Monday, October 29, 2012

"Reppin' it Like A Mascot in Valladolid"

These are excerpts from Taylor's e-mail this week:

Bosh kuwaleek! (Or something like that. It's Mayan for "How are you?") I'm not quite sure how to spell it.  Speaking of Mayan, the other day the bishop of the ward in Uayma, a little pueblo that we go to every once in awhile, asked me to give a talk at the baptism of Carlos.  Basically everyone in Uayma's first language is Mayan but they have the church meetings in Spanish with some Mayan mixed in. They definitely feel more comfortable with Mayan though because they don't talk to each other in Spanish, just to the missionaries and to their kids because they recognize their kids have to learn Spanish. When I got up to give my talk I told everyone that my Spanish was still pretty rough so I would just have to give my talk in Mayan. Everyone started chattering and getting all excited, I threw out the few phrases in Mayan that I know and they were just lovin' it!! Then I finally told them that I was just kidding and finished the rest in Spanish. It was good stuff. You should have seen some of the faces of the old ladies in the ward! Priceless fo sho!
This week has been pretty superb. On Tuesday we got a call from the secretary in the mission offices and he told us that I had to go to Merida to work out some stuff at the immigration office. So, on Friday at 4 in the morning we took a bus for a four hour ride all the way to Merida. Normally it is only 2 hours to Merida on the first class bus but because it is the end of the month and money is tight we decided to take the second class which goes through all the tiny pueblos. It was crazy how many there were! The thought that kept running through my mind was the scripture that talks about the people walking in obscurity and from the truth because they know not where to find it. I am sure that missionaries have never taught there but hopefully someday we'll have enough to do just that.
 I don't know if I've heard this somewhere else or this is just what I think, but I feel like if you hear a message over and over again it is because the Lord wants to make sure you get it. I think it's because unfortunately I tend to need a bit more prodding than hearing something just one time. The message that I have heard over and over again these last two weeks is that of becoming perfect. In the scriptures, Jesus exhorts us to be perfect even as our Father in Heaven is perfect. Most of the time when we hear that we just think, "Nah, I'm human. I can't be perfect even if I try.  Jesus must have been talking about the next life, because that isn't something I can worry about today."  While that thought may have some good reasoning, it is not entirely true! An hermano (brother) in our ward gave a talk two weeks ago about just that and he brought up a good point. If the Lord is asking us to do something, it is because He fully expects that we can do it. Sure, we're going to mess up, we're going to definitely struggle with certain things but He knew that.  He has provided us with tools such as the Atonement where we can fix all those desafios, (challenges) and one day we really can become perfect. I don't know why, but I've been thinking about that all a lot lately and I really do believe it. Yes, we are going to trip and mess up along the way.  However, like Nefi (Nephi) we just need to remember that the Lord never gives a commandment unto the children of men without providing a way. We can become perfect some day! The key is to improve line upon line, ¿verdad? (True?) Ah yeah! Call me crazy but I just felt like I wanted to share that because it has come up a lot for me in the past few days.  A lot of times we sell ourselves short as far as becoming like our Father in Heaven. The great thing about this gospel though is that we have the knowledge that as God now is man may become and along with that as man now is God once was. We can do it, with a lot of time and with hard work! Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
Have a great week and I'll send another epistle next week!
Con amor, (with love), Elder Jaussi
Sea feliz, sea Mormon (Be Happy.  Be a Mormon)
 These are answers to a couple of questions we asked him:
We eat every lunch with members and I have to say they are so darn generous. At times I feel bad because they give us so much and most of the times I can't finish it all. (My stomach is still adjusting, but getting better!!) As for breakfast and dinner, we usually fend for ourselves. I have been pulling a Dad and cooking oats every morning in water with sugar. Good stuff!
The piano lessons haven't really been happening. I just play in sacrament meeting and that is it with the piano. I love it though, and I have to tell you how grateful I am that you kept me with piano for as long as I did it. No one was really interested in learning, but I'm going to keep offering.

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012

We're not sure of the significance of this photo other than that it represents what Taylor and all the other missionaries throughout the world are doing--following the Savior's invitation to become "fishers of men."  We'll have to ask him why he took and sent this photo.

Taylor says that he is absolutely loving the mail and thanks everyone for sending it.  He thinks that the pouch mail arrives quicker than the regular letters but appreciates it all.  He has received letters every week except for the week of transfers.  He is still in Valladolid but apparently, the mail delivery was affected by the transfer day.  He says he is going to try and write back to everyone but for us all not to be too hard on him if he isn't as good as he was in the MTC.  Time is more limited (preparation days are filled and very different there) and it is more difficult to mail things from Mexico, we assume.

Taylor and his companion, Elder Villanueva, spoke again in Sacrament meeting and he took on the topic of keeping the Sabbath Day holy.  He felt like that was something the ward really needed, as so many come to sacrament meeting and then leave to go home and play soccer or fly kites.   He hoped that he didn't say anything too offensive because he really does love the ward.  The Bishop thanked him afterward for what he said, so he thinks maybe the talk was okay.

Taylor ended his e-mail with the request that we keep him in our prayers so that he will begin to understand the people better when they speak.  He is still having a difficult time and is a little frustrated with that because he wants to be able to help the people that they are working with.  He says, "Until then, I'll just work on loving them!"

Thanks again to everyone for writing and for your prayers in Taylor's behalf.

