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 ;)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Oct. 19th We had a Baptism!

Well, I got no time! as you can see because we are writing super late... but let me tell you a little about the week. Please forget about all typos or other such errors that you may find:)

So this week there was a baptism here in Tanquian! Mateo got baptized and well,  before there was a rule that the missionaries couldn't baptize but for October president said that we could :) so my comp baptized him! :D And this week we have another baptism! and I am going to get to baptize ! :) First time in my whole life! :) so cool! I will baptize Rubicel on Saturday :) Mateo is an older guy but is super great, he used to be a carpenter but lost two of his fingers in an accident (he is almost like Stavi;) ) and Rubicel is a young guy, he's 28. It is going to be super cool :)

In Tanquian there aren't a whole lot of members... like there were 13 on Sunday... and 4 were investigators... but it is definitely a small little town out in the middle of nowhere. The closest elders are an hour and a half away and that is also a little town, they are actually the other two missionaries in the district, the others in the zone are in a city called Valles, like an hour away from the other elders. 
 
This Sunday was rather interesting, my comp and I were the speakers in sacrament, my comp gave the second class and the guy that was presiding the meeting also blessed the sacrament and I passed it... and my comp and I also gave the last class, but to everyone, there wasn't any separating into classes or anything... so it was a little different but it's great :)

That's all I have time for right now for everyone but I love you all and will try to say more next week about Tanquian! :) it's pretty great here :) I love you all! BYE

-Elder Sampson

PS My return date was finalized today in the morning... I will be coming home the 21st!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Oct. 12th I Got Transfered

Bueno... Well I am out of the offices and into the real world! I am now... with Elder Juarez in a little town called Tanquian de Escobedo.  It is in San Luis Potosí (that is the state :) ) I don't have much time but... it seems like we get along pretty well because we had a 3 and a half hour bus ride and we talked pretty good the whole time :) 
He is from Puebla, he is the oldest of four kids, he likes basketball, wants to study physical therapy or business and broke his arm once when he fell of a horse when he was like 4 or 5 years old ;)

But anyways, he told me we have a baptism this weekend and next week! :) I am also District Leader again (I failed to mention that I was district leader the last three changes as well... :P) 
 
I will write more next week but for now... ain't nobody got time for dat! :) haha I love you all!  
Have an amazing week, remember... we are members of the true Church! :)  How great is that?!?!? :)

-Elder Sampson

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Oct. 10th New Baptismal Date

Well, This week was pretty good :) we were able to work more with the members and stuff like that be we still have struggled with finding new investigators but things have gone well with a few that we have like Ivan. Yesterday we had super divisions in the zone and I went with Elder Mercedes (he got here at the same time I did, but will go home a change later because he didn't have a change in the MTC, he is from the Dominican Republic) to visit Ivan. We got to the part of the Plan of Salvation that he had a lot of questions about we talked about the Spirit World and the Resurrection and the Kingdoms of Glory. It went really well and we put a new baptismal date with him because the other fell through because he didn't go to conference because his mom got sick. But it was cool because we asked him what he thought he should do to prepare himself to get baptized and he said that he should pray and read and keep listing to us and all that and it was a special experience, he only didn't mention church attendance but we mentioned it and he said he wanted to go this Sunday and he said "Voy a ir, es segurísimo!" and so... we are waiting for that :) it will be great :)

Well, this week I will probably have transfers so... if I write on Monday too don't freak out, because I will be back out in the field not in the office anymore so my pdays will be Mondays again.  I have liked being in the offices but it will be good to get back out for this last little bit.  They haven't said that it is for sure but... I am almost positive I will be leaving but if not that's fine too but we will know soon enough :)

I really enjoyed the conference! I decided to ponderize Jacob 6:11-12 because it is great! I like 12, sweet, simple and to the point.  Are you all ponderizing? haha it is a funny new word :) I felt like it talked a whole lot about faith in this conference and I loved it!  I liked how they explained how to receive more faith and how to utilize it in our lives :) I know that we are in the only true church that has leaders truly called of God to guide His church in these days. I know that the prophet and the apostles are who God has called to make His will known :) I am grateful to have the opportunity to hear from them and try to apply their counsels to my life :)

I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week!  BYE! :)

-Elder Sampson

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Oct. 3rd You Gotta Love Conference

HEY!!! Is everybody loving conference so far? I know I am :)   

Well just to talk a little about this week (I kinda am low on time) This week was better than the last, last week was pretty hard to be honest but things are looking a lot better this week  and right now is conference! :D but we did have a little more success with finding people and we put a baptismal date with Ivan! :) I don't know if I have talked about him... he is the son a less active but he is just barely living with his dad. I think his parents got separated when he was rather young and until now he has been with his mom (he is like 22 or something) and isn't a member. He has a lot of questions about the Plan of Salvation and is really interested in that stuff, he asks us when he has questions and makes comments so it shows that he is paying attention and wants to learn and he is going to go to priesthood session! We are going to pass by to pick him up :)

