Thursday, June 8, 2017

Week 70 - Calgary

 
Una sorpresa :P
 
Oh my gosh this week was so awesome. Alright so here is the surprise :D so when I got here Elder Tate and Elder Williams found this guy at some wedding with a bunch of Colombian people and his name is Gary. He is 54 and Canadian and never has been married and has had a rough life. So they met him there and were wondering why this guy who can't hardly speak Spanish is at this wedding and turns out Gary is dating this less active member Norma Rodriguez. So they started to visit them and teach Gary and Hermana Rodriguez. What's crazy is that Gary doesn't speak hardly any Spanish and Hermana Rodriguez can speak some English but it's not the best so I don't understand exactly how they communicate a lot and it's always funny to find couples like that. It's so funny to me. So I get here and Elder Williams said that President Miles said that we need to pass Gary off to the English Elders so he can go to an English Ward but somehow they were never able to so they had just kept on teaching him and Gary has come to the Spanish Ward this whole time with Hermana Rodriguez so in our interviews with President like 2 weeks ago I asked what should we do after I explained him everything and he said we could continue teaching him because we put him on a baptismal date. So Gary has really been so receptive to the restoration of the gospel and to read the Book of Mormon and pray. He even read things that we didn't invite him to read and that's always a huge sign that they actually are searching and will most likely be baptized. Then he just accepts all the commandments and loves like everything we do as a church and really wants to change his life and come unto Christ. Ah it's really the most satisfying feeling and happiest feeling ever to see someone accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and live it and see them start to feel the Spirit and really change. Here's the surprise. We baptized him on Friday!!! Elder Williams did it and it was the coolest experience ever.
 
So this past week we walked in to our friend's house and he and his wife were arguing about stupid things and it was hilarious because they didn't even understand each other completely so we helped them out. I think it was just because they got back late from going to Canmore and there was a ton of traffic but anyways I shared the Moroni 7:45-48 all about charity which is the pure love of Christ and that we should pray with all energy of heart for it because without it we are nothing and that calmed down Norma and brought the Spirit then Elder Williams pulls out Isaiah 53:3-9 and testifies of the Atonement and the Spirit really filled the room and afterwards Gary apologized and stood up and gave us a each a hug and then Elder Williams gave Gary a priesthood blessing to prepare for his baptism because he said he felt that Satan was really trying to get him to join Christ church and then I gave Norma a blessing because she said she had been stressed out. Afterwards everything felt so much better, the complete opposite of when we first walked in. It was so cool and a huge testimony builder to me on how the Holy Ghost can dwell in a home if we love each other like Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father loves us and chose to have charity and forgive others. So yeah and then this past Friday Gary was baptized and Elder Williams said they said a prayer just before the ordinance and just after the ordinance together and it was super sweet. Then yesterday I was able to confirm him a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and give him the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was super awesome. I'm so excited for him. Man I am loving my mission so much. There has been so many things I have learned that will be such a help to me for the rest of my life. I am kind of running out of time already but I just want to say that there's nothing better than serving the Lord and really working hard and working through the hard things in your way. You can always overcome everything through Jesus Christ. And what I mean by that is that we have a ton of tools to help us, we have prayer, we have the scriptures, we have our loved ones, we have commandments, we have the Atonement of Jesus Christ which makes it all possible. Alright I love yall tons and hope yall start enjoying yalls summer!!! Cant believe its my 2nd summer here haha Im loving it. Oh and big change, our pdays will now always be on Tuesdays! Because theres a lot of holidays on Mondays. Que tengan una linda semana!! 
 
