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 muy...no 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

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mexico City #16

Mexico #16

This week, I was led in my scripture study to 1 Nephi 17:3.  This Verse says: 

 3 And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and astrengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did bprovide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.

We, as sons and daughters of God, have many commandments.  The Lord has promised that we will be strengthened to complete every commandment, and this pertains to every single thing we have to do.  If we are commanded, as stated in the word of wisdom, to refrain from smoking, but we are addicted, we can take solace in this verse.  The lord has promised us.  PROMISED US.  Wow, the God of the whole earth has given us a promise that we will be helped as we try to follow all the commandments of God.  This man or woman who is addicted can take courage that something will change.  They will receive strength and their heart will be changed, so that this commandment can be fulfilled.  This is just so amazing to me, that we can receive such a strong promise to be changed from our Heavenly Father!

This week was really long and great and funny and, wow just a lot of things!

Well to start off, we started the week off 
with kind of a difficult thing.   Tuesday, we went to talk to our investigator, Luciano, and well...he was drunk...again.  I had never seen him sober up to that point (about 8 days).  That was really hard on me.  I felt like there was absolutely nothing I could do for this man, and like there was no point in trying.  Wow, that really got me down, but after our lesson, me and my companion decided to fast.  We fasted that day after lunch (because lunch is the big meal here) until Wednesday.  We went and visited him everyday this week and his neighbor said he was just upstairs drunk.  This really broke our hearts!  We felt very unmotivated for most of the week because of this.  We worked the whole week, and Saturday we returned to visit Luciano (like everyday).  This time was different.   He was outside doing his laundry, which he hadn't done in weeks.  We talked to him, and couldn't smell alcohol on his breath.  He was sober!  What a different man.  He could really think and share his beliefs and his dreams with us!  Wow!  It was so amazing!  He then told us he hadn't drunken a thing since Tuesday!  (The day we started our fast!)  His neighbor was mistaken, and he was just in his bed sick, I think from not having alcohol.  Wow, the Lord answers prayers, and when we truly need something, we have fasting as a tool!  

The rest of the week was pretty good, I'm trying to set some personal goals, so if any of you have some suggestions, please let me know!  But overall this week was pretty good!

Oh a funny experience Elder Gomez and I had;

He told me this story Sunday morning...I do not remember any of it.

Saturday night, I was sleeping and my companion was a wake because he has trouble falling asleep.  Suddenly I started screaming!  My companion got super freaked out and this is how the dialouge went:

"Elder England....Elder England....ENGLAND!"
"Why did you scream?!"
"A fork..."
"There is a fork."
"Where, in your bed?  Did you lay on it?"
"No, there in the wall."
(I point at the wall)
(My companion turns around and he's super freaked out.  He looks around but sees nothing.)
I say;
"There in the corner."
"Yeah the lights form the word fork."
"Elder England, why did you scream?"
"...Because it's important when we learn something new."

This is all the story, and I do not remember anything.  My comp just about died laughing.  The coolest part of this, is that the whole thing was in Spanish.  I feel like I can barely speak Spanish, but Elder Gomez says that I spoke perfectly...sad right?

I hope all of you have a good week!  Love you all!


 Elder Clayton Rodney England

Mexico City #15

Mexico #15

Ok, we had a zone activity today, so I will try to write as quickly as possible, because I have already ran out of time!

First of Happy New Year! Wow!  What a year, I wish we could all think back to what we were doing last year, and see that we've improved!  I know that with the gospel of Jesus Christ, no matter who, we can all change.  I saw the Lord's hand in this work this week.

Ok, so on the first of the New Year, I think the Lord wanted to start my year off with a miracle.  We left the house and we went about doing as we planned.  On the way to the first appointment, which was just to contact someone and make a date for a lesson.  But anyways, we left to go find this contact, and my companion and me started talking about the word “dude”.  I was explaining how we use it in English, and for some reason I felt imressed to keep talking about it.  Weird, I know, but as we walked, we noticed that we had passed where we were going and so we happily turned around to walk a couple blocks.  We reached the contact, and we did nothing for a minute beause we have no credit for the phone, and she doesn’t have a doorbell in the apartment complex.  Well I heard someone leaving and it was Yunwen, the contact!  We talked for a minute and started walking with her.  As we parted in about 30 seconds, she told us, "Hey someone is calling for you two".   We turn around and see an older man walking toward us.  He approached us and told us that he had left his apartment looking for someone to change his life.  Wow!!!!  

We joined him in his apartment and sang “I am a child of God”, because he was noticeably depressed.   The next day he asked me if we could baptize him....AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How cool is that!  I made the funniest face to my companion because I wasn’t sure if I understood right.  

Wow, the Lord is in this work, and we works sometimes in different ways.  But do you think the lord knew that we would talk about “dude” for a while, or that we wouldn’t have credit, or that our contact would be leaving the house...YES!