This week we had several training meetings and a leaders conference and Elder Naylor and I had to talk about the records and referrals to the new missionaries that are in their training and all the zone leaders. Then we got to go to the mission home for lunch and it was pretty sweet :)

We have still been struggling with finding new investigators but it is going a bit better :) something that is pretty great this week was that we got a referral from some other elders for a less active sister and her non-member husband :) They found them outside of the chapel in their area and the family asked when the meetings were so they could go on Sunday! :) So we went and met the sister and we are going to visit them on Monday! It will be great :)

But ya... I gotta get back to see the second session of conference! I love you all :)

-Elder Sampson

Saturday, September 19, 2015

September 19th We saw Ramon at the Temple!

Well... I kinda already wrote a little bit to everyone so this is going to be a little short because I don't have much time.

This week we have still been battling with finding new investigators and all that but we keep on working so it's all good :) 
 
We went to the temple on Tuesday, had a zone conference and a training meeting yesterday and it was great (well both experiences :) ), and also today we happened to be passing in front of the temple and... we ran into Ramon! The recent convert from Victoria! It was so awesome to see him! He came in a temple excursion to do baptisms! It was great to see him and talk to him for a bit :) He told me that he is now planning on serving a mission when he completes a year as a member! :) I was super excited to hear that because before he was kinda ify about it and didn't really want to... but he said that it is now his plan! It was great :) 
 
Also we had the re dedication of the temple and it was really special!  We got to hear from President Eyring and Elder Holland and some other speakers.  They were all really great :) but that's about all the time I've got so I am going to end it here but I love you all and... felicidades a Lauren... and Gavin too! :) It is really weird for me that whole her being married thing... haha :)

-Elder Sampson :)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

September 12th More to do in the office and Re dedicating the Mexico City Temple

Well... This week went quite well, not like the best of all time but good :) We had a few investigators in church but the worst part was... that Jorge didn't go... and his date fell through... we will have to wait until Oct. to baptize him... :'( pero... ni modo. He is still doing very well and is ready to progress and all that :) 
The struggle we have been having this week is finding new people to teach, the ones that we had are all kinda burning out and we need new ones, so we spend a lot of time looking for new people and all that but we haven't been able to find any with desires to progress but we are going to keep looking and try to get with the members to have more referrals and stuff like that, it is going to be good :)

Another interesting thing that happened this week is that my comp. and I are going to be assigned to the records as well! We are going to take the place of a senior couple that goes home soon that were in charge of the records so now we are going to have more to do here in the offices...  yesterday they were teaching some of the new stuff we have to do.  It will be good :)

Today there is going to be a cultural event that will be broadcast from Mexico City as a celebration of the re dedication of the Mexico City temple! So we can go to that broadcast and then tomorrow we don't have regular meetings, we just have to go to the re dedication and I am super excited! :) It is going to be cool :) and then next week we are going to the temple here again so it is the best!

This week we were talking to Ana (eternal investigator) about her marriage and divorce and all that and we set some goals for when she can get baptized! She should be able to get divorced in like 2 months and then get married and then baptized! But we probably won't visit her a whole lot because she can't progress until she gets that all figured out but we have the goal set and so we will be checking up on her so that it can all work out and she can get baptized soon!  
 
There is also another family where the parents aren't members because they can't get married and we visited them and we are going to do a fast with them to find the way to get the divorce all worked out. But those are just a few things that have been going on around here.

I have been reading in the old testament and I am at the part when Moses is preparing the house of Israel to go into the promised land and in that part it talks a lot about why God gives us commandments and what we get if we obey or disobey them. It is interesting because God is always saying (through his prophet Moses) that he wants to bless his people but he can't some times because they are aren't obeying the commandments but as I was reading that part it mentions over and over that God just wants to bless us, we just have to receive the blessings by striving to be obedient. A lot of people don't understand that but I am grateful for the Spirit and the Gospel and everything that the Lord has given me (and everyone) to help us understand that He truly is a LOVING Heavenly Father and he is waiting for every opportunity to pour blessings into our lives. I know He loves me and everyone else in this world and that has restored His Gospel to let us really know it :) Share it with everyone so they may know it too!! :)

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

-Elder Sampson 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

September 5th David got Baptized!!!!!!

Well... I am not going to say anything about my companion this week... I am just going to send a picture of him and you all have to guess what he is like just based on the picture of him, I know there will be some hard core judging going on but it will just be a little bit of fun ;) haha :) I can't wait to see what you all say about him... :) 
 
So... David did get baptized... YES!!!! A girl from the college he is going to spoke ( I don't remember her name) and also Hermano Torres (he's in the bishopric) and then at the end another friend from school gave his testimony and then David did too! It was good :) Afterwards we had the activity! and... well it was good but not a whole ton went considering that it was a stake activity but it was alright :) Everybody that went said they really liked it.  Oh, Roberto, David's friend was the person that baptized him and Elder Marsden confirmed him so it was pretty cool and all the missionaries in the zone sang a special number (the one about looking for rainbows after rain) 
Jorge went to the baptism and the activity and to church the next day so he is doing well :) This week was good, we are getting to know some more of the members in the area of the sisters and also some of their investigators.

