Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week 43: "EL ES LA DADIVA"

HELLO EVERYONE CHRISTMAS IS HERE!!!!

OK SO THIS WEEK WAS SO AWESOME I WILL TELL YOU WHY!!!

Lots of things so listen up good.

1. The weather is great, we are having lots of success, and we saw lots of blessings this week. I am just super duper happy.

2. HAPPY LATE THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!! Our thanksgiving meal was a pizza, and it was great. To be honest, I completely forgot it was Thanksgiving until lunch time. Forgot again, and then remembered at night. When I did remember, I decided to say a prayer in where all I would do is give thanks for the many blessings that the Lord has given me. In that prayer, I mentioned many of your names (and would have said all if I could!), many things that God has given me out of pure love, and for the opportunity I have to be his servant. I realized as I was praying how much my mission has already brought me so much closer to My Savior, and a kind of happiness that I have never experienced. I truly have no idea where my life would be if I hadn't made the decision to be a missionary. I am so grateful for this time that I have to serve him and his children. It was a very powerful moment and a very long prayer, because the Lord spoils me with too many blessings. Brought me to tears because of my overwhelming joy at all that I have been given in my life.

3. EL ES LA DADIVA!!!! He is the Gift!!! Christmas is here everyone, and its time to remember why!!! This is the best part of this letter.

Many of us forget why we celebrate Christmas. We think its about the presents, or the food, or the parties that even come after. I am guilty of this as well. But now that I had grown a little closer with the Lord, I love this season even more! We celebrate Christmas for Him!!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is launching a worldwide initiative to remind the world why we celebrate Christmas. Starting today, until the 1st of January, you will be able to visit the website http://www.mormon.org/christmas to learn more. In this page, you can see videos and read posts of other people who are discovering, accepting, and sharing the joy of Christmas. I invite you all to do the same! GO to this page and watch the video. I got the goosebumps so so hard the first time I watched it, it is so awesome.

On the 7th of December for the entire day, on the main page of youtube, There will be a link to this video and advertisements inviting you to learn more. In Times Square NY, there will be many advertisements posted on digital screens for the entire month of December. On top of that, there will be opportunities for you to meet with Missionaries (like me!) in your area to learn more about this initiative. The goal is to discover, accept, and share the Gift of Christmas. This is happening all over the world, and it is a big deal!

If you want to fall in love with Christmas a little more, and trust me its definitely possible, go visit this page and go crazy.

There is no better time to be a missionary, to be teaching the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, than in the season of his birth. What a blessing it is to know these things, and what a blessing it is to be able to share it. I love you all and hope you can all understand the core of Christmas. If you aren't quite there yet, you have 24 days to learn. Hurry up because CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!!


El ES LA DADIVA!!!
Elder Bernal

Week 42: "God answers prayers [...] we must be willing to do what it takes"

Bueno!

Well, this week we had cambios, and unfortunately, my biffles Elder Evans is going to finish his mission training a greeny in Puerto Penasco, so he will be leaving me tonight :( Its ok, Im trying to keep myself together. dont cry cause its over, smile because it happened right? thank you instagram quotes. Good news is that I am now reunited with ELDER ALVARENGA FROM PARAGUAY!!!!! WHAT A COINKIDINK! We are gonna be compas otra vez for this cambio and it is going to be awesome. Finally a latino companero!!

So I had a really awesome experience this week, and learned a lot of things that I hope are going to stick with me. The biggest one that I want to share with you guys is about prayer. When we pray to God, it seems that we often would like to think that God will just miraculously "give" us what we want, without requiring very much on our part, and that all we need to do is have faith, and it will be given to us. For example, if we are out of work and looking for a job, it is easy to say "God, please give me a job, so I can start to work and provide for myself. Please do something, so that I can start work." But I have come to realize that this is often not how God goes about answering our prayers. God answers prayers when we really desire to receive an answer, and this means that we must be willing to do what it takes and show that desire in our actions, not just sit around and wait hoping that it will arrive. Instead of asking God to just simply give us our wish, we should ask him what we can do to achieve it, and help us align our efforts with what he knows is best for us.

This Sunday, we had Stake Conference, and we had brought a family with us to church. The chapel was absolutely packed, and sitting all the way in the back, we couldn't hear hardly anything. We decided to move to one of the other rooms where they were airing the conference on televisions, but once we moved, we realized there was only the visual, and no sound. After losing our seats, and a large amount of time, I was feeling pretty bummed that this family was just sitting bored in the church after making the effort to come. As the other members struggled to fix the audio problem, I started to pray and ask God to just "fix this problem, and just miraculously make the sound come on, in 3, 2, 1 ..... " and that's when it came to me. Although yes, God is omnipotent and absolutely performs miracles in miraculous ways, of which I can also bear witness, I think we see his hand manifested more powerfully in our lives when it performs through our own. In that moment, I changed what I was praying for, I asked God to bless me with the knowledge of what I should do, so that this family could listen to conference and feel His spirit, and His will could be fulfilled. The subtle thought came to me to ask them if they would prefer to stand on the side where we would at least be able to hear, but not see, an idea that given the circumstances, wasn't very ideal. They agreed. As I opened the door to the conference room, one of the sisters of our ward, recognized our situation, immediately stood up, and offered her seats to our investigators. It all happened so fast and so perfectly, as if it were "coincidence." They now had great seats, and could perfectly see and her the conference. My prayer had been answered because I had acted. God was not going to force me to get and up try something on my own, but he did provide me with the perfect idea in the exact moment to answer my own prayer, I just had to be willing to do it.

God answers prayers. I know it, I´ve seen it happen, and I know its true. But we must realize that in order to grow the most, we must be willing to offer ourselves up as a means for our prayer to be answered. When we ask God to bless the poor and feed the hungry and to help the sick, then may WE be willing to help the poor and give the hungry a meal or do whatever we can for the sick. When we do this, the Lord will have more power in our lives, and in turn, we will become more powerful.


Love you all. Pray boldy, and then be bold!
Elder Bernal



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Week 41: "I just love being a missionary"

Hello all!

So after a rough one last week, this week was a lot better. We were still imprisoned in our house for the first few days, not allowed to leaving because we needed to be under complete resting situations to allow our bodies to defeat the dengue, but after more time for studying and joking around in the house, we were finally able to leave!

The weather in Hermosillo is starting to be really nice, actually. Given that many of you are now beginning to suffer through the bitter cold of winter, it is a little gratifying to know that I am in nice sunny weather as if it were a warm summer day in Seattle. So although the desert has its punishments in the summer, winter isn´t all that bad :) But there will definitely be no hopes for a white Christmas....

This week helped me realize that I just love being a missionary. Being stuck at the house, with nothing to do really sucks. I realized I would so much rather be outside in the streets talking to people and teaching them about the Gospel, than being lazy and just moping around the house. It also helped me realize the appreciation that I have for this Gospel. Since I am completely surrounded by it in the mission, it is easy to forget what a blessing this knowledge is. But after being deprived of sharing it for a week and a half, it was a helpful reminder to be happy for the privileges that are given to us.

A funny experience that we had this week. We left a lesson with an awesome family that we are teaching, and it was pretty dark outside. As we left, we passed a teenage looking kid in a full on suit looking sharp, but he wasn't wearing a tie. We said hi to each other as we passed, but nothing special. Then, as we were a few steps ahead of him, he yelled to us, "Hey, sorry to bother you, but would you guys know how to tie a tie? Ive got a date tonight..." We looked down at our ties, then back up at him and said, "Nope sorry man good luck." NO JK We were like "Yeah of course dude!" As we tied this kids tie for him, he invited us over to eat this week and said he would like to hear our message. What nice people you find in Mexico! Just a quick encounter with someone and he invites us over for lunch, and wants to be taught. That is why I love the people here, very humble and they make friends instantly.