I'm sorry that this was short, I'm sorry I don’t have time to write anyone else, I love you all, and I pray for you all constantly!

                                                             Elder Clayton England

Mexico City #14

Mexico #14

Well another week, and I can honestly saw that I have never been as tired as I am right now!

There was a really cool experience that we had this week:

We we're walking on Saturday to paint a sister's house for service, and we got a call from the bishop.  He said that there was a family that was in town for vacation, and wanted to use the church for a baptism.  The bishop asked us to take care of it (wow...he trusts us!).  So we go first and paint the house of the sister, and then we go and set up the church for the baptism.  We got the font all filled, and everything, and we left to go have lunch.  When we got back, the family was there.  They are from Mexico City, but they live in Orem...weird right?  But they came into town for Christmas, and they wanted to baptize their son while they were with the whole family!  (Sounds like something my family would do!)  The whole thing was beautiful!   The boys and sister sang, exactly like an angel, and the spirit was strong.  The most special thing about this, is that the boy, Jacob, had lost his left arm previously.  I don't know how, but the love of this family was strong.  The Spirit was strong in testimony that in the day of the resurrection, this boy would receive his perfect immortal body.  Having a little brother with health issues, I know that that is such an amazing promise.  The Spirit testified to me that day, again, as it had so many times, that Cole will soon have his perfect body, and we will see him as God sees him.  I know it.

Ok there's my testimony, and now I want to share something that was extremely important to me this week, and that was TALKING WITH MY FAMILY!!!!  Wow I miss you all so much, and talking to you on Christmas Day was the greatest present I ever could have asked for!  Hearing all the advice and the love from them really truly helps me!   How blessed I am to be in this amazing eternal family.  One thing that you see here almost immediately is how important the structure of the family is!  I have seen broken, battered, and destroyed families here, and I can truly say and testify that because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, my family is still together, and that we are continually getting better!  

For Christmas, we had presents as a companionship, and my companion gave me a hot wheels of a BMW E30.   Haha I love him!  And I gave him a stuffed Sponge Bob!  We ate with like 3 families for the 24 and the 25, and the food was sooooo good!!  And on the 31 we are eating with two!  Wwow the food here is amazing!

I'm sorry that this letter is so disorganized, but I need to learn a thing or two from my friend Mason Childs, because his letters kill it every week.  

It was sooooo amazing to see you all this week, and I love you all so much!  Honestly I can't even imagine who I would be without you all...I don't want to do it!

I love you all

Elder Clayton Rodney England

Mexico City #13

Mexico #13

Wow this week was awesome!  But first I’m going to start off with a spiritual thought;

This week I studied and read Alma 13-20, The latter end of these chapters is the story of Ammon.  i have come to a new conclusion that Alma the younger and Ammon are my favorite Book of Mormon characters!!  Ok but in the part I want to focus on, is when Ammon and the King and the Queen, and ALL the whole household of the king, fall to the earth as if they were dead.  In Alma 19:16 a woman is mentioned, one of only three in all the Book of Mormon; Abish.  Because of her, the word of Ammon’s missionary work was spread, as she ran to tell others of those that were uncouncious.  She ran and spread the word, and I believe, contributed to the conversion of all the people of King Lamoni. Her father had seen a vision, and she was already a believer in Christ.  This one verse, I think can shed a lot of light on us.  Do you think the Lord knew that Abish would be in the situation to help Ammon, and spread the gospel?  Well yes!  He knows everything.  Do you think He knew, and knows everything?  Yes he does.  When we are faced with a new change in our life, do you think the Lord knew that you needed that change?  That in the future when that change is truly manifest, and the repercussions are shown...do you think He knew?  The answer is 1000% yes.  Just think of that.  He knows what circumstances need to pass so that in the future, we are ready to spread His work.  Wow, that just blows my mind!

Ok, back to the real world.  This week was awesome!  We did so many different things!  It was so fun!
First off, Tuesday,  we got have another set of Elders in our ward, which is awesome, because we now can really get this area moving!  

Wednesday...i don’t remember!

Thursday, wow this day was awesome!  We went through the temple!!!!!  That was so amazing!  The Mexico City Temple is incredible!  When I walked into the Celestial room, I almost cried.  The urge really came over to just let the tears flow!  Wow it was super beautiful there!  I could just feel the power of the Lord radiating.  After the temple, we had an activity for the mission, well for three zones.  We had a talent show and a lunch that was muy chido!  But there are so many talented people in our mission!  That day was super good!  Plus I got a blender!  I am making stuff almost everyday, and now I can make pancakes a lot.  That is nice to have a nice breakfast.  

Friday...regular day!

