our proselyting time. It made the rest of the week pretty strange, especially Saturday and Sunday. We spent so much time on Saturday and Sunday trying to find people. On Saturday we had some good success and were able to find a new investigator and a family, but we only had one lesson. And then on Sunday nobody was home. All of the people we went by were gone. We ended up not teaching a lesson on Sunday. It was strange but it was still good because we found a lot of potentials. I am excited for next week. It should end up being a good week!

Well I hope everyone is healthy and safe. Have a great week everybody!

Les Queremos!
Elder Lightheart




Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Week 9 Letter 1/14/13

Hello Everybody!

One week into the mission! What an awesome time to be a missionary. This mission is so amazing! I am so glad to be serving here in California!

I arrived here a week ago today. After we got off the plane we met the Mission President at the baggage check. His name is President Hall. He is such a great President. Even from just meeting him in the airport I could tell that he is a man of God and really is guided in everything he does. After we got picked up we went over to a Stake Center close by. There we did some quick paperwork and then they sent us off to do some tracting.

I was paired with Elder Lowry. He is now the assistant to the president and he is a great missionary. So the two of us went out to do some tracting. We were out for a while and did not have too much success so we decided to stop and pray to be able to have more success and find a family who had been prepared for the gospel. We left the apartment complex and went to the one next door. The first door we went to we found a sweet Hispanic family. It was amazing. They were actually some former investigators who had lost contact with the missionaries. It was so great to see the hand of the Lord the first day out in the field. To be able to find a family like that was so fantastic.

(Update from Mission President’s wife: I was just talking with the Elder that Elder Lightheart went out finding with on his first day.  They had prayed and found a family who let them give a five minute scripture and set a return appointment. Tonight the missionaries in the area went to the appointment and now have eight new investigators from that one visit!)

That night we slept at an apartment in the Santa Clarita Valley. The next day we had the transfer meeting. When we arrived at the transfer meeting we were talking with some of the other missionaries who were there for the transfer meeting. As I was talking with some of them I met and Elder Wood. As soon as I met him I got a strong feeling that he was going to be my companion. Then as we went through the transfer meeting and President was announcing all of the transfers he got to Elder Wood. And then he said that I would be trained by him! I was so excited about that. Elder Wood later told me he had the same feeling when we met. That we would be companions. It was an awesome experience to have that happen.

After the meeting we went to our apartment. It is a nice little apartment. A kitchen, bedroom, study room, and bathroom. It is a little old though. And this week our heater hasn't been working and it has been super cold in our apartment. For instance as we left our apartment to come to the library and send emails, it was 59 degrees in the apartment. We called the apartment manager today and hopefully we can get that fixed.

Since then we have just been about the work for the past week. We also had one Exchange this week with Elder Maxwell and Elder Rockhill. We have definitely had our share of miracles this week. It has been an amazing week.

One miracle was when I was on exchange with Elder Maxwell. We biked to an appointment and on the way we were impressed to stop by a house and knock the door. Our appointment fell through so we went and dropped of our bikes and walked over to the house to go knock the door. It was a three room house. The first door we knocked the man who answered the door was not interested and was pretty rude with us. Then we went to the next door and a sweet Hispanic lady answered the door. We found out that she was a member but the most amazing thing was that she had just moved there six days ago and she invited us back for dinner. The dinner appointment was amazing. Elder Maxwell and I taught them the Restoration and then we asked them is there was a family we could do a family home evening with. They said they would invite their neighbors and we will get to teach them. It was a great miracle the Lord gave us.

The next day was also pretty amazing. The miracle that happened was that we had the goal to talk to everyone. Our goal was to not let anyone pass us without talking to them unless we were already talking to someone. The miracle was that EVERYONE we talked to listened. It was incredible. Everyone we talked to was interested in hearing more and we set up quite a few return appointments. We got 9 potential investigators in one day without have anytime set apart for contacting. It was so great to have so many people interested in our message.

The last miracle that I would like to talk about has to do with the family who lives right above us. The Ceja family. The wife, Sister Ingrid Ceja is an amazing lady. Her husband Jose is less-active now and has put Sister Ceja through a lot but she is one of the strongest sisters I have ever met. She is so devoted to the church. It is so great to have people like her in our area. Anyway we went over to eat dinner at their house and Jose brought his friend Victor who is not a member. We had a great dinner and then decided to teach The Restoration to the Ceja family and Victor. It was such a powerful experience. Victor was so interested in the message and he was so excited to learn. He was so prepared to hear our message. We invited him to read the Book of Mormon and he was so eager to. Then we invited Victor to Church which was the next day and he said he would come. It was so amazing. The next day at church Victor came in with the Ceja family and Jose came as well! It was definitely a miracle.

Well the people here are amazing. I love Hispanic people. They are the best. They are always so kind and loving. I really love all the people down here in the Newhall area. Hope everyone is doing well!

Elder Lightheart