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!"


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