Monday, April 30, 2012

Challenges and Baptisms

My Dear Wonderful Family!
  This week I'm sending photos! There are photos of the baptism of little Mauricio, of Ruben (the shorter of the two dressed in white) from this weekend, and of the zapote that I ate last week. Plus there's the photo of me and Elder Hernandez. He's entering into week 10 of training (out of 12). Photos! I love the photos Max sent last week. I want a firefighter sweater too! Where'd you get that?! Too bad it's WAY hot here. But if there can be one waiting for me in 5 months, I'd appreciate it mucho!
  Christian, I love and miss you all too! I hope that you and Dylan keep up the great work in school and your respective sports!
  Max, your companion seems really cool. Just do your best for the moment, he should be patient. How much time does he have in his mission? As for training, it's better than anything else in the mission. Better than being district leader, zone leader, or anything. So look forward to it.
   This week was a great challenge for me and my companion. We started the week really animated and excited, but quickly almost everything blew up in our faces. I learned 3 important things that I've struggled with my whole mission. 1) If a person is not "chosen" as they say, we need to drop them and find those who will keep their commitments, etc. Even though we love the people, we can't waste our time and all our efforts to force a person to do what they don't really want to do. We were wasting so much time with people who never wanted to actually go to church, read the Book of Mormon, or get baptized, because they kept telling us "si, si" and were really cool people, etc. NO. Waste. Of. Time. 2) I've got to be more direct in inviting people to get baptized. That is our purpose. Sometimes as missionaries we get a little nervous to talk about baptism because we don't want to rush the people or  freak them out. but no. We've got to bring it up in the FIRST visit and invite them to get baptized. Or else people won't get baptized. 3) I'm like Peter in the New Testament. I'm reading and studying about him and I just feel like he's so much like me. Very impulsive, slow to really learn, inquisitive, and with a great desire to do what is right. He once asked Christ what he was going to gain for having left EVERYTHING behind for Him. Christ responded that anyone who forsakes family, work, etc. for His cause will have eternal life. I'm fascinated by Peter and want to keep studying more (right now actually, that's how great my desire is, i just want to go read more! ahah)
  We decided to clean the plate of so many of our investigators. It's sad that once again I fell into that trap of "these people WILL progress if they just..." But Heavenly Father let us find 12 new investigators this week! Twelve more people who really seem anxious to learn from us. It is humbling that the Lord waited until Elder Hernandez and I got out of our desanimo and depression before letting us teach those people. We were feeling really down, and the Spirit wasn't with us. Heavenly Father wasn't going to let us teach them with the attitudes we had ahah. But we're okay now.
  Tomas (who sells the gigantic tortas) (a torta is a sandwich in mexico, a cake in Chile). gave me some great advice on Sunday that helped me pull myself up again. And plus, we baptized on Saturday. Ruben is really happy! The Hermano Francisco baptized him. Francisco is a convert from December who is SO faithful. They're going to be great friends.
  Family! I love you! I love you so much! Be safe! Have fun!

   Elder Mitch Poirier

Monday, April 23, 2012

Another week...

Dear Family,
  I'm super sorry that this computer doesn't have a place to connect my memory card! I wanted to send the photos of Mauricio's baptism! It was wonderful! His dad was so nervous to baptize him that he messed up the prayer twice, and once didn't get him all the way underwater. The good thing about baptizing a 9 year old in warm water is that he wants to do it over and over again anyway. Mauricio's grandma isn't a member, but loved the baptism. She especially loved when Mauricio said the closing prayer. We got her address and will probably visit her this week. She lives in the furthest part of Itzicuaro though. That night we went to visit Gloria and Victor. Gloria taught me how to make lechera!!!! OH MY GOSH! It's SO easy. You make a tea from orange tree leaves, add sugar and powdered milk! It's proportional. Just wait five months and I'll make it for you all! It's great on top of pancakes (hotcakes here) with a marmalade (which she also taught me how to make!). This week I also tried a fruit called zapote. It is the least fruity fruit I've ever had. Basically it's like a ball of melted chocolate in a soft green shell. It grows on a tree. You're supposed to eat it cold (so put it in the fridge first). It's not exactly a chocolate taste. It's like a fig in taste. And it stains your teeth. SO messy. I was really embarrassed eating it in front of our investigators.
  This week we read 3 Nefi 17 with Raymundo (isn't that funny that Max taught a Roberto and I'm teaching a Raymundo?). I felt the spirit really testify of Jesus Christ. I love that chapter. I feel like I learn a lot about who Jesus Christ is. He cries too. He's willing to change plans for us. He's powerful and merciful and patient. I love Jesus Christ! Also, I read 2 Nefi 31 in the Book of Mormon, third time around in Spanish. This time I tried to read it as if it were a letter to Max and I, telling us why our purpose as missionaries (to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel...) is so important! It says, "amados hermanos mios" so many times. I crossed out "mios" and put "Poirier". Nefi teaches us that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to be saved and return to the Father. So that's why our role is so important. Thanks Nephi!
  One of my favorite familles in this ward is the Familia Vazquez who just sent their son on a mission to Veracruz. The grandma is SUPER frail. She's so sweet. I was talking and she cut me off saying, "this elder makes me laugh. He has a gringo accent." ahahah Later I apologized for my accent and she said, "si". ahhaha Yesterday I saw her again and told her all happy "Hermana, I don't have a gringo accent anymore!" She laughed but then went on about how God loves us all equally. ahhaha. I love her!
   So yesterday after church I got a phone call from the Assistants saying that someone wanted to talk to me! It was Sigifredo! He got baptized yesterday!!!!!! FINALLY! I taught him with Elder Willett 6 months ago! He says he's known it's true; we were the ones that helped him get his answer. But for whatever reason he was waiting. Well, he finished reading the Book of Mormon in all this time, and finally felt it was time to get wet! So Elder Olivares baptized him! Sigifredo was crying on the phone! He said that just hearing my voice made his heart break. He and Tere love me and Elder Willett so much! AW! and I love them! I get to go to Guadalajara for a leadership conference that will last until Wednesday evening. Supposedly they're making me stay the night in an area that's close to Polanco! WHat? Why not just to Polanco?! So we'll see if I can convince them so that I get to see Sigi and Tere!
   Family! I love you! Cassie is beautiful! I'm so happy she's happy! Aleksi and mom are going to have such a great time in Utah! Dad! Until next week! Max! Be obedient and have a great positive attitude only!
  Elder Poirier