This weeks quote is from the one and only Rachael Duncan, WHO'S BIRTHDAY IT IS TODAY!!!! MAKE SURE YOU WISH HER A FELIZ CUMPLEANOS!!!

"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."
Roald Dahl

Rachael must be thinking good thoughts everyday then!
Love you all, talk to you all next week!
Elder Bernal

Week 40: DENGUE



So this last week was pretty awful, and I will explain why. But I realize that I need to preface this message with a statement that EVERYTHING IS NOW FINE AND THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT MOM SO DONT GO AND BUY A TICKET TO HERMOSILLO TO COME MAKE SURE I Am OK. IT IS ALL GOOD.

Great. OK so, here is how it all happened. Tuesday morning, Elder Evans and I had to wake up early to go to a meeting in the mission offices. I wake up, jump out of my bed, and immediately notice that my head is not feeling to great. I don't think much of it, chug some water, and carry on getting ready. As we got to the meeting, it only started to get worse. What started out as a little headache, was now actually really starting to bug me. People were coming up to say hi and catch up, and I didn't want to talk to anyone I just wanted to go home and go to bed....

So finally after the meeting finished, that's what we did. I figured if I could just bust out a quick 30 minute power nap, I would be all good and we could get back to work. But the 30 minute power nap turned in to an hour and a half power outage in my body. I woke up feeling absolutely horrible. Other missionaries in our mission have reported having Dengue, so in fears of that being what it was, I figured we had better go to the hospital.

After HOURS of waiting and waiting for just 15 simple minutes of attention (how sad the medical administration is in Mexico, and that was supposed to be the Emergency Room...), they took a bit of blood and told me that I had contracted the Dengue virus! And in order to get better, I was going to have to stay in my house, without any reason for leaving, for 5 ENTIRE DAYS. ARE YA KIDDING ME.

It was like tortuRe. 5 days, in our tiny little house, not being allowed to leave, with nothing to do, not being able to go out and work. Ugh man it was awful. BUT, we made the most out of it and did a ton of studying and sleeping....

Finally after 5 days, I was set free. Only to find out that my companion has just now contracted Dengue. So, these have been a tough few days, frustrating to say the least. But hey, I got Dengue, that should be a fun story to tell..

Next week I hope to email you all with some more exciting and uplifting stories. For the meantime, pray for my compa so that he can get rid of the Dengue that I gave to him!!!!
Elder Bernal

Week 39: "Look for his blessings"

Hello all!

We had an awesome week. Working with your best friend makes things just so much easier, and a whole lot more fun. Elder Evans and I are too much alike, partially because I think he reminds me a lot of my best friends I had before the mission. The Lord spoils me with getting to know too many great people.

This week, I had the opportunity to see the Lord bless us in many little things, but in the exact right moment. One time we had an appointment cancel on us, and with nothing to do at that hour, we went over to the sidewalk and sat down. We decided to say a prayer to decide what to do, and, no lies, in the very instant that we were about to pray, a Woman poked her head out of her house, and invited us to her house without us even asking. She said she just felt like there was something important going on outside, so she went to go look! Are ya kidding? Proof that the Lord knows what we need before we even ask him (Matt 6:8). Then, when we were going to church on Sunday, our ride fell through, and we needed to walk, which meant that we were going to arrive fifteen minutes late at least. We started walking, and Elder Evans was like, "It would be so sweet if someone came up and gave us ride." And so, right on cue, a member passed by us and yelled, "Elders, hop in!"

I have learned in my mission, that the Lord wants to bless us, and is looking for ways to do so. The catch is that we need to be looking for his blessings, for many of them come in subtle ways, that can easily be passed over as coincidence. His omnipotent hand is more obvious in our lives than what we think, we just often don't have the confidence that it is actually Him. However, the more we strive to recognize his willingness and desire to help us, the more he will poor out the blessings and the more obvious they will be, because of our acknowledgement and gratitude to His forever extended hand.

A HUGE shout out to my favorite girls, Megan and Alyssa Jemley, and Elise Levesque, whose birthdays fall this week on the 4th and the 9th. HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU GUYS!! SENDING LOTS AND LOTS OF LOVE FROM MEXICO!!!!!!!

Talk to you all next week!
Elder Bernal

Week 38

Hello All,

Busy week. Barely had any time to write yesterday so we had to finish up today. 

I wanted to share a video with you guys that I saw this week, and I absolutely loved. Its is about a man who completely dedicated his life to serving God, and the sacrifices he made are incredible. Enjoy!


Hope all is super well. Take care!


Elder Bernal

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Week 37: Scorpions and quotes

Hey Everyone!

So this week FLEW BY. I realize that I say that just about every week, but seriously its like things go by faster and faster as each month goes by...

So there was just lots of commotion going on this week because it was the first week in our Zone and a ton of new missionaries got here, so we had to make some arrangements for a few of them, but it was great. My companion is literally the man. He is my best friend in the mission and we have way too much fun together. The best part is that we work super hard too, and so it makes everything so much better. Hermosillo is a whole lot hotter than Nogales, that's for sure. Good news is that the heat is going down so it is pretty bearable..... (spelling?). There is one picture that I sent that is of two scorpions that I killed as they were about to sting Elder Evans!! I should have killed them after the stung him, huh?



To make up for lack of writing lately, a sent a ton of pictures (see week 36) of me leaving nogales, and a few things happening here in Hermosillo. Hope you enjoy. Along with those, here a some quotes I heard this week.

"Success is easy to obtain. The difficult part is deserving it."

"Dreaming of success is good, but making it a reality is better."

"The ultimate challenge in life is to reach this equilibrium; Learning to be happy with all that you have, while pursuing all that you desire."

Love you all, have a great week!

Elder Bernal

Friday, October 24, 2014

Week 36: Lots of pictures!


Connor was called to be a zone leader which means he works with the mission president and district leaders to oversee the missionaries and service in his area! Here are some pics from the past week!










Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 35: Transferred back to Hermosillo



Hello!

Hellooooo everybody!

Sooooo this week was awesome, but also really sad.

Saturday night I was walking with Elder Otteson, and I get a call from a friend, telling me that I had transfers and that I was going to go to Hermosillo. To be honest, I was pretty sad. I did not want to leave Nogales or my companion, nor was I ready to do either. I got pretty sad because I was totally on staying. BUT, The Lord knows what he is doing, so now I am in Hermosillo! The good part is that my companion, is literally one of my best friends in the mission, so that could not have gone any better. This is about to be an awesome awesome companerismo!

Unfortunately, because of cambios, I have just about zero time to write. I had a ton of photos too that I wanted to send, but that will have to wait till next week!

Also, since I am no longer in Nogales, the mailing will be different now. Unless what you are going to send me is extremely important, in which case you may still send it to nogales, all other mail will have to go the first address I sent out a long time ago! Thank you!

And btw, thank you Mommy for the box full of ties and belts!! I wuv you!!!

AND SINCE I WONT WRITE UNTIL THE 20TH, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEST FRIENDS ERIC BDE STEFANCHIK AND SHAIN SCOTT WHOSE BIRTHDAYS ARE ON THE 17TH!!!! SOMEONE GIVE EM 21 AND 16 PUNCHES FOR ME!!

Much love,
Elder Bernal

Friday, October 10, 2014

Week 34: "Whether by mine own voice, or the voice of my servants it is the same (D&C 1:38)"

Hello everyone!!