My comp will also serve in the offices, I am now doing what my comp did and I taught my new comp what I did and so that's what's going down with all that.

Ya... so it seems like we won't be able to have 5 in September but we will definitely have one with Jorge with how things have been going with him :) So that's great!

An experience that we had yesterday was pretty interesting.... My comp was going through the teaching records of the sisters to find some more people to visit in the area of the sisters because we don't know very many people on that side of the ward and he wrote down a few addresses and the names of the people and we headed out to work. So we start looking for these people and we go to the house of someone named Laura... and we yell "Buenas tardes!" and someone asked, "who are you looking for?" "Laura Valles." So then a lady gets up from her seat (she was in her house but the door was open, they almost always just leave the door open because it is so hot all the time!) and she walks out and we see that she has a problem with her feet but she uses a crutch and can walk. We start talking to her and she says that she started going to another church because she really needed God and the sisters stopped going and she didn't know what to do... She told us that she had read the part of the book of Mormon that they left and had just been waiting for the sisters to come back and talk about it and all that... we felt really bad and explained why the sisters hadn't gone and she said we could go back and keep teaching her! She really has a lot of potential and has a desire to know God, especially in these moments of her life (because we always need Him, all the time) and so we are going to visit her on Tuesday and I hope we can help her to find God but in the true church and not just the closest place to her house... But I want to help her find the truth and help her be able to accept it :)
 
Sounds like a bunch of crazy stuff has been going on back there in Utah...
 
Well that's pretty much what's been going on these days.  I hope you can get everything ready for the big day!!!  That's so weird to think that in a little less than two weeks... Lauren is going to get married... and also it is pretty weird to think of all the things that have already happened in the family...  I feel like it will be rather different when I get home...

And also, if you could give Logan my email and tell him to email that would be great :)

Well, I love you all a bunch! Have a great week!! :)

-Elder Sampson



Saturday, August 29, 2015

August 29th David is going to get Baptized in 2 hours! Yay:)

YAAAAYYY! He's gonna get baptized! In like... 2 hours... crazy right? And then we have a stake activity that we planned...  it is going to be right after the baptism so that is what we are going to do all day, hang out in the stake center! :D haha it's alright... but I hope it turns out well... 
 
This week only David and another investigator came to church, the other investigator is an eternal investigator so we don't know if she will be getting baptized soon...   She has been going to church for like 5 years now and only hasn't gotten baptized because she isn't married to her boyfriend... but he finally asked her to marry him and only need the money to pay for the papers and she can get baptized! So maybe she will be able to in this upcoming month... who knows? but as of right now... it only seems like Jorge will be able to get baptized in Sept  He is still doing really well by the way, we thought we had kinda lost him but he has just been really busy with school and all that. but he is still really interested and wants to keep learning and get baptized! So we have hope for him! :)

Sounds like things are coming along in the back yard getting everything ready for the big day! :) Thanks for sharing that experience about going to the temple and all that, it is really such a great place :) It's the best! 
 
Well... we kinda have a lot of things to do so I am going to end this email and I will tell you about the activity and the baptism and all that next week and I will probably have some good pictures!

Oh and by the way... it seems like my comp is going to get transferred... but we were already expecting that, we just don't know where he will be going yet...

I love you all! Have a great week!

-Elder Sampson

Saturday, August 15, 2015

August 15th Pray for us that we'll get our 5 baptisms

So our week went pretty well.  It is kind of a good thing that they pulled the sisters out because it gives us a few more people to work with but it's now kinda hard to work out how we are going to cover the whole area because we had it all figured out before and now the house isn't in a very convenient location because it is pretty far away from some parts of the sisters' old area. And they aren't just going to replace the sisters at least in this change because right now in the mission, there aren't very many sisters... actually, something kinda interesting... there are only two American sisters in the mission right now... and one is actually from Argentina but has lived in Idaho for the last 9 years but ya... just one... and so with that in mind... there aren't very many other sisters either.... and actually less missionaries have been arriving to the mission.  Like... last change about 20 went home and... 7 got here... so it's a little crazy because we aren't as many as we used to be and that is kinda going to keep happening at least for a little bit...

The goal for my comp and I and each companionship is to have 5 baptisms at least in our zone, in September.   Other zones have other goals.   
 