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dear Family...

My Dear Family!
  I'm so glad that you're all doing so well. My comments are the same as Max's! Eva's kids are growing way fast! Aleksi's boyfriend... I'm waiting for mom's opinion, and then eva's. The dogs are WAY spoiled. Last I checked they weren't allowed on the couch! Lilli, I'm so glad that your family is doing well! I miss Christian and Dylan! I'm glad they're busy with sports and school! It's what kept me out of trouble.
 This week we didn't baptize Gloria and Victor. They still didn't receive their answer from Heavenly Father that this is true. It's not that they have doubts, but rather that they don't want to do it if they're not 100% sure. It's because they haven't been reading the Book of Mormon. Everyday we told them that the only way they'll get the answer is if they read. The Book of Mormon is the "prueba" (the test). If it's true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet. If it's not true, then Joseph Smith was crazy and a liar. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I LOVE the Book of Mormon. Really. If you want to know why, read it and really ask Heavenly Father if it's true.
 Today in 45 minutes we're baptizing Mauricio. He's 9. His parents are sealed in the temple, but for economic problems, they haven't been going to church in a year. The dad works on Sundays. But now that our services start at 8 AM he's been coming for sacrament meeting. He'll be baptizing Mauricio. Next week you'll see the photos. We're happy to FINALLY baptize. We want to do better. This week I want to focus on finding families! Finding takes a lot of faith!
  I'm glad Max will be having a new companion. It'll be good for your spanish brother. I can't believe that you're gaining that much weight! Meanwhile, I put on my jeans today (that once were too small for me). I was surprised to find out that they're a little big! WHAT?! Ugh.
  We moved out of that ugly house and into a really great apartment. This morning I went running around the track that is in front! It felt so good. There were a ton of things that I wanted to say, but now I'm pressured for time and can't think of anything else.
  I love you family! I'm doing my best in this work. I'm trying not to worry about if I never become the missionary who baptizes a ton! Elder Willett has now baptized 14 people in the last 6 weeks! Incredible! And I've baptized 0. But there were faithful pioneers who never arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. But I'm going to do my best to finish strong. Almost only 5 months left. WOW.
    Elder Poirier

PS "We shouldn't quote movies, unless they're hilarious" Elder Poirier

Monday, April 9, 2012

The "K"