Saturday, we went and painted more at Hermana Alicias and my Spanish was failing that day.  I guess I was just super and it was hard to understand.   So I painted where i wasn’t supposed to.  Wow, it is a good thing that she loves us, and that it wasn’t too big of a deal to her.  Haha , I love her.

Sunday, well as I said, we have two more elders in our ward: Elder Fiestas and Elder Phthean...I think that’s how it is spelled.  We now eat with the members with the four of us which is fun!  Sometimes it’s difficult because Elder Phthean likes to speak in English, so my mind keeps getting changed back and forth.   But sunday we ate with Hermana Rosana, and it was super good!  That’s the best part about Christmas here!  The Good Food!!!  I love the Christmas Mexican food!

Monday, today!  Wow today was fantastic!  We went to the centro, or downtown.  Wow...you can buy whatever you want there.  The trick is finding things that are worth buying!  But there are some landmarks there that I did not know were from Mexico.   I didn’t think that something that pretty could be there!  Something funny is that there are thousands of venders on the street with, what I assume is, stolen goods.  The police hang out at the street corner for a while, just passing the time, and every once in a while, they start walking towards the venders, and then they all, in like 2 minutes pack up and bail.  The cops could catch them easy, but they do it just for fun.  I saw a guy pay a cop off today with a stuffed animal.  Haha wowmexico!

Well that was my week!  I loved it, and I hope it was good for you all too!  

Just so you all know, I am needing some help.  This week I really struggled with feeling any sort of drive to really do this.  I am coming out of that, but I need some help.  Anything you all can do to inspire me is fantastic!  
I love you all and I pray for you everyday.  Please include me in your prayers!   I need them!

Les Amo,
Elder Clayton England

ok my favorite song is Nearer My God to Thee
my favorite scripture is alma 26:22 
no, we are skyping 3 for you guys, 4 for me i think whatever is 4 oclock for me
love you

Mexico City #12

Mexico #12

Answering questions first:

I’m not sure on the skyping situation.  I’m pretty positive we will skype because its almost free compared to calling.  My next P Day is Dec 23, so I will know before then and will be able to write you guys to say times.

My Christmas packages haven’t arrived yet.   I think, I’m going to the mission office tomorrow so I will find out then!
 I hope I get them all.

Dear Family,

Ok well this week was fantastic!  We had a ton of work and some success!  

Well the picture we had from the baptism was Victoria.  She is 71 years old, and super funny and super crazy!  I don’t know if I have said this yet, but now we have a 5 sacrament meeting attendance policy for every baptism.  It has slowed down the baptisms, but now we can at least retain some people!  Victoria was baptized Saturday.   I performed the ordinance, and like I said she is a little old.   She didn’t get that she needed to plug her nose, so that was a little frightening when she started choking.   But other than that it was a beautiful thing!  One of the great fruits of this baptism was that Victoria’s daughter Guadalupe, who isn’t a member starting crying, and she has since been taking the lessons!  I think we will be able to baptize her, her husband, and their daughter!  Wow!  The Lord is so great!

Well another cool experience that we had this week, was that we had 6 investigators in Sacrament Meeting!  They came out of nowhere because we had planned on about 3, but another 3 showed up!  Aurelio, the man I mentioned last week, that can’t walk, well he was there...WALKING!!!!!!!!!!!  

That was such an amazing thing, and then our first convert, Jose, had his cousin there as well, as well as a man we met about 2 months ago in the street when he was SUPER drunk.  Wow this Ward really helped us out, because for a minute or two we had our hands really full!  Wow I love this Ward!  Aeropuerto!   I really don’t want to be changed, because this next cycle we will have two more elders in our ward, and I’m pretty sure we are going to have a lot of success!  So today it was great news when I learned were not changing.   Which is great because I love my companion Elder Gomez and everyone in this area!   Wow such a great week!

Ok well something that i was studying this week that was interesting;
In Alma 14 it talks about the missionary efforts of Alma and Amulek.  In this chapter, we see some really terrible things.  Alma and Amulek are imprisoned and really beaten.  The saints that they had converted are cast into a fire.  This, honestly is so awful.  I’m sure they loved these people.  They watched this all happen.  They are constrained to not act with the power of God, because those souls are saved.  They are then taken, bound, and put again in prison.  Their clothes are taken, and they are given no food or water.  After this, the lawyers, and the judges come, question them, and beat them.  This is were the miracle happens;

It says in the chapter that after ALL of the lawers and judges had smitten them, up until the VERY LAST ONE, that’s when Alma and Amulek receive power.  I am 100 percent positive they received strength during this trial.  But at this time, they rise up and destroy these terrible men.  This can be applied with us.   After we have been smitten, hurt, and tried, even until THE VERY LAST THING, we receive our strength to change our circumstances.  We must endure until the very end.  That’ not today or tomorrow or this week, but the end!   We will receive the strength to do it, and we WILL be able to do it.  That is a promise from the God of the whole earth: THAT WE CAN DO THIS!!! 
I love this and I hope this helps anyone, because one person is enough.

