Thursday, December 17, 2015

Week 15 - We Can Do More

¡Buenas noches! 

I hope you all had an amazing week, and were able to ponder on the importance of our Savior, Jesus Christ, in your lives. 

This week has been full of miracles, just like each week! We have been trying to work more with the members in this past week, and we were able to see the blessings truly come from it. We visit this somewhat less active woman, and she is raising her grandkids, and one of the two grandsons is not a member of the church. In teaching a lesson to her, we asked her if in our next visit she could invite her two grandkids to join us. And they did! They are both so great. They have picture books for the Bible and Book of Mormon that help them learn better, and we have assigned them things to read from there, and the next visit, they tell us what they learned, and it is amazing each time! They learn so much, one of the grandkids even told us from memory what it says John the Baptist ate and what he wore haha. I feel like a dork sometimes when Im with them, but I cant wipe a smile off my face when Im there (which I guess is a good thing, right? (: )! I was able to invite the oldest grandchild to be baptized and he excitedly accepted! It makes me so happy to see these blessings coming to families. 

We have also been teaching the hermanos de Alicia for the last couple weeks, but they don't always focus too well, so we've been praying to find ways to improve our teaching with them and help them understand what we teach. And we were able to find some things to do to improve our teaching to them. We had a really great lesson with them this past week about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I was able to invite them to be baptized, and they accepted! They are planning on being baptized the 26 of December. 

We had our Posada, or Christmas Party this week, to celebrate the birth of Christ, as a ward. It was a really great experience! We had some investigators come, and also several members bring friends, which was really great! And we had piñatas, which is always a good time.

This week has been full of miracles, just like each and every week. It is truly such a blessing to be a part of God's work on the earth today. It is incredible to be able to see children of God spark a desire in their hearts to come closer to Him. I know that this is God´s work, and I know that I am called as an official representative of Jesus Christ, and His Church. But I know I can do more. We had a Zone Meeting this week that the Zone Leaders decided to call (Zone is an area of missionaries), and we assessed how we are doing in the work. They really motivated me to not limit my faith and my expectations and hopes. I know that I have done good things, but I know that I could have done more. There is always more we can do! This week I am promise all of you that I will be better this week, and I will report next week how it went! You have my pinky promise! Haha. Would just like to end with sharing with you all that I know God loves us, He loves all His children, and He wants all of us to return to live with Him again. And He has provided us the way to do so, which is through His Son, Jesus Christ, and His Gospel. In this Gospel, in these teachings, we will find greater happiness than in any other place we search in this world. It is the only place that we can find not temporary, but eternal happiness! How great does that sound? Eternal happiness! 

Have an awesome week everyone! 

Elder Daines

The wind up!

It's Christmas in La Paz! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Week 14- Ha Nacdio Un Salvador

Hey there!

Its been a super great week! Coming into this week we had several appointments set for each day, and we were really excited to be able to teach a lot of people this week. Sadly, the vast majority of the appointments that we had fell through, people either were not home, or they were busy, etc. It was a little disappointing to have them all fall through, but we still found ways to be happy! We were able to find some more people to teach again this week, which was really good! Though the original plans we had fell through, God truly provided a way for us to be able to fulfill our duty, and find more people to bring unto Him. 

The Spirit of Christmas is truly in the air here (at least for me, haha)! I love it so much. We are already singing Christmas songs in most of our lessons with investigators, there are some houses with lights up, and oh my goodness it is just so great! I've been able to do some more studying about the birth of Christ in this past week, and it is so amazing! I am so grateful to have a Savior. The Church came out with a new video called, Ha Nacido Un Salvador (A Savior is Born--video below). It is so awesome. I am so grateful to have the knowledge that we have a Savior. Because of Him, we can be happy! Not only happy for a little bit, but for forever! Ahhh I just love the Christmas Spirit so much!

We were able to have a really great experience this week. Since the two new sister missionaries arrived, they have been teaching the 9 year old girl from the family we found a few weeks ago. It was so amazing, they were able to teach her everything and she said she wanted to be baptized this past Saturday! And she did! It was so amazing!!! What made it even better was that her father was able to baptize her. Such a special and spiritual moment for the whole family, and us too! Haha. I was able to see that God truly provided a miracle for us that day a few weeks ago. It was just a normal day and we were going about looking to find some less active families, and at the time we had no idea we were going to find the family, nonetheless, someone that had yet to be baptized. It was truly a miracle. God blesses us each and every day. And I am so grateful that I was able to be a tool in the hands of God to bring this whole family together into the Church, and they are preparing to be sealed together in the temple, so they can live together forever! I feel so blessed to have been given this incredible opportunity. 

I hope you all have an amazing week and can truly remember why we celebrate Christmas. We have a Savior. I know it is true, and I love it. 
Elder Daines

A Savior is Born


"Get that corn outta my face!"


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Week 13 - Miracle on Palenque Street

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend with your families and friends. Sadly I wasn't able to do anything to celebrate Thanksgiving, but it was nice thinking about how much fun all of you must have had!

