Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mexico City #65

Mexico City #65
Mom and Dad,
This week has been one of the most difficult of my mission.  I don’t want you guys to freak out at all.  This has been really hard.  I am not going to let this turn into a complaint letter so I am going to talk about the amazing things I am learning from this experience;

 1) The Atonement is a real thing that happened.
    My testimony has grown this week about the atonement.  Christ knows exactly what I am going through.  He knows why I am going through it, and He knows how I can overcome it.  I know that he knows this because I can testify that he bled for me in the Garden of Gethsemane.  There was a moment when He paid for me; my pains, temptations, and sins.  He paid for every sadness.  I share my testimony that I know that as divine blood fell on olive leaves.  Christ felt what I am feeling now so that I can endure to the end.

2) Communication is so important.
    Throughout this week I have seen that talking with your companion or your wife or husband is needed.  When one is too angry to talk we must search for ways to calmly resolve the problem.  The lord gave us one mouth and two ears.  We must listen twice as much as we talk.  This goes along with communication with the lord.  We must always be willing to pray.  Always.  The lord does not need our prayers, but we need them.  We need to be in constant communication with Deity so that we may endure to the end.

3) Humility is a key of success in this life.
     This week I have seen the need to grow my own humility.  When we worry about who’s right over what’s right we lose our humility, and that happened to me this week.  The ability to take a step back and eliminate my own agenda, escaped me so much this week.  I know that it is an attribute that I must develop.  I bear my testimony that humility helps us in every step of this life’s journey.  

Honestly mom and dad, I have felt so alone this week, and I am so grateful for the KNOWLEDGE that you are praying for me.  I know that I am remembered in your prayers.  I know that the lord has not left me alone, but has allowed me to be tried and tested by the adversary so that I may become different.  Thank you so much for your love.

Again as I said, do not worry and stress.  I know that the Lord wants me to learn a lot with my companion, that’s why it’s so hard.  I know that I can be obedient throughout this whole experience, and that is the most important.  

Honestly the only problem is that it is just hard to adapt to live with someone else, and to be in close quarters with someone of a different culture altogether.  I know that the Lord will help me, and that he will guide me.  

President Uchdorf has said that we must not just serve in our priesthood callings, but we must also seek the beautiful moments while we serve.  Those moments have appeared out of my reach these weeks, but It is something I must find.  It is my privilege to feel the love of God as I serve.  I know this, and I share it in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

-Elder Clayton Rodney England

P.S. I will have p day Wednesday next week just so you know.  I will write Wednesday.  More days to write me!!! Yeah!

Mexico City #66B

I think I am still learning how to write you guys well.  haha I hope I dont´ sound super depressed all the time, man that´s annoying! Ha,ha!

Ok some fun things that have happened this week.
Well I am in a ward with sisters now, and we eat together with the members.  I see now that my social skills with the opposite sex have crashed and burned.  I now do not know how to talk to girls.  Also my "Mission Goggles" are going super strong.  If a girl isn´t super, super big fat, (but I don't like to say that) and if she has make up I, think she´s pretty....That will be wierd to get home and see local pretty girls…

Every once in a while I think I speak spanish well and then someone comments something like :Well, I don´t really understand you, but I feel good:¨  Hahaha!   I love when that happens.

I bought protien today.  i´m gonna get strong again before I get home.  
Moving is rough as a missionary...I don´t think I have ever seen a more stuffed suit case in my life.  Surprised that nothing broke in the move.

It is super cold here.  haha who would have thought that mexico would be cold, but it is freezing!  I think I will die back in utah!  

I am really happy right now.  I think the Lord really helps us to always remain humble, but also to remain happy.  

love you guys!  

We did a service project and brought toys to kids who needed a christmas.  They were so happy and I think we arrived right as their parents were yelling at them.  Great timing!!!

