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

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