Saturday, June 24, 2017

JUNE 19, 2017 -- WEEK 34

Hello my friends!

So getting right to it, this week has been probably one of the roughest for me, at least toward the end. We got vaccinated for Influenza on Thursday, and it made my arm soooo sore. Then this past Sunday, I got super sick and I have been having lots of health problems, but it will go quick.

This week I have no time! I testify of being hunters, and fishers of the Lord! We have been trying to be hunters! Hunt new people, hunt old people to baptize, and hunt for people to bring to church. The scripture that I think of as I say this is 

Jeremiah 15:15

Lord, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in thy longsuffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke.

I really like this scripture. I know that it will help us learn more about our personal attitude to the gospel.

Èlder Tracy

Sunday, June 18, 2017

WEEK 33 -- June 12, 2017

This week we had another baptism. The Polanco Obieda Family.

This week we visited the Polanco family every single day to teach lessons. They have been investigators for three weeks. The special situation with them is they are refugees from Venezuela, and they needed to get out of town. It was pretty cool being able to see them change their lives so quickly.

So a cool experience from the week was we were walking home, and I found this little cat. I picked it up and brought it home because our neighbors tell us that if we can find stray cats we should bring them over. So we are always looking for them. But, the neighbours were out really late saturday selling arepas in front of where all the drunk people are so they could make better money. And so we brought this cat home, and so we had a pet for one day. First time in my life! But in Cucuta there are little cats that get thrown out everywhere. 

This week we did basically nothing for p-day. Broke into the chapel (Climbing the fence) to play soccer with the young people. Pretty cool. And also I rode a bike for the first time in nine months! I am trying to learn how to do wheelies, because literally everybody here does wheelies, even in motorcycles!

This week my testimony is over how to set goals! In the mission, something that we learn from the first day is we need to have goals every single day of what we are going to accomplish. Sometimes these goals are pretty high, sometimes low.  But we always need to make sure that they're achievable. I know that goals are a unique remedy for us to get more out of every single day, and also it is a way for us to become better people. I have been thinking about our goals in the mission, and we have been taught that if we can complete one goal (for example, ten that attend church in one week), we should be now looking forward to do more than that the week that follows, and in that we can always be getting better and improving. We are constantly trying to improve, and to learn. Me too! I know that the Lord loves those who are willing to learn, the teachable and the meek.

Èlder Tracy

WEEK 32 -- June 5, 2017

This week, I don't have much to write. I received a letter from my converts. I will copy and paste them here.

My King, I love you much.

It was a cherished pleasure to receive your note, how wonderful is the Heavenly Father who allows us, as we have seen in my thoughts, be communicated despite distances and responsibilities, I hope that even now your mission is still of great joy and enjoyment for your exaltation and to the salvation of souls hitherto have heard the message that you have for them ... I pray for you constantly.

Brother, I'm fine, a little sick right now, I have flu and has been hard for me to get rid of it, but there'll gradually. I still read the Book of Mormon, and every day I feel more attuned to my faith. I'm the Director of Music in the Ward it is my first call, I went to the young men who sang a nice song for their mothers on mothers day. I attend faithfully, and I accompanied the Elders often their visits, I feel my testimony is helpful, and I will be faithful to Him known to others ...

As for my progress and my stay in the country, it is complicated, I do not think I could stay in Colombia, I have no money to enroll in college and PEF take a long time; July 10 my residence permit expires in Colombia, I would be obliged to leave here, I'm very worried, I have no money to these things, and I worry. I hope firm in the Lord that has never ceased to provide, and which will not. (IF SOMEONE CAN PASS A LETTER OR SOMETHING for help, either here or in the US, say it now JAJAJAJAJA) I'm still strong in faith and hope to see the blessings promptly.

A confession: I have a girl, in the church, is Villa del Prado, we are good friends, very close, we're dating ... Pray for that ... It has made me very happy to have her around. 

Brother, I wish blessings on your mission field, I love you and remember you always, I wish we soon see each other again ...

IN BOGOTA, 5  JUNE 2017:

Your brother.
Samuel A. Acurero. M

I hope you are excellent, we are very well thank God, we are by going to the chapel but on Sunday 4 Junio did not go because my mom had a commitment to make clothes, but she first consulted with the missionary sisters that if he could and they told him that if he could that was a conpromiso I had to meet.

Rest all good we are by going to visit the sisters they are three and also the elders Aguilar walk a little jealous because my mom talk more with the sisters but only for disturbing.