David is doing very well, this week we taught him about the Gospel of Christ and the Word of Wisdom... He took it well but... wasn't so strong on the accepting the challenge of keeping it, he said he would try... but wouldn't give a firm yes so we are going to see what happens... he does have a date for the 29th and is pretty excited about it :) 
 
Jonathan didn't come to church... again... he had to work late and didn't get out of work until after church... (his schedule is pretty tough and then they ask him to stay longer!) but he has been reading and it is great :) we went to just check up on him and we talked about what he had read and a bunch of  other stuff and it was great to know that he is liking it and wants to keep reading and learn even more. 
 
We haven't really found any new prospects per se... but we did "inherit" some from the sister missionaries that are pretty good, like La Familia Duarte, they are a middle aged couple with two young kids, one is 8 and the other is 2. The husband had talked to the missionaries before, like a long time ago but told us that when he read the intro and the testimonies of the witnesses in that time, he got a super bad headache and had to stop reading and hasn't read it since... but we are going to get him to read again, they are a really great family and really want to get an answer from God about the truth. We talked about faith when we visited them and it was a really good experience :)

Things are going well with my comp, and we still talk a lot and it's good :)

A good experience from this week would be when we taught Larisa about the Restoration. She had already kinda heard it from the missionaries in her boyfriends ward but we explained it again and it was a really great experience :) I could feel the Spirit as we taught and testified of the first vision and when we taught her about the apostasy, later she said "now I get it! why you call it the true church, because it is the same church but had been lost and now we have it again" it was really great to see that the Spirit could teach her that important truth and confirm our words :)

That's about it for this week,  I love you all :) take care!

-Elder Sampson

Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 8th Goal for September...421 baptisms! Pray that we'll reach it:)

Hey! 

This week is going pretty well, but we just got an interesting tidbit... The ward we are in until... like an hour ago had 4 missionaries 2 sisters and my comp and I but... now... the sisters are going to be in a different area because of some health problems of one of the sisters and we now have the whole ward! It is a little strange... but anyways... we are going to see what happens :) 

We have a goal in the mission right now... we want to have 421 baptisms in the mission in September... and so the goal we have for our area is... 5! In September! and we are gonna do it! 
just... pray as much as you can so we will be able to do it :) We have a few people that we are preparing but we still need a few more to fulfill the goal so pray for us to find a couple more people that can get baptized in Sept. 

This last week David went to church again and is still excited and progressing quite nicely :) 
We taught him about the plan of Salvation this week and it went really well and we could really feel the Spirit when we taught and testified about the Atonement and he understood very well (even though the brother that accompanied us talked about a LOT of slightly unrelated topics) but it was good :) 
Also, something good that happened with Jonathan (he didn't go to church...) was that he had read a bunch of chapters in the BoM and also the pamphlet about the Word of Wisdom and understood most of it! :) (sometimes he doesn't understand completely what he reads... but this time he did :) ) and he was really excited to go to church! He has wanted to go for a while now but hasn't been able to, but he assured us that he will be there tomorrow! So that's good.  

Hmmm... other than that... there hasn't been anything all that crazy going on around here... just workin' in the offices and sweatin' it out in our area :) haha it's great! :) I now feel like 94° is like a normal temperature... a little on the warm side but... normal... maybe I've been in Mexico a little too long ;)

That's about all I've got for now :) I love you all a ton! Have a great week and family reunion!  Tell everyone "hola" for me ;)

-Elder Sampson

(looks like a blast! The family reunion that is :) )

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August 1st Love going to the Temple

Hey, it's August! (is that how it's spelled?)

Well, things have been pretty good around here, we have had a better week this week. The only people that went to church this last week were David and this girl named Alisia. Jonathan didn't go because they changed his shift on him and he had to go to work... and Jesus didn't go because he went fishing with his uncle or something like that. I think it wasn't just a pleasure trip, I think his uncle works in that or something... Things have gone pretty well with David. He asked my companion during priesthood meeting, "so in like a year, what would I be?" (he asked that as they were taking roll and he had asked my comp what all the names like deacon, teacher, etc. mean) so he seems be really interested :) and this week... we were able to visit Roberto twice and it is always great to go with him because he is progressing a lot as a new convert. He now has a calling to teach "los valientes in the primary :) it's gonna be great :) This week we talked with him about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon ( with all the recent converts we are supposed to review the 5 lessons from PMG) and so it was great to talk to him. He seems to have a really strong testimony and to be really happy with the Gospel. It's a little crazy because before he was an aethiest... :) he really likes having the book of Mormon and remembers pretty well the details of how it all went down in the times of Joseph Smith and all that.   We were there with him and just talked a little about how great the Book of Mormon is and what it really means for us and it was a rather spiritual experience :)

We had a lesson with Jonathan and we found out that he is the father of a little 5 month baby! That was a bit of a curve ball, he hadn't mentioned anything about that before... we knew that he had a girlfriend but... not that, it was a little bit of a surprise... and so we talked about the Law of Chastity! :) whew!!! que diversión!! haha he understood pretty well and said that he is going to live it from now on :) but ya, it was weird... and then we taught him about the Plan of Salvation.  

