Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Until Next Week....

Hola todos!!

Checking in from good ol’ Mérida, soy el Élder Jaussi!! I am sad to say that N. my friend won't be able to get baptized today. We went to visit him Sunday night after church and it just so happened that some old friends of his brought fish and... cerveza (beer)!!! Aww yeah, so when we were verifying commandments and things that we have taught he told us what he had done. When I told him he would have to wait a week to get baptized, the look in his eyes almost killed me. He said, "No... But it was just a tiny glass. I won't ever do it again!" As we say in Spanish, "Me dio mucha ternura. "(it gave me a feeling of endearment, tenderness) But we had to be firm with him. We talked about repentance and the importance of living the commandments 100% and not just to be baptized so I think it was actually a good thing that it happened.  He really understands the process of repentance and now he understands that the word of wisdom is a whole life thing, and not just for before baptism. He sure is a cute little guy. I wish you guys could meet him.  He does this little chuckle after he makes a sly comment that makes me laugh pretty good.  What a guy! I'll send pictures for next week though, don't fret. 

In other news, we have been informed that Elder Johnson, the president of Mexico Area will be coming to visit the mission at the end of the month. We'll have to have everything in tip-top shape here in the offices and in the mission for when he comes. One good thing will be that we will probably have a whole mission conference. I really like those because I can see everyone. I haven't been able to see Elder R. for a long time because he isn't very close to Mérida. 

Elder H. and I are really thinking hard what we can do so that we can get things really rolling here in Centro. We're going to invite EVERYONE and their dog (and they are many) to N.'s baptism and I'm thinking that will get some people excited. I know I am!!! In my blessing that President Salinas gave me he told me that "my love for the people of Latin America would allow me to serve them in callings in my life" and I really have felt that love these past few weeks. I didn't really know why President said that because I always felt like I was impatient and not loving enough but I have recognized that I just love the culture here. Sure, it's not my beloved land of the United States but I recognize that they really are amazing children of God. That has been something that has helped me out the last month or so and that President likes focusing on: we are all children of God and that He wants us to return to Him but also become like Him. Keeping that in mind has helped me love people no matter what their faults are. Besides, I can feel God's love for me all the time and I'm a goober with a whole bunch of faults so I should do the same. 

Even with the lack of success here and amount of frustration or discouragement that I sometimes feel, I really love it here. I truly am blessed.  I love you all and hope you have a superb week!
Con amor,

Elder Taylor Christian Jaussi



Sunday, August 18, 2013

There’s a Storm A Comin’…Wait, Jokes, Jokes..

Hola todos!!
       It has been quite the calm week this week.  As has been the case the past few, nothing too extraordinary happened.  Everyone said that a hurricane was going to hit this Friday but it just ended up raining almost all day. False alarm... Yucatecas tend to exaggerate when it comes to the rain. You'd think with it raining here for most of August to October they wouldn't mind the rain but they must have seen Wizard of Oz a lot of times because they think that the rain will make them disappear or something... Pero bueno, long story short it is just raining a lot and turning the streets into rivers. The drainage system isn't so great here so that is what happens. We can't have bikes or cars but it doesn't say anything about not having boats in the mission manual!!! We start construction on Monday. Jota ka jota ka (Taylor's Spanish equivalent of jk, or just kidding)
N. is still going strong with his baptismal date and he is so excited. We tried to move his baptismal date up because he is ready, he has enough times in the church and everything but then he said, "I don't think I'll be ready." I got a little scared because I figured he would say that to us every week before his baptism but then he said, "It's that I need to make my white pants still. I bought white fabric but I still haven't made the pants!! And besides, I told all my kids that I'm getting baptized the 24th!!" After that he gave his little shrug he always does and did his little chuckle. Oh, that guy is so great.  Keep praying for him so that he stays strong because his coffee was his best friend for 20 years. He hasn't taken it ever since we taught the word of wisdom but more prayers never hurt, right?
We had zone conference this week with President and he gave us all Books of Mormon and Crayola twist pencils so that we could mark them. We are going to mark every time it talks about 1- faith in Jesus Christ, his atonement, the likes, 2- Repentance 3- Baptism 4- Endure to the end, commandments 5- Wickedness, complaining, bad stuff... I'm really excited about it and even though I had to start over again after being in Ether (So close!!) it will be really good. President wants us to read 30 minutes every day because he says that an apostle has said that that will help us to overcome any temptation that comes our way. 
That being said, the thought came to me this week while I was reading. You all should do the same thing. Read 30 minutes every day from the Book of Mormon and color it with certain topics, according to your needs.  Dad, Mom I was thinking you could do it in your mission language!!! That would be Neature neat right? That really is the one thing that helped me learn Spanish a lot faster. It still helps me, really. The others who don't necessarily have a mission language can do the same or read side by side like good ol’ John Groberg to learn a new language!! Haha but... I recognize I'm not your leader so this isn't an assignment I'm giving you.  
I just feel like it is something that will really help us to all overcome temptations, have stronger testimonies, and to draw closer to God.  Start at the introduction though, because that has some good stuff in it too.
To close I will tell you all about a crazy experience we had today.  We had just finished eating with some members and then the 30-year-old daughter who has been starting to be more active in the Church said she needed to talk to us.  She told us about some scary stuff (like Satanic) that she got involved in a long time ago and even before she started, she was tearing up and you could definitely feel like something was wrong and that it was a different spirit that entered into the room.  I was kind of scared but after listening we told her that we weren't the people to confess this stuff to, she told us she already talked to the bishop and wanted to receive a blessing from us.  She said that she always feels something really strong when we go to her house and she felt like a blessing from us would be the answer.  I'll have to write the rest in my journal to tell you all later but for now I'll leave it at this, we gave her a blessing and while I was talking it just all felt so powerful.  I realized that Satan really has no power and that God's power that we have in this church is so POTENTE!!!  I wish I could understand the priesthood better and that I had understood it better when I was younger but I really have a stronger testimony about it.  I've learned from Elder V. (senior missionary recently transferred to Cancun mission) that blessings aren't what we feel like the person needs to hear but rather we ask God what He wants the person to hear.  I have been trying to apply that to my blessings I am able to give and have noticed a difference.  Good stuff.  After we left she felt better and we left her with the assignment to read her Book of Mormon and even do her family history!  (Can I get a cheer, Grandma Jaussi?)  jota ka, jota ka.
Well, time is too short right now!  I hope you all have a great week and know that I love you lots and lots!!
Elder Taylor Christian Jaussi
Sea feliz, sea Mormon
Check out the sky!
Elders R. and H. having a little siesta while sitting up.
Elders R. and Jaussi at a temple entrance gate
 Gate to the Merida Temple
Ward member, R., current investigator, N. and Elder Jaussi at Church

