Mexico, Veracrus mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Elder Horrocks will be serving in the Mexico, Veracrus mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Last week with my "Dad"

My dearest family,

Another week has gone by rather quickly. Like I've said before, every day seems to take forever, but looking back the weeks fly by! This coming week is the last one that I'll have with my "Dad". (My trainer) I'm not sure what to make of that. I'm excited to get a new companion because E. Duran is a little lazy at times, but I'm also nervous that I might get one even worse! Plus, E. Duran and I are pretty good friends and it's sad to see him go. I won't be a trainee anymore. In fact, I might even have to train someone myself because we're getting so many new missionaries lately. I guess we'll see what happens! The transfers officially happen on Tuesday of next week, but we find out a few days before. I'll let you know what happens!

As for this week, it went pretty much the same as the last week unfortunately. Our investigators aren't progressing much and it's a battle just to get them to come to church. Only our golden guy came this week. His name is Jose Manuel and he's been pretty perfect. He's accepted basically all we've taught, and read his Book of Mormon and everything. He even came to church two times in a row without us having to beg him to come! He actually had a baptismal date for this last Sunday along with another investigator, but he wants to give it another week. For him, I can be patient because he seems to be really searching for the truth. The other baptism fell through because he didn't come to church and it's a rule that they need to attend at least twice before being baptized. I'm coming to find out that that's how we can tell if they really care. If they attend church, then they're progressing. Because we have so many stagnant investigators we're trying to find new ones, but it's difficult because the members don't give us many references. Despite all this, I'm feeling much better about this week. It's been rough, but fun at the same time. The bishop and his family have really helped to keep me positive. They're always so happy, nice, and fun to be around. Any ways, I guess I'll answer questions now.

Yes, I bought my camera today. There's actually a huge sale thing going on in Mexico called the Buen Fin so I got a decent deal. Apparently Costco doesn't take American credit cards though so I had to withdraw my cash at an ATM. I hope that's ok. I wasn't sure how much I would need so I took out about $200. I ended up spending about 150 for a camera, with a 4GB SD card included and a rechargeable battery. It's a good camera and I think it was a good deal. I also bought another 8GB SD card for $15. The rest of the currency I'll save for emergencies. Thanks for the extra cash. I'm sorry that I lost my camera in the first place. :( I hope it's not too big of a deal. I promise I won't lose this one!

The language is coming a long little by little. I can understand about 70 percent of normal conversation and almost all of the conversations we have during lessons! I can really feel my Spanish improving, but I have to continue working at it every day. There's always something new to learn! Now, where we eat... we usually eat breakfast and dinner at our house. Cereal, PB and J, stuff like that. Lunch we usually have with a member so it's always different. There's one family that we eat with every Wednesday that always feed us amazingly! The parents are both chefs so they give us awesome food. They believe that having us over to eat is a blessing so they're always inviting us over if another member can't feed us. They're way cool and fun to talk to. I'll try to get a photo of them this week, just in case I end up leaving this area. Oh, about that. I may or may not stay in the 5 de Mayo area. Like I said, we won't know until Sunday or so. For thanksgiving the zone actually had a get together, but we didn't really want to go. I guess a sister was feeding all the missionaries, but we decided to go to Costco with the bishop and family. I personally don't like it when a bunch of missionaries are together. A lot of them act like knuckle-heads and it bugs me. Oh well, whatcha gonna do? Nope, we haven't had any more BBQ lately. We might this week, because it's our last chance to do so together. I haven't received the thanksgiving package yet. I figure it's sitting in the offices, but nobody's told me yet. Who knows? I'll get it eventually. I'm super excited to here about the other mission calls! Especially Lindsey Berg. I really didn't see that one coming. It's good to know that our ward is still going strong with sending out missionaries. Let me know when/if people return as well!