I had such an awesome week! I am feeling much better from being sick last week, and we were able to begin working in our new-ish area this week some more which was nice. It is nice to have some more time to focus in a smaller area where we can find more of the people the Lord has prepared for us, when otherwise before we may not have found them. 

We did quite a bit of finding and contacting this week because most of the people that we were teaching were in the other part of our area that the new sister missionaries have. Id like to share a cool experience I had on Saturday. In my personal scripture study in the morning, I was reading about the Miracles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I also thought about what our mission president, President Velez always says, ´miracles should not be something that we see every now and then. We should be able to recognize miracles every day. There are scriptures that explain that if miracles have ceased, it is because faith in God has ceased. I decided I needed to have more faith in God. 

And so I left our house that morning with a renewed determination to be more faithful, by truly being happy in the work by sharing it with people we see in the street, and to be more hopeful. We were looking for some old investigators on a particular street, which is called Calle Palenque, and we found a couple of them with help from some people sitting outside their houses. After we found the old investigators, we talked some more to the people sitting outside, and we ended up being able to have a first lesson with two of them, in which we were able to share basic principles of the teachings of Jesus Christ, that they have a Heavenly Father that loves them, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God ,that families can be together forever, and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is restored on the earth. It was so great. I found as I listened to them with love I was able to identify their needs and share my testimony with them. As we were finishing up, another neighbor came out and started listening, and then he asked us for a pamphlet, when church was, and when we could meet with him. It was amazing! Something little, but for me, it was the miracle that I needed in my day to increase my faith. 

I believe in a God of Miracles. I believe that through our faith in Him, that we can work miracles and also experience miracles. God works miracles because he loves us all, we are His children, and He loves us. I am so grateful for this knowledge. I am so grateful for this Christmas season we have to remember the birth of the Son of God! How wonderful this time of year is. Everyone is so happy. I love it. I love life! I love being a missionary. And I love this Gospel! I love you all! 

Elder Daines 

Week 12- First Baptism


I had another great week here in La Paz!! This week we had quite a few pretty cool experiences! 

This week we found out that some sister missionaries are going to be arriving to our area, and so our area is going to be split into two. Which means we are losing most of our investigators and the less active members that we are teaching. It is pretty sad, but its also really great because that means the work is progressing well here, and now we can focus even more on the work in a smaller area, and can teach more people! 

On Thursday we were able to have a Family Home Evening with the miracle family we found last week. In this FHE, our goal is to help them grow closer together and also learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were able to teach them about the importance, and the blessing of prophets, especially modern day prophets! It was really great. Their nine year old daughter asked questions too. It was so great. The two children gave the opening and closing prayers, which was great! So humble and simple, and sometimes they needed help from Mom, but it was spiritual to experience! And FHE isnt FHE without a game, so we played ´Signs´ at the end, if you dont know what that is, Im sorry. I explained to them what it is, and understood it, but they werent very good at passing the signs. It was pretty sad, but also hilarious to see how much they struggled, haha. 

I was also able to do some service this week, painting a couple houses! That was pretty fun. Sometimes I felt like I was making it look worse than it did before though, haha. Oh well! It looked good at the end. 

Another great thing was that on Friday night we had Noche Mexicana, where a bunch of members from all around La Paz gathered together to celebrate the Mexican Culture. Of course like normal here from what I have seen, we started about an hour late haha, but we got to see some Mexican dances, songs, and at the end we had some food! We were able to interact with some investigators and less actives that came which was pretty great, and also got to meet some missionaries that meet in the other Church building! 

Then the cherry on top for this week, we had a baptism on Saturday! My first baptism in the mission! Alicia was feeling pretty nervous the couple days before the baptism, but she got to the Church early and was so excited! She was able to be baptized along with three other people that got baptized too! It was such a cool baptismal service, and at the end they all shared their testimonies of what they believe concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Such a cool experience.

Only rough part of the week was that after the baptism, when we got home, I started to feel sick, and I ended up in the bathroom half the night throwing up, until I literally had absolutely nothing left. I was heaving nothing for what seemed like forever. I literally had nothing left, it wasnt fun! I went to Church the next day, which was rough. I hardly got any sleep, and I felt awful, and some people told me I probably had dengue, which scared me. We decided it was best we go home so I could rest. I ended up sleeping almost 16 hours! It was unreal, but it was necessary. I feel much better today. I think I just got food poisioning from something I ate. But feeling almost completely better today, to which I am really grateful!

Sorry to end on that note haha. But again, overall my week was really great! I am really excited to be able to continue to preach the Gospel in this area and continue bringing people to Christ. I know that this work is the work of God, and that there is no greater work we can do in this life. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be an official representative of Jesus Christ, called of God. I know that this is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I know that living this Gospel will bring not momentary happiness, but eternal happiness! More happiness than we can find in any other place in the world. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know it is the true Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today.
I love you all and hope you all have an awesome Thanksgiving!!! I dont think Ill be able to celebrate with y´all, so enjoy it for me! Eat lots of turkey! 

Elder Daines

The 96 year old legend! 

The miracle family!