A really spiritual experience that I had today was when we went to the Temple! It was really great :) we were able to go today in the morning and I got the answers to several questions that I have had for a bit and it was awesome!  I love going to the Temple :) it is such a wonderful place of learning and inspiration :) It really strengthened my testimony of the scriptures and of the church and helped me understand many things a lot better.  I know that the Temple truly is the House of the Lord and that we can enjoy the blessings of them because of the Restoration and all the blessings it brings with it :)

Well that's I've got for now but things have been pretty great here :) I love you all! Thanks for your support and love :) Have a great week!

-Elder Sampson

Saturday, July 25, 2015

July 25th Keepin Busy in the Office

Hey!!

So how was the trip to Hawaii? Did y'all enjoy yourselves?  haha I am sure you did :) and that's the good part :) I am sure it was quite relaxing and enjoyable so that's fun.  
 
This week has been a little crazy and we haven't been able to get much stuff done in the area because we have been doing stuff with the changes and such. Before the secretaries of referrals and health didn't help that much with changes but they wanted us to so we did :) We helped set up "La Última Cena" for the missionaries that were heading out and then president invited us to stay and eat... so we did... and then we cleaned everything up.  That was Sunday evening.  
None of our investigators came to church with us... Jesús was moving and Jonathan had to work because they changed his schedule... and there was this other investigator that said she was going to go and we passed by her house and she didn't get up or something and didn't make it either... and then on Monday we were helping out with transfers and all that and spent the whole day here in the office... and then on Tuesday... we did work a little and then on Wednesday a little as well, on Thursday we didn't because we had planning and a conference and mission correlation with the WML and then yesterday we worked :) so it's been a little slow for all the things that have been going on... well not really,  but speaking about the work in the area sense it is...

So a good experience that we had yesterday with Jonathan and also another from this week with him. Yesterday we visited him and we were talking about what he had read in the Book of Mormon and he had a ton of questions... so we were just answering all of his questions for a bit but then we started teaching him about the Plan of Salvation and all that. And again, he had a ton of questions about all that. It was a cool experience because he had a ton of questions and we were able to answer all of them (well, almost all of them, some of them were kinda weird...) and it was something that makes me more grateful for having the fullness of the Gospel, because there are a lot of churches and people that don't have access to all the knowledge and insight that we have in the restored church and they have to live with those questions and doubts until they find the true church or... they die so... it's such a blessing to have the knowledge that we have here on this earth and I am grateful for it :) 
Also, we taught him earlier in the week and we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In this lesson we taught him about receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and Endure to the End and it was great when he totally understood the need of getting baptized spiritually as well as in the water and how it doesn't really have a point to get baptized if you don't receive the Spirit afterwards. He is still excited to get baptized as well because (well he didn't remember the date exactly) he asked when was the day we had invited him to get baptized so he could get work off that day,  haha it was great :) but anyways, he is doing pretty good.

Oh.. I lied... we did have an investigator at church... but we didn't know he was an investigator, well  we did but we thought he lived in a different area. So we were going to pass the reference to another area but then, the other day we are walkin' down the street and a motorcycle honks at us and pulls over. Turns out that it's David (the investigator that we thought was from another area) and so we start talking to him and he tells us that he was headed to institute with his friend, and that he stopped to talk to us because he wants us to teach him in the chapel and we start explaining that he has to go to the ward where he lives and that we would love to teach him an all that but then he says "that's not a problem, I have a house here too!" it's kinda weird with him because he lives all over the place! he lives with his mom, and his dad (they aren't together) and has an apartment when he goes to school and sometimes he lives with his brother... and it turns out that one of those is in the limits of the ward so... we can teach him! :)  he is going to get baptized! Well I am pretty sure he is, and it will be soon :)

But there you have it! That's all I've got for this week, catch ya' next time on weekly letters with Elder Sampson.
 
Thanks for checkin' in, all comments and suggestions are welcome and appreciated ;) (haha I don't know why but I just felt like ending it like that, Love y'all!!!! :) )

Saturday, July 18, 2015

July 18th Missionaries from your Church

Well, this week was alright, well a little slow to be honest but we made some goals in weekly planning to get things turned around. We have been struggling with finding new investigators and such so we are going to work on contacting more and also going with referrals that we have to be able to find the people who are looking for the truth :) 
 