 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Week 66 - Calgary


La mejor transferencia de mi mission
 
How is it May!?! My mission is going by too fast haha. And this Saturday Mason and Allie get married and sealed!!!!! AHHHH! I cant wait to see pics of it all! I am just mind blown haha and dont really know how to describe all that I am feeling now. Just super beyond happy for yall Mason and Allie. So I don't have time at all to write because Elder Ibanez lost his wallet but its all good, it was a fun morning haha. And then we have our zone pday at this nice lake park because the weather is finally nice again which is funny because it snowed like 5 days ago but that is just how Calgary is. But anyways I really just want y'all to know that this has probably been the best transfer of my mission. We literally have found more than 3 investigators every single week and have had so many crazy miracles happen and it just feels sooo awesome when you see people progress and have a ton of work to do. I have mentioned before that you still feel awesome and successful when you are obedient and working hard like it says it preach my gospel that no effort is wasted and about 2 transfers ago there wasn't much work so I relied on that quote no effort is wasted which is good but I have to admit it is soooo nice to have a ton of work and see progress in investigators right before your eyes. I think I think I can say this is the best I have ever felt in my life. I feel like I am growing so much everyday and closer to the Savior everyday and learning so much of how key it is to live the gospel in order to be truly happy and to overcome all the hard things we have to deal with in life. And to just stick to living the gospel when those hard times come because if you don't you will end up falling and there is so much sadness that come from that. I have about 4 incredible stories to share that just happened this week but honestly don't have time to write them all in good detail. I will be sure to tell you them all when we skype in like 2 weeks(that blows my mind I am super excited for it) but yeah I am having the time of my life right now on my mission and really love the language Spanish so much. I will never forget opening my call and when I read "you will be preaching the gospel in the Spanish language." Makes me sooo happy and well now its time to send y'all a ton of pics and I was able to give Felix his presents that y'all sent up with the Easter package. He LOVED the Texas shirt haha and wore the shirt and tie to church yesterday and received the Aaronic Priesthood!! He is the best!! 
 
 

Calgary Temple






 
 

Week 65 - Calgary

 
¡Oh, está todo bien!
 
Alright I cant believe I am here again writing but I am haha and I have been out 15 months and people are saying I am getting close to going home and I am like NOOOO noo no I'm not, I am not even close and then the other missionaries say but you're the oldest in the Spanish program! And I'm like what the heck I still feel new. Its crazy. But anyways its all good. This week was super awesome. We had some incredible lessons and actually this has been the best transfer of my mission for the amount of people we are working with and like every single week we have found at least 2 new investigators and we are always super busy so the work here is crazy good right now. It has been so satisfying to see the work here rise to a higher level because Elder Ibanez and I are praying more and working harder and being obedient and really trying our best to rely on the Spirit in everything we do. It just feels good when you know you are doing your best and when you go to bed you just fall on your knees and pray and thank God for everything. When you are obedient and really living the gospel there are so many miracles you see every day and so many new things you learn literally every day about other people and how the gospel works and how the Spirit works and the light of Christ works. This week we had a lesson with Sean all about the light of Christ and how we receive revelation personally. It was one of the coolest lessons on my mission. We shared a video about light and truth and how God is filled with light and truth like it says in Doctrine and Covenants 84 and 88 I think. And then we talked about what we read in the bible dictionary on what the light of Christ is and then each of us shared and tried our best to explain how the light of Christ is for us because Sean didn't understand it at all. Then I shared my experience of getting super sick with the West Nile virus and getting depressed and having anxiety and how that affected the light of Christ I could see in people and since I wasn't ever reading the scriptures or praying or going to church so I felt like I had lost all life and light in me. And that the only real light I really felt was from my mom and if it weren't for her I really wouldn't be here. The whole time Sean was writing notes and after I explained how I got better by finding the right therapist and really studying and praying about the Book of Mormon I asked him if he understood the light of Christ and he just sat there and pondered and said he would have to ponder about every thing we had said. Then I said it is pretty much impossible for me or for any of us to explain it because it is so personally and then he said oh yeah I get it and then he started to make a lot of connections with notes he has taken in the past and it was sooo awesome! Like I could start to see him develop faith in Christ because he really has that desire to learn and apply it. He is definitely progressing. Gosh this is just one miracle of the like 5 that happened this week but I don't have time to write them all. All I have to say is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and that it was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and the only way you can know if it is if you really study and pray about the Book of Mormon and actually live the gospel and see the crazy change that will happen in you. You will be happy. Well I just realized that Mason and Allie are about to be married and that summer is coming for y'all (because its kind of snowing here right now haha) AHHH it just makes me super happy that all is well down there in Nacogdoches. And thank you so much for the Easter package!! I love the Texas shirts. Well I gotta get to sending pics now! LOVE YALL :
 





 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Week 64 - Calgary

 
Feliz Pascuas :))
 