Monday, August 12, 2013

“And Then There Were Three”

Hola todos!!                                                                           10 Aug. 2013
           This week has been just dandy I reckon. Nothing too crazy this week either but it is all good in the hood. Thursday night a member who is recently married (well, two years and just had a cute little baby) and just moved into the ward invited us over to his house so we put an appointment to visit him. I wasn't sure what he wanted or what he needed but it turns out he just wanted to introduce his little fam to us and to feed us.  It was really weird because that has never happened to me but it was really nice.  He is a really great guy and he has been accompanying us to lessons this week.  
Yesterday Elder R. got his replacement here in the offices and his name is Elder H., so we are now in a trio. Elder R. will be training him in all his office duties until he goes home the first week in September.  Elder H. is pretty quiet (the trend keeps on keepin’ on) but he's super nice. He is from Mesa, Arizona and he has about nine months on the mission. He will continue to be my companion for the next transfer seeing as I have one more transfer here in the offices according to president.
Yesterday we were able to have two lessons with a member and in both of them the Spirit was really strong. We started out the first lesson by singing #57 in the Spanish hymn book (sorry don't remember which one that is) and at the end of the song, M. the investigator was crying.  He has had a rough go these last few months and he is really lonely because his wife left him.  He accepted a baptismal date for the 31 of August too!!! 
After that lesson we went with the first counselor in our ward and his wife to another lesson with A.  He still has a lot of good questions and has even started to read his Book of Mormon more!! (That always seems to be key in conversion) We bought him The Book of Mormon on CD so that he will listen to it in work and he was really excited about that. We talked a bit more about baptism but mostly addressed his questions and concerns and at one point, M. the counselor, bore his testimony about the need to be baptized. After he was done I felt like we needed to put a firm date for A. and he accepted to be baptized on the 24th if he receives an answer to his prayers; prayers to know if this church really has the authority and is the only true church.  I'm going to keep praying for him so that he is able to receive but also to recognize his answer.
Things are looking up with the few investigators we have here in Centro and good ol’ N. is still as great as ever. He always gets the biggest smile on his face when we go to his house and I do to.  He is definitely one of the prepared people because he has had so many other missionaries teach him in years past.  He has a big liking to coffee so we'll have to keep working with him on that so he can be ready for the 24th.  We're looking to "White out" that day if you catch my drift!!! 
On to secular things, immigration is a big pain in the booty these days because it turns out that we have to do paperwork for every foreign missionary because we changed addresses. Every missionary uses the offices as their address and seeing as we changed to the new offices I have to do "tramites" (who knows how to say that in English - paperwork) for every missionary to change it. 
I luff you guys lots and lots and am glad to hear all is well.  Thanks for the continued letters and support.
 Elder S., Elder Jaussi and Elder R.
Elders R. and Jaussi with investigator, N.
 Elders Jaussi and R. with the M. M. family

Monday, August 5, 2013

Epistle Chiquito

3 August 2013

Elder Jaussi was brief with his e-mail this week.  He spoke about trying to think of new ways to find investigators and involve the members.  He has been thinking a lot about Family History and had a dream about speaking with the ward Family History consultant.  He has decided that he will follow that thought and try to assist the consultant and involve others.  He asked for help from his Grandma and Grandpa Jaussi who have been very involved in genealogy and have much to share with him.  It will be interesting to see how things go.

