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, April 27, 2013

Hoot Dog

Hello again audience!

I'm glad to hear that everyone's enjoying their vacations! Hawaii sounds like a lot of fun and it looks really pretty. :) The vegetation looks fairly similar to what we have in Veracruz. Lot's of palm tree looking things and very green. It's always nice to hear what's going on back home. :)

Not much has changed over on this end. We had splits with one of our zone leaders that went pretty well. We got along good and received some good references. We've been teaching a couple 15 year olds that are really cool. They're progressing very well. My only worry is that they just want the opportunity to talk with an American. Hopefully we'll see them getting baptized this next week. It would help a lot since we have a goal for a bautizona the 27th and 28th. (That means every area needs to have a baptism for that week.) This morning we received a little bit of bad news. Two of our best investigators have decided they don't want to receive the lessons anymore. It's tough to see them go because they were nearly ready to be baptized. They sent us a text message that said "nos cuesta trabajo a creer" which means "it's hard to believe". It's a bummer because it really isn't that hard to believe. I've found that recently the hardest thing to get investigators to do is to pray sincerely. If they read the Book of Mormon and ask the Lord if it's true with the intention to follow the answer they receive, they'd get baptized. The thing is that many are too scared or lazy to follow the answer they receive or their just unwilling to ask God. It's just interesting to me. It's hard to see things like this happen, but it doesn't effect me as much anymore. Instead of dwelling on these things I just move on and look for someone who is willing to truly follow Christ.

On another note, my companion and I are still getting along swimmingly. We have a lot of fun throughout the day just chatting while we walk to our lessons. It's been a lot of fun. Sometimes we get to sleep a little late at night because we lay in bed talking and joking. (Don't worry we're working on that.) :P Basically, we're not having many challenges when it comes to our companionship. I'd say we're good friends. :)

Other than that, I'm not really sure what to write... the weather has been a little cooler with a few days of Norte. It's getting so hot here that any relief is a blessing. It gets so hot that if you just sit in the shade you still drip sweat.  The good news is that you get used to it.

Sometimes it's rough when I think about how my mission's going so far. I'm going on 8 months in the mission field now and I've still only got 5 baptisms that count. (8 year old children of members don't count and we've baptized 3). However, the mission isn't entirely about baptizing. It's a major part, but we're also supposed to retain the new converts and reactivate the inactive members. I might be wrong but I feel that I've been doing more of that than anything. It's amazing how many inactive members there are here. I think it's because missionaries focused too much on baptizing in the past and not enough on creating lasting conversions. Anyways, that's just something that I've noticed.

Overall, I'm enjoying the mission and working hard. I'm far from perfect, but I"m trying my best to do what is required of me and please the Lord.

At the very least I can say that I know this Church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and I've seen his atoning sacrifice at work in my life and in the lives of others. I know that it is only through him that we may return to our loving Heavenly Father.

I'm thankful for all your support and love. I wish nothing but the best for all of you. Love you! Make sure to keep doing the little things. Attend church, pray and read your scriptures. Talk to you all next week.

Elder Sean Horrocks

P.S. I still need to know what time you guys want to Skype for Mother's Day. The sooner I know, the better. :)

P.S.S. We saw a hot dog stand with bad grammar. For some reason my companion found it hilarious and wouldn't stop laughing for a good ten minutes. Hence the title. :P

No title this week so just a random sentence

Hiya everybody!

Well, this past week was a good one, but there wasn't exactly a ton of interesting things that happened so sorry if this e-mail is slightly (if not extremely) boring. I guess I'll start with how the work is going. Things seem to really be picking up with my new companion. We've been finding new investigators and helping the ones we have to prepare for baptism. It's been a lot of fun to meet even more new people, plus it doesn't hurt when your companion is your friend. Elder Mendez and I have been getting along great. :) He's a really relaxed, funny missionary and he's just got a way with people. He's always super friendly and knows how to make the members happy. He makes things a lot more fun because we can talk and joke around during our down time. Basically, he helps relieve the stress of missionary work. On top of that, we've got some really good investigators that should be getting baptized soon if all goes well. Fingers crossed!