This was a super fast week. We went to Hermosillo on Monday, and didn't come back until Tuesday night. Then Conference was this Saturday and Sunday, and it was SO AWESOME I LOVE CONFERENCE. The first time I saw conference in the mission, I was all pumped up and so excited to watch it, and now that I have seen the second, I loved it so much more. In the words of my brother Garret, conference in the mission is almost as good as Christmas. 

For those who do not know what conference is, let me explain. When Christ was one the earth, he established a church and called prophets and apostles to direct and lead it. Through his authority, they were able to have the ability to receive divine revelation. We believe that this same organization exists today in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. General Conference is our opportunity to listen to what the ordained prophets and apostles of our modern day have to say. Their messages come through the authority they possess, which allows them to receive revelation from the heavens. Modern day scriptures reveal that the Lord has told us, "Whether by mine own voice, or the voice of my servants, it is the same. (DC1:38)." Therefore, when we listen to these men, we believe that we are literally listening to what God is saying to us through the mouths of his servants.

Some highlights and quotes that stuck with me after this weekend!

"Courage is the form of every virtue at its testing point." Lynn G Robbins, Saturday morning.

"If you are going to verify the truth of the Gospel Principles, (that is, if you want to know if they are true), you must first live them."President Uchtdorf, Saturday morning session.

"You cant feel good about watching a bad movie, just because you didn't want a really bad one." That is to say, you can feel good about doing something bad, just because you didn't do something really bad. Jorg Klebingat, Saturday afternoon.
"I may not be my brothers keeper, but I am my brothers brother." Elder Holland, Saturday afternoon

This one needs to be listened to in context, but it was one of my favorites lines of conference: "Lord, is it I?" President Uchtdorf, Priesthood session

"The question is not if we will live again, but rather, with whom." James J Hamula, Sunday morning.

Lastly, for the best part of Conference, I would like to direct this last part to all of you who are not of the LDS Faith.

If you would like know why I, and my 88,000 missionary companions have decided to serve a mission, and why members of The LDS church share their testimonies frequently, I ask you to please take the 15 minutes of your day and watch this video. It was my favorite talk of Conference. I promise you it will help you understand more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In the Saviors words, I invite you to "Come, and see."

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch/2014/10?lang=eng&vid=3822608486001&cid=10

Also, this weekend go see the movie "Meet the Mormons." It is going to be so good!

Love you all, till next week
Elder Bernal

Link to the rest of all conference talks, available for download at no cost. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2014/10?lang=eng

Week 33: "So fresh and so clean"

Hello everyone!

Sooooo this week was AWESOME. We are going to Hermosillo en an hour because we have a meeting over there, so once again, not a whole lot of time to write, BUT i will just talk about the best.

Our investigator Manuel Antonio got baptized! He is literally one of my favorite people alive. He has this witty sense of humor and just always a giant smile on his face. He always tells us that he is so happy that we have come to visit with him. When we were in his baptismal service, he would not stop telling us, "Elders, thank you so much for teaching me. Thank you so much for baptizing me I feel so happy right now this is so great!" Like over and over and over again and oh my gosh I almost died of happiness. And then when he finally got baptized.... These will be moments and images that are forever engraved in my memory. What a special special day. It is so gratifying because we work and work and work for these moments, and when they finally happen, AH there is nothing better. Makes me want to go out and work ten times harder so that everyone can always feel like this.

Check out the pics that are attached. So fresh and so clean!

Love you all, hope all is well, and no one was hurt by the E coli!

Elder Bernal






Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Week 32: "THANK YOU!"

Hello all!

SO this Saturday in the mission, was a very unique day. It was the 20th of September, and it was my first birthday in the mission! My companion had bought me a delicious cake that we ended up eating later in the evening. But to be honest, this birthday was much much different than the rest of the birthdays that I have had, mainly because although your birthday is supposed to be a day about you, there is not a single day in the mission that should be focused on yourself, including your birthday. And so, to my content, I spent my birthday serving the Lord as I would any other day, and saved the celebration for later after we had finished our work.

Thank you all so so so so so much for you awesome birthday letters! Ah I cannot even begin to tell you all how happy and loved I feel when I see your letters. Although Saturday was my birthday, I feel very blessed today to see all of your words :). Also, if I am not mistaken, Sam`s birthday was this last Sunday. Happy birthday my man!

Also, Thank you so much to Sister Buckmiller and the MI Seminary class for mailing me such an awesome birthday package!!!! SO MUCH CANDY!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO HAPPEH!!!!

So not a whole lot to write this week, but tomorrow I am expecting to have a killer email so stay tuned.... But just know that this week was great, and I had an excellent first birthday in my mission.

ALSO PS. I was informed this Sunday to remind everyone, that if you do decide to send me a package to the address that is in the United States, DO NOT PUT MY NAME IN THE MAILING ADDRESS. If you do, the member that brings the packages over has to pay 5 dollars and go through a huge hassle to get them. MY NAME GOES ANYWHERE ON THE PACKAGE BUT THE MAILING ADDRESS. The preferable spot is the return address, but please make sure that you do not put my name in the mailing address. Only write exactly as is stated in the prior email that I sent. If not, I will have to keep paying money for each package! Here is the previous message with his instructions:

PUT THIS ADDRESS EXACTLY:

Ma. Isabel Garcia


82 N Terrace Ave.


PMB 066


Nogales, Az 85621

To designate it is for me, put "Elder Bernal" in the return address, and she will send it our way. Thanks, peace and love.

I Love you all so much. You are all so sweet and I am so grateful for the love you sent me this week. Hope all is well!
Elder Bernal








Another PS: Check out this awesome movie the church is doing. Go see it when it comes out:

Elder Holland introduces "Meet the Mormons"



Elder Holland introduces "Meet the Mormons"

View on www.youtube.com


Preview by Yahoo







Week 31: "Storms about to hit Nogales"

Hello All!

A crazy week and it went really really fast. And it turns out that supposedly there is a storm that is about to hit Nogales that is going to be really dangerous and harmful (super awesome and tempting....) and so we have to be in our homes early today. SO I don't have too much time to write today, so I will attach one of my most favorite videos I know of. It is a wee bit long, so when you have a moment, watch it. Esta bien bien suave les va a gustar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1J58SSjpqI

Love you all, hope everything is well.

Elder Bernal

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 30: "I Love You Sam"

Hello all,

Another great week as usual. Not a whole lot of time so I wanted to share something that was very touching this week.

We are teaching a man named Manuel who is going to be baptized in two weeks. He is a living testament of the power of the Book of Mormon. About 3 years ago, Manuel was attacked and beaten by two men that tried to rob him. He had luckily escaped in his car somehow, but only to have gone unconscious at the wheel and than crashing shortly after. He was rushed to the hospital and barely survived, but is alive and well today. He has a special type of crutch to help him walk, and his speaking is extremely, however, this is one of the must humble person I have met in my life. We are reading the Book of Mormon with him everyday now, and it has been incredible. When we first started, we would take turns reading a couple verses each person. Manuel could barely finish a sentence. He struggled with each word, but never gave up. Now, after several weeks of visits, Manuel reads to us almost entire chapters needing very little assistance. He is improving at a rate much faster than predicted by his doctors. He claims that the cause is because he asks his Father in Heaven every day and night to help him reach his goal to walk and talk without difficulty, and most importantly to grow closer to him each day. One Sunday, in the middle of testimony meeting, he moved his crutches aside, flopped himself over, got down on his knees, and began to pray. He told me that he knows that God is helping him every day because he is making the right decision. Sometimes, when we are in his house and his is reading to us, I look in his eyes and I feel tears leaving my own. The Lords hand could not be more obvious and beautiful than in the words of the Book of Mormon through the sound of this sweet mans voice. 