I loved the photos you attached to the last e-mail. They really put a smile on my face. Jeez, the boys are getting tall! And Dilly looks older too! You all need to stop growing! I love that picture that you have in the kitchen now. It's perfect. B-e-a-uuuuutiful. Dad, tells me it's been pretty stormy over there. It's been the same here, though I think the storms here are just a liiiitle different. The rain can really sneak up on you at times, but we stay pretty dry. Sometimes it mists more than rains. It's nice though because it keeps us cool. Also, it gets dark at about 6 o’clock now. I think I remember Kayla telling me about that Forgotten Carols play. It sounds good. We'll have to go see it together when I get home. I'll put it on my list. ;) I'd rather you guys didn't rush with your letters. Don't worry about making them short. I love to hear about what's going on. I especially love to hear from the boys. Encourage them to write me every week! Please and thank you!

I'm going to try writing hand-written letters to send to you guys. I wrote one today that I'm going to send as soon as possible. Let me know when it arrives so I can know how long it takes.

Now, if I'm not mistaken, wasn't it someone's birthday on the 11th or was it the 12th? I feel like a horrible son because I can't remember my parent's birthdays. I know either Mom or Dad had a birthday, but I can't remember who. I'm so sorry! :( Well,  to whoever had a birthday. Happy Birthday! I hope it was good!

I want to stress the importance of missionary work in our every day lives. Just because we're not serving a full time mission, doesn't mean we can't be missionaries. This work is infinitely harder without the help of the members. If you can think of anybody who may be remotely receptive to the message, don't hesitate to tell the missionaries or the bishop. Nothing makes a missionary happier than receiving references! Also, we can be missionaries by our examples. Strive to always be an example of the believers. People will notice and eventually, this may lead to them investigating the gospel. We never know what repercussions our actions have on others. Therefore, always strive to act as Christ would. I also really want to stress to the boys how important this work is. Even if you aren't sure you want to serve a mission, start preparing now to serve one. If you are able, you have an obligation to serve. To be honest, I wasn't sure I wanted to serve a mission up until I was in the MTC. Once you take the Gospel seriously, you'll realize how amazing it is. For me, I finally realized what I'd been missing out on. I mean, I tried my best to keep the commandments, but I never took the time to really study the gospel or to really "live" it. I pray that Max and Kaz will at least take the time to read the Book of Mormon. I challenge you two to read it cover to cover by next General Conference. (April 6th). Then I want you guys to try as hard as you can to pay attention to general conference. If you have the magazine with the last Conference, read it. The thing about the gospel is that we have to apply it. Don't just read the stuff then say "well that was nice." Try to apply what you read to your life. I know that you'll be much happier if you do. I love you guys and I write these things not because I'm a missionary, but because I know they're true. I love you guys and I want you to receive the blessings that I've discovered through the gospel. Set some goals to do these things, then write me and let me know how they're going. Set goals as a family in family home evening and make sure you follow up on them the next week.

Well, I need to write my mission president real quick so I better finish up. (Don't worry it's a thing we do weekly) As always, I want you all to know that I love you and pray for you daily. I pray that you'll spend more time together and draw closer together as a family. Also, I pray that you'll draw closer to the Lord. He loves you and I do too. This church is true.

My best wishes and all my love,

-Elder Sean Horrocks

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Some Progress

Hola once again!

I'll get straight to answering the questions real quick. I'm feeling better, no problems. I had a migraine a couple days ago, but that's it. I don't know what mom was asking about with conferences. We haven't had any of those but we did have interviews with the president. That went well. He gave me good advice about my doubts and also pretty much told me not to worry. As far as changing companions goes, we have a transfer in two weeks. Should be the 27th or so. Most likely I'll be staying in 5 de Mayo and Elder Duran will leave. Then I'll get another companion. I'm still liking the food for the most part. Although I must admit, when I get some American food it's like heaven. :) Our ward is pretty small and about half the members are inactive, but it's a good ward. We've blessed the sacrament once and passed it once as well. The only service project we've done so far is helping the bishop clean out his parents old house. Naaaaasty, but it wasn't that bad. We don't teach at church at all. We don't fish anymore because apparently we weren't supposed to. Soooooo no more of that. We're not supposed to be near the ocean. Ooops! Well, now we know. That's pretty much it for your questions.

We took our pants to a member that can adjust them. Hopefully things will turn out well. I'll probably get a Costco card and try to find a camera. I'll let you know how much I spend for that.

Good news this week. We finally got four investigators in the chapel for church! We're hoping for some baptisms this next week. Fingers crossed! That's pretty much all the news for the week. Everything else was pretty much the same.