We had an interesting experience a few weeks ago because it was how we met a family that we invited on Friday (yesterday) to get baptized in August. So one day, we were walking down the street with the one recent convert we have in our area and we had just gotten out of a lesson and we were going to the next one, but all the plans that we had... fell through... so we didn't know what to do in that moment but then I saw my companion start walking up to a house where a lady there had motioned for him to come over.  So he gets to the house (the convert and I follow behind him a little) and she asks my comp if we can give a blessing to a little baby. We say that we can and we walk into the house. Then we start to talk to them a little and find out that they aren't members... What happened is that when we were walking past she was talking on the phone with her daughter that lives in California or something and the daughter is a member. The lady mentioned to her daughter that some of the missionaries from her church were walking past so the daughter told her mom to go out and ask us for a blessing. The granddaughter of the lady (the niece of the member in Cali) was only 2 weeks old and was really fussy all the time so they wanted to have a blessing. So we give the baby a blessing and we put another appointment and we leave. Yesterday we went back and taught them about baptism and we invited them to get baptized and they accepted! I kinda doubted they would to be honest because they don't really talk all that much when we are there and they have a GIANT picture of the virgin Guadalupe on their wall, but they surprised me with their openness and all that so it was great! :)

A little about Jonathan, he didn't go to church because they changed his work schedule but he still really wants to go :) 
 
Jesus is coming along little by little, but he is now reading more and stuff like that so it's good :)

Answers to questions from mom:

I do like our mission president.   He's great!   He is funny :) I haven't really seen much of his family, I only saw his kids once and his wife twice so I think they are usually pretty busy with life.

I will probably be here for 3 months more, the leaders and secretaries are normal in for 3 changes. Maybe president will change that later on but as for now it will probably be like that but we will see. I will be with my comp for this next change as well because he got here one before me, but then he will probably go, and I will be with someone for a change and then probably get transferred. The APs do pretty much all the stuff with the changes so it won't really affect me much.

President doesn't really speak much English... I haven't ever talked to him in English or heard him talk in English and he says he doesn't know much.

But anyways, that's a little about this week!  I love you all :)

-Elder Sampson :)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

July 11th I'm Serving in the Office

Hey!

So... the secret is out... I'm in the office... haha :) um... well what I do is... help all the other secretaries! and some other stuff. I have to fill out medical reimbursements, I have to send an insurance claim to the company that the church has to pay for medications and stuff like that so I just have to check the medications they have taken and then send that to the people and then they send money to the mission :) cool right? :D and now... I might start taking the calls from sick missionaries to tell them what to do or things like that, Sister Jordan used to do that but now Sister Ramirez has other responsibilities so maybe that will be my job or maybe they will find someone else, but ya, that's basically my job but I also go with other missionaries or secretaries if they have an errand to run and their companion is busy with something and random things like that.  And my companion is the referral secretary so he has to manage the referrals that the mission receives like from other missions or when missionaries here in the mission have a referral for a different area, they give it to us and we put it into the system (I actually have helped with that a bit) and so ya, that's what we do here :) We are part-time secretaries so we work everyday in the afternoon, so in the morning we work in the office or we have a meeting or weekly planning and then we go to lunch and then we work in our area.  I am enjoying it :) we get to interact more with other elders and stuff so that is fun and to be honest, the mornings here out in the field are always kinda dead so it is nice to avoid a little bit of that time and do something productive and then get to working in the field after that.  It's and interesting change of pace :) We don't live with the other office elders we live in our area.

So now a little bit about our area, we found a really great investigator this week!  Well I think we talked to him last week but then we went and visited him this week and it was really great :) I haven't mentioned Jonathan already have I? He is really great :) He is 18 and really into learning about God and the Gospel. He is really willing to search for himself and find the answer :) He read the pamphlet about the restoration and the one about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He now has a book of Mormon and is excited to read it!  Èl es bombero (firefighter)!!!! que padre no? :) so that means he has time to read when the sit around the station while nothing too exciting is happening (like taking care of wasp nests, crocodile wrangling ;) ) haha we asked him about what he does and it seems pretty fun :) He just started there and still isn't like a full time bombero but he has to go all the time, he spends 24 hours there and then has a 24 hour break... isn't that exciting? So on the down time they can do whatever they want like read, watch tv, sleep, whatever, so he is going to read a lot... :) I hope and I really think he will :) He totally invited himself to church, they were talking about his schedule and when he talked about Sunday he just threw in the phrase "and Sunday I'm going to church" and he was talking about the LDS church... so that was great :) and so ya, that's a bit about Jonathan.

And with Jesus, well he hadn't read yesterday when we visited him so we read with him and then the JAS (Young Single Adult) that accompanied us invited him to go to institute with them and they got him excited about it so I hope he goes and then there could be some serious fellow shipping going on and it would be great :) He was actually going to go to a jam session with one of the youth in the ward but he had to go to a photo shoot and couldn't make it... but things are going good with him, he said that he likes going to church and when he is there it seems like the time goes by super fast so I think that is a good sign :)

So that is a little about what has been going on this week and a little about the office, I only have one picture of the office right now, it's a picture of the secretaries of the mission, one is the financial sec. and the other (the bigger one) is President's Sec.
 
 Les amo mucho :) quídense!!!!

-Elder Sampson :)

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6th We Have a New President!

Question... Where did June go? it was here just a second ago...