There are a lot of words that I wish I could fit in to this message, a lot of emotions that I wish I could get out, but right now I just don't know how to fit it all together. All I want to say for now is that my dear friend Sam holds a very special place in my heart. I spent some of the best years with that kid and he was one of the best friends anyone could ask for, and anyone who had the great privilege of being his friend would know that. He was a fighter to the very end, never showed a moment of weakness, and is a winner in my mind. I am brought to peace to know that Sam is part of the great Plan of Salvation that God has prepared for each one of us, and that he is now in a better place, looking down on each one of us, and being taught the truths that will bring him the kind of happiness that lasts for the eternities.

I love you Sam, and your presence will forever be missed until I see you again. And when that day comes, don't forget to bring your tennis racket :)

I love you all so much. Don´t let a day go by without letting your loved ones know that they are loved. Please pray for Sam and his family.

Elder Bernal










Sunday, September 7, 2014

Week 29: "Life just keeps getting better and better"

Bueno!

So, apologies for not writing yesterday. Turns out that we had transfers, and my companion left me :( He is going to Guaymas to work in the exact same place that I was in!! I gave him a bunch of tips about the place and I know he is gonna kill it.

SO, in place of my Elder companion, they sent me Elder Otteson, WHO IS FRESH OUT OF THE OVEN FROM THE MTC!!!! Elder Otteson just finished his training in Utah, and now he is just getting to Mexico to start his mission. He is 14 days in.... how precious! Reminds me so much of when I got to the mission and I was so freaked out with everything but excited. And then I look back at the time and I realize that I already have 7 MONTHS IN THE MISSION!! Time really goes by that fast?? Miss me yet guys!!????

I am going to be Elder Otteson´s Trainer, meaning that I will be teaching all the things he needs to know about being a missionary. In the mission, they say that when you get a freshy missionary from the MTC, he is your "son," and you are his "Dad," and so I now officially have a child. And my "Dad," or Elder Mejia, the Elder who trained me, now has a grandson. I'm pretty young to already have a son don´t cha think?? I am super excited though. I have to admit that ever since I got here, I have always wanted to train a new missionary. It is a special opportunity because you literally get to form a servant of the Lord. Your companion has no idea what is going on in the mission, and so he is watching every you do. With Gods help, I get to help this missionary understand how great his purpose is here in Mexico, and give him the tools he needs to be a successful instrument in the hands of the Lord. Now that I think about it, its kind of like Build a Bear. Lets hope I don't screw it up...

Cool things that happened this week...

1. I read an AWESOME scripture in the Book of Mormon, in Ether 2:25. God is talking here, to the brother of Jared, and this is what he says:

25 And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?

When I read this scripture, it spoke differently to me. To me, it said "I will prepare you against all things, for you cannot go through this life save that I guide you through the struggles and obstacles that will come. Therefore, what do you want that I should do for you, that you may have light when it is dark, that you may be strong when you feel weak, and that you may be find a way out when you feel overwhelmed by the world?" I absolutely loved loved loved it. One of my favorite scriptures that I have read.

2. News update on our friend Michel, the pastor of his church.... He is doing really really well..... We watched the Restoration movie with him about Joseph Smith, and he loved it. We ended up giving him the movie, and he was so happy. I am so pumped for this guy. Pray for him. Weekly update to come next week.

3. Two amazing packages arrived this week, thanks to Rosy Bernal and my beloved family, and the great Taylor Smith. Thank you rosy for the lifetime supply of deodorant. I think I have enough to supply myself for the rest of my life, as well as the population in Nogales. much appreciated. Tay Tay thank you so much for the KILLER TIE and the pounds and pounds of pretzels. I am in heaven. You guys are so awesome thank you so much for all the work you put in to sending these. You have no idea how happy I feel when they come!

4. This week, I finished the book of Mormon in Spanish for the second time in my mission, and as I always do, I put to the test the promise that we are given in the final chapter of Moroni 10, verses 3-5. I got down on my knees, prayed to God, and asked him yet again if this book is true, and if Joseph Smith was called to be his Prophet to restore the church of Jesus Christ. I have learned in my mission the when the Holy Ghost speaks, it comes in many different ways, often revealing an answer in a subtle feeling or thought. But it always comes. As I uttered this words, I felt the chills overtake by body. I felt a peace and calm that cannot be explained, only felt. And again, I knew for myself, that these things are all true. I invite all others to do as I did, and as many are doing across the world, to read this section in the Book of Mormon, kneel before the Almighty, and ask him for the truth. Whether you are member of The LDS church of not, I promise you that this act will strengthen your faith and belief in God, and will bring you closer to him as you receive your individual answer. It has worked for me, and I know it will work for all those who ask with an open heart, true intention, and having faith.

I don't know how, but life just keeps getting better and better. I cannot belief that I have already been gone for 7 months. It feels like it was yesterday that I was a just a itty bitty noob out of the MTC and starting my mission, and now I am training someone who is in that spot. Life goes by fast when you are having fun, and I am so happy to know that I still have so much time left in my mission.

Enjoy the photos! Look at the wittle fishies on my tie!

Elder Bernal




Friday, August 29, 2014

Week 28: "TALK ABOUT MIRACLES"

Hey gang,

Another awesome week in Nogales! I got a little sick because we got fed pig skin and it didn't sit so well in my stomach. Looks like pig skin just isn't my thing because I either fumble when its in my hands or it makes me sick when I eat it. (get it, pig skin...)

We had an awesome lesson this week with a person named Gabriela. She has been wanting to get baptized for over two years now but hasn't been able to because of some complications. When I first got to Nogales, we had gone to her house to visit her, but she was supposedly never there. Finally, one day, when we came by, she was around, so we passed by, and she told us that she as going to be leaving to another state in Mexico and we wouldn't be able to see her anymore. It was pretty sad, I will be honest, but we wished her well, and she said she would be leaving the next day. That week, my companion and I had a conversation about miracles. We said that in any given situation, we need to always have faith the the lord will provide us with a miracle, because without faith, he will not do anything (2 Nefi 27:23). So the following we week, we were around Gabrielas house and we noticed that her door was open. We thought, hmm, that's weird, we thought she left. So we swung by, and she saw us and said "hey Elders, I´m still here! And i have some news for you. Come by tomorrow at 11!" Cool got it sounds good. So we came back the next day at 11, and had one of the best lessons I have in my mission. She was so excited and just jumped right off the bat and said that the complications she had that had held her back from being baptized were going to be removed very shortly, and that she was now going to be able to be baptized after waiting for two years! She was like "Elders, put the date, I want to get baptized now!" TALK ABOUT MIRACLES. We thought she was gone, and now look what that turned into. If all goes well, Gabriela´s two year wait will finally come to an end September 6th. The Lord works miracles, but we must have faith first. For after the trial of our faith comes the blessings (Ether 12:6). I know this to be true because I saw it happen first time. God is a God of miracles.

An another note, I don´t know if it has hit number 1 on iTunes yet, but everybody needs to stop what they are doing and listen to the song attached. It is sung by none other than my own sister Adrianna Bernal, and oh my goodness it is heavenly.

http://grooveshark.com/#!/search/song?q=Adrianna+Bernal+Your+Hands

Another note, as you all know how handsome and charming Fernando Bernal is, Coca Cola has now realized that fact as well, and instead of putting their brand name on their bottles, they figure that the mere name of Fernando will send people crawling. See photo attached



Thats all for this week. Love you guys!
Elder Bernal

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Week 27: "Which wolf wins? ...The one you feed."

Hello hello!

Honestly the weeks are just getting better and better and I am loving it. Lots to include so perdoname por excribir mucho ok?