This week we had an assistant visit us. The mission president is doing something new where there are now four assistants instead of two. Two of them stay in the offices and do the normal assistant stuff and the other two travel to different zones each week to go on divisions with district leaders. We had an Elder Bauman with us for a day. He helped us a lot by showing us new ways to ask for references and giving us tips here and there. He was very chill about the whole thing and was cracking jokes as we walked to appointments. Overall, it was a lot of fun. :)

In our district meeting this last Tuesday the other elders from another area brought a little pin the tail on the donkey game and... my package! I finally got it and I've been enjoying all the treats. I like the little basketball hoop too. :) However, for future notice, all the jolly ranchers got really gooey and sticky. It left nearly everything covered in a bit of goop. It wasn't a big deal since everything had a cover or wrapper, but I think it'd be best if we didn't send any more Jolly Ranchers. Some of the chocolates were warm too, but it wasn't anything that an hour in the fridge couldn't solve! :) Thanks a lot for everything that was in there. I especially appreciated all the notes from everyone. :) I few sisters here found out that it was my birthday and gave us cake. One ended up giving us half the cake for my birthday gift. At her house they had me do a Mexican tradition called the "mordido". It's when the birthday person has to take a small bite directly from the cake with out hands or utensils. What I didn't know is that while they're doing it someone comes up from behind and pushes their face into the cake. Surprise! It was a lot of fun though and my companion went easy on me (meaning he didn't shove my entire face into the cake). ;)

I'm glad to hear that everything is going well back home. I'm super jealous of Max and Kaz though. Max for getting to go to Hawaii and chill with Mom and Kaz for getting to stay home and party with Dad. Oh well, my time will come. ;) I loved the pictures of Dily and baby Weston. Keep them coming. :) How's Dily been doing with a new baby around the house huh? Bet that's interesting.

Only a month and a half left of school huh? That's only one transfer here and boy does the time fly! Pretty soon I'll be at the half way mark! Sounds like Max and Kaz are enjoying themselves. I only hope that they're enjoying the weather now that it's been warming up a bit back home. (Even though there's fresh snow apparently :P) Make sure to take the time to enjoy God's creations. You won't regret it. :)

Well, Mother's Day is coming up in May so we should probably start preparing now for our Skype session. If I'm right, Mother's Day is on the 12th back home, but it's on the 10th here. Our announcement's this week says that we'll be Skyping on the 10th, but we might also be able to do so on the 12th. For now, we'll plan on the 10th to be sure. I think that's a Friday. Let me know at what time you guys want to Skype and we'll plan around it. I'm looking forward to seeing you all with baby Weston. Maybe I'll hear Dily talk this time too! :D

I want to bear my testimony of the truthfulness of this Gospel. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true Church of Christ restored to the earth. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. I know that Jesus Christ redeemed each and every one of us and allows us to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. The Atonement makes it possible that all of us may become perfected through Christ. No matter what mistakes we've made we can always turn to Him and be washed clean. Scripture reading, daily personal and family prayer, and attending church are the basic things that will help us to build our testimonies. If you ever have a doubt I know that you can do as Joseph Smith did and ask of God. I promise that He will guide you and help you to overcome your trials.

Keep God's commandments, love your family and be happy. Come what may.

I love you all and love reading your e-mails. Someone give Max a noogie and Kaz a wedgie from they're favorite brother. ;) Enjoy life. :)

your son and brother,
Elder Sean Kyle Horrocks

Happy Birthday Kaz and Weston!!

Hi everyone!

There's so much to write about this week that I don't know where to start! First off, I'm an uncle!... again! Congratulations!!! I'm super glad that everything went well and that Kayla and Weston are both healthy. :) Thanks for the pictures! You're timing was just a little off though, Kayla. I wanted a nephew for my birthday. ;) I guess April 7th is cool too. :) Let me know how things are going with him and how Dily is taking the changes. Make sure nobody gets neglected!