Well I'll tell you more after my mom sends you greetings and success and for me too and that our Lord Jesus Christ bless you with strength, faith and wisdom, we love you and miss you so much: Bediciones.

Yuzara and Isabel

A lot happened in the week. One of the more interesting things would be today, right before I came, I helped a sick cat. So my neighbors have three baby cats (all saved in the street). I was leaving our house and they were playing outside, and I saw this one and its leg was just ginormous. I told the neighbor to look at one leg, and then at the other. The cat's leg was infected and an open wound on the paw and leg above. I got a tissue, some ointment, and had the neighbor hold the cat's mouth and legs. Took the little cat and squeezed out an insane amount of pus from inside it's leg. Cleaned it with a little bit of alcohol, and then rubbed some ointment on it. That still left pus we couldn't get out, but better than before. Nuts! 

We put five baptismal dates in one lesson, and it was three different families in one house. We touched a door, found a girl with brain tumor whose dad died four years ago, and a baby of two months. Struggling, and we began to teach them, and gave a blessing of health to the girl. I think that the Lord has shown more than enough of His power in my life this week alone.  Another family where they don't know how they're going to eat tomorrow, refugees from Venezuela who got rolled a hard lot.

Mormon Helping Hands

This week I testify of the scripture, D&C 18:15-16

15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

How happy I feel to hear the echoes of my testimony that I had born to Samuel and Yuzara. They are going strong, and just being able to receive letters from them Those changed for me every day. I pray every day for the people I have meet, for those I know, and for those I have yet to meet. The Lord truly is magnificent. His ways are incomprehendable as we are in this mortal tabernacle. 

Isaiah 55: 8-9

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We just have to trust in His will until we meet again. What are we waiting for?

Èlder Tracy

MAY 29, 2017 -- WEEK 31

This week we had a really cool experience! And I guess every week I have one or two, but I mean it!

We were contacting. Things happened and my companion got a little upset with me. I said hey man lets just keep going. The next door we knock, a man comes out. We talk, and the rest of his family comes and stares at us. They said hey we were just about to say a prayer for our sick daughter, will you guys come in? We came in, gave a blessing of health, and then put a visit to return. The Lord works in our lives!

We also went to teach some Jehovah's Witnesses. We got there, and they refused to do a prayer with us, then we talked about The Restoration, but they kept making questions, meant to make me trip or stumble over my words. I fell into one of them, and I think it's my first time in my mission making that mistake. One of them asked me, do you think if the Lord came right now, that you would be saved. I looked at her and I said if He comes right now I know I would be saved. Then she told me that when we talked the last time you got so pissed and you wouldn't let me speak (we brought a member and other people we there that we didn't talk to, even though it didn't happen like that everybody on team Jehovah's thought it did). Then the member who was with us, who had studied with the J.W.'s for like seven months stepped in and saved us. He managed everything really well. He just kept telling them that they were sharing really awesome things, but they asked us questions, and wouldn't let us answer them. Just a really interesting lesson. I learned a lot.

And so from the experience, My testimony this week is on humility. One of the things that changed the atmosphere in the lesson from just them bashing us and us trying to give a little lesson, and to them at least giving us time to speak and not interrupting us, was Micah 6:8. 

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

I shared it, and from that moment they just got pacified (as well as us). God requires of us many things, but at the end of the day, it's that we have got to apply what we learn. I made a mistake in saying I believe I would be saved. I've thought long and hard after that about my answer. Do I really believe I'll be saved? I think the answer is, I need to change. We all need to change. This humility is a guiding compass for us. It will always point to becoming a better person.  In listening before brashly saying something. It will always make us stick out as somebody who understands.

Proverbs 17:28
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

I will become better. Even though I am here, I have done things in the past that I can't change. But I can lean upon Jesus, who is meek of heart. That is the invitation this week. When you think you know better, wait thirty seconds longer and then give your part.

Èlder Tracy

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

MAY 22, 2017 -- WEEK 30

This week has been pretty cool.

So we got the transfers. I'm staying in my area, ATALAYA 3, with my companion Elder Berrú. They are taking the other set of missionaries out of the ward, so our area just doubled.

We are doing well, I am very happy to be here in Colombia. I feel like my ability to be a missionary is always getting better and more and more of my own free will, because I realize that I've almost spent half of my mission. I need to work harder!!

This Transfer is going to be very cool, because I need to work in two areas, with the same comp, and I'll be basically running everything. I am super happy and I'm feeling motivated. The thing is that I know the Lord blesses his children.