Does time go by really fast for anyone else? for me it does...

A little about this week, Jesus is doing good. He has been reading a little more in the BOM and went to church again :) We straightened him out a little but maybe not all the way but we are working on that and it is improving so that's good.  We started teaching him about the plan of Salvation this week and he has a ton of questions... that's fine it just is a little hard sometimes because he asks about whatever... The questions he asks do have to do with the plan but sometimes he just wants to go really far out of the order so it gets a little confusing but it's all good :) He is doing well but maybe he could progress a little faster. 
 
Some of the other investigators we have.... Well, I don't know if I commented about Salvador and Adela... they are an older couple we found one day and they are pretty willing to listen to us. An interesting/sad experience that we had with them this week... well I am going to explain the whole thing. So we went to visit them on.... Thursday (I believe....) and when we got there Salvador was in pretty bad shape... he was just lying on the bed and hadn't gotten up all day because his legs and feet hurt really bad (he has diabetes BTW) and so we told them that we could give him a blessing. They were super excited to hear that and were more than willing to let us in and give it to him. Obviously it was a good experience to give him the blessing and we could see the faith and hope that they had. They were so sure that everything was going to be OK after we gave him the blessing it was special and strengthening to see, but then we started talking about their day and what was going on and we found out that they hadn't eaten anything.... all day, and it was like 7:30 at night... so my companion after hearing this was like... We need to buy them some food! So we bought some bread and ham and cheese and we took it to them because they really don't have money (Salvador is blind, they are both old and Adela is always taking care of Salvador) so they were super grateful and all that and we felt good right? Then we have to leave because it is getting pretty late so we say goodbye and we walk out and then Adela asks us, "so how do we get to the church?" and we tell them that we will get a ride set up for them because she didn't know where it was and Salvador is blind... So we go to a recent convert's house and we had a lesson with him and it was great, (his name is Roberto and he got baptized like 4 weeks ago) then afterwards I realize he has a car and that he could give them a ride to the church!  light bulb... :) and so we ask him and of course he says "of course" so perfect.. all set up :) We get to church on Sunday and BOOM! THEY WERE THERE!!! it was great to see them and it happened to be fast and testimony meeting and Salvador wanted to share his testimony, so he did :) but then the sad part... when we were heading to the Gospel Principles class... Salvador was walking with my comp and he told my comp. "consíguenos una despensa" which is basically, "get us some money for food" and my companion was upset... because now he felt like they only went to church because we gave them food and that now they think the church is just going to give them money and they aren't going to go with real interest in the gospel... so my comp was kinda divided... because he felt so bad for them that they were basically starving but now he feels like he has ruined the process of their conversion... if that makes sense to you guys... but anyways... we don't know if they went because they want to grow closer to God or just to get welfare... obviously they need it but it is like...something that can get in the way... I don't know... but ya... that is what happened with them this week :)

About Tomas, well we had an appointment with him but he wasn't there so we don't know what's going on with him...

We got to meet President and Sister Ramirez on Friday! it was good :) They are great and kinda young... they have 3 daughters one is 18 the other 16 and the other 12 and then they have a 3 year-old son.... how crazy is that?  Well we met them in a big meeting with a few zones but today I was able to talk to him a little bit more because I was in a meeting with him for like 2 and a half hours.... he is pretty great and his wife too.   I kinda hadn't mentioned that I am an office elder right now... I am the Health Secretary! haha surprise! I have been that the whole change but I hadn't really said anything about it (as you may have noticed) but ya, we had a meeting with him and we talked about how things are going to work in the mission :) but, just a side note... my P-days are now going to be on Saturday! Just a heads up :)

Umm... It is sad that two apostles have died recently... I did hear about Elder Packer... it was sad... but it is kinda the same thing as with grandma, he was suffering a lot it looked like and I am sure that he is very happy to be on the other side :) I just want to know who the new Apostles are going to be! we only have 10 in the Quorum right now... It is going to be interesting to see who's next :)

Anyways... this has been kinda long... I hope you enjoy it :) I love you all! BYE!

-Elder Sampson

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 30th New Mission President Tomorrow!

WOW! It is sooooo weird, tomorrow we are going to have a new president! it's crazy... I sure am going to miss President and Sister Jordan.... they are the best :) I think they are great!  Sister Jordan is pretty funny :) We always just talk about random stuff with her and well she always tells some crazy stories from the mission... it's great :) and President is really great too. He always can help me with any problem I have and is always super patient with everybody, they are the best! I am sad they are leaving... but I am also excited to have a new President! But it's going to be really weird at first...

Anyways, today we went to the Temple!!!! It was super awesome!! I love going to the temple, it is like the best place on the whole planet! (and I don't need to go to all the places in the planet to know that ;) ) I love the peace and tranquility that I feel just being inside and all the things that I have learned just for the spirit that can be felt in that special place. I am so greatful for the opportunity I have had to go and experience such wonderful things and I know that the temples truely are Houses of God and that His Spirit dwells there and wants to teach us and help us understand the love He has for us :)

This week was a good one I would say, we had more lessons with members present than in past weeks and we were able to get Jesus to come to church again.  
 
