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:


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"

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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.

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"


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