This week we had the opportunity to watch Gustavo Adolfo Pren Mantillon get baptized. He brought his girlfriend, his family, and his extended family and invited friends to his baptism. He has been active getting the Book of Mormon shared. He was converted by it, and more specifically the spirit of God that testified to him of the truthfulness of the book. I'm so grateful to be able to see his  conversion, and how strong it is.

One of the sisters in my district, Hermana Juarez, is going to my old area, CEDROS!! I wrote her a bunch of notes, and asked her to give them to members in my old area. I expect to be able to see them write me back! But yeah, what a really cool experience.

This week, I testify of the power of singing!!! This last General Conference there was a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland that talked about the power of singing. It is a prayer of the righteous unto God!!!

D & C 25:12   
For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.

I am so grateful for it. Every meeting we have is started with a hymn, and a prayer. I know that singing pleases God, and can communicate His gospel more strongly than almost any other medium. It is powerful. We should always be singing unto God for His many blessing. Singing helps me to feel happy, and I know that it will please God, and relieve our burdens.

Thanks for the love! 

It was a great transfer, and I expect to get through this next one with even more baptisms.

Élder TRAXI 
(everybody says my name -- Tra-xi.)


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

MAY 15, 2017 -- WEEK 29

This week was Stake Conference, and so we went to the chapel at Quinta Bosch Stake Center. 

We had the bus bring people again, and we had a lot of investigators show up. We had the opportunity for the investigators to listen to a member of the Quorum of the Seventy, the Stake President, and the Mission President. That was super powerful for them, and I know they came out of it with a stronger testimony.

This week we've been really focusing on an investigator called Gustavo. He is 24, he lived a crazy live before.  When he met us, he dropped alcohol, dropped the girls, and he has been coming to church. He shares the Book of Mormon with other people, and he is just becoming converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This week we have been getting along really well in my area, ATALAYA 3, and we have been doing some work!  I expect to be able to reap the white field, and see the results of my labor.

I testify of the Book of Mormon.  It is the most important thing that anybody on this earth can ever find. I know that if we read it, we will receive spiritual power, and God will come into our lives, and help us know what path He wants us to take. Why would He create a world where we couldn't be sure what path to take to return to Him? He hasn't. God has His prophet, we are continually receiving revelation. It is such a blessing and comfort to know it.

Write me everybody! It has been a great week, so ask me about it! 


Élder Tracy

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

MAY 8, 2017 -- WEEK 28

Hello my dudes.

This week was pretty cool. I have been trying my best to find new ways of finding investigators, because of an amazing experience I had.

We were contacting one day and we couldn't find a direction.  So I asked a lady for directions to the address and we got to talking.  A lady in a motorcycle out of nowhere passed us and said "HEY WAIT FOR ME."  So we waited, and after like ten minutes she got back, and she said "COME OVER TO MY HOUSE!"  So we went over and she said the Elders came one year ago, and so then we said well that's cool. She then left and called all of the neighborhood children together so that we could teach them a lesson. We taught them in a really simple way that God loves them and Jesus died for them.  Basically the restoration points 1-4. That was cool. So now I have a weekly primary class out in the boonies of Cucuta! 

We had one investigator attend church, Mr. Levinson. He walked 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to church. Holy heck. He showed up alone because he didn't have money to pay to bring HIS FAMILY WITH HIM, BUT IT WAS A REALLY GREAT EXPERIENCE! He bore his testimony that he thought that life was to be enjoyed by drinking and making bad decisions, because he works in the mines, where they don`t know if they will leave from one day to the next.  But when he came to church he knew it was true, and he felt joy enter his heart to know that he can change. Wooooow. God prepares his children.

This week I testify of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I know that it changes lives, and that when we apply it we can truly feel this joy that my investigator felt. I know that God loves his children, and he is just. Like in the story of Jonah, he calls all men. Not just those of the promised land, but Ninevah (us) He always will try to be there to help us and to extend his hand to save us. We need to act. Ninevah didn't have anybody in the city eat or drink to try and turn away God's wrath. This doctrine is simple. Have faith, repent, be baptized with fruits that are truly meet for this act of repentance.  To start a new life, and to follow that path until you hit the end. There is no other way. 

2 John 1:9-11

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

This doctrine is true. I preach it to all men that will hear my voice. I love this gospel. Nobody can change the truth, nor should they want to. We change to the masters call, but His call is eternal, from everlasting to everlasting. HE WANTS US ALL TO COME BACK TO HIM! 

John 3:16-17

 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

I know it!

Èlder Tracy