Secondly, Happy Freaking Birthday Kaz!!! 14 years old! (O.O) Jeez, soon you'll be an old man! Better start preparing for your mission! I'm super proud of you Kaz and I'm very happy to share my birthday with such an extraordinary young man. I'm sorry I couldn't be there to celebrate with you, but we'll just have to party extra hard when I get home. ;) I hope you had a good birthday and that you got nice and spoiled. I love you bro!

As for my week.
Well, we had transfers and things have been going pretty well. My new companion's name is Elder Mendez and he's pretty cool. We're getting along really well because he likes to work, but he also knows how to relax and have fun. I think we'll do well together. 

This week has been a little loco because we did a ton of traveling. On Tuesday I went to Veracruz to meet up with my new companion. That's about a five hour bus ride there and back. On Wednesday we had a zone conference in Tuxtepec about an hour and a half away, again by bus. On Thursday and Friday we had to go to Tlacojalpan about 45 minutes away for an interview with baptismal candidate.
We had to go back Friday because her step-dad wouldn't let us talk to her on Thursday... only he told us after we had traveled the whole way. It all turned out good though because she did ultimately get baptized.

On Thursday we had an interesting experience. After we found out that we wouldn't be having the interview we decided to head back to our area for an appointment. It was about 7pm and it was already dark outside. To get to Tlacojalpan you have to cross the large river Papaloapan in a ferry. From there we usually can find a taxi waiting to take people to our area. However, because it was so late that day there were no more taxis! There we were standing in the dark with no idea how we would return to our area. Eventually we felt that we would wait for the ferry to bring another load of people over and ask for a ride in one of the cars. While we were waiting for the ferry an SUV pulled up and dropped off a couple men. We felt prompted to ask were the driver was going. He said he was headed for Cosamaloapan (the area right next to ours) and we asked for a ride. He told us to get in and drove us to where we could get a taxi to our area. We ended up getting back just in time for our lesson. It turned out to be a good lesson with some members in attendance. This experience showed me first hand that the Lord really is there to help each and every one of us. I know that it was no mere chance that this man happened to have passed by when he did. I know that the Lord cares for us.

That's about everything exciting that happened over here. I still haven't received my birthday package, but it's with my zone leaders. We're seeing of some other elders can't bring it over tomorrow for our district class. Not many people knew that it was my birthday, but I didn't care. Once the elders in my district found out they all wanted to do something for me. They're going to try to bring a cake to our district meeting tomorrow. They're all super cool. They came to my area to watch conference in our chapel so we ended up spending most of the weekend with them. They spent the night and everything so that they wouldn't have to travel back and forth for the Sunday sessions. It was a lot of fun relaxing and joking around with these elders. They helped me to destress a little. It was a very nice birthday present.

Conference was amazing! I really enjoyed all the talks. I was planning on writing you about my favorites, but I forgot my notebook and I don't really have time to write all that anyways. I actually had to miss the last part of the last session because there was a funeral service in the chapel. I don't know who was the genius that planned it right in the middle of the conference session, but that's what happened. I'm the only one who can play the piano in the whole area so they asked me to play for the service. It was kind of weird because I didn't personally know the lady who died. I told my companion that he could stay and watch the session if he wanted to and obviously he did. We were watching it in English in the church office (don't worry with permission). During the service one of the counselors of the bishopric came in and got mad at my companion because he wasn't in the funeral service. He made very rude comments about him being a bad missionary. When I heard about that it made me rather mad. It just made me mad that this member could be so presumptuous to tell missionaries that a funeral for someone we didn't know is more important than listening to the prophet and apostles of God speak. Anyways, that's enough angry rambling.

I just want to say that I'm super proud to have a new nephew. I love all of you and hope that you are all striving to do the Lord's will. It's not always the easiest thing to do, but it's what will bring us the most happiness in this life. I testify that Jesus is the Christ and that our Heavenly Father loves each of us personally and perfectly. I urge you all to study the general conference talks. They are modern scripture. Follow the prophet of God and you'll never go astray. This is the only true living church of Christ.