I'm glad to hear that Mom fasted on fast Sunday. I hope that the rest of the family follows suit. Keep up with the reading the book of mormon. I know it will bless your lives. Otherwise I wouldn't ask you to do it. Also, I hope that you're trying to have family home evening. There are blessings that we recieve from all these things. Sorry my e-mail's kinda short. We don't have much time because of stuff that elder Duran had to do. Kinda frusterating but no problem. Hope to hear from everyone soon. Especially from Kayla and the boys! I love hearing from all of you. This church is true and I love you all! Have an amazing week!

-Elder Sean Horrocks

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Elbow Room

Hola from Mexico!

I didn't get any questions in my e-mails this week and I'm kinda at a loss for what to write. Nothing too special happened this week. It was kinda rough though. First off, Elder Revueltas returned to his area and we kept the bunk bed so for the first time in Mexico I have space to breathe. :) With the bunk bed and only two elders our room is actually quite spacious. That's the good news. Unfortunately, the rest of the week was mostly bad news. We didn't do much this week because almost every time we went to visit investigators or less active members they weren't home. Also, we're coming to realize that we'll probably have to drop some of our investigators that aren't progressing much. Right now we've got two investigators that are sooo close, but just need to keep one commandment or other. It's tough to see them struggle with these things because personally I've grown to love these people. We hope that we'll be able to help them to come unto Christ and we hope to get a baptism this week. I'm not gonna lie, it's been pretty discouraging to see all the other elders baptize every week while we've only had the one. I'm not sure if the problem is us, this area, or a combination of the two. We're trying are best to be obedient, but something just isn't clicking right I guess.

I often find myself wondering if I'm the problem. I'm trying my best to be obedient and do what I should, but I'm far from perfect. I'm not sure if I have the right mindset right now. I can't help but think about home a lot. I've learned so much here and all I want to do is go home and apply what I've learned with my loved ones. This is probably one of the biggest personal struggles for me. Some days I just want to go home to my family. Especially on days when the work isn't exactly going smoothly. I've been trying to keep a positive attitude though. I pray for the desire to work and for charity every day. I've been trying to see the big picture and the purpose for everything that happens to me. There's probably something that the Lord wants me to learn from my experiences here. I'm trying to find what it is that I need to learn.

On another note, my Spanish is improving a ton. I can understand the average person well enough to have a small conversation with them. If they're patient with me, we can actually have some pretty good talks. I think our lessons are improving too. We've gotten better at being brief and simple so that everyone can understand. Poco a poco - little by little - I'm learning.

In other news, I lost my camera so there probably won't be any new pictures for a while. Yes, I know I'm a retard for losing it. I left it at the internet cafe that we used last week and, basically, if you leave anything anywhere here in Mexico someone's going to take it. The camera isn't the problem so much as the stuff that was with it. In my camera case I had my rechargeable batteries and three SD cards. I only have all these things together when we go to write our letters. All my pictures are backed up on dropbox or in my USB that I still have so at least the pictures aren't lost. What should I do for a new camera? Should I try to find one here or wait for you guys to send me one? Let me know what you want me to do and please forgive me for being an absent minded fool. :(

Thank you everyone for all the support you've given me. I love you all so much and hope that you're all doing well. I hope you all realize how important family is. I didn't really realize how much you all mean to me until I had to leave you all. I know we spent a lot of time together as a family and I hope that you take the time to be with each other. Simple acts of kindness and a little time spent with family members can mean a lot. Some of my favorite memories are of times with the family when we weren't even really doing anything. The just fact that we were together made it a memory.

I also want to bear you my solemn testimony that this church is true. I won't lie; I didn't always have a testimony. However, now that I do, I can't deny it. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth by the prophet Joseph Smith. We are so blessed to have this knowledge. I urge you all to take the Gospel seriously in your life. Don't grow complacent. Read the scriptures and pray every day. Attend church every Sunday and don't underestimate the power of fasting. The more obedient we are, the more we are blessed. Don't get discouraged in times of trial. Sometimes we need to be tested. Stay true and everything will turn out all right.

I love every one of you. I think about you every day and you're always in my prayers. This church is true.

Elder Sean Horrocks