Alright so I will write this email super fast because yesterday we went to Kananaskis! I have a ton of pics so I hope yall see how much fun it was. Although I did have 2 rolled ankles. So 2 weeks ago on pday I rolled my right ankle playing gatorball and then last pday I rolled my left ankle playing basketball. Then yesterday I decided to go ahead and hike and it was pretty painful but was it worth it? Yes haha. Gosh I love Canada so much especially these hikes I have been able to do over my mission with other missionaries and members and sometimes investigators. Its incredible. So I will just list off some of the things we did this week. We had interviews with President Miles and those are always super cool because he always gets us pumped up and feel better about ourselves and shares amazing stories. The main thing that stuck with me from his interview with me was that he told me to ask myself how does Heavenly Father really look at me and see me as a person and then pray about that question and Heavenly Father will answer. So I invite yall to do the same, ask yourself how you think Heavenly Father sees you and then actually ask Him in prayer how He sees you. You will probably see that you are way too hard on yourself and realize how much Heavenly Father really loves you and sees what you can become. Its super cool. Also this week we had another lesson with Sean, he is a Jew and has been investigating the church for 9 years now. Every lesson we have had with has been so crazy and awesome. Its like the only time on my mission that I have taught in English too because its the Sisters investigator but Sean rally likes me and Elder Ibanez so haha. Anyways we just talked about the Book of Mormon chapters 15-19 of 2 Nephi with him (yes those Isaiah chapters) and learning from what we read from one another was super cool. I definitely felt the Spirit and Sean made some cool connections with it and finally he said that he feels like he his 40% there in believing in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. That was amazing. I can definitely testify that the Book of Mormons objective is to testify of Jesus Christ as a our Savior. Also this week we had a lesson with Felix and Hermano Pavon came with us and we focused on temples and the priesthood. It was super cool and I can see that Felix is already gaining a testimony of temples and the importance of them. Its crazy how fast he is progressing. He should be getting the Aaronic Priesthood this Sunday and then we will set up going to the temple with him. I am super excited for him. Also easter Sunday was amazing. We had 4 new investigators to church! I dont have time to write about it though. Just know that God answers your prayers, every single one of them. Its really crazy how fast time is flying by. I already have to send pics again! And in 2 days I will just have 9 months left of my mission.. WHAT!? I cant think about it haha. And Mason and Allie are getting married in like 17 in the Houston Temple! AHHHHH!!!! So awesome and I wish yall could have seen my reaction when I opened up the wedding invitation. Sooo happy for you Mason and Allie. I was going nuts when I opened it haha. And also like a week later it will be Mothers Day :O blows my mind. I love each of yall and am happy all is well is Nacogdoches :)
 


Mission Desk (mom said this was never the case at home)