1. I read an analogy this week abut an old Cherokee story that I like a lot:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. “One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith." The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” There are many ways that we can "feed" the wolves inside of us. What we feed them are the things that we give our attention, and the environment that we surround ourselves in. Let us be sure that we are not giving food to the wolf that we do not want to follow.

2. A new investigator that we have this week is a super cool guy named Michel Fuentes. Michel, is a Pastor for his church, yet he asked that we visit him. He has a strong faith and God and knows alot about him, yet he has so many awesome questions that the bible alone simply cannot answer. His humility was very remarkable in that a Pastor of a church was willing to say to a pair of young missionaries that there are still plenty of things that he wants to know, and more, that he was asking us for answers. It was an awesome lesson because all of the questions that he has, are able to be answered because of the knowledge we have of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and The Plan of Salvation. I love having people who really want to know, because it makes it so much better to tell them that we have answers for them. Really excited to meet with this guy this week.

3. We did a service project this week for a family we are teaching. They currently don't have a place to live, so this week a ton of members from the church took time to come tear apart an empty terrain and make a place for them to live. So we built them a house! Hours of hacking away at weeds and putting together whatever pieces of blocks and woods that we could find, but at least now they will have a roof over their heads. They were so happy and grateful for what we did, and it was fun to do, so in the end everyone was just happy. Service is really good, do it. And be grateful for the roof above your head!

4. Thursday was a day I will always remember for the rest of my mission. We were eating lunch with a member, and then began to share a scripture with them. In the middle of the lesson, it started to rain. And then it started to rain harder. My companion and I thought eh maybe lets wait it out to see if it will just pass by, but it only worsened. After a few minutes, I realized it would probably be really easy to say "eh its raining, they don't expect us to work in this, there's not even that much we could do." But in that moment, I realized, I actually wanted to go out in that rain. I wanted to get absolutely soaked and drenched, walk through all that mud. The fact that it was raining that hard actually made it seem more of an adventure to me. We asked the member to lend us a couple plastic sacks to cover ourselves, and then we headed out into the storm. Within seconds we were completely soaked. Everyone was running away like it was a world war, trying to get inside. The Thunder roared like I had never heard before. It was like a giant whip in the sky, that pierced the air with each strike. The car alarms to every car were literally going off. It felt like the end of the world.

And yet there we were, two missionaries in our shirts and ties, laughing and joking. Skipping around in the rain and pretending as if all were well. It didn't matter what was happening around us, we have a message to share that does not depend on the weather.. We ended up stopping by a few of the investigators that we have and shared our testimonies. It was an awesome experience and something that I am always going to remember because I realized how much I love this work. That even when the city was practically flooding, I actually wanted to be out there. I hope people saw us and thought to themselves "What the heck could be so important that those boys are still out there?"

I do not want to be anywhere else than where I am now. The Gospel is true, and it is that important. I want nothing more than for these people to realize that truth.

Love you all, and wishing you a great week!
Elder Bernal







Friday, August 8, 2014

Week 26: "Focus on the good in others and you will find much more"

Hello world!

This week was SO SO AWESOME. In a bagillion of ways it was just so cool. I started keeping a list of everything this week because there were just too many things that I wanted to write about. So get ready, this might be long pero vale la pena, leanlo por favor muchas gracias los amo muchisimo.

1. My stud companero has this super cool book about Joseph smith, and for every day of the year there is something about him, a little special message or reminder to have for the day. I read one that I really like. It was talking about holding judgements about others. If we are only looking for the bad in people, we are going to find it. However, what you find may not reflect so much about them as it does about you. In other words, the bad that you "find" in other people is actually a reflection of who you are as a person, of the insecurities you may have and not so much of theirs. If you are looking for the bad in others, you wil probably find it, but why are you looking for the bad in the first place? Focus on the good, and you will find much more. We never know their story or what they have been through, so it is best to hold our tongue. An interesting thought to keep in mind the next time we may naturally want to lay a judgement on others. 

2. We had a lesson with this guy name Horacio, who is 17 and his Mom and him are listening to us. One lesson when his mom wasn't there, he said he wanted to learn more about the Plan of Salvation, and the life after this. We talked about Gods Plan, explained why here is here on this earth, and what God has planned for him after. It was a super powerful lesson. At the end, I bore my testimony to him, that I knew this plan was true, and that it is literally revelation from the heavens. Towards the end, I said I know that Christ lives, and that he was there with us in spirit testifying of the truth. Horacio responded, "I know man, you can feel it too?" MUSIC TO MY EARS. That was one of the best moments of my mission, hearing him clearly say that he was feeling the Holy Spirit and that he knew it was real. Without delay, he responded again that he wanted to baptized, and that he was ready. Could it get any better? No, it couldn't. It was so awesome. So so amazing. The spirit is real, and its presence can be felt, if we just invite it.

3. It rained. It rained so hard. And then it actually rained every day after. Actually now that i think about it, its rained almost every day ive been here at one point in the day. I LOVE THE RAIN. As my awesome (and bien guapo) Dad reminded me of a quote from a cool movie, "God is in the Rain."

4. I am going to apply what I learned in 3rd grade and show, not tell. That is, I am going to try and explain what Nogales is like. Imagine a humble village, up in the mountains, which some shades of green and others hillsides of mud, on a sunny day with some partial clouds. Are you thinking of something like Machu Piccu?? That is literally what i think of when im here. We are like some Sherpa village up in the mountains, and its actually so cool. I feel like a city in the sky sometimes, and although its a lot of walking up and down some gigantic hills, it is still a beautiful scene.

5. We did a service project this week and painted a newly bought shop for one of the members here. I suck at painting. He might have to buy another place now.

6. On (fun) Friday, we were just finishing up our studies when it was time to leave. I slipped my shoes on routinely, got my stuff and headed out the door. After about 10 steps, I felt a little something in my shoes. Hmm, a little rock buggin me already just a few seconds out the door? I took my shoe off, peared inside, and there, I did not find a rock. I found a freshly dead cockroach (whether because I crushed it or because of the odor remains unknown). The first thought I had was flattering because this cockroach had decided to make his humble home in the same place as my feet. Then I realized it was kind of gross, so i brushed the guts off my sock, put my shoe back on, and headed out to work! FUN FRIDAY RIGHT

7. This week was sacrament meeting, and it was perfect because we had brought TONS of people to church with us this week! Testimony meeting is when the members of our church, instead of giving a speech or class, can choose to go up to the pulpit and bear their personal testimony of Jesus Christ and his church. Always a very spiritual meeting that I look forward to. One testimony that stuck out to me was one by a cute little girl, about 7 years old. She waltzed her way up to the stand, climbed on to the foot stool, positioned that mic perfectly proportionate to her height, then, after a big breath, literally shouted "YO SE QUE JESUCRISTO VIVE", which means I know that Jesus Christ Lives. As she realized how loud she was talking, she quietly continued to bear her sweet innocent testimony to the congregation. Hearing the words of such a young girl bear testimony of what she knew to be true, about the most important thing in the world, hit home for me, as I am sure it did for many others listening.

8. One of my awesome friends Jessie Jones sent me something SUPER cool, that I want you guys to read.

"Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does He give them the opportunity to be patient? If he were to pray for courage, does God give him courage, or does He give him opportunities to be courageous?"

When we pray to God and ask him for things, let us always be watchful that we will know his answers when they come. An interesting perspective that will help us understand how to recognize divine answers.COOL HUH. Atta girl Jessie.

Life is just so good. And thank you all so much for taking time to write me. I literally cant describe how happy I am to see emails from you all. Makes my day every time.

Elder Bernal


PS. I can now start receiving packages from you guys in like 5 days!!! Instead of sending it to Mexico, you can follow the directions here and send it to the home of a member in Arizona, and she brings it all over for us. Yay!!!