P.S.  Please keep writing, I love hearing about you all!

Elder England

Mexico City #11

Mexico #11


Querido Familia,

Wow, another week has gone by!  Time moves so fast here!  We are already on week 5 of our transfer cycles.  Just one more week until changes!  Haha, so weird! 

Well to start off, you guys are my family and I’ve really been kind of just writing what I thought missionaries should write.  I want to just write completely openly; hoping that something I say will help any of you, or vise versa.  

The beginning of the cycle was extremely difficult for me. (Not because comp problems.)  I felt that my testimony was bombarded from all sides.  My testimony that all people can be forgiven was attacked.  I felt too much that there was no way that I should be here.  That I wasn’t good enough to even be here. What happened was, I trusted in my companion and told him of my thoughts.  He helped a lot, but I still felt off.  We decided that what was best, was for me to talk to the Mission President.  I went in and told him what I was feeling and he was extremely optimistic.  This was something that I didn’t expect.  What he said was;  “If the Lord only wanted 100 percent perfect missionaries, there would be NO missionaries.”  This is so true.  The thing is, we’re not perfect.  None of us!   None of us are what we want to be, or what we need to be.   However, the Lord accepts our contributions as long as we innocently offer our help.  We all have past actions that we are ashamed of.  We feel sometimes that we aren’t good enough.   We all are attacked by the doubts and feelings of the natural man.  We all can do something right now.  We can talk to our leaders.  We can show our love to another child of God. Or we can do the simple act of trusting the Lord and CHOOSING to accept the atonement.  We all have agency.  We all have that power to change ourselves from what we are into what God is trying to make us into.  That’s what I’m trying to do.   CHOOSE to forget my fears and past and just serve the lord.  That’s hard, but I know that’s what I need to do.  

Ok sorry, but preaching is my job now... let me get off my soap box!

This week was fun and hard and tiring and fun and yeah...
sooo many things!  

For two days this week, we helped a recent convert, Alicia paint her house, and it was so fun!  Her husband is Jesus, the one I was saying that was in the hospital.  Which I learned is a much bigger deal than I thought.  In mexico it’s like a 60 percent chance of you coming out of the surgery ok.   A member told me all about the health care situation in Mexico and I do not want to go there while I’m here!  But anyways, we painted the house, and we helped put up some Christmas decorations.  Here I’m tall, so I hung up all the greenery stuff!  That was really fun!  

We are trying to set a date for baptism now for Jesus.   Because they came with us to the new visitors center, and he was really happy and emotional about it, I think we are going to be able to make an eternal family!  

Oh on that note, we have a new visitors center for the Temple!  It is soooo coool!  It’s so much nicer than the center in Utah, and there is technology i didn’t even know existed!  The best part is we can go whenever we want with investigators, and menos activos and reciento conversos!  Haha !  It’s really so awesome!  

This week, we had a really cool experience while looking for a contact!  
After lunch on Friday, we were walking back to the house to do planning, and we got a call from the offices.  They said we had a reference, and they wanted us to go as soon as possible.  Well, we both felt that we should go, so we made the journey to Penon de los Banos, which is the most dangerous part of my area.  We don’t like to be there after sunlight, and the sun was setting.  But we felt the confidence of the Lord.  Well, we walk to the reference and we knock.  A young man about 25 years old, tells us that the contact, Aurelio, is sick in the hospital.  He’s an old man, so we didn’t know if we would ever meet him, or if he was going to pass away.  We left a little disheartened, and we started walking back home.  We both felt very impressed to visit a nearby less active family.  While we talked with them, we felt like we should keep the message short and leave.  As we left, we saw a woman of about 35 start running up to us.  We thought she needed to enter the door we came out of, but she says:  “No, no, no, I’m from the church!  She told us that she lives in Florida but was in town to visit her dad.  My comp asked her her dad’s name, and it was Aurelio!  Haha!  We told her that he was in the hospital and she made a funny face and laughed and said: “No, I just saw him!”  We were already seeing a small miracle.  

We went with her to their house and met him.  He’s about 80 years old and he is bed ridden.  His granddaughter, who was 3, told him that he needed to talk to the missionaries.  The mom called the church 2 hours before we were in the house talking to him!  We gave the first lesson and Aurelio was very interested!  We left in awe of how the Savior led us that day.  I don’t know how, but we are going to baptize Aurelio.  I can feel it!!!!

Oh, I hope this made sense, and I hope that I made sense of all my thoughts.  They are always pretty jumbled!

Well, family I love you and I hope to hear from all of you soon!  In a letter or an email.  Letters would be cool!   Hint!!! Haha!

love you all
Elder Clayton England