The missionaries have been given permission to play soccer on preparation day and Taylor played this week.  He loved it, even though not many people showed up to play.  He feels confident that more will come as it all catches on.
Elders Jaussi and R. took this missionary couple to the airport.  They were on their way home after serving their mission in the Merida temple.  Taylor says that he and his companion have eaten about once a week with Elder and Sister J.  Apparently, Elder J. has become quite a cook and loves it!
 These are several of the districts in Merida along with a few of the new missionaries who had just arrived.  Sister Garcia is seated on the floor in front.  It looks like a great missionary crew! 

27 Julio 2013

Hola todos,

I told Dad a little bit in the email but I'll say it again, we've had a bit more success this week.  An ex-missionary has been helping us out this week and he was able to show us where less actives live and even where a couple old investigators live. We found two new people this week and we'll see how that all goes down.   

One of the new investigators is named N., and he is such a hoot. He is about 70 years old but he is still working like a champ. When we arrived to his house he was out front with his shirt off, short shorts, a sombrero, and some sweet sandals while he was repairing his wall. We offered to help him but he said he wanted to do it by himself. We waited for him to finish and then we shared a message with him. He had listened to missionaries before and he told us he wanted it clear that he was [a member of another church] and that he didn't want us to get any ideas. I started asking him why that would give us ideas, why he was so set on being [a member of his faith] and things like that. He talked to us a little bit about his religious background and after we got an idea of his viewpoint, we started to teach him the restoration.  

He really understood the part of Jesus establishing his church and even more understood the Apostasy. There was even a point in the lesson where he put his head down with a confused look on his face and said something like, "Well if there is no authority on the earth, and no prophets, we don't have the true church of Christ." He seemed right there for a moment to forget everything he had ever learned from [his] church. We explained to him the Restoration and invited him to pray to ask God if Joseph Smith was a prophet and he said he would. We're going to keep going with him and I am keeping the faith that he will be able to be baptized.  He is a little hard of hearing which makes lessons difficult but he makes me laugh.
We also have been teaching another investigator named A. for a few weeks now.  He is the only investigator that has come to church and he is really great.  He always has a lot of questions and that is something I really like.  I love trying to help people find answers to their questions.  We found out last night that he hasn't been reading his Book of Mormon and instead is reading parts of the Bible that go along with a class he is taking.  (I don't know from whom) I had to  [tell him strongly] with some love  that he would never be able to decide if he wants to be baptized in this church and would never know if this church was true if he didn't read it.  We invited him to start reading and to pray and ask God if it was true. I find that that almost always seems to be the problem with investigators. They don't show the faith to just ask God, who giveth to all men liberally! He doesn't even upbraid!  It is interesting to see that sometimes the problems that investigators have are related to my own problems.  I sometimes tend to think that I can do it all on my own and that me asking God shows weakness or shows that I can't figure things out by myself.  A lot of times, I will tell an investigator something and then think, "I need to put that to better use too!"  

A. says he will baptized the 3 of August but he isn't very sure about it all.  He says he wants to make sure that it won't be something he does and then doesn't stick with it. He understands that baptism is something very serious and important and as such, doesn't want to take it too lightly. That is a good thing really, but he tends to think things through TOO much if that makes sense. We're trying to help him understand that spiritual things are understood better through searching, pondering and praying. He is a really good guy and I hope that he can be baptized soon so that his wife can see the changes and then want to listen to us too. 

As a side note... They have the cutest little daughter ever!  She always has her little doggy in her arms, swinging it around like a rag doll.... (No seriously." That poor dog looks like he has a miserable life but she sure makes it look cute.) She always comes into the room and makes the cutest comments to her dad. I'm so happy that I can understand little kid Spanish now! haha at first, I couldn't understand it at all and it frustrated me.  But I digress mis queridos amigos...my dear friends…

As far as I have heard, we might be able to play soccer this next month. President Garcia is really adamant about us doing our exercise and feels that lack of exercise is leading to a lot of stress in missionaries. 
This next week we're going to try and do a ward activity on Thursday because we are in a desperate situation. The members don't really have any excitement. We're gaining the trust and friendship of about one family every two weeks so at this rate we should have almost the whole ward here soon!  
There were no photos this week.  Stay tuned......