Elder Clayton Rodney England

Mexico City #66A

Mexico City #66 A
01/0 6,/2015
Dear Mom and Dad,

This week has gone by sooo slow you have no idea.  It did not go by slow because it was hard.  It went by slow for something that happened Thursday.  After Monday, my companion and me got everything patched up.  We were working well, and then Thursday I got a call from one of our assistants to the mission president.  He told me I had changes, and that I was going to be a Zone Leader.  That’s why the week went by so slow.  I already knew that I was going, and I just had to put forth my best effort until Tuesday when we actually got changed.  So that’s what happened.   Monday they told my companion that he had changes too.  We both left our area.  It was super weird because that hardly happens.  

So that’s what’s going on.  I am now in the barrio(ward) in the estaca(stake) Ecatepec.  My area is a giant hill.  Honestly the streets are super steep.  I am going to have thunder thighs, or I am going to be even skinnier.  We’ll see.  

My companion is Elder Jimenez.  I’m with another Dominican, but Elder Polanco and Elder Jimenez are super different.  My companion right now is super calm, and a super great missionary.  He is super smart, and super stoked on working.  I am really happy to be working with him.  Our ward is pretty big,.  I don’t know many people, but it is a lot more organized than Rios.  

I am really grateful for this chance to serve.  I honestly love being here on the mission.  We receive so many blessings.  I love being able to talk about the ¨good news¨ of the gospel so much.   We are teaching the Montes Family.  We taught them yesterday.  They invited us to eat ¨la rosca de reyes¨.  It’s a cake here that the eat on ¨dia de los reyes.¨  It’s where they celebrate when the 3 Wiseman got to Jesus and gave him presents.  Hidden in the cake are 4-6 little plastic dolls of the baby Jesus.  If you cut the cake and get one you have good luck, and you have to buy tamales for the family.  The last part is just like a joke, but it was fun to do that with them.  

We started talking about eternal marriage with them last night, and they all got super surprised.  They loved it; I think we will have so great blessings with them soon.  It’s a family of like 6 or 7 people.  
I love you guys so much.  Keep praying for me, and keep working hard.  Remember the Lord’s work, and participate as much as you can. 
I love you two.  

So I don’t forget, the Christmas packages haven’t gotten here.  I don’t know if united postal service works too well here.  But I’ll see tomorrow because I have to go to the mission offices.  

This is my new comp and I.

-- Elder Clayton Rodney England

Friday, February 14, 2014

Mexico City #20

Mexico City #20
February 10, 2014

Dear Family
Well another week gone, and I have to say this has been the fastest week ever!!!
Wow, well this week we had changes (transfers).  That was super crazy.  Both me and my companion got changed!  What?   That really threw me off, but my old companion Elder Gomez got SUPER grumpy about it the whole time.   I just wanted to planch him (When I say planch, that means chew him out).  Haha!   What he doesn´t get, is that all the transfers are direct revelation.  If the revelation is from Christ or his servants, it´s the same.  But as I was saying, we went on Tuesday, the day of transfers to visit our investigators, and converts in the ward.  When we visited Sister Victoria (our convert) she started crying so badly.  It about broke my heart!  That was a really special moment to see how much she loved us, and she just kept saying, ¨I´m going to endure to the end.¨ That was really awesome!

Well we went to changes and I got my new companion.  His name is Elder Solis.  He is from Medida, which is a city in Yucatan, another state here in Mexico.  Fun fact: There are 32 states here in Mexico, and one Distrito Federal like Washington DC.   He lives like 2 hours from Cancun.  He´s a really cool guy, really different from my old companion.  For one thing, I can really see that he loves to be a missionary.  He loves to teach, and I can see that we are going to have a lot of success.  One thing, he loves to planch, which is super funny.  The people love him, and that will be a good thing to learn, how to earn the trust of the members.  

Ok well my new area is Chamizal.  It is in the state of Mexico, the state that surrounds the Distrito Federal.  It is super dirty, and smells bad, but I love it!!!  One thing is that everyone calls this area the “Promised land! “  Everyone says this is where all the incredibly prepared people live.  I know why, it´s because everyone lives such humble lives.  

This week, I got to know the area.  There is a river that goes through our area called Rio de los Remedios.  They tell me that at one time this river was clean...that is hard to believe.  There is more garbage than I have ever seen in my life in that river, and the water is straight black.  It smells sooo bad, and at night when we cross the bridge over it, we can here dozens of rats  squeeking around!  eeee!

