Thursday, August 17, 2017

Week 81 - Calgary


Toma la mano de Jesucristo y deja que te ayude
 
So we are at the library right now and most of the time there are quite a few disabled or mentally handicap people here and so this old lady is strolling around us singing "let your love flow, you know what i mean, its the season, let your love flow" Its the sweetest thing ever and what makes it even better is that these past 2 days I have felt such an incredible amount of love from the Savior and Heavenly Father. So on Sunday Elder Fish and I had an incredible experience studying together but I will have to share it when I get home. Then yesterday we had zone conference and it was one of the best zone conferences of my mission. We had it where I had my very first zone conference at the Evergreen chapel where also Elder Christofferson came to visit us in April of 2016. That fact blows my mind haha. Anyways the whole conference was mainly on love and the Atonement of Jesus Christ and we all prepared by coming having read and studied Elder Bednars talk, "In the Strength of the Lord," that he gave when he was the President of BYU Idaho. It is such an amazing talk and it has helped tremendously various times. Yall have to read it together. I remember yall sent it to me on my first Easter here and I studied it and loved it and it has helped me on my mission so thanks again for sending that. So we spent an hour talking about it and ended with a testimony meeting. I have probably never felt the Spirit so much in my life. Being able to see so many missionaries change so much because I have been out for a while now and I have literally seen missionaries change sooo much and like the way they give their testimonies and the amount of knowledge and love for people they have gained on their missions is a miracle and it comes from the Atonement of Jesus Christ. So towards the end of the testimonies I bore mine on how the greatest miracle of the gospel and the Atonement is the change that it brings to ones life if they apply it to their life and testified that Heavenly Father really is our literal Father in heaven and we are His children and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and the way that we know this is by living the gospel and having the confirmation of it through the Holy Spirit. They make up the Godhead and truly are involved in our lives. I looked at them and said to them you are evidence to me that the gospel is true also. I know some of the missionaries stories and they are so incredible and some of their testimonies hit me so hard. I love them. Here is one of the quotes from Elder Bednars talk, he quoted President David O. McKay, “The purpose of the gospel is . . . to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature” and Elder Bednar uses my favorite scripture Mosiah 3:19 to really dig deep on the meaning of it. I have really learned on my mission that the gospel is for everyone no matter where you are in your life. People are just not perfect. We do not understand to Atonement fully because I feel like if we did society and life would be a lot different, even in the church. There would be no fear in us or irritated feelings or contention, there would be no desire to sin or to do wrong, we would help and care for one another, we would truly love one another as Jesus Christ loves us. I can promise you that Jesus Christ can be friends with anyone and He is. So we should be the same way. Just think of how you get irritated with some one you dont get along with or yall are just different. Now just think of how different you and Christ are. He is perfect and you are not. He wants to help you out and sometimes you just completely disobey and choose not to be nice to people and love them and serve them and choose not to obey a certain commandment, then you start to feel sad and get irritated with others and it just goes downhill from there. But if we choose Christ its the complete opposite. We still will have trials and hard times but that deep feeling of happiness and peace will always be there in you and you will feel the love of Christ as you continue to improve and live the gospel. There was an awesome missionary who bore his testimony and he has been out 23 months so he is about to go home and he shared this hymn because his dad said you should read this hymn, hymn number 127. Then he looks at it and its "Does the Journey Seem Long?" We all laughed but then he shared a couple of experiences that he has had on his mission and then read the lyrics "1. Does the journey seem long, The path rugged and steep? Are there briars and thorns on the way? Do sharp stones cut your feet As you struggle to rise To the heights thru the heat of the day? 2. Is your heart faint and sad, Your soul weary within, As you toil ’neath your burden of care? Does the load heavy seem You are forced now to lift? Is there no one your burden to share? 3. Let your heart be not faint Now the journey’s begun; There is One who still beckons to you. So look upward in joy And take hold of his hand; He will lead you to heights that are new— 4. A land holy and pure, Where all trouble doth end, And your life shall be free from all sin, Where no tears shall be shed, For no sorrows remain. Take his hand and with him enter in." I have been able to take the Saviors hand and in a way I feel like I have entered in to a part of heaven. I am enjoying life so much because I know that Jesus Christ is on my side. I feel His love and am trying my best to emulate that love that He has for everyone of Gods children, all of us. It is all about really applying His Atonement in our lives. We can read about it, study about it, go to church once a week and feel the Spirit and go back home and be ourselves and not change but that wont really help us, it will help us some but what really matters is applying and acting. Let Christ change us, we are supposed to change as President David O. McKay said and King Benjamin in Mosiah 3:19. Thats what the gospel is all about, change, which is repentance. Its a lifetime process, its a journey so start now and a lot of problems in your life will be solved and you will come to realize that the problem was you haha you arent perfect. I have learned that so much being here. I am no where near perfect. Just when I think I am doing good something comes up and I have to work on another weakness I have and they add up. But that is why we have the gospel so its all good. So yeah I am super happy to be here and I am in shock once again because its already the 15 of August and I just have 5 months left and right when I think the time cant go any faster, it does. So weird because I know this is a weekly email but it feels like I am here every other day haha. Time flies when you are having fun. Well I wasnt able to write about some of the cool stories that happened this week. Not a ton happened because it was another rough week with lessons canceling and people being busy but still there are always miracles everyday but yeah keep praying for us and for our investigators and especially for Manuel! I love yall and miss yall and looking forward to seeing yall soon :) que tengan una buena semana! Chau
 
Love, Elder Proctor
 


Some joker pulled the fire alarm during Zone Conference - what is this? Jr. High...