Taylor snapped this photo of Elder Villanueva zonked right there on his knees.  :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"Placentero Nos Es Trabajar" 10-15-2012

The best guess at translation of this week's title is "It is pleasant to us to work, or we find the work is pleasant." Anyway....  apparently it was a very good week. 
Taylor and Elder Villanueva have been teaching this young boy and he was baptized.  Taylor had the privilege of performing the ordinance and that was wonderful for him.  He said that he lives with his grandmother and that she teaches the gospel to her grandchildren.  They have even started waking up at 6 to read the Book of Mormon together.  "C. says he doesn't mind waking up early though, because he feels good after reading."  Taylor says he wishes he could have been more like that when he was his age, or even more like him a year ago!  He was nervous about performing the baptism but it all went well.  He wondered if C. was okay through the baptism but felt like he was when he gave him a big hug at the top of the stairs leading into the font.  He said, "What a guy!  I love his little brother too."  It appears that they are "buen amigos" here in the photo below.

Elders Villanueva, Jaussi and C.
Taylor and his companion had a great experience with a less active member, teaching a lesson and then encouraging him to return to church.  The member confided some concerns to them and T says that it was a wonderful experience.  They assured the member that they would be praying for him.  He said, "I don't know why he told us all that he did but he kept telling us that he really trusted us.  We've only taught him one time before.  I know that we can help him....I am starting to find out why missionaries get so excited about teaching people because of the feeling I felt when I was talking to this Hermano (brother).  It is hard to describe.  I can't say I've ever felt it before.  It is a pretty good feeling though, helping others come unto Christ."
"Sean felizes!  Sean Mormones!"  (Be happy!  Be Mormons!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Guardian Angel

It has been said many times that Heavenly Father blesses and cares for us through another. We have seen this already in Taylor's time in the mission. We recently had the privilege of meeting Bro. Gary Taylor. He is a local member here who has gone to Mexico to establish a business and provide employment for people there in Temoson who are in need of it. Taylor had told us about Brother Taylor and how he always asks if he can give them a ride, accompany them to teach, feed them, give them referrals. He was the one who requested that they come to the little town of Temoson from Valladolid to teach some of the people he has referred. He does whatever he can to assist them in their work and truly is an angel to them. This week he hand-delivered a card from Taylor for his brother's birthday. We had a nice visit and he offered to take something back for him. We packed up a small box and sent it with him to be delivered when he returns to Mexico at the end of the month. Missions and the Church give us so many opportunities to meet wonderful people.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Que Onda?

We aren't sure exactly what the title of T's e-mail means, but assume it is something like, "what's going on, What's happening, etc.)  Onda is literally translated, "wave, flicker." 
Baptism of a young man named D.  His older brother actually performed the baptism.  :)
A pretty patio.  No description or title was sent with the photo.

Elders Jaussi and Villanueva at conference time
Taylor writes, "We were able to go to Tizimin (about a hour away) to watch some of conference.  In the bus on the way there I was praying to be able to understand some of it to help me and...it turns out I didn't understand any of the Spanish--because it was in English!!  The Elders from Tizimin (the two gringos,) talked to the stake president so that we could watch it in English.  They know I still can't understand much so they had my back.  All I have to say is that from what I saw, it was probably my favorite conference ever.  Maybe it is because I'm on the mission, I don't know, but it was absolutely potente (cool, awesome)."
Taylor also said that he and the other missionaries were very excited to hear about the changes in age requriements for missionaries.  He asked what his younger brother's thoughts were about it and if his Dad had seen any change yet in the influx of interviews, etc.

Modern-day laundry methods used by missionaries in Valladolid, Mexico
It has still been "scorchin' hot but has cooled down a bit recently with the nonstop rain for about 2 hours each day."  Tay isn't sure where all the water comes from and says that it never seems to stop.
He thanks everyone for their love, support and prayers.  "I think that is what is helping me most."  He continues to need us to pray for him and Elder Villanueva to be able to receive referrals and to find people to teach. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Por Fin!

At last we received e-mails from Elder Jaussi who went missing last week.  Turns out that there was a glitch and he got a message back saying that the e-mail failed to send last week.  So, we received both of them this week along with a couple of photos.  Here are some excerpts from his e-mails and a couple shots of his handsome mug.
This week we had our first baptism!!!!!! (hallelujah chorus blaring in the background) David Dzul was baptized by his older brother who was baptized about 4 weeks ago. I wasn't really sure how I was going to feel exactly but let me tell you the spirit was electric. (If it can be that) Their mom isn't a member and isn't so sure about the whole Mormon thing but you should have seen the two boys' faces. They were so darn happy. It was really awesome. Elder Villanueva and I got to be the witnesses.
I did receive mail last week in our district meeting!!! One was a letter-letter and there were two DearElders. The dates were pretty close so I would just let people know they can use whatever they like best. I personally prefer real letters but I think DearElders are always a safe bet. So, either way works best for me.
The food and water has done a number on me here.  My stomach has had better days. I think I'm slowly getting accustomed to it all but it has been quite rough. Not to worry though, the work is still going boldly on!
Bishop asked me to teach piano to those who wanted to learn. (pray for me in that!!!) I've been playing every week in reunion sacramental (sacrament meeting) and every week all the little niños gather around and look at me like I'm doing some voodoo magic. It's really cute, some of the questions they ask me. "Can everyone in Jewtah (Utah) play the piano" "Wow, you know how to do that???" I think that should help a lot to build unity in the ward as well as help us find more people to teach. Until then, we'll just keep working hard!
This saying is found all around the city of Valladolid--"Valladolid, how I love you!"

Elders Lopez, Jaussi and Villanueva (companion)

This morning, Elder Villanueva and I found a nasty looking bug/scorpion/I don't know what crawling under our hammocks. (see photo above) Did I say it was nasty? Yeah, that is an understatement. It scared the eeby jeebys out of me! Elder Villanueva said something like they have been known to make people really sick and sometimes die. That was comforting. Needless to say, we killed that thing without a trial!

Well fam, (and whoever may receive this by way of forward) I love you all more than I can say, and I really mean it. Thanks so much for the emails and letters, both are much appreciated!

Love, Elder Jaussi