Well as I said, I got to know the area this week, and this ward really is special.  When we went to church on Sunday, I got the chance to learn so much, because the people here really LOVE the gospel!  It was really cool!  

This week was really good, and I want to share something that has really been coming to my mind lately.  
Well there is a family in our ward that lost a child this week.  The daughter had a miscarriage.  We went to visit them, and talk to them about the Plan of Salvation.  As we taught, I felt impressed to share our experience with Maximo.   As I shared my testimony of the plan of salvation, and the feelings that I have felt, I received a stronger knowledge that families can be together forever.  The spirit testified through me that our Father in Heaven loves us, and that we will see Max again.  This is so amazing.  For me, it makes me want to work so much harder so I can win the prize of living with Jesus Christ, my family, and you all for eternity.  This is all possible because of our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ.  Wow.  HE IS OUR SAVIOR.  He makes it all possible!  I know it.  As Joseph Smith stated, I , Clayton Rodney England say now,

“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!”

I testify that Christ lives, and that Max will live again.  I testify that we will see him in the spirit world.  I testify that we have such a sacred responsibility to be true, and finish the race.  I know these things, and I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Elder Clayton Rodney England

Mexico City #19

Mexico City #19
February 3, 2014

My dear family,
This morning we found out that we have changes!  Haha!   The weird thing is that we both have changes!  Crazy right?  That hardly ever happens here!   Before I tell you about it, I´m going share a spiritual moment.

Just a few minutes ago, the sisters from our district passed by to pick up some mail from my companion.  While they were here, a Sister, Sister Durham, from Logan was really emotional.  We started talking, and she expressed some family problems.  I could tell that she was feeling a bit down.  A thought hit me.  I asked her if she would like a priesthood blessing.  She felt she needed one, and we talked to the owner here at the Internet Cafe.  He´s our investigator and gave us permission to use the back patio for the blessing.  So we went back there, us Elders, and the Sisters, and we gave her a blessing.  I served as the voice, and it was such an amazing feeling.  I didn´t have any words in mind.  The Spirit just told me exactly what to say.  He told me what she needed to hear.  That was really powerful.  After the blessing Sister Durham expressed her gratitude for the priesthood, and told us, a little like our moms would say, ¨Don’t you ever forget it.¨  That was a nice reminder of our love from Heavenly Father. 

I hope you appreciated that thought, and now I will continue with the week.  Well this week, Elder Fiestas from my district finished his mission!  He is a really good friend, but because of that, his companion, Elder Phethean was with us in a trio, which was incredibly interesting.  You may remember me mentioning that there was an Elder that acted exactly like Dwight Schrut.  Well this is the Guy.  Haha!  He always has something interesting to say.  By interesting I mean SUPER INTERESTING...But he has a heart of gold, and I know that he´s always going to be a great friend. 

Well this morning like I said we have changes tomorrow, so next week I will let you know.

Ok now I´m going to use a little time to write you all individually, so I hope this was sufficient for a letter...if not...too bad :)

Love Elder Clayton Rodney England

P.S.  I just got the packages of the letters from dad on his mission, and the package from the England Family Christmas party!  That was really special thank you!!!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mexico City #18

Mexico #18
Jan. 27, 2014

Ay!  ahorita fuimos al centro!  Eso lugar es tan chido y la historia allí es tan rico.!
éste semana, me di cuenta que el señor ésta tratando enseñarme algo.  Espero que puedo saber rapido!

This week was super interesting.  The adversary was attacking me very much on all fronts, this week with my testimony.  I kept getting hit with questions like ¨What if this all was false?”   It just kept coming back and back, and something that kept my heart at peace was the Book of Mormon.  I can’t deny that Cole was really healed by our faithfulness in reading that sacred book.  I can’t deny the night that  I truly asked Heavenly Father if it was true.  I can remember that night when I knelt in my room, and asked if it was true.  Peace came into my mind that it was true.  I can still see my room and I can still feel the love of our Heavenly Father.  This means that OF COURSE THIS IS THE TRUE CHURCH!!!  Of course we have doubts and temptations!  We are the primary fighters against the adversary, so he is trying so hard on us.  I know that we all, as a family have a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  I want you to know that when we experience doubts and troubles, we just need to turn to that book and trust in it’s precepts.  I testify of this, and I want to invite each and everyone of you to read just one chapter of the Book of Mormon today and ponder ¨What has the lord taught me today in this chapter?¨
I promise that if you do, and if you all write about it, you will recognize that teaching in your life.

