Thursday, November 21, 2013

Official Week Uno

Area: CCM Mexico 
Companion: Elder Fabian

Hello Familia y Amigos,

It was great to here from some of you, thanks for the letters! These past few days have just flown by, I can't believe I've already been at the MTC for more than a week! It has been a week of non-stop learning and studying, but I feel that I have really expanded my knowledge of the Gospel.

As some of you may know, the Mexico MTC was previously a high school here in Mexico. It was a little strange coming back to my old high school. I still see some of my old teachers roaming around the school and giving mission preparation classes. Old memories from school still come to me as I walk around the campus with my companion. Speaking of companions, my companion's name is Elder Fabian. Elder Fabian (from Oaxaca) is 23 years old and a recent convert to the church. He is also serving in the Mexico Cuidad Juarez mission. At first he was really quiet and wouldn't really talk to me, now he won't keep quiet! I think I've helped him build up some people skills in the past week. 

Like I said before, this week has been all about non-stop studying. Our schedule is so crammed with things to learn and do, I no longer have time for my daily 3 hour naps. It was hard adjusting to the schedule the first few days, but now I'm pretty well adjusted. My days here at the MTC are limited (12 days) but fruitful. The days have about the same layout. We wake up, get ready, have breakfast, 4 hours of class time, lunch, 4 hours of class time, dinner, 2 hours of class, go home and study, poop, go to sleep. Apart from study, we also teach "investigators". At first everyone was really nervous about teaching an investigator. But after a few days of practice, I feel pretty comfortable talking to anyone (plus, it doesn't hurt that we figured out that investigators are all really just members)

One of the best experiences I had this week was while we were teaching a less active member. My companion and I had really been struggling teaching this less active member. Her name is Amy and she even served a mission before becoming inactive. She became inactive because of personal problems she had in the church, and hadn't attended church in a few years. We had a hard time getting her to commit to attend Church, and we were really tired of trying to convince her to do so. We went into the appointment planning on teaching her about enduring to the end, but then everything changed. As we started to teach her, I was prompted to ask her if she had been praying. She looked at us and told us that she hadn't been praying as often as she used to. We told her about the importance and power of prayer. We explained to her that it can be hard at times to kneel down and pray to our Father in Heaven. I testified to her that the Lord hears our prayers, and that if we really pray with true intent to change, we would find that much needed strength to repent. Then I shared with her the following picture. It is entitled In Favour With God by Simon Dewey. It depicts Mary teaching a young Jesus Christ how to pray. I asked her to imagine Mary, knowing that she had such an important role on this earth, teaching Jesus Christ to pray. The Spirit was so intense as we sat and stared at this piece of art. As I stare at this picture, I really love the warmth that it projects and the perfect example of a mother, teaching her little one to communicate with the God. It really made me think about the simplicity, and the tenderness, of a prayer.

I am beyond grateful that I have been given this opportunity to go out and preach, and testify of our Savior's Gospel. I will write again next week, and I hope to hear from you all.

Elder Velazquez

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

First Letter.....¿Already?

Area: CCM Mexico 
Companion: Elder Fabian

Hello familia,

First off, thanks for the ride to the MTC guise! This letter will only be in english since I don't really have a bunch of time. I was instructed to write this letter right after I watched a few short introductory videos. I saw some kids from the Bene in the video. Right after I was dropped off I was given my two gafets and a blue envelope with my house keys and a bunch of papers. The brother that gave me the envelope and registered me was actually Israel from the Pathway Course (not the old Israel that worked with me at Telvista, the skinny one with the pencil ´stash who would where those plastic ray-bans to class). I was also assigned to my MTC companion, Elder Fabian. He's waiting for me outside the computer lab right now. As far as the rest of the day goes, the video said I would just be registering and getting my medical history checked out. Starting tomorrow, I will be going into my classes and whatnot. Well, that's all for now guys. Shoutout to G-ma, G-pa, Unkle Oskar, Tia Aline,
Chobiz, Ashley, Lil Camie, Lola, E-rin, and E-ric, Ma', and Popz, for dropping me off.

Write to you guys soon, 

Elder Velazquez