 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Week 63 - Calgary


Una de las mejeros semanas de mi mission

We baptized Felix!!! It was so incredible and the journey was so fast! Also I gotta write this email fast because we got to the library kind of late. Gosh I have so many stories to write that happened this week but no time, oh well I will just write about "el hombre del ano" Felix haha. So last Wednesday we had a lesson set up with Felix at 5:30pm and we got Hermano Ruiz to come with us but then something came up and he couldn't and so we knew we had to get a member there so we start calling and texting everyone throughout the day and literally everyone could not go. Also we had 2 other lessons set up with Carmen and Jorge and then la familia Palma. And we also were doing service at the food bank so it was a super crazy day. Then while we were working in the food bank Carmen and Jorge cancel so then that frees us up for 7:30pm. So then we ask Felix if we can do it at 7:30 and he says yes and we ask everyone again and turns out everyone still cant go at 7:30pm haha and then it gets to be like 6:30pm and we try calling Hermano Colorado again and we know that he is only free on Sundays but we were praying for a miracle because he is like the perfect "preach my gospel missionary," so then he texts us and there's a whole lot of other details but I dont have time to write it all but just know that it was crazy setting all this up and we ended up with the perfect amount of time to visit Felix with Hermano Colorado who is like the best member present to have. Then we start to teaching the lesson and it was one of the coolest lessons I have taught on my mission. We taught the commandments, the law of chastity, the word of wisdom, and tithing. We started with chastity and it went perfectly and Felix said some awesome things and is just all for it and then we do the word of wisdom and he said he drinks a lot of tea but he said "yeah i mean I can give that up though, it wont be the end of the world," and Elder Ibanez and I and even Hermano Colorado we are all just like smiling at each other and shocked and we explain a little bit more why we have the word of wisdom. And then we get to tithing and we finally hit it. The one thing that really caused him to struggle and not agree with. I don't have time to explain all the details but we spent like 30 mins talking about it and bearing testimony and Hermano Colorado finished it by sharing Eter 12:27 which is one of my favorite scriptures and I know that its your favorite mom:) and Hermano Colorado laid it out so perfectly and that scripture and promise he received from us that if we humble ourselves and put our trust in God then God will take care of all of our needs spiritually and physically and he will make us strong. It was amazing. There's so many other crazy details but now I wanna finish talking about the baptism yesterday. It was probably the most relaxed and peaceful time of my life. I felt the Spirit so much and Felix is a pretty chill guy and loves to play sports like me and it was just so cool to help him along with getting baptized. Then Elder Ibanez gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost and its just like living a dream being able to see someone be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Watching someone really give up their sins and accept the gospel and see how happy they are when they do. Its the sweetest joy ever. Now I am really looking forward to working with him some more along with the members and progressing to the temple and so on. He has so much faith. With all the other investigators we have and the ones I have taught and also the less actives and even some members who struggle, I have learned that all of our problems can be solved through faith in Jesus Christ, His atonement and His gospel. We just have to accept it and live it. I know that sometimes it may seem hard to live the gospel but trust me its not as hard as it was for the Savior. We cant even compare it to the Savior. So we should put our faith in Him and let him make our burden light in everything in our life. Matthew 11:28-30. Ether 12:27. Come unto Him is His invitation. I can promise you that at first coming unto Him may be hard but the joy comes so fast. God is so merciful and so forgiving and more than anything, loving. He wants you to develop faith in Him and really learn it. That's why its not easy but anything easy in life really isnt rewarding but living the gospel is the most rewarding thing ever because God just pours blessings on you. Its so awesome and I am so grateful to be able to live the gospel. Well that's all I got for this week and got some awesome pics to send! Espero que las gusten! I LOVE YALL
 
 
Great Friend Felix being baptized!

 

Come, come, ye saints....





 

 
 
 
 
 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 62 - Calgary

 
Una semana llena!
 
Paa - I dont even know where to start this week has been soooo incredible and full and its been one of the best on my mission. I have a ton of pics to send too and not a lot of time to write so this email will be all over the place. So I am now with my boy Elder Ibanez again and last Tuesday I said goodbye to Sorvari. Its crazy how fast they leave. We drop him off at the mission home and President and Sister Miles greet them and then we give hugs and then President says "alright time to go! and you Elders and Sisters, lets go baptize someone!!" And then we are off haha. Made me just a little home sick watching him leave but then when I got Elder Ibanez and we started working, I am back to knowing that serving a mission is the best thing and most fun thing you can do in the world. Like this past Wednesday we taught Felix the gospel of Jesus Christ and talked about his baptism and it really just blows my mind at how much he is prepared to receive it. So we talked about his baptismal date and he said he would let us know if April 9th worked because it was orginally set for this Wednesday April 5th but we still have to teach him a little bit more and have the baptismal interview. Then he sends us a text and lets us know that April 9th works! The whole process has just been incredible watching him prepare for baptism by reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and coming to church and learning. Its so simple but so amazing when people actually do it and then you see them experience the joy of living the gospel and feeling the Holy Ghost. Nothing better than that. Well maybe general conference was haha all things in the gospel are the greatest because they all work together and are one in Christ. So we were able to watch the first session with President and Sister Miles with a lot of other missionaries then the second session with the Pompas and the Pavons and after we celebrated Elder Ibanez birthday and had the the best cake ever "tres leches." Then we watched the priesthood session with Felix and then yesterday we watched the Sunday morning session with la familia Palma and then ended conference by watching the last session with Sean. I wish I could take time to tell you all the details of watching each one with all these people because each one was so different and incredible. Watching conference as missionaries and knowing that they have left their families too to serve full time and then watching with 2 strong and faithful families in the church and feeling at home and then watching with a family that has just lost a mother and feeling their love and kindness for us and feel their desire to listen to us and the prophets and learn then watching with an investigator who has been investigating for 9 years now and just struggles with feeling the Spirit and making the decision to be baptized. All of it, I have had so many experiences and thoughts this past week and it really has all strengthened my testimony of our Heavenly Father and of His Son Jesus Christ and of the Holy Ghost and how They care for us and love us and are mindful of us and just how They work. And because of this I have a much bigger desire to be obedient and have more faith and really show my love for Heavenly Father by serving my mission with real intent and helping His children come unto Christ by living His restored gospel. I really am so happy to be able to live the gospel and I can testify that if we choose to live it and share it with others we will receive so many blessings from Heavenly Father beyond belief. Well I gotta get to sending pics now! I have a ton :) espero que las disfruten y que tengan una linda semana!!
 