The only rule is that you DO NOT PUT MY NAME IN THE MAILING ADDRESS. YOU PUT THIS ADDRESS EXACTLY.


Ma. Isabel Garcia
82 N Terrace Ave.
PMB 066
Nogales, Az 85621

To designate it is for me, put "Elder Bernal" in the return address, and she will send it our way.

Thanks, peace and love.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Week 25: "One is good enough"

Hi everyone,

So, this week was really really fast.

I arrived in Agua Prieta, and we started working right away. The members were awesome, my companion is super cool, and there had been like three thunderstorms in a row! One moment it was sunny and then five minutes later we were running for shelter to hide from the rain and lightning bolts it was nuts. I actually dont know that I have seen lightning so close or so bright. I was super cool. It hit me once but it didnt even hurt.

So after a quick week in Agua Prieta, turns out that they actually want me to be in Nogales! So today bright and early at 2:45, we woke up to go to the bus station, where I left Agua Prieta, and went to Nogales which was about 4 hours away. Nogales is also a border town, but the thing that is way different is that it is a city of hills. Up and down and up and down. My new companion se llama Elder Beddes, and he is from California. Real cool dude, we are gonna do big things together.

So I dont have too much time today, but I want to share a little something with you all that my dear friend Rachael Duncan shared with me after her incredible trip to El Salvador (ask her about it). Hope you enjoy:

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions. Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.” The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

Always look for ways that you can help others. You never know how much of a difference you can make in somebodys life. Even if you can only help just one, it will be special for that one person, and one is good enough.

Love you all, Hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Bernal

P.S. Next week I will have my new address!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Week 24: "I CAN SEE THE LINE!"

Que onda pues??


Another crazy week!! Sorry for not writing yesterday, but we had transfers, and they moved me! Monday morning, I had to leave my beloved area of Guaymas, the area in which i was "born." Saying goody bye to everyone literally sucked so much. I will get to that in a bit. But anyway, they sent me out of Guaymas and separated me from Elder Bake :( I am now in a city called Agua Prieta with a new companion named Elder Alvarenga! He is from Paraguay and he seems like a super cool guy and I am stoked to be his compa. It seems that the Lord had Mercy on me because of all the zones in the Hermosillo mission, Agua Prieta is the coldest, if you can call it cold... But seriously, I woke up this morning and it was cloudy and when I walked outside it felt heavenly. Pumped for the change. Agua Prieta is literally right on the border. Like literally, I walk outside, look to the left, and I can see the line. The fence is just two blocks away from my house.... tempting...... :)
 We had a really cool experience on Tuesday. In the morning, we were reading the scriptures, and Elder Bake read the scripture in Alma where it talks about how God exists. "Yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator" (Alma 30:44). Elder Bake said to me, "I would really like to meet an Atheist today, so we can share this scripture." In my mission, I have met only one atheist, someone who said they do not believe that god exists, and it is very rare. This day, we stopped by a bus station to go to the bathroom, and while my companion was in there, I saw some people who looked like Americans. I said to them "buenos tardes" and they got awkward and didn't say anything, so i knew they weren't Mexicans. I started talking English with them and immediately recognized that their accent indicated that they were Australians. My first thought was omg I miss Matthew Shields and his beautiful voice. We got talking and Elder Bake came back and we started talking about the church and what we do as missionaries. Their responses made us ask them if they believed in God, to which they both replied, quickly, "No, we are Atheists." NO WAY. Literally of all the days this could happen, it happened that day. So we pulled out that scripture, read it to them, and bore our testimonies that Christ lives, there is a God, and there is more to this world that coincidence and Evolution. They were really nice people and I think they got a bit out of our conversation. It was awesome. I left that chat talking in my Australian accent, and missing my man Matty shields.
Leaving Guaymas was a really weird feeling. I was sad, but also very excited. I feel like this change is a new phase in the mission. I feel like I am starting all over again, only at a new starting point. I am really excited to see where things go from here!
PS, next week I will have an new address that you all can use while I am here in Agua Prieta. Its awesome because everything you may send will get here in like  days or less!! One of the members here goes to the states, picks up the mail, and brings it here, so its super safe and nothing to worry about.
Love you all, talk to you next week!

Elder Bernal



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Week 23: "This is what we work for and why we do missionary work"

Que onda?

This week was SO AWESOME.

1. Juan, our little buddy that we have been visiting for a while got baptized! Ah it was soooooooo awesome. This is a kid that grew up in a family where is sister and mom were members, but haven't been going to church for too long. As we taught them and Juan, they started going back and letting God enter their lives again. At Juan's baptism, there was a little bit of confusion amongst the members and long story short there was like a short moment of panic, but I just remember looking at Juan and seeing the spark in his eyes and his smile from ear to ear, and I realized that throughout all of this, he wasn't paying any attention to any of it and was just so excited to be baptized. His smile and cheerfulness spread and lit up the room, and when we final performed the ordinance, I, like him, had a smile from ear to ear. This is what we work for and why we do missionary work, and when we finally get to see someone make this important decision in their lives, it is one of the most gratifying and happiest moments that can be experience. I LOVE IT.

2. We had one pretty cool miracle. We walking passed an auto shop, and we had talked briefly with the dudes that worked their before. This time, they stopped us and wanted to "chat". The guys pulls out the Book of Mormon that he had and was like "Hey, I read this whole thing!" We were like, oh gee wow that's awesome! And what did you think? So casually he just blurted out, "Pure lies! All of it!" We kind just stood their like, uh.... well that's unfortunate to hear my good Senor. It sort of sparked a conversation that got a little out of hand, and as we began to defend our testimonies and beliefs firmly, we realized that we weren't getting anything done talking to this guy, because all he wanted to do was bash what is so important to me. However, there was one woman that was walking by that heard us talking, and came over to sit down. As a took a glance over at her, I was about to continue talking with this man, when I caught a glimpse of this woman's eyes. She looked at me, with a pure and humble sparkle in her eyes, that caused me to put that other conversation on pause and think "Woah, who the heck are you, we need to talk." Her eyes seemed to scream at, begging me to come talk to her, as if she had been longing to hear what we had to say. We ditched our friendly mechanics, and walked this lady home. As we began to teach her, my companion and I both just felt so strongly to skip straight to a baptismal invitation, to which she accepted instantly, saying it was something that she has always wanted to do but just hasn't gotten the opportunity. BUT, maybe one of the best parts was when we invited her to say the closing prayer, I began to teach her how to start, first addressing our Father In Heaven, to which she said then continued without waiting for further instruction. She proceeded to ask god to Bless just about every single other person in her life, before asking him to bless her first. This whole time I am just in shock at how amazing she is doing, doing everything perfectly correct without even realizing it. As she finished in the name of Jesus Christ, my companion and I almost started laughing because of how perfect and beautiful it was. OMG I wish you guys could have been thereeeeee. It was absolutely incredible.

3. Another humbling experience. We taught the law of Tithings and Fast offerings to a women who lives in very poor circumstances. For one reason or another, we must not have just explained it super well because she got the idea that tithing consisted of paying 100% of you earnings, and not the correct 10%. She said to us "So your saying that I have to give all that I earn to God?" Without getting a chance to respond, she looked down humbly and said, "Ok, I´ll do it. I will give it all." As we explained to her that it was really just 10% and it was all about the act of faith, I couldn't help but feel extremely humbled to hear this lady, in her conditions, willing give up all that she has for God. It made me realize why God loves the humble, and those who are willing to give up all for him. Even though this lady barely had anything, and what she earns is barely enough, she was willing to give it ALL up because had faith that God would provide.

