Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Week 13: Lots of new pictures

Hi everyone,

We just had transfers today and I got a new companion! His name is Elder Bake and he is from Idaho. Seems like a stud and I'm pumped to get to work with him.

Not a whole lot of time to write this week cause it was a crazy day today with all the changes, but I wanted to include some pictures from an adventure Elder Leany and I had. We woke up at 5am to go hike a little mountain nearby. We figured there would just be a trail to follow to avoid all the cactus and plants and such, but when we got there we couldn't find anything. We had to fight our way through thorns and rocks and snakes and lions but we finally made it to the top and the view was awesome. Fun fact that right here in Guaymas Sonora is the only place in the world (supposedly..) that desert literally meets the ocean. It was perty. You can also see my failed attempt at taking a selfie, it was brighter than I thought. Going down we had to find a different way because the other way was just too hard. The whole thing ended up being like 4 hours instead of 1 but it was good.

Like I said sorry for a short letter, but the updates will continue. The work is hastening and things are just getting better and better. Hope you all are doing well!

Elder Bernal

Here are some pictures:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Week 12

Hello everyone!

First and foremost, it was Phil Fraziers birthday on the 14th, and so if you haven't already, please tell him happy birthday and then give him a nice punch in the arm for me. 

A great week once again, although not much to report. This last week was La Semana Santa and so everyone was at the beach celebrating the holidays and so it was a slow one for us. On the bright side, Spanish is becoming more and more comfortable, and I barely speak English anymore. The food is still good, almost too good because I may or may not be gaining weight already, and shout out to Rachael Duncan, Claire Constanza, Hayley Baas, and Emma Salter for their care package that made me feel like a kid on Christmas morning.

One thing that I do consider to be absolutely significant enough to include in this weeks email is that I have realized that the ability to whistle loudly is a secret weapon in Mexico, and thus I have been sucking air trying to practice for the last few weeks. And so, the other day, my companion and I were running to catch our bus that had passed us, and in a last attempt, I whistled for the bus to stop, hoping he would hear... and just then, the bus stopped; AND IT WORKED!!!! He pulled over and waited for us, and we got on. After sitting down in my seat, it may have been one of the most accomplishing feelings of my life. I now have a powerful powerful ability to control the transportation system of Mexico. Look out.

Apart from that legendary story, not much else to report.

Hope you all enjoyed a lovely Easter and remembered the significance of the Savior`s sacrifice for us. Love you all and will talk to you next week!

Elder Bernal

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Week 11: "I invite you to find out for yourselves."

Hello friends and family!

This week I spent a lot of time reflecting on conference and everything that we heard over the weekend. It made me think a lot about why I am here serving a mission, and I wanted to share some of these thoughts with all of you.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we have an organization of Leaders, called of God, to serve as Prophets and Apostles, who devote their entire lives, 24/7, to be completely devoted in the work of the Lord. We have over 85,000 missionaries, the largest missionary force in the world, that span the globe and dedicate two years of their adolescent life to preach the gospel to complete strangers, many doing so in a foreign language. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are baptized and confirmed, and become a part of the LDS faith which consists of over 15 million members worldwide, currently the fastest growing religion. My question to you, brothers and sisters, is how?

How is it that we can claim to have a living Prophet who can communicate with God just as they did in times of old, and how is it that we also have Apostles like Christ did, that consist of intelligent men who devote their entire life to serving God and expanding his church? Is our Prophet just making it all up, and the revelations that he has are actually just his own imaginations? Are his Apostles wasting their lives in the wrong work, and are these men lying when they say that they bear special witness of Jesus Christ? How is it, that 85 thousand young men and women can put a pause on their teenage years, the time that many say to be the most exciting of our lives, and devote two years of their life to preach what they believe to be true? Are they also wasting their time? But most importantly my friends, how it is that every year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world meet with these young missionaries, claim to feel something burn in their heart, claim to receive an answer from God, and are baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints? Are they also making it up, and pretending to feel something that isn't actually real?

How? It is because the Church is true. I know how that sounds for many of you are not LDS, so instead of listening to someone else tell you, I invite you to find out for yourselves. Put aside your biases that you have of the church, let go of all the stereotypes you have heard about Mormonism, and just see for yourself. I promise you you will not be disappointed, and I can make that promise because I would not spend two years of my life teaching others something that isn't true.

One last favor that I want to ask all of you! My companion is from Honduras, doesn't speak a lick of English, and he is the only member of the Church in his family. He barely has any emails to check every week because no one writes him, including his family. Its tough as a missionary to give up two years and then not have your family support you, let alone even write you. No missionary should feel like there is no one who supports them. SO, if you would be so kind and if you have 5 minutes to spare, please practice your Spanish and send an email to jesser.mejia@myldsmail.net and just say anything like hey keep working hard or hey be nice to connor or hey give connor your really cool blue tie or hey we are praying for the missionaries or whatever you want to say! It would mean so much to him and he needs it right now.

Unfortunately I cant explain what I want to say perfectly in text, but I hope I got the point across. Love you all, and hope you have an awesome week!

Elder Bernal

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Week 10: " "The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not for once a week, or for once a day, It is for Once and For All."


This week we did intercambios for a day which is when another missionary will switch places with my companion, and I would work with him for the day. I was paired up with my companion in the MTC, and it was awesome because neither one of us speak Spanish's perfectly and so we were excited to see how we could do on our own! It was actually a really fun day and I felt like I grew a lot with the language because I couldn't rely on my companion understanding everything, we had to do it ourselves. But my Spanish is still bien chafa!

The best part about this week was conference. Maybe its different because I saw it while in the mission field, but I thought this was one of if not the best conferences I have ever seen. I LOVED both of Uchtdorf's talks about "Are you sleeping through the Restoration?" and the other all about gratitude. Elder Hollands, Hallstroms, and Monsons were all some of my favorites too.

I noticed there was a reptitive theme in conference that even though the world around us is changing, Gods laws do not change. We must always remember to stand strong in our faith and for what we believe in whether the world wants to agree with it or not. The most important thing that I noticed about conference was the theme about Christ like love. Elder Holland said that Christ like love is the biggest need in the world today, and I couldn't agree more.

I was going to bring my notes and leave with you with some bomb quotes, but I forgot. SO instead I will leave you with the one that I loved the most. When Uchtdorf said this, I threw my pen down and shouted "BOOM" in a room of all the other English speaking missionaries, and they all looked at me and laughed.

Here it is:

"The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not for once a week, or for once a day, It is for Once and For All."

The gospel is true, and it is something that every single person on this earth needs. It does not matter who you are or where you come from, what school you go to or how cool you think you are, Everyone needs Christ in their lives. If you do not know him, get to know him. He will change your life for the better and bring you happiness you may not have known you needed. I know this to be true because I see it happen first hand, every single day.

Life is great, I`m loving this work, and its only going to get better. Have a great week!
Elder Bernal