Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Week 48: "Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear."

Hey hey,

An awesome and pretty low key week. My new area is awesome, my companion Elder Guerra is a stud and we have so much fun together. The new zone is also incredible and everything is just great.

In the morning this week, I went to go brush my teeth. I grabbed my toothbrush out of my little bathroom bag that I use to hold all my toiletries, and started brushing my teeth as usual. I grab some floss and flossed my teeth, then reached for the shaver and BOOM, out crawled four or five COCKROACHES. I saw them crawl out of my bag, trampling over the floss and the toothbrush that I had literally just used, and then escape down the drain. (could have killed them if i wanted to but i let them live...) I sat there in awe and disgust for a good ten seconds realizing that hairy crawling insects and just made a home out of all the things that I put in and on my face, then sorta just laughed it off with my companion as he made fun of me. (and I may or may not have used my toothbrush again because I'm too stingy to buy another one.....).

Inspiration for the Week

"Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear."

More to come on that topic soon. Have a great week! 

Elder Bernal

Week 47: "I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love."

Hello everyone!

They changed me again! This time, I will be staying in Hermosillo but going to a place called Villa de Seris. My companion is going to be a super cool missionary named Elder Guerra, who I have met before! He is a super cool dude, and I am going to meet up with him in a few hours.

Welcome home Mckenna Tracy!!! Have an awesome time at BYU!!

This week, I read a scripture in 2 Nephi 1:15 that has been stuck in my head all week. I read over it and in that moment it has stayed in my head and I have repeated the phrase time after time after time. It reads like this,

"I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love."

I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his Love. Each one of us, however great or small we may be, young or old, are forever surrounded by the Love of our Father in Heaven. In moments where we feel like the world may be caving in on us and there is no one to look to or even in moments when we feel so happy and that life is so great, we should remember that the Lord is holding us in his arms. As my beautiful sister Adrianna puts it in her Grammy nominated song Hands,

When my world is caving,
Heaven stands.
When my heart is breaking,
I never leave Your Hands.

May we always be able to remember how much God loves each and everyone of us. May we be able to show our appreciation for this love as we love our neighbor. And may we forever be able to understand and see the joy as we say to ourselves this beautiful phrase: "I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love."

Everybody be sure to wish the man I love most in this world, Fernando Bernal, A happy birthday!!!!! The old man is turning 50 something! Que no se ponga gordito!!!

Elder Bernal
Inspiration for the Week, thanks to Rachael Duncan,

"“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” - Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross

P.S. See mp3 song attached

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 46: "If I could have this feeling again, it would all be worth it"

Hello to all!

So this was probably the best week of my mission. We had tons of success during the week, we celebrated a wonderful Christmas Eve eating turkey (and honestly I told them that it was better than turkey in the US.... it kinda was.... Mom don't get mad...) also ate a ton of tamales because that's what they like to do here. It is also a big tradition to eat menudo, the dreaded meal for Americans because it is repulsing.... but luckily I somehow avoided it this year. Christmas Day was also incredible because I got to talk to my beautiful family!!! So great to see all your gorgeous faces!!!!!! Love you guys so much I was smiling all day. Apart from that Skype call, the entirety of Christmas day was spent working SUPER hard. We did not gather by a fire, exchange gifts, or have a big fancy meal. This year, we spent our Christmas day working and finding others to teach them the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was unlike any Christmas I have ever had, but I think it will be one that I will always remember. As a servant of God, I wanted to show my love for him by doing what he would have me do on the day of the birth of His Son.

Another amazing highlight was the baptism of our amazing investigator Leti Izarraras!!! She did it!!!!!! Her baptismal service was so incredible. TONS of people showed up, including the President of our mission! The water was pretty chill and when Leti stepped into the water, she said, "ay no, I don't know if I can do it, its too cold!!!" Luckily she didn't get cold feet (yes that was a pun) and received the sacred ordinance of baptism. Afterwards, she told us that even though the water was cold at first, when she was lowered into the water she didn't feel it at all.

There was a moment in her baptism where I had this feeling that is like no other. I was sitting in my chair, and as I looked around, everything to my eyes seemed so perfect. A child of God was ready to make her first covenant with Him, members of the church attended her baptism to accept her with welcoming arms, and the spirit was so strong. I thought to myself, "It wouldnt matter if I only baptized one person in my entire mission. If I could have this feeling again, it would all be worth it." That being side, the feeling only came for a moment, and then it was gone, leaving me wanting more. It motivated me to continue working even harder to share the happiness that I felt in that moment with others.

