Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14th My Last Email

Well... the truth about this week... it wasn't all that great with the investigators... we looked for everyone but.... we didn't find anyone.... we contacted a bunch of referrals and all that but nothin... and also... we didn't have a whole ton of time to work because we got to see the cultural celebration of the Tijuana temple and then the dedication on sunday and so we didn't really get to work on saturday or sunday, we only had a half day on thursday and wednesday and so we only worked the whole day on tuesday and friday but it wasn't all that great either because it was the Virgin Guadalupe's day (on friday) so... there was a lot of stuff going on around here and people didn't have time to listen. They had a huge parade and they do a run from Valles to Tanquian and it took all day so ya... there were a few things that got in the way...

Something cool that happened last night was that the wife of the branch president organized a going away party so that was cool :) and I got to say good bye to a bunch of the members because I already knew I was going... but something kinda lame it that I am going to Tampico today... and I am going to stay the whole week... so today is my last day in my area... because tomorrow I have an interview with president and I get to go to the temple one last time and then on thursday I have to be in tampico already so they are just going to have me stay there until Friday.... :/

But a little bit about the dedication.... it was really great :) President Uchtdorf said the prayer  and we got to see two sessions and during the first session they sealed the corner stone! and we got to watch :) it was a really cool experience! One of Gordon B Hinckley's sons is the Temple President and he speaks spanish pretty well :) Something that I really liked was that they said "when Jesus was young he sat and taught in the temple and he keeps doing the same today." I have a testimony of that because I have always been able to find answers when I go to the temple and I know that it really is the house of the Lord :) 

Well... this is my last email... I love you all!  I can't wait to see you on Friday! :) I am so grateful for the chance the Lord gave me to serve him for two years :)
I have loved this time and the people and I have learned a lot :) Thank you for all the love you have given me :) See ya, on the other side! :) (here they always say "el otro lado" to say the US :) )
-Elder Sampson :) (soon to be Isaac...)

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30th I Love the People Here!

Hey! how goes it? Did everyone enjoy thanksgiving? I sure hope so! We only ate pizza to celebrate it.... but it was fine :) it was kinda like all the other days... Well I have a picture of my new companions! Elder Perez is in the middle and the other one that isn't a tall white guy is Elder Mendez :)

Church this week was pretty interesting because it was kinda like my first week here, the branch president couldn't make it and all that and there was a very small number of people there.... like 13... us included and... all but 5 went home early... so it was great! :D haha 
But everything is going great with us.  I like being in a trio but is a little crowded in the house but it is also a good thing because there is less cleaning to do between the three of us :)

So to respond a little to some of the questions mom asked me I am going to tell you a little about how I'm feeling about things at this point :) 
The people here in Tanquian are really great! :) sometimes in the cities the people aren't as willing to give up a little bit of time but here they are super nice! A lot of times they aren't really interested but even then they treat us very well. I like looking for service activities here because there are a ton, the only thing is that a lot of times they don't want us to help them... like they don't want us to lose our time helping them because they feel like we have better things to do... if that makes sense... and even when we explain that we are actually there to serve them... they still don't let us ... but it's fine :) we are still able to find some people that are willing to let us help. 
I have felt a love for the people and a desire to serve them I guess I don't really express it all that much... like I do the things like walk all day in the sun and sweat and do stuff like that and even though I don't think in that moment  I think it is the love that I have that makes it easy to do it all. 
 I never think "I am tired I don't want to do this anymore" or anything like that, even though I am tired, I keep walking and working and I have the strength to keep going, and it is for the love that I and the Lord have for them, even though I don't think consciously about it... I hope that makes a little sense...

We had a cool experience with a recent convert, and it made me realize that the Lord is guiding us even when we don't figure that out until later. So we were looking for some people to visit but they weren't home so we were thinking a bit about what to do (mostly I was because my companions still don't know the area very well, they had like two days, cut them some slack! ;) ) and I thought about Rosalba, she is a recent convert. So we head over to her house and she starts asking us all kinds of questions about baptisms for the dead and stuff like that and so we are like hold on! we've gotta start with a prayer! ;) so we say the prayer and start explaining some of her questions and it turns out that the JW's had been visiting her and trying to convince her that the Church is false and all that... and they kinda had planted a large doubt in there but we were able to answer all her questions and then we told how she could be sure... asking her Father in Heaven. Then she tells us that before we got there she had decided that she wasn't going to go to any church, but then she told us about the time when God had answered her prayer and let her know that the church was true, she had forgotten a little about that but we reminded her to think about it and to look for more experiences like that and she was excited to go to church again :) so it was a cool experience for me because I felt like we really had been able to help her feel the Spirit and remember the love that God has for her and I felt really great because I was able to see that, it was a great experience from this week :)

well... I gotta go! I love you all so much! have a great week! :)

-Elder Sampson

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 24th They Got Baptized and Transfers

Hey! It's Christmas in a month! It's Thanksgiving on Thursday but today... Is dad's BIRTHDAY!!!! :) Happy Birthday! I love you! :)

So news for the week... THEY GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! yup they did :) I baptized Mari Paz and my comp Pablo :) it was pretty great again :) they were really happy and there are excited to keep going strong in the church! :) we also did the confirmations for them and it was a neat experience because I felt that the Spirit was guiding me in what to say and that the word that I said weren't mine :)

Last week we weren't really able to teach a whole lot because we had to go to Valles and also to Tamuin and then we had to prepare things for the baptism but yes, this time there was plenty of water so it was a lot easier to do the baptism but it was all great!  We also took a picture of the branch on Sunday because my comp was going to leave.... and now he did... and now... I have 2 new companions!! That's right... they put me in a trio... (so they wouldn't have to have special changes during the transfer) I am now with Elder Mendez... (a different one) and Elder Perez! Mendez is a convert from Bolivia and Perez is from the Federal District of Mexico ( el DF o México) 
I don't have a lot of time but I will fill you in a little more next week

... i gotta go... Love y'all! :)

-Elder Sampson :)

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16th Baptism this Saturday!!!!