My awesome Spanish Language District

Posing

Happy Birthday Elder Ibenez


...it didn't make it over :(

Volleyball night fun

Awesome Sisters

Dinner with the missionaries

Great visit by Pres. and Sister Miles
 
 
 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Week 59 - Calgary


Pues yo he estado en Calgary por un ano y en el mismo area!! jaja

Alright so this week I realized that I have already been in Calgary for a year and I am still in the same area haha. I have loved it so much and am still loving it though. So I don't have a ton of time because Elder Sorvari and I went shopping because he is going home on the 28th of this month. That blows my mind because when he came here with me he still had 4 months left. Time just keeps going faster and faster. Alright so here we go. This week we were able to make arepas with Carmen, Jorge, Luis, and Omaira and have dinner with them. Let me just tell you that arepas are amaazing! They eat arepas in Colombia and Venezuela and then you put some ceviche in it, oh my gosh soooo goood. Ceviche is peruvian I think. Anyways it was super fun and nice and then after we decided to just read the Book of Mormon with them because they still are not reading on their own. We read the book of Enos in the Book of Mormon and talked a lot about faith in Christ and what is it and how to develop more faith in Christ by doing all that the Lord wants us to actually do. It was a super good lesson and we committed them to come to church once again but we have like 4 times and then don't show up. But stay tuned, then the next day we have our first lesson with Felix and it was a perfect restauracion lesson. We really got to know him and he is catholic but does not practice too much anymore. So we teach him all of it and as we are going through he actually asked a lot of good questions that were super easy to answer. Then at the end when we explain how we know that the restuaracion is real and that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restuaracion (I forgot how to spell it in english wow, spelling in spanish is so much easier)  is by the Book of Mormon and everything, he told us that when he was our age he was super faithful in the catholic church and super into it but then once he started to really look deeply into the church and study it and then he got divorced he said that good feeling went away and now is searching for the truth and wants to see if being a mormon will be good for him, he actually said that! So awesome and we promised him as he lives the gospel and prays about the Book of Mormon he will feel the Holy Ghost again and much more powerfully and it will give him so much peace ad joy in his life. Then we all kneeled and prayed about the Book of Mormon, I said the first prayer to give him an example of how to pray and then he did it. It was so cool!!! I definitely felt the Spirit and know that if Felix does what God wants him to do then he will receive that answer to his prayer that the Book of Mormon is true and the gospel has been restored. So excited for him and then on Saturday night we had a meeting with our ward mission leader and started a special fast for all of our investigators to help them progress closer to Christ and have the Spirit touch their hearts and get a baptism this month. Then also that night before going to sleep I said a really heart felt prayer for Carmen and Jorge and their family and Felix and then can you guesss what happened that Sunday? They alllll showed up!! And it was such an awesome fast and testimony meeting and a lot of the members testified of living prophets and that our prophet today is President Thomas S. Monson and then for gospel principles we taught all about prophets. Everything lined up so well. It is amazing how much I have seen my prayers be answered on my mission. I really have knowledge now that prayer and fasting works when you have real intent. My prayers have been answered so many times and I am so happy that I have learned this now because I still have my whole life to live and I will always have Gods love for me and prayer to help me endure and enjoy everything there is in life. The more and more I step out of my comfort zone the more and more I realize that there is really nothing that we should fear. "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" by Franklin D. Roosevelt, I love that quote. We all have fears and weaknesses but we should not fear those weaknesses, we have so many tools to make our weaknesses strengths. We have the Atonement of Jesus Christ, if we put all of our faith in Him and in His enabling power, His grace, then we will become perfect one day like Him. He is our example and I know that following Him and His gospel is the best thing you could do in your life, so much happiness and so many blessings that God offers you, He just wants you to follow Him.  Alright I got just a few pics to send and then tengo que irme! Pon tu hombro a la lid!
 
Love, Elder Proctor
 
 
Beautiful Mountain
 



Making dinner...