Thursday, July 16, 2015

Second Week at the CCM

Hey! Some thoughts for you.
I remember a returned missionary saying that a great lure the world gives us is the idea of finding yourself. He said the best way to do that is to serve others, and learn about yourself through serving a mission. It's true. Serving a mission is the most hipster thing I've ever done. I'm living in Mexico City, learning Spanish, and teaching people about Jesus Christ. It's amazing. It's hard. And I'm finding myself. Haha, an analogy for you.
I've been made an usher for the CCM devotionals and meetings because I have a winning smile and great personality. Haha. I actually don't know why, but it's a calling. And it's a coveted one. So I’m blessed.
At our most recent meeting president Tenorio spoke. He told us about his first times getting kidnapped and robbed in Mexico City and how he was protected because he kept the law of tithing.
There is a prison close to the CCM so we hear police sirens 24 hours a day. No joke.
Also, we are consistently woken up at 5am, every morning, with fireworks. Apparently, every day here is a holiday for a different Catholic saint. So they celebrate with fireworks. At 5am. Haha 
I found out my companion, Elder Boggs, is a direct descendent of governor Boggs, the one that gave the Mormon extermination order. Freaky, cool, and it makes me happy to know that "we got em!"
Another thought: so many people here are talkers. The world has enough "talkers" but it needs more listeners. I choose to be a listener.
I blessed the sacrament in my branch on Sunday.
Another thought: I know people say that missions are like a tithing of our life, but they never mention the blessing associated with tithing in that same message. I know I'll be blessed because I'm paying a tithing for my life. Check out the blessings, in Malachi I think.
I testify of the power of examples. Our district has major focus problems, but we are improving. Anyway, I was basically the only one who would diligently study during language, personal, and additional study time. Later, we had a district meeting on focusing, and so many Elders used me as an example of what we should be doing. Be an example. People see you.
In my studies for our "investigators", who are really our teachers, but it's legit role playing. Anyway, in my personal study for their needs, I receive answers to my own prayers and questions. I know when we serve others we will be blessed with help. Here are scriptures that are really good: Doctrine & Covenants 88:63; 112:10; and 90:24. Please check them out. I know they are true.
I remember my first day here, standing in the lobby, and trying not to cry because I felt the Spirit so strong on this campus.
Elder Boggs and I had a great lesson with our investigator named Arletti. I wrote in my journal right after "We just had a lesson with Arletti. I testified that God hears and listens to her prayers. The Spirit was so strong. She was crying and I was too. Elder Boggs committed her to baptism. In only 3 weeks we'll be in Chile helping real people come unto Christ. Even though our Spanish is far from perfect, it doesn't matter. The Spirit is the only teacher in the room. We don't need Spanish to teach, just the Spirit. I know the gift of tongues is real, I feel it every time we teach. This church is real. God works miracles. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
Then last night we taught people they bring in from the city. And it was horrible. I didn't understand anything and the Spirit wasn't there. That was the most discouraged I’ve been on my mission. Then this morning I was prompted to study about Peter and when he tried walking on water. I wrote in my journal "I just read Matthew 14: 22 through 33. I'm sinking. I must take Christ's hand. I need to keep my eyes on Jesus Christ, so my faith fail not. I know I am in the arms of my Savior. He will help me. He loves me. I felt his voice tell me: "you are in my arms." He loves me. He will help me. This has been the strongest spiritual experience of my mission so far. I'm just a boy from Utah, in Mexico City, but He knows me and my struggles. He loves me. He wants me to know that, He will help me. I've been sinking into the waves, I've cried out for fear, and He immediately extends His hand, I just need to take it. I need more faith in Jesus Christ. My testimony needs to be so strong. I love my Savior."
I testify that God loves and knows YOU. Take the Saviors hand, it's extended to you.
With love,

Elder West

Elder West & Elder East (yes, there is an Elder East there also)

Jacob's district leaders, Elders Brogdon & Ballard

View of the surrounding city from the CCM

View of Mexico City from the bus
Jacob's room at the CCM

Very tall security walls surround the CCM, and there are security cameras.  The missionaries are safe there.