HEY!!!! I really don't have much time but I will try to make it worth your while;) haha   

Well... this last week we had the interviews for the up-coming baptisms! :) Mari Paz is 18 and Pablo is 12... or 13... I don't remember right now... but they are siblings, but yes, they will be getting baptized this Saturday

We also had divisions with the zone leaders and we all worked here in Tanquian it was great :). 

We haven't been able to talk with Tomasa again because she is really busy. 

We found some new investigators, Mario and Kayla. We had a great lesson with them about the Restoration and they were really open and willing to find out for themselves and totally accepted a baptismal date! :) but... it is for after the 18th... so... I hope to hear that they get baptized when I am home... :)   It was great because we were able to see that they really listened and thought about what we were teaching and that only happens when the Spirit is present so I felt good about that lesson but... I don't really have all that much time left to write...  

This is a picture of a drunk guy and I! :D it was pretty funny, he was dressed up for Xantolo (shantolo for you English speakers ;) )

Well, gotta go.... sorry for it being so short... :/ Love y'all!

-Elder Sampson

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9th Testimony of the Book of Mormon

Hello! how's it going? good? good :)

So... this week... we didn't get to work all that much... because my comp got sick from some tamales that we ate... so it was a little slow... but he's better now :) so we didn't work on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday... it was a little boring... and on Wednesday we went to Valles and then we worked for an hour and then... back to the house so that was a little... ya know... boring but yesterday and Saturday we did get to working and it was good :) 
On Saturday we visited a bunch of recent converts and we finally taught a lady that we had met a while ago. It went pretty well with her. Her name is Tomasa and we taught her daughter as well :) They were really receptive and were willing to ask God if what we were teaching was true and it was a great experience :) She is catholic (like almost everyone) but doesn't go (another common situation) but said that she doesn't believe that there is a true church, that all are good but none are perfect. We explained a little about why she feels that way but then we testified about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Restoration :) She seemed to be very interested and willing to read in the BOM too.

On Sunday we had a class about the Book of Mormon and I was able to share a little about what we had learned and it was a neat experience to be able to share with all the member that showed up (like 15) my testimony and I invited them to read and reaffirm their testimonies and I was able to feel my own testimony and appreciation for the BOM grow :)

Mari Paz and Pablo came to church again and are progressing quite well... but we are getting a little behind on the lessons and their interview will be this Friday...but we will get 'em prepared! :) 

Well... I don't have much time but I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week! BYE! :)

-Elder Sampson :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November 3rd Baptismal date set for Nov. 21st!

What! it is already November? It goes by so fast!

I don't really have any time... but this last week went pretty well, we found a couple that seem to have some pretty good promise! :) I sure hope they can progress!  We have been teaching Pablo and Mari Paz, they are doing really well and we have their baptism scheduled for Nov. 21 so it is great!  They have been coming to church and all that jazz :)

um... I was just informed that I wouldn't be able to go home on the 21st... so... it will actually be the 18th... so like three days earlier... just so you know,  we had it figured out with President and everything but then church travel services said that they can't send us that day so we will be going on the 18th!   Just so you know... but...  have to go!

oh... we didn't write yesterday because my comp was sick so... we were in the house all day... but he's better now :)

I love you all! :) bye!

-Elder Sampson

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26th I Got To Baptize!

Sorry for last week and not writing a whole lot... My companion had planned the week before with some investigators that we would make some cupcakes and stuff with them and so we were doing that and then we helped them make empanadas that they sell so it was like a service project and it took longer than we thought and so we finished pretty late...

But... I baptized someone for the first time in my life! It was pretty special :) but it was a little interesting because there wasn't any water here in the little church so we couldn't fill the font so... we called a guy and he brought a tank and filled it up to about 3 inches below the knees and was going to fill it up more... but the second trip was never made and I had to baptize Rubicel in a very small amount of water... But I did! haha it was pretty crazy but I did it on the first intent! haha it was great! he was really happy and is rather committed to coming to church.  Yesterday he was already paying his tithing!  He is pretty great :)

This week was a good week:) we were able to achieve our goals with lessons and stuff like that. We still need to improve on finding new investigators,  but it is going quite well here :)

We are the only missionaries because we are pretty far away from the city and the branch here is pretty small, and I am in charge of the meetings like... I have to plan it and we get together with the other elders in the district (just two) and the four of us have a little class and then we go back to area, or sometimes they come over here, we take turns.

We haven't been able to see a whole lot of nature except in the bus ride to and from here, but we are going to see if we can go to some ruins this next week... :) I am excited! :)

The branch is pretty tiny but there are more that usually go and more came this week but there really aren't a whole lot but it's all good :)

Well I hope you enjoyed your week! :D I gotta go but I love you all! :) BYE!

-Elder Sampson

These two pictures are from the two baptisms.   The first one is Mateo and the second Rubicel. and my comp ;)