Ok, sorry for ¨preaching¨ but I hope I can help you out!  Well this week was fantastic, and my companion and me are doing a lot better now!  We talked things over, and I am seeing him really try to change.  I really love him.  We have changes this week, and I think that we will be changed.  

Well this week, we found an investigator from a reference from the Visitors Center!  Wow!   That place is magical!  We got like two in one day!  But this girl we visited is 16 and her name is Anyansi.  We talked about the Visitors Center.   She shared with us that she felt very good when she was talking about families with the missionaries there.  She told us that 3 years ago she was hit by a car, and it was a miracle that she wasn’t paralyzed.  She talked about the love that her mom showed when she really taught her how to walk again.  This reminded me of Cole when he had to learn to walk again, and really how amazing our family is!  I think that we will be able to see amazing progress with Anayansi!

Well I love you and I am praying for all of you!

Elder Clayton England

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mexico City #17

Mexico City #17

Hijole, éste semana fue interesante!  wow!  tuvimos un bautismo por nuestro contacto y mi compañero y yo hemos peleado mucho.  yo no le entiendo.  el los odie las reglas.  y yo he sentido sé frustrado con casi todo.

Querido Familia,
Well in that Spanish, I just expressed that we had a baptism this week, and that me and my compañion have fought a bit.  I also talked about how he hates rules, and how I´m feeling frustrated!
But before I get to all that, I will share something that I learned this week;  We had interviews this week with the Presidente.  Presidente Anaya, really is a great man.  He was a 70, a convert, and interestingly enough never served a mission.  But during our interview, he shared with me a scripture in Alma 32 which says,

 38 But if ye aneglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.

Well this was an allegory to faith as a seed.  When we want to grow our seed of faith into a tree full of the fruit of knowledge, we need to take care of it.  We need to maintain it, that is to nurture it.  We can nurture this seed with various things:
prayer, fasting, study, and good works.  Earlier in the chapter, alma says that if we can only desire to believe, we have enough to grow our tree.  Repeatedly in the scriptures, we see that we will be judged according to our desires, and our actions.  I have been growing my testimony that we can accomplish amazing things with our desires, AND our actions, or in other words our desires, AND how we nourish our seed.  Those two things will improve our lives soooo much.  I know we all have the desires to be better, but do we all have the faith to accomplish our desires?

 43 Then, my brethren, ye shall areap the brewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth cfruit unto you.

In the end of this chapter, we are promised the blessings of our faith.  I testify that our desires and our actions should be very closely related, and as we seek to become closer to the lord, we will grow that tree of true and everlasting knowledge.

Ok sorry, I´ll get off my soap box now, and I´ll share my week.  
Well me and Elder Gomez have had a few problems this week.  That´s the truth.  He really hates obedience, and he absolutely hates someone telling him what to do.  This is a problem when he does something like waste time, and I tell him that we should leave.  He does not listen and just gets angry with me.  We have worked things out for now, but I don´t want to become complacent.  I don´t want to let little things slip because I know he will take all the room he can.  I really to trust him and love him, that´s why I want him to become the best he can be.  

Ok sorry for that venting, but also this week, we had a baptism for Arelio.  He was our contact by a miracle, and he no longer is our investigator because our ward got split into two companionships.  Those other missionaries worked with him, and it was really special to see this old man, who has had 46 children with 16 different women receive that needed ordinances.  His daughter was there, who is a member who lives in Florida.  She gave the closing prayer, which was very, very special.  Soon she began crying as she offered her thanks to her Heavenly Father.  This about broke my heart.  Wow!  

Well that was mas o menos my week, and I did get my packages, and they are fantastic!!!  Thank you so much mom!!!  The kids in the ward love them, and they really do work for contacting!!!

Have a good week, and know I am praying for you!  Elder Clayton Rodney England