Dear Family!
Everyone here spells things with "k's" when they hardly exist in Spanish. In fact...hold on. Are they playing "apple-bottom jeans" in this internet place? really?.... In fact, nobody spells or speaks correctly here! People are always telling me that I speak so well, so correctly. It's funny. The mission doesn't even want us to use the equivalents of "cool" or other words that Jesus Christ never said. We're working on it. They say that by the way we talk, people really will recognize us as representatives of Jesus Christ. Anyway, this week was wonderful! We live in this super ugly house, but we are moving out!!!!! WOOHOO! We're going to move into an apartment that is in front of a park with a race track! So I'll be able to run every morning! We're moving this Thursday. Today we spent a few hours cleaning this nasty house that we're leaving behind. It's awful. Although we spent a few hours cleaning, it looks like we didn't do anything. In Mexico, all the houses are made of cement and have tile floors. I don't know if I told you that. All the Utah missionaries look way forward to getting home and laying on their carpeted houses. I just look forward to petting a dog and not having a grey, dusty palm. PS Elder Hernandez is way scared of dogs. Yet he taunts them with the Book of Mormon (which we always have to hold in our hands). Well, he did it once. But he learned his lesson. The dog followed us for 10 minutes barking and barking.
Wednesday night, we got a call from the Assistants telling us that we had to be in Guadalajara Thursday morning for a conference for trainers and trainees. We spent ALL Thursday in Guadalajara! I LOVED BEING BACK THERE! Imagine, a year of my life in the 2nd largest city in Mexico. It was weird to see yellow taxis instead of the white ones here in Morelia. Guess who was also at the conference! Elder Willett!!!! He's doing SO great. He's baptizing a ton because he is FILLED with faith and SO focused on finding families who are really looking for the gospel. He's not wasting time with people who aren't progressing. He has the faith that there are people who are READY for the gospel. They always tell us that we're here to harvest, not to sow seeds. It was great to see him! I feel so motivated! We plan to both begin baptizing a TON and then ask President to make us companions in June until i finish my mission. We're serious. And I'm going to finish this mission STRONG. He courageously asked for permission to go visit our converts in Polanco. So we had 1 hour to go see the Familia Reyes. Alberto is now really sick because of his diabetes. He had a surgery that the church paid for. When we got there, the whole family was all surprised to see us! Alberto was asleep in a bed, or just laying there really. He's blind. It was so sad. We sat and talked to him. We cried. Olivia and Karen are both doing really well. It was great to be in Polanco again with Elder Willett. We feel like we could have a ton of success now that we both feel like we get it. Like I told dad, it's all about faith. So first you have to figure out what faith really is. I thank you family for helping me learn that, especially mom's email about a positive attitude.
We look forward to baptizing soon. This week 20 year old Victor is going to decide to get baptized or no. His mom, Gloria, is out of town, but as well could get baptized. Pray for it! I want to send you those photos next week! I'm going to have that hope! I'm happy that Max is going to baptize finally! And that Easter was so beautiful! Max is right, Easter Sunday is nothing here tampoco. Everyone celebrates the death, etc. of Christ, but not His Ressurrection. Sad. So we did! We read the story of His Ressurrection with our investigators and made them all go to church especially for that day. Unfortunately the church didn't even acknowledge that it was Easter. Aye... But with faith we're going to change this ward!

Elder Poirier

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hi All

Dear Family,
  I'm fighting a sinus infection which has given me painful headaches all week and has clogged my ears. We fasted twice this week! Athlete's foot and an ingrown toenail. Gross, right? But I keep working because I just want to baptize. I've worked through days of vomiting, so this is easy. I had a great week! I love it here in Morelia, though I'm starting to worry that I won't get to go back to Guadalajara before I finish my mission. I only have 4 more transfers. This is the last week of this transfer, but we won't have changes because I'm still training Elder Hernandez. So then I'll only have 3 more transfers and who knows what will happen?! But whatever. I just want to baptize.
 This week we had a zone conference with President Jesperson and the assistants. President read us pages from his HUGE mission journal. I was CRACKING UP laughing, but the only one doing so. Why? Because he was JUST LIKE ME at first! He was having a lot of tough times and thinking that that was just how the mission was going to be. That there aren't really that many miracles, etc. A ton of work, and little fruit. He says his poor family must have felt awful reading all his sorry letters. BUT a letter from his dad changed his mission. His dad told him exactly what mom told me a few weeks ago: it's all about your attitude, your mind! You've got to be positive! You've got to have FAITH! So he and his companion fasted and prayed for a goal, the number of people they could baptize in the following 3 months if they had faith and did ALL they could. The Lord told them 30 in 3 months, but that was very high for the mission at the time. Well, they trusted that the answer came from God. Faith is a hope for things which are not seen but are TRUE. And they knew it was TRUE that they could baptize 30 because the Lord told them they could. Well, they did it. And they saw INCREDIBLE miracles. From then on he baptized more and more!
 So this week my companion and I fasted and prayed for a goal for the next 2 months. We decided 16. We're going to keep being ONE HUNDRED percent obedient, having positive attitudes, and faith! We've got to control our minds! We cannot let doubt it! Not even a bit! So pray for us! It'll be incredible to reach that goal! I'm going to do it! As President told us "better late than never." I'm going to finish this mission STRONG.
  As for General Conference, we watched practically all of it in Spanish. It's fine. I understand perfectly, but I don't enjoy it as much. The translators don't speak with as much power or emotion. And because we brought investigators to almost every session, and it was so far away, we missed most of the first talks, including Elder Holland. So I look forward to getting the Liahona!
  We completed the standard this week again, even though we only had 2 full days to work. My companion is a great influence on me. He's trying to give his all and focus. He wants to baptize. I want to help him really see it's possible. Plus I want to see that it's possible!
       I love you family! I love you so much! I can't really express myself, but I wish I could just hug you all! Mother's day is coming up! SKYPE!!
  Elder Poirier