I love you all! Keep me updated on your lives!

With all my love,
Elder Horrocks

Babtisms!.....That don't count......April Fools!

Hello again everyone!

Well, as the title says, this week we had two baptisms. We taught and baptized some eight year olds in the ward. It was actually a lot of fun to work with some kids. They all say I'm "the fun elder". Unfortunately, baptisms of member children like this don't count towards our statistics that we report. Bummer... oh well. The baptismal service was really good. You could feel the spirit bearing witness of the ordinance. Super cool. :)

Also, we've got the news on our transfers now. I'm staying here in Carlos A. Carrillo and Elder Wheeler is going to Cordoba. My new companion's name is Elder Mendez. He was actually in my last zone so I know him a little. He seems like a good guy. He'll be district leader. It's his first time as a leader so we'll see what happens. Oh and he's from Arizona and a Spanish speaking family so he speaks both English and Spanish fluently. Tomorrow we'll do the actual switches. It'll take all day because I'm going to have to travel all the way to Veracruz, meet my companion, then travel back. At least I'll have time to nap! :)

Nothing special really happened for Easter, but I think that's because they're going to celebrate it the 7th over here, but then again who knows? I still haven't received my package, but I imagine that I'll pick it up while I'm in Veracruz. Just in time too! In other news, I'm super excited for General Conference! The opportunity to hear the prophet's voice is always a blessing. Make sure you all take advantage of it!

Dad asked what I learned with my zone leader last time. Mostly I learned a bit more about the teaching technique. I learned a little bit more about how to teach directly and efficiently and also how to tell when people are really paying attention. With these things in mind, it's easier to know if you should follow up with people or let them be. Sometimes that's the hardest decision to make. We want everyone to follow through and be baptized, but if they don't have the desire there's nothing we can really do. We can help them to make a more educated decision, but overall the choice to be baptized is theirs.

As for investigators. We've got four really promising ones. Two are 15 year olds that Elder Wheeler met while I was on splits in another area. They've got good questions and they seem to have a genuine desire to follow Christ. I can definitely see them being baptized soon. Even better, they've got member friends to support them. Super cool. :) The other two is a couple. The husband actually approached us a while back and asked for a Book of Mormon. We couldn't meet with him at that time because he was about to leave the area for work, but now we've been teaching him and his wife. They're both way nice and have a great desire to know the truth. The wife has more doubts and questions, but I believe they'll both be baptized within the next couple weeks. Overall, things are looking good. :)

I also mentioned that my mission has been different than I expected and Dad asked for more details. Where to start... I expected to baptize more first off. When I found out that I was going to Mexico everyone told me that they baptize a ton. It's true that we baptize a good amount here, but as you know, I haven't had a lot of baptisms. Also, (I don't know why),but I didn't expect to be challenged as much as I've been. I think it's because I never really thought about it that much, plus most things have come fairly easily for me before. Here I've been challenged physically, mentally and spiritually. I always knew that the mission would bring blessings, but I didn't think that they'd come in the form of challenges. (Now that I think about it, it's obvious that we receive more blessings when we stretch a little but at the time I didn't think about that.) I guess I just had a vision of having a perfect mission, but I never gave much thought to the "how". My mission so far hasn't been "perfect", but I've grown in many ways. Even better, I've been able to help people change their lives. With the few baptisms I've had plus members that we've strengthened, I at least hope that I've left a good mark here.

That's about all I have time for today. Just know that this church is true. I know that Christ is the Redeemer of us all and that through Him we all can be perfected. These days of Easter (the holy week here in Mexico) I hope that you stop to think of the Atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Strive to live so that you can apply His atoning sacrifice in your life. I promise that if you do, you'll find greater peace and greater strength to keep the commandments.

I love you all. Keep doing what's right. Read the scriptures, pray and go to church. I've seen that these are the three most basic and most important things that we can do to strengthen our faith and testimony.

With all my love,
Elder Sean Horrocks