Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 15 Letter 6/24/13


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


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


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  You just choose his mission, input his name and your email address and send a letter over the internet. 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