Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 26 - While on the Mainland....

D&C 53:2 - "Behold, I, the Lord, who was crucified for the sins of the world, give unto you a commandment that you shall forsake the world." 

Howdy All! 

Before I get started with anything, I have to congratulate two of the favorite men in my life! First on my brother, B, who got in to BYU!!!!! I can´t wait to be at BYU together Also congrats to Spencer, Rebekah, and Nick, my cousins, who also got in! Super excited for you all. Also, huge happy birthday to Pa!!! I love you so much, Dad! I hope you had a great birthday. I thought about you a lot this week, and I hope someday I can be as great a father as you are. 

I hope you all had a great week, and that you didn’t suffer in weather as hot as I did. We are in February!!! I should already be seeing almost triple digits. It’s going to be over 90 this week. HOW DO PEOPLE SURVIVE HERE? I don’t know what I am going to do when we get to July. 

Anyway, this week was pretty eventful. A couple cool things happened this week. We got to a lesson with an investigator, and we saw her outside her door with her granddaughter, and I was thinking, “hmmm that’s weird.” We got to her house, and she told us her granddaughter had accidentally locked themselves out, haha! Who knows how much time they were out there. She asked if one of us could jump over the wall to open the door from the inside. I willingly volunteered, but man it was not easy! I managed to squeeze myself through a hole and jump over, all without staining my freshly ironed shirt! Who knows, maybe in another year in the mission, I wont be able to fit in that same hole because I’ve already gained like 10 pounds...

This week we taught our new member family about Temples and Family History work, and they loved it! They are super excited to start looking for their ancestors, and to be able to start preparing to enter the Temple! They came again to Church to help clean it, and after, we had a Ward Family Home Evening! It was super great. We had them all going around the entire Church on an Amazing Race kind of thing, with scriptures that led to different parts of the Church. It was pretty cool, and it was awesome to see the love and unity this Ward has. 

I had the opportunity to go and do Splits with the other Elders in our area, I went with Elder Santamaria. He already has 20 months in the mission, and he was a great example to me! He helped me a lot in being happier in missionary work! This is the Lord´s work, it is glorious! The Mission President, President Velez, and the two missionary Assistants, came to La Paz, and they called us and asked if one of them could come with us. One of the Assistants, Elder Gonzalez came with us, and we were super excited cause we had a couple appointments set out, but they both fell, and we couldn't find hardly anyone home in the planned we had set. So Elder Gonzalez took the initiative to go out and contact people in the streets, it was such a great example to me! It really helped me a lot. We did it so much, that I began to actually feel desires to do it (which had never really happened to me before)! I know that it was because I was doing as God would have me do, sharing the Gospel with as many people as I could. We, as missionaries, are part of the prophecy that says the Gospel will be heard in every ear!

I got a little bit sick to my stomach again this week, but when we got to Church and the meetings started, I felt better, as people prayed for the sick and afflicted. It was kind of weird to see the sharp pains I had been feeling for days, just went away in an instant. It was an incredible answer to my prayers that came in an unexpected moment. Just another evidence to me, that God knows each and every one of us and He is aware of our needs. He loves us so much! 

Elder Daines

"Sunset feat. Cactus"

"Los Cabos!! (Week 25)"  

Week 25 - Hasta Los Cabos de la Tierra

D&C 121:45 –“Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and 
let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.”

I hope you all had an awesome week! I really don’t have too much time to write this week, but it was a great week! I was able to see lots of really cool miracles and truly grew in my testimony of the Gospel this week. 
Something that I found out this week, is that ´escape´ in English, translates directly to ´escape´ in Spanish, just the pronunciation is a little different. And it is pronounced just as Dory says it in Finding Nemo! I thought that was kind of funny, haha. You probably didn’t, but that is okay, I will laugh by myself.
Hmmmm what else. On Wednesday we went to an appointment with the new converts, and they told us they were going to have to cancel...because they wanted to go to clean the church! They are so so, so awesome! They are incredible and I just love them so much. They are true examples of what it means to take upon ourselves the name of Christ. 
On Thursday we got up bright and early and headed down to Cabo San Lucas to have a missionary conference with two leaders of the church, Elder L Whitney Clayton, and Elder Benjamin de Hoyos. It was so so, so incredible! Their testimonies were so incredible. They taught me so much of how we are true representatives of Christ, and the power of our calling. And on our way back to La Paz, I saw a whale!!!! It was so cool, I saw the tail whip out of the water and everything! 
Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak in Church, and I spoke on how we can better follow the steps of the Good Shepherd, who is Jesus Christ. I studied in John 10, and also in Matthew 18, and I loved so much the metaphor of how Christ is the Shepherd, and we are His sheep. He knows us, and will go to great lengths to save us, but we also must know Him. After church, we headed to a member's house to have a family home evening with them, and we found out that her grand daughter is not a member, and turns 8 in a couple weeks! She wants to be baptized so bad, and wants one of us to do it, and so in a couple weeks she will be able to baptized! It was so cool to be able to continue to see the miracles God pours out upon us. 
I know that this is Christ´s church on the earth today, I know he is my Shepherd, and I want to be a good sheep. I know that God knows me perfectly, and He is not so far away, just a prayer away! I love you all so much! Have an amazing week! 
Elder Daines


"THE Hotel California.....not as great as you'd think." 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Week 24 - Officially Members!

Hola amigos, ¿que onda? 
Scripture of the Week. 1 Nephi 16:28 -- And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which were in the ball, that they did work according to the faith and diligence and heed which we did give unto them.