This week our zone leaders gave us a challenge to give away Books of Mormon! We had to carry a BoM in hand each day and give it to someone and if one day we didn't give it away, the next day we would have to carry the one from the day before AND the other one for that new day so if you didn't give one away you would have to give two the next day! It was a little crazy... but it's all good, I have had some cool experiences with giving it away more and it also helps us to find new investigators! A win win :) 
Like... This week (yesterday) we went to the house of a contact we did once and we found his dad there so we started talking to his dad and we just taught him about the BoM and he was really interested. We gave him one and he wanted to read it and we invited him to get baptized and he accepted! It was great! His name  is Tomás! He is an older guy and is a carpenter. We hope he will progress because he seemed really excited to read.

Jesus... he's doing fine.  The biggest thing right now is that we have to change how he sees us because he sees us more as friends than missionaries so we are going to have to help him change his point of view towards us. Like... he sees us as friends, then missionaries instead of missionaries then friends... I hope that makes sense... but ya, right now those are the biggest things with him right now. He did go to church but only because we go by to wake him up... well he would go if he was already up, but he never is... so we have to try his faith a little...

But ya, that's a bit about this week :)  But, mom to answer some of your questions: It is a nicer area, it's in the city, kinda near downtown so it's not really poor or anything, there are some big stores all around our area but in our's there is only a store called Chedrauí which is rather large and has many
American products. By our area there are some big stores like Walmart, Office depot, and others so it is pretty nice I would say. 
My comp and I get along quite well and I (that's right, me) am always talking to him... like... I don't know, with him I am a talkative person and we talk about whatever so it's great. We joke around a lot and so it's fun :) We were talking on Sunday about what we can do to help the area and to improve as missionaries so we are going to make it a great week :)

Anyways.... I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week! BYE!

-Elder Sampson

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22nd 4 Investigators at Church!

Hola! como están? :)

Bueno... esta semana fue buena! Pues por lo de la asistencia a la iglesia! :) Tuvimos 4!!! Oh right, We had 4 investigators at church! :) Jesus went! we had to go to his house and wake him up because he didn't go to bed until 3 in the morning! But he went and it was great.  Also, Alicia went to church, she lives with a member family and has listened to the missionaries before and all that but she doesn't always go to church and she had a while that she hadn't gone, but she went! And then the parents of some members that still can't get baptized because they aren't married because one of them still needs to get a divorce...  and it was good :)  
 
Crazy story... it was stake conference and they broadcasted the conference to the chapel from the stake center and... well I don't know why but one member thought the bishop wanted us to be separated into men and women and so every time someone got there, he told the men to go to one side and women to the other... it was weird... and nobody argued with him because the conference had already started when most of the people got there... :/ but ya, we had a segregated conference and we asked the bishop why he did that and he said that he never told anyone to do that and that he thought that everybody just decided to do that... it was super weird... but whatever, it was funny because the member that thought it should be like that (I think he might just be a little crazy... ;)  but yes, we did feel good about the fact that 4 went with us and I think they enjoyed it :)

With Jesus, things are going well, we had a lesson with him one day and his dad showed up and was kinda... drunk and he started going on about stories that he "knows" from the Bible and then he would ask us a question and the answer we would give always seemed to be quite delightful to him and that it supposedly supported his view on things and that we were proving ourselves wrong... it was rather interesting... but it was funny because he would always say "Tu lo has dicho!!!!"! so... ya, interesting experince haha :) 
 
Something else that happened was when a family called us one day and asked if we could pass by the house because they needed a favor and they didn't tell us what it was... so we got there and the husband was kinda waiting for us in the window I think and then his wife walks in and starts calling to her 20 year-old daughter to come downstairs because there was something that she had to tell us about... I kinda thought it was weird... 2 missionaries in a members house wanting their daughter that's twenty to talk with them... but anyways she gets downstairs and the mom starts telling us that she has a huge favor to ask us... and it has to do with her daughter... weird... and then they start talking about their daughter's love life.... and that they want the missionaries to ..... teach her boyfriend because he isn't a member but that they had put a goal (the daughter and her boyfriend) to get married in the temple in some future date. that's cool! So we agreed to teach the boyfriend and then pass the referral to the mission where he lives. So... yesterday we taught the boyfriend, Gamaliel the first half of lesson one and it was a pretty good lesson.  I am sure he felt the spirit and was able to recognize it at least a little.  I feel like he is going to be a great investigator and that he will get baptized soon :) it was a good experience and I hope something good comes out of it. 

Anyways... those are some of the experiences we had this week teaching :) I hope you all have an amazing week. I love y'all! bye! :)

love,
-Elder Sampson