4. Life is just soooooooooooo Gooooooooooooooooooooooooood I had a last of tons of stuff I was going to write but I forgot it. HA.

5. Check out this video of the temple. Speaking of giving up things for the Lord, Look at what this family sacrificed in order to receive the sacred ordinances. This is one of my favorite messages to share that is unique to our church, and I invite all of you to check it out! I am also including it in Spanish because I think the dudes voice is epic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73jY8xH_vhc


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76scEh3atNg


Love you guys all so much. Life is good!
Elder Bernal

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 22: "IT RAINED"

Hello all!

The weeks are starting to go by so fast and it is starting to scare me... But some really cool things happened this week!

1. IT RAINED. It was about 8:50 and my companion and I were walking back to the house. There was a lightning storm that was going on but it wasn't raining or anything, just some cool thunder noises. Literally right as we got to the house, it started to just down pour. The heavens opened and it was like God was trying to flood the earth again. It was raining so hard, pounding down, and I absolutely loved it. Having not seen rain for a very long time, and coming from Rain City, I threw my backpack inside, and just sat outside and let the rain hit my face. I literally cant describe how happy I was, but I must have stayed out there for twenty minutes or so and just soaked in all the rain I could, literally and figuratively. We made a joke the next day that we were going to have a ton of success from that point on, because Hermosillo got baptized the night before!

2. We had an awesome day in church with Two special investigators. One of them is Juan, who is 11 years old, is from a family who are members, but haven't been to church for a while. We have been bringing them with us and they are starting to become active again, and Juan and his little brother are going to be baptized next week! Super excited for them. The other investigator that we have is named Javier. He is a 21 year old guy who's is ripped, and also speaks a little bit of English. He is a super nice guy that we have been teaching for about two weeks now, and he is also working on being baptized in just a few weeks. Keep these people in your prayers!

3. We had an activity in the church on Saturday for all the young kids in the primary called Dia en la mision! A ton of us missionaries were there, and we basically taught all the little kids what we do as missionaries, and how they can share the gospel with their friends as well! My favorite part was one we broke off into smaller groups, and Elder Bake and I had the kids right their testimonies of the church on a piece of paper. They then began to share their testimonies with us, and invite us to church. As these young kids looked me in the eyes and bore their personal testimony of the church and their knowledge that Christs lives, it made me happy to hear such beautiful words from such young souls. Their words were so pure and innocent and it made me feel the spirit. And then when they made me commit to come to church that Sunday, I knew that one day they would make great missionaries!

Hope all is well back home! Los amo a todos!
Elder Bernal
















Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 21: "The country is going through an emotional depression"

Hello everyone!

This will be another short letter because the country is currently going through an emotional depression. Mexico lost in the World cup, the only thing that seemed to matter for the last two weeks, and as a result, we have to go cheer them up with a very important message.

Apart from this travesty, it was a really good week. Went by super fast too. Two nights this week, we had an activity at the church where we brought like 20 muchachos to the small court we have and we played soccer! It was soooo sooo fun, and we played for hours each time. The kids seemed to have a blast, a few of them came to church with us on Sunday as well! Also made me realize that I am so bad at soccer. Some of the 11 year olds just smoked me.

I figure that while I am here in Mexico, I might as well just start up a couple businesses of my own right? So in addition to the Mechanic shop that I sent home in the other photo, I have opened my own Papeleria, or a paper store, where I will be making copies of the Book of Mormon and other important gospel readings for all, free of charge. Already put the sign up and everything. Come check it out


Love you all! The Church is true!
Elder Bernal







Thursday, June 26, 2014

Week 20

Hello all!

The world cup here is nuts. You don`t even have to watch to know what is going on. Everybody knows the latest scores and it causes lots of conversation. You also know that Mexico is playing because there is nobody in the streets. And then all of the sudden, the city will just erupt and everyone will scream and people go crazy and just like that, Mexico scores again.

Pretty good week this week. Here are some highlights:

1. In a visit with one of the members here, she was telling us how she has been going through a rough time, and that there are just a lot of challenges that she has to face right now. We shared a couple scriptures and tried to cheer her up and give her some advice and remind her that God loves her, but she responded to us with something that really stuck with me. She said, "Don't worry Elders. I know that God still loves me. I know he loves me because he gives me challenges. If he didn`t, I would be worried that he had forgotten about me." Wow. Humble perspective huh? I know God loves me because he gives me challenges? Well geez Lady what are we doing trying to give you advice, you got it all figured out.Cool huh. Job 5:17 Happy is he whom the Lord correcteh, therefore, despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.

2. There's tons of stray dogs in Mexico, and lots of them have babies. We found out that one mother dog had her puppies right by our house, and one night when we were just getting home, they heard our footsteps and like 7 of these tiny little precious puppies just jumped out of nowhere, ran up to us and started playing with our feet. It was so awesome. It was was like puppy therapy but genuine because they obviously wanted to hang out with us because they came to us, and weren't force to be there like they do on college campuses. nice.

3. We have been teaching a family in which the mother has cancer. She has been going through Chemo for the last two years, and isn't doing too well. I don't know if its because of Grandma Arlene or because of everything I did with Relay for Life, but for some reason I just feel so close to this Mother. I really feel for her family and want to do everything possible to help them. In a lesson that we taught them, the spirit was extremely strong, as if you could reach out and grab it. We asked the mother, Augustina to say the prayer to finish. I practically broke down at the words that left her mouth. She prayed for all the sick in the world. She prayed for all her family, and she prayed for us. She told God that she didn't know when it would be "her time," but that she trusted in him that all would work out. Nearly crying at the end, I thought of the Plan of Salvation. I felt comfort in knowing that she had put her trust in the right place, and that all would work out according God`s will. Whether it be in the near or distant future, she will one day be free from all her troubles, where she will see and live with each one of her beloved family members in His divine presence.

Love you all, hope all is well!
Elder Bernal

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 19: "Best week so far!"

HEY GUYS!

Alright so this week was awesome. Just so awesome. BECAUSE ONE OF OUR INVESTIGATORS NAMED SOFIA GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! We have been visiting her and her Mom for a little over a month now, and this Saturday we had the blessing of being able to baptize Sofi. Her Mom is still working through some bumps to get there, but its all good because I am going to be staying in Guaymas for another 6 weeks so I am hoping to see her enter the waters of baptism as well. ANYWAY, this was my first baptism of the mission, and it was absolutely incredible. Sofi had asked me to be the one to baptize her, and it was so incredible because she is such a sweet and precious little girl with such a high spirit, and I was so happy to be able to help her take this special step in getting to know her Father in heaven. At the baptismal service, as we entered the water together, I dont know if I have ever had a bigger smile on my face. Sofi was excited, her family was there to see her, and it was all just so awesome. So happy for her and her family, and I know that this decision is going to bless their lives. Some pictures attached below!

A funny little experience that I also wanted to share with you guys. This week Elder Bake and I were doing a service project for one of our neighbors, painting their house white to block the sun a little more. We came back to the house around noonish. Now normally, we always shower and get ready and all that in the morning around 7, but today we did it at noon, after the sun had already been up for a while. SO that meant that for the first time in 4 months, I took a warm shower, because the sun had warmed up our water tank. And may I just say that it was heavenly. But after just a minute or so, I had gotten used to the hot water, and practically forgot what it was like to not have it. The excitement of this hot water, which I had not felt in four months, began to fade in just a brief moment. I stepped out of the shower really quick to grab shampoo, and as I felt the water hit my face again, the warm water instantly brought back those feelings of excitement I had felt just a moment before. In that moment I realized something. Why did the water all of a sudden feel warmer than just a second ago? Why does it feel new? It wasn´t the water that had changed, but my attitude. Even though I had not felt warm water in four months, my appreciation for that water had faded in just a little more than a minute, and I no longer thought it was "that great". But when I left and got back in, I was like "Woah, this really is that good!" What changed, was my perspective of the situation.