On Saturday we had the incredible opportunity to see a family baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ. It was such a wonderful experience. To see them all dressed in white, so clean and pure, I felt that this was what God truly wanted for His children. I felt so blessed to have been able to be a part of bringing this family into the true Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ. They shared their testimonies of how they came to know this was the true Church of Christ, and it was such a special moment. They each came out of the water, and their smiles were so bright and happy. And on Sunday, we had the opportunity to confirm them members of Church and bless them with the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was so incredible! I have never seen four people confirmed in the same meeting! It was a very humbling and purifying experience.
Today is transfer day and guess what.....I´m still here in La Paz! I am really grateful for the opportunity that I have to be here and to help this family continue to progress. I will have 5 months here in La Paz after this transfer! Wow the time goes by fast! And I am so very grateful for the chance I have to find more people that are in need of the Gospel here in this area. To be able to learn more from being in this area with my companion.
This week we will be heading to Cabos San Lucas for a meeting with a leader of the Church, L Whitney Clayton, who has requested specifically to speak with the missionaries. I am so excited for this opportunity! It is going to be so great. I hope you all have such an awesome week! Love you all!

Elder Daines

At the baptism! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week 23 - Ready for Baptism

Hello hello hello!

Scripture of the Week:  John 16:33  
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

It has been a great week full of tons of experiences! It was a little tough finding new people to teach this week, because it is Carnaval, and everyone went to El Centro for 5 days. The streets in my area seem so dead, it is really weird. It is just like New Years all over again, haha. 

This week I was thinking a lot about the family we have been teaching, and how I could help them be more prepared for baptism. They were all committed to being baptized, but the dad was a little unsure still. I began thinking about what members we could bring that could help us help them. I thought of a couple that got baptized in November, Hermano G. y Hermana R. They came with us to two lessons with this family last week, and holy cow! It was so incredible. Really a life changing experience for me. It strengthened my testimony so much. We were talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the main teachings that Christ taught while he was on the earth. Hermano G. was unsure of being baptized for quite a while, and he was not going to get baptized the same day as Hermana R.,  but he had an incredible change of heart. I invited him to share this story with them, and wow the Spirit was so, so, so strong. It was such a powerful moment. He explained how he didn’t want anything to do with the missionaries at first, but one day he listened and enjoyed it, but didn’t want to change. He explained that he stayed that way until he decided to do what the missionaries invited him to do, which was to pray. When he prayed, he received a clear answer that he should be baptized, and G. and R. were able to be baptized on the same day! And now they are preparing to go the temple to be sealed together for time and all eternity! 
This was just the experience and testimony that we needed. This pure and simple testimony of prayer helped the dad of the family we're teaching so much. I could not wipe the smile off of my face, and I just wanted to hug Hermano G. and tell him how incredible he was. This family is so ready to be baptized this Saturday, and I am so excited for them. It will be such an amazing experience.

This is already the last week of the transfer, and they might be changing me to a new area. I love this area so much and the people here, but I will find out Saturday if I will be going to a new area. I will let you all know on Monday!!

I know that God hears and answers our prayers. When we have faith, and pray with real intent, we will be able to feel that God loves us and that He knows us. Whenever I have difficulties, I pray to God for help, and He helps me overcome these challenges. I know Christ is my Redeemer and Savior and through Him I can be happier each day. 

Elder Daines

"Twinning con Elder Pizarro"

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Week 22 - Families Can Be Together Forever

¡Buenas tardes familia y amigos!

Scripture of the Week: 1 Timothy 4:12 – “Let no man despise his youth; but be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

This week was really good as always! I always say that...but every week is good! Haha. We had several opportunities this week to do service, which was a really great and enjoyable experience. 

I also learned something of myself this week that is incredibly important. We were out there in Chametla where there is not much of anything, and I was a little hungry. And so I said, you know what, I’m going to buy myself something delicious. And you'll never guess what I found...pumpkin seeds!!! I never realized how grand my love for pumpkin seeds was. From that moment on, I have learned for myself that when I am married I am going to have a garden. With pumpkins. So I can grow my own pumpkins and roast my own pumpkin seeds to please my taste buds.

We also had a Family Home Evening with a family in our ward this week, and we watched the Restoration video about Joseph Smith that was super good! I loved it. Each time that I study about the Restoration of the Gospel, I gain a stronger testimony that Joseph Smith was called of God, that he was a prophet, that he restored the Church of Jesus Christ, and that the Book of Mormon is true.

I don’t have too much time but I had lots of great experiences this week! It was really interesting this week, we had several opportunities to teach the Plan of Salvation to our investigators. The Plan of Salvation is really a Plan of Happiness that God has for every one of His children. Through His Son, Jesus Christ, all mankind may be saved by obedience to His commandments. Our Heavenly Father does not intend for just a few of His children to be saved, He wants all of us! And so it is my duty and blessing to teach others all that we must do to live with Him again someday. This week we were able to teach this same Plan of Happiness to the family I invited to be baptized last week. It was such a wonderful experience. I felt the Spirit so strongly as we were able to teach them that they can be together forever! I had the really wonderful opportunity to personally testify to them of the truthfulness of the Plan of Salvation, knowing that no matter what happens to my family members during this life, I will be able to see them again. It is such wonderful news to not only be able to teach people that death is not the end, but that God has so, so, so much in store for us after our life on earth!
I am so grateful for the many opportunities I have had this week, and every week, to testify of the teachings of Jesus Christ. To be able to teach families that they can be together forever. I know that the temple is the house of God, and that through the work done in the temples, I know that I will be able to live with my family for time and all eternity. Death has no power over us. Nothing that happens in this life will be able to separate us. I am so grateful for my family and the love I have for them, and them for me. And I feel so especially blessed to be able to share this great news with other families here in Mexico, to help them come to know that they can be together with their families forever! It is the greatest blessing ever. 

Elder Daines

"La Zona Garzas"

 " Chocolate Chip Cookies <3 "