Tuesday, June 5, 2018

June 4, 2018 and June 5, 2018

June 4, 2018

I will be writing tomorrow for probably an hour, but just to inform, I am getting transferred. Today at 1pm,  I am going to head out to Yopal! I am going to be with Elder Hildebrandt. He finishes his mission this transfer, and then the next transfer I finish. So we are going to be heading out, and I will get there around 9 pm tonight. The guy taking my place is Elder Polo, and he will be with Élder Lizarraga. It's going to be crazy! Yopal is one of the hottest places in my mission, but it´s like Missouri, Harrisonville. It's the country, lots of farmers. I'm SOOOOO excited! 

Elder Tracy

June 5, 2018

I traveled all day with Elder Diaz from Perú. We got here to Yopal at around 9:30 pm, so it was a pretty long trip, but awesome. 

It's humid and hot every day. Would've been perfect today to go to the pool.

I'm so excited. Yopal is the city where most there are baptisms, I'd guess in all of Colombia. Last year, 2017 to 2018, there were 86 baptisms in the BRANCH. (It's a branch). From what I'm seeing right now, we are planning for five baptisms within the next six weeks, and right now we are planning one for this Saturday. It's going to be awesome. Maximum next six weeks we expect ten, so we will see during the transfer. It's awesome, we live in the seventh floor of an apartment building (and we have air conditioning) with two other elders. Elder Smith from Alaska, and Elder Alejandro from Perù. I have spent today so far with lunch with the members, and then from there we did the groceries, and at five we are going to have a visit, at six, seven and eight  also. 

I have the goal for the next twelve weeks, to get twelve baptisms. So we are going to see how it goes.

My last area is the best in my mission. I'm so excited to be here in Yopal. It's awesome. It's the country of my mission, and we're like seven hours out from the closest missionaries, so nobody is watching but God. Honestly. I'm super excited for all of the missionary work going on here, because it's an area that is on fire.

And Dad, happy birthday! You still are looking pretty young, and I'm so glad that everything went well in changing offices and for you guys at work. I will not be an economical burden for you guys once I am back, because I know that the Lord will help me as I strive for self reliance. I have learned a lot from you and mom also, in the way you worked with us in buying things, or in the moderate living. I have put a lot of the same principles to practice here in the mission, living off $100 dollars a month. Here it's to a new level, because we get 180 mil pesos colombianos to live, and everybody has to put $50 mil toward the electricity bill, and then we have to travel like every three weeks, and it costs 50 mil the ticket, so we get extra help from the mission but it is important to write all spending down. 

Anyway, thanks for the great example you have set for me, and for always inspiring me to do better. Honestly, in the call we did for Christmas, I had been feeling pretty down, and I was starting to slow down my pace a bit, but talking to you guys, especially with you, was what helped me to get through it, and especially keep working in Nogal, my last area in Bogota. You told me to just put my shoulder to the wheel and push along, and that is exactly what I did. Without the call I wouldn't have been as effective. Thanks for always teaching me and I know God blesses you and the family for all the sacrifices and work you put in. Just imagine the celestial mansion waiting for you. I'm proud to be your son, and that of all the families God could send me to, that we got placed together.


MAY 28, 2018

This week has been pretty fun, and honestly it has been pretty hard.  But like the hymn says, "Put your shoulder to the wheel."

This week we found ten new investigators, and a lot of them are from Venezuela. We have a part of our area called Pardo Rubio, which is one of the only places in the area that we can knock doors.   So we go there every day after lunch, because it is pretty close, and we just work all afternoon. We found a pretty cool family, of Carlos and Niurka. They have two little kids, and they were telling us about when they lost their third child. So we know that they are ready for the plan of salvation also!

Today for p-day, we had to be all morning in the airport for an elder who had to go home, and so we started at 1 pm, and we went to a Catholic church-school and had a Religious who will become a Priest explain to us how they do Misa, and how the Hierarchy of the church works. He was from Ecuador.  His name was Dennis, and he was pretty friendly. We also went because a few weeks ago a dude who lives there (a guy studying in the seminary) told us that we could stop by to teach him The Book of Mormon. Pretty interesting, but we will see how it all turns out.

This week, I would just like to share, that I have been preparing my homecoming talk since the day I left! And now that the days are fewer and fewer, I have been starting to thread together the talk. Just a few scriptures that I would like to share --  

Matthew 10:22-24 King James Version (KJV)

22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

I share this scripture just because I find it pertinent to the situation of the church! We are hated, and everybody has heard something horrible about Joseph Smith. Why is it that whenever a serious crime is committed, they never add the religion of the person to the newspaper, unless they´re Mormon? Just a thought.

Elder Tracy

MAY 21, 2018

Dónde está mi gente? (Where my people at?)

This week I had interchanges, we met President Laney´s family (my mission president) in the chapel, and we also spent the morning with them playing soccer. So it was a pretty interesting week.

I went with an elder in my district named É Cam. He is super funny, he's a convert from four years back, and is of Chinese descendence, but is Peruvian. He is the Housing Secretary of the Mission. 

So a crazy story from this week, is that some members from Bucaramanga moved to Nogal about eight months ago. The mom of the family bought clothes and used the internet in a store a few times and became friends with the lady who runs the store, and the lady that runs the store is the one that stopped us while I was fasting. So, it ends up that the member lady went again this week, and some way or another they got to talking about us! And so the lady from the store figured out that the lady from Bucaramanga is a member, and the member ended up bringing her whole family to church this Sunday. And that all happened without us knowing about it, until they got to the chapel. Great member missionary work!

I was talking with another person this week about how much confusion the Book of Mormon brings, and how the Bible is where people get a clear idea of the Doctrines of the Gospel. I just answered him with the typical, yet true answer -- "How many churches are there that use the Bible, and why do all of these different churches have different doctrines and names and practices. If in Ephesians 4 it says that there is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism".  Just another great reminder that The Book of Mormon is the key to knowing the truths of the Gospel. I have spent quite a bit of time as a missionary, and after all the time, and all of the arguments that I've heard, after talking with Pastors from every imaginable church, I have the security that I belong to the correct church on the earth. 

I bear my testimony this week on The Book of Mormon. Its purpose is pretty simple, and helps many people who claim The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints to be a cult that does not belief in Christ, and many people who don't believe in Him, and many others who do believe in Him but are lost in a sea of false doctrines and obscureness, to come unto to Him.

TheBook of Mormon

An Account Written by the Hand of Mormonupon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi
Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people oNephi,   and also of the Lamanites—Written to the Lamanites, who are remnant of the housof Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile—Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation—Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed—To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof—Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto thLord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile—The interpretation thereof by the gift of God.
An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is record of the people of Jared, who were scattered at the timthe Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building tower to get theaven—Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathersand that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that theare not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christthe Eternal Godmanifesting himself unto all nations—And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.
Bold and italics are added by me. And a scripture found in 2nd Nephi 25:26, around 550 years before the coming of our lord Jesus Christ.

26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christand we write according to ouprophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for remission of their sins. 

I know he lives. And The Book of Mormon is the clearest witness I have in my life of His power and love.

Elder Tracy

Sunday, May 20, 2018

MAY 14, 2018: MOTHERS DAY!

Yesterday was the best day of the year until August 30th!  Because I was able to talk to my family in a video call, and for my dear mother.  She has been my most loyal and best friend since I have left.

This week, we had a baptism in Nogal, and we have just been trying to get more people to come to church, because we've been finding people, but the people we find don't come back to church much, so we are working on improving in that aspect. 



WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
WE DECLARE the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

I testify of this proclamation, that the family is inspired of God, and I love my mother!

Elder Connor Tracy