How many times do we find ourselves doing this, not only in the shower, but also in our lives? How often do we become accustomed to all the little blessings that we have before been deprived of, but once we have them we forget their importance and take them for granted? Even something as small as a warm shower, or a comfy bed? Brother and Sisters, I would once again like to encourage you to be grateful of all the little blessings we have in our lives. As President Uchtdorf said in his talk this past conference, We should not be grateful for things, but rather be grateful in our circumstances, whatever they may be.

Do not get used to the warm water. Do not get used to the little blessings. If we can only remember what it was like without all these little graces that God gives us, then we can always remember to be happy, regardless of what is going around us.

Life was even better this week, and it just keeps getting better. Take it easy!
Elder Bernal








Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 18: "Life is good!"

Hello Everyone!

Mark the day, Thursday May 29th, Guaymas Sonora just cranked up the heat. Before the Thursday, it was like ok, right? Definitely hot, humid, but like not too bad. you just get used to it. but then Wednesday came and it was all super cloudy and also very humid. It looked like it was going to rain, never did obvi, but just super humid right. So the next day, THE Thursday, it was a nightmare. All of a sudden, it was like yesterday was just a tease with all the clouds and now the real heat was coming... like the calm before the storm.... so basically, ever since then, it has been HOT. Non stop sweating, and its a little gross but hey, hay que trabajar en la obra del Senor, no?

The week was great overall. We brought two awesome families to church with us. Two of the kids were begging us to come visit them every day of the week, and nearly jumped out of the chairs at the invitation to come to church. The other family is super cool too, and invited us to celebrate their daughters 8th birthday. We went, duh, had some fun, ate some cake, had a sleep over, pillow fight, you know how it is. And then we all went to church the next day! It is so happy to see families all together in the church. What greater blessing and foundation can they have in their lives than that?

Another side note, Mangos are maybe the greatest thing ever. I cannot believe that I have lived nearly 20 years without ever eating and experiencing this beautiful opportunity. If you have not had this tremendous pleasure, you have not yet lived. The joy of the juicy fruit as it hits your lips, can only be surpassed by the feeling when you realize that you still have another one in the fridge. So go eat a mango.

Cool quote for the week, "Of all the words of mouth and pen, the saddest of these is, ´it might have been´" Don't let yourself say that. Instead go do it, and then say "That was so awesome."

This is the last week left in this transfer. I am hearing rumors that I might be transferred out of Guaymas, which means I would be leaving to another Area in Sonora, and also be leaving the first area of my mission! Next Monday I might be writing you from another location!

Life is good! Cuidense!
Elder Bernal




Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 17

Hello hello!

So this week went by really fast ironically, since last week was rather slow. Unfortunately, I also don't have too much time to write cause we have a busy day, so I just wanted to share a quick experience and a cool video that I saw this week.


We taught one family that is very christian, very kind, and had an incredible experience. After teaching them about Prophets and the Restoration of The Gospel, we invited them as with everyone to go directly to the source of all truth, even God himself, and ask if the things that we had spoken were true. My companion and I felt prompted to invite them to prayer in that exact moment. We all got down on our knees, and had Juana say the prayer, asking in specific if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was true. During the prayer, that indescribable feeling overcame me. As Juana finished, my companion asked her how she felt, and what she thought. She responded that she felt it was all true, because of the spirit she had felt since the moment we had entered the house, and strongest in the moment when she began her prayer. With the biggest smiles on our faces, we confirmed her belief with our testimonies and assurity that this is the restored church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We left the house still smiling.

Here is the video, its only about 3 minutes so give it a look!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr8xvw0cgw0

Have a great week!
Elder Bernal

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Week 16: "Keep laughing"

What's up everyone?

Alright so I will be straight honest and just say that this seemed like a long week. Now that its over, it seems fast, as does just about everything, but honestly this one was a tough one. A tough one with the language, a tough one with the work, and lots and lots of chastenings. But as we all read from earlier, "despise not thou the chastenings of the Almighty" am I right am I right?

As my brother has helped me learn, some of the best remedies to anything tough is to just Keep Laughing. SO, this week, something funny happened with my Spanish when we were in a lesson. One lady was asking about who Joseph Smith was and if we prayed to him and such. As we explained that Joseph smith was a prophet like all the rest that God has called, I then asked her, a catholic, "Tu oras a la papa?" What I was trying to get across was that does she as a catholic, pray directly to the pope? But in Spanish, the word Pope is EL Papa, NOT LA Papa. So what I actually said was Do you pray to the potato? And let me tell you this lady DIED i mean she would not stop laughing. Like literally, we had to stop the lesson and just finish there because she just thought it was that funny. So even though they just ripped me apart for not being able to speak Spanish, it still got some good laughs.

Passing through an interesting time in the mission. Lots of work with lots of people, and lots and lots of lessons to learn. But the people here continue to be so nice and loving, always willing to lend a helping hand to strangers. Always brings a smile.

Attached are some photos of me and a few of the Elders here! Elder Bake is my companion and he is the tall one, awesome awesome guy. And in case you are wondering, yes, all of these pictures are absolutely candid and real...

Have a great week! Keep Laughing!
Elder Bernal








Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 15: "Get up and win the race"

Feliz Dia de Las Madres!!

To Kristen and Rosy, my beloved mothers, I publicly express my love and gratitude for you in my life. Thank you so much for all you do and know that your son sends his love all the way from Mexico! 

Once again, another killer week. I cant keep up with all the blessings and miracles that happened this week but things are just going awesome. One thing that really sticks out to me is how kind and polite the families here are. So many families here will drag us into their house and beg to let them give us food or water or anything just to be courteous. Good thing too because I'm always hungry and can never get enough of the carne asada. Its almost becoming a problem.

Speaking of Mothers Day, I got to talk with the rest of the family! So great to see you guys and hear your voices!

On a spiritual note, we had one lesson this week that was very special. We met this one man and his wife who were super cool, and the husband was telling us about how how really wanted to turn his life around and had always admired the standards of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We met them one evening, taught a lesson, and invited them to make the change in their lives, accept the gospel, and be baptized. The husband accepted almost instantly, without a single doubt, but his wife was a little hesitant. As she explained why, she broke down into tears and realized that the reason she was feeling that way is because she was scared, but in that moment realized it was the right thing to do. Upon the second invitation, she accepted. Her husband closed with a prayer, and gave thanks that the elders came to help change their lives. When we opened our eyes, his wife was still in tears because of how powerful she felt the Holy Ghost. It is moments like these that me so happy to be doing what I´m doing, and to be a missionary for the Lord. To be able to bring happiness to the lives of others watch it all happen is an incredible, incredible thing.
Lastly, my companion says he hears me talk in my sleep, so one night he woke and up and wrote down all the things I said. Its kind of long but I wanted to share it with you.

So in reality, my cmpanion showed me this poem and I thought it was awesome, and that it was something that we all might like to hear. Just like the scripture I shared last week, we will all have challenges, struggles, but they only make us stronger. No single person in the history of the world ever lived a life without falling. In fact, those that were successful and reached their potential probably failed countless times. But what separates the two is those who decide to get up. We are all here participating in the race of life, but the catch is there is no finish line, no first place, no competition amongst others. It is a journey between us and our Father in Heaven. The way we will know if we have won first place, is if we always "get up, and win the race."

Have a great week everyone! Run hard!

Elder Bernal

P.S. Check out this weeks adventures!