I really just really love life and I just really love my mission. Enjoy the pics!

Elder Bernal

PS. Check out this video. It will give you the goosebumps guaranteed.

Week 45: "If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me."



So this week was so so so so so so awesome. IT FLEW by but there was tons of awesome stuff! Only have time to touch on a few...

I had the opportunity to go to the temple on Wednesday! Attached are some pictures, and it was an absolutely incredible experience. On top of being able to experience everything in Spanish, it was very special for me to be able to go to the house of the Lord in the first time in almost a year. I felt more at peace than I have in a very long time. It seemed as if the world stood still. 

I am going to start a quote of the week sorta gig, and we are gonna see how long it goes for.... this week I am going to pull from what Rachael Duncan sent me because it is that cool:

"If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me." W.D. Auden. 

Is that not awesome? LOVE LOVE LOVE

So not only I am extremely excited for Christmas, but I am also so excited for our baptism that we are going to have on Saturday!! An Hermana whose name is Leti Izarraras is going to give herself a Christmas gift and get baptized two days after Christmas!! HOW COOL IS THAT!!!! She is so incredible she has been through lots of ups and downs in her life but we found her in a really cool way that I will explain next week. Please keep her in your prayers because the week before baptism is always full of roadblocks.

I truly hope that you are all able to feel the love that should be felt during this Christmas season. I hope you can all recognize the things that you treasure in life, and hold them close as we feel the happiness that Christmas brings. Whether you are in a snowstorm, rainstorm, or desert (hey), the Christmas spirit extends to all ends!

Talk to you all next week! And as for my family..... SEE YOU GUYS ON CHRISTMAS MORNING!!!!!!!

Elder Bernal

Week 44: "Gods opportunities begin at man's extremities"


Another great week in Hermosillo! The weather is really starting to be PERFECT!! I didn't think I would every say that here.... In fact, this morning we woke up early to go play some bball and it was actually kinda chilly, one of the first times that I can remember that I was cold in a long time!

We had what is called a "multi Zona" where two big groups of missionaries got together and we had a conference to learn about how we could get better. There were about 60 or so of us and there were some things that I learned that I wanted to share with you guys!

1. About 15 got together and did a special musical number of Joy to the World. Normally when the missionaries do special music numbers they just wiff it on the day of. But I wanted to do something awesome so we got a choir of about 15 of us, practiced a ton on our P Day, and then performed for the whole group. All the missionaries, including our president, sat in shock and were like wow!! We did some harmonies and cool additions, my seesters Nana y Izzy would be proud of me :) I am going to try and get a recording of it and send it over!

2. Each time there is a conference like this, the missionaries who are leaving always bear their testimonies. As I have mentioned in a letter home before, I LOVE this part because I love to hear the testimonies of missionaries who have so much more experience and advice than I do. One of the Sister missionaries that was leaving said some that really really stuck with me. She said that throughout her mission (I´m getting the goosebumps right now), she has learned the difference in saying "I know that...." and "I am a witness." Being a witness implies that we not only know that something is true, but we have seen the effects in our lives. The truthfulness is made manifest to us in such a way that we not only know out of knowledge, but from experience. This was something I loved because it makes a testimony so much more personal and unique. We are witnesses because God has blessed our lives individually and in such a specific way that cannot be denied. When we look around at all the little blessings that we have received because of this knowledge, we realize that we not only know that its true, but we have evidence to prove it. In addition to saying that I know that God lives, I am proud and happy to say that I also am a witness.

3. Elder Holland, a member of the modern day Quorum of the 12 Apostles, said in a conference of mission leaders that "Gods Opportunities begin at man´s extremities." This struck me as unique because we all want God to perform miracles in our lives and he will absolutely do it. But where his window opens is at our very edge. It reminds me of another quote that I love, "Everything you have ever wanted in life is on the other side of fear." We have to be able to step outside of our comfort zone and be a little bold, and the marvels that God can work will become real.

That will be all for today. Wish you all a very very very Merry Christmas and hope you are doing everything you can to enjoy this special season!! Love love love love

Elder Bernal