Chocolate Banana Nut Bread! Bueno....

 

Week 80 - Calgary


Muchas bendiciones y el amor de Dios

Man this week was awesome but also pretty tough. One of those weeks that you literally cant meet with any of your investigators because they are busy or the appointment falls threw and then you set some other things up with members and that falls threw so you end up contacting and knocking doors and showing the Lord you are here to work and serve and then you get blessed! So on last Friday it was one of those days just contacting all day and we had dinner with la familia Hinojosa, they are from Peru and one of those super strong and sweet and awesome members who have amazing stories and love the gospel and you can feel the Spirit so strongly in their home. They just have one son who is 17 years old and is preparing for a mission. The dad has some health problems. He had a really bad stroke a while back and I think he has like problems with his muscles, I forgot what its called. Super strong in the gospel though. So we had dinner with them and they always make amazing Peruvian food and share stories about Peru and its super cool. Then for the message we shared 2 Nefi 31:19-20, "19 Y ahora bien, amados hermanos míos, después de haber entrado en esta estrecha y angosta senda, quisiera preguntar si ya quedó hecho todo. He aquí, os digo que no; porque no habéis llegado hasta aquí sino por la palabra de Cristo, con fe inquebrantable en él, confiando íntegramente en los méritos de aquel que es poderoso para salvar.  20 Por tanto, debéis seguir adelante con firmeza en Cristo, teniendo un fulgor perfecto de esperanza y amor por Dios y por todos los hombres. Por tanto, si marcháis adelante, deleitándoos en la palabra de Cristo, y perseveráis hasta el fin, he aquí, así dice el Padre: Tendréis la vida eterna." And we really focused on how hope and love for God and our brothers and sisters is the most important thing in the gospel and how it is the greatest commandment and we must be like Christ and have His love in order to be truly happy and serve the Lord. Jesus Christ gave His life for us so we must give our life to Him. It was super awesome and then after the message Hermana Hinojosa thanked us a lot and said she really needed that and then asked us to give a blessing to Hermano Hinojosa. Right after that moment I just felt a huge amount of love for them in my heart and the Spirit fill me. I said of course. Then Elder Fish did the anointing and I gave the blessing. I cant really remember everything I said but wow I know without a doubt that the amount of love that Heavenly Father has for each one of His children is truly amazing and it is shown through His Son Jesus Christ. He knows what we need and what we want, He knows what we need to experience and need to learn. He knows our strengths and our weaknesses. I felt the Spirit so strongly testifying to me these things as I gave that blessing to Hermano Hinojosa. Because of this experience I feel like I love others more and am really growing to Jesus Christ and the way He sees us. And what is incredible is that this same type of thing happened the next day. Last Saturday we contacted a ton and then just before dinner we get a random call from this guy asking for a blessing and so right after dinner with the Carters we drive over to his house and meet him for the first time. His name is Hermano Alvarez and he is from Colombia. He says he has 2 daughters and one just got back from her mission and then I am like wait! you are the dad of Camila Alvarez! And he is like yeah! And I was like wow thats so sweet. So he explain to us what was going on. He has only been here for about a month here in Canada to be here with his daughters but he said it has been really hard to adjust to being here and that the past couple of nights he has had panic attacks and struggles with anxiety and I immediately felt for him and explained some of what I had been through and also my mom. Then we gave him a priesthood blessing and once again I started to feel soooo much love for him and hope for him like I did with Hermano Hinojosa. It truly is awesome and I am just so amazed of the love that Jesus Christ has for us. I have always loved that hymn, "I Stand All Amazed." But through learning more and understanding more of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, it has so much more meaning and significance to me now. I just feel like so honored to be able to work and serve here and to be able to learn how to really love people like Jesus Christ because I am here acting in the place of Him. I am His representative. I really do fall short but He lifts me up so I am able to do it and be here and continue. Last night I was thinking about y'all a lot and really just missing y'all and then I looked over some of the first pictures of my mission on my old camera and thought of the countless amount of miracles and awesome memories I have seen and made over the course of my mission and felt again the love and blessings that the gospel brings. It is so worth it. It is sooo worth it no matter how hard it may seem. The ups and the downs. Just keep living the gospel. There are things that you can learn by living the gospel that can not be answered or be learned by man. It really comes from God, we are His children. We should love and serve one another and ultimately love and serve Him. Alright I guess it is time to wrap up again. Oh and Manuel is still doing great, we are meeting with him tomorrow and he came to church and his baptism is coming up soon! Next Saturday! I am super pumped. Bueno hasta la proxima semana! Los quiero 
 
Love Elder Proctor  (forgot camera to upload picts)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Week 79 - Calgary


My mission is the best :

Oh my gosh this week has been one of the best of my mission. I could honestly say that about every week though haha, this week I just feel like we worked super hard and we have seen so many crazy and awesome things happen. Like I wish I could tell y'all every little miracle that has happened this week but it would be like writing a novel. I'm super happy I have my journals though. I have written a ton in them and sometimes I have slacked but I always write in my planners everything so it's all good. I am just so happy right now. The amount of happiness and fulfillment that comes from missionary work never gets old. So this week we took some of the young men with us some days for almost the whole day and it has been incredible. The prophets and apostles really want us to work with the youth a lot because they are our future so one thing that has been amazing is to see these young men pray with real intent like right before a lesson and take a leap of faith during the lesson and share their experiences that they have had and how they know that the gospel makes one happy and really changes ones life. Also how they feel the Spirit and how they have made it here to Canada. Their testimonies are so strong. It's the coolest thing ever and one time one of them shared Mosiah 2:41 which is a scripture that I love, "Y además, quisiera que consideraseis el bendito y feliz estado de aquellos que guardan los mandamientos de Dios. Porque he aquí, ellos son bendecidos en todas las cosas, tanto temporales como espirituales; y si continúan fieles hasta el fin, son recibidos en el cielo, para que así moren con Dios en un estado de interminable felicidad. ¡Oh recordad, recordad que estas cosas son verdaderas!, porque el Señor Dios lo ha declarado." And he shared this to a less active and he shared his experience without the church before he was a member and how he was bullied in school and he didn't see his dad for 6 years because his dad was up here in Canada working and then once they all got to Canada they found the missionaries and the gospel changed their lives and they have been blessed immensely spiritually and temporally. It was amazing and what blows my mind is that he is only 13 years old! I believe he is so mature because of what he has been through. All of them are and something that I am continuing to realize is just how amazing it is to feel the Spirit and see these things happen.
I think I have already said this before but I know without a doubt that the greatest miracle of all is the change that comes to ones life who really lives the gospel. No matter what age or race or language they speak, we are all children of our Heavenly Father and we all have Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. No matter if you are 8, 9, or 10 years who just received the gift of the Holy Ghost or 12,14, or 17 who is preparing for a mission or has the priesthood or is preparing to go to the temple or is 50 years or is 97 years old and a new convert or going to the temple for the first time. I have seen so many peoples lives change because of the gospel and continue to change including mine. It really has given me like un testimonio inquebrantable and it keeps growing. I love it so much. So yeah the gospel is amazing. Oh and we got to teach Manuel and Ramon 2 times this past week and we read the Book of Mormon with them and their family, 2 Nefi 31, that chapter is so awesome and then we taught some the gospel of Jesus Christ and guess what!? Manuel has his baptismal date! On the 19th of August!!!! Soooooo excited. Ramon is still willing to listen but he says he just wants to listen to us because he has already been baptized in the catholic church and we explained to him what the gift of the Holy Ghost but he said again he is ok and will just listen but we will get him eventually haha. But yeah Manuel is so ready and really wants it. But the scary thing is this week is transfers!! Tonight we find out but I really don't think I will go back to the south Spanish ward so its all good. I just hate the feeling of not knowing for sure haha. So hopefully I stay and get to be here for Manuel's baptism. Also this week we had exchanges which is when you go with another missionary for 24 hours. I went back to Strathmore with the crazy natives and the entire day we did service! I literally didn't wear proselyting clothes the whole day. It was pretty nice haha and it was so awesome doing service. We did helped with a move for a non member family and I swear sometimes I feel that I have been called here to just be a mover haha we do at least 1 move a week and every once in a while we do like 3 in a week. Its good though. Then we helped this guy build his house and I cut all the weeds in the backyard with this nice weed whacker and then we went to help a member cut wood with his nonmember friend and they feed us dinner, they're from England and that was the day haha. A lot of driving, Strathmore has like 10,000 people and there's super small little towns surrounding it kind of like Nacogdoches. And Strathmore is like 45 mins away from Calgary and the little towns around are far away. It was really nice. I have always been in the city so it was really nice getting that feeling of Nacogdoches back. I definitely like small towns better than the city. Well I am running out of time once again. I am just so happy to be here even though I am growing to miss y'all more and more. Its already August which blows my mind. Time continues to fly. I love y'all and I just read that Mason and Allie will be there the day after I get back!! I can't wait to be there with all y'all!!! Dang I am so excited. AGH such a weird feeling though. Mason and Allie know what I'm talking about and dad. Alright time for some pics:
 
Love Elder Proctor
 


Mi Amigo, Diego