Sunday, September 29, 2013

"How Do You Say 'Normal' en Ingles?"

Hola todos! 

As seen by the decrease in catchy title lines, things here in the Mish mash have been just about normal as we say here in Mexico. I just keep on keepin’ on here if you catch my drift.  I really hope this email doesn't disappoint you all too much so I'll be racking my brain for some good stories to tell you all. 

This week we had conference that lasted two days and each day lasting 10 hours. Most of the time was spent practicing which is always good because I don't have much time to teach unfortunately in the offices but after about 6 hours... I was pooped I must say.  It was good though and I learned some things that I hope to implement in my teaching. 

Also while we were there, I got to catch up with Elder H. (an elder that was in Champoton when I was in Escarcega) which was good.  He also went to BYU so that will be fun to be able to stay in touch with him there. He let me borrow an article he had by Elder Todd R. Callister entitled "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" and it is WAY good.  I don't know if any of you have ever heard of it but it really is awesome. He talks about what consecrated missionaries do, how they are and what one needs to do to be one. I learned a lot and this week set some personal goals to become better and more focused.  I have found that my biggest weakness is either fear or just lack of diligence. I don't necessarily fear talking to people but I always fear that I won't know what to say.  Elder Callister says that in order to be a consecrated missionary you have to overcome that fear and talk with everyone because that is one of the most repeated commandments given to missionaries in D and C: "open your mouth and testify."  This week I have been doing my best to talk with everyone and their dog but also giving 110 percent every day.  I always try to be able to come home, take off my shoes and then tell God that I gave it my all for Him.  I figure the promise in DyC 4 is a very awesome one "para que aparezcais sin culpa ante Dios en el ùltimo dìa." (that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day)  I highly recommend that talk even though it really only applies to missionaries. 

Last night we had a ward activity where we showed part of the "Hastening the Work" and we talked along with the Bishop. Let me tell you, this Bishop is quite the guy. He gave a rousing talk and after he asked me to talk and at the end, all of the members who came were talking, basically like a ward council, about what we could do to invite more of their friends, neighbors and family members to come unto Christ. I left really happy and I feel really good about things here in Esperanza. The ward really is so great here. The bishop gets the job done really well and I like that.

N., the niece of P. came to church this last Sunday too!!! She said she really liked it and she even was ready about 30 minutes before because she was pretty excited to go. The ward ladies really have been so good to her too. They have been visiting her and answering all her questions. This week, we did divisions and Elder H. and Elder M. invited her to be baptized but she said she was going to talk to her mom to ask permission. Pray for her so that her mom is all right with it all. We invited her mom to listen to us but she told us that it still hurts her to talk about things related to her husband's death. We'll keep working with them both though.  

Also, we have been working with an former bishop here and he is named Bishop Y. He is such a great guy and he is always giving us references and one of his buddies he told us to visit accepted a baptismal date and is coming to church tomorrow with his son!! He started crying in the prayer (the first that he had ever done he said) and asked God to help him make the changes that were necessary. Bless the heart of Bishop Y. His wife is [not being faithful at the moment] but he is still as happy and faithful as ever. Keep him in your prayers too, porfis? He is one of my favorite guys here. 

Well... El fin se acerca y hay poco tiempo (the end is near and there is little time).  I love you guys!! 

Con amor, 
Elder Jaussi
Sea feliz, sea Mormòn

 A cookie given to them by an investigator.
 Posing in front of  graffiti-covered wall.
 Cheesin' it up with companion, Elder H.
 Elder Jaussi with zone leader, Elder C.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fruit Flies, Black Flies, Angry Flies, But Mostly Time Flies

Hola todos!!

¿Què andan haciendo? I (What have you all been doing?) This week has been superb as usual and it definitely flew by for me.  Sometimes I don't realize that it's P-Day until I check my planner the night before when Elder H. and I start planning.  I can officially say it though.... I think going to the mission field again would be a good thing. With this much time in the offices I feel like there isn't much that can be thrown at me that I haven't already seen. (Knock on wood of course!) Either way, I'll just do my duty with a heart full of song. (Which I often do, cranking Priesthood session music, baby!!)

Speaking of Priesthood Session, I am super stoked for conference coming up.  This week while I was finishing up some immigration papers, I had on a talk by Elder... I don't remember his name, but he was talking about his love of General Conference. He gave the talk in a 2005 priesthood session and he told of how he and his brother would often go outside to play ball while they had the radio playing general conference. Sound familiar? He said he and his brother both knew that they would be given a test by their mom to see what they had learned so every few minutes they would stop playing to listen in.  I had to smile thinking about the brothers and me doing that too and then I realized, as did the Elder, that I shouldn't have done that.  He said that he has since repented and now Conference has come to be some of his favorite times of year.  I hope it stays this way for me my whole life and not just now when I'm a "goober missionary" as far as loving conference and looking forward to it. Elder H. and I are doing all we can to watch it in English again. It's still the language of the Heavens for me.... Haha

This week has been pretty normal as far as the mission field goes. We really are struggling to find new investigators but we are trying to lay a good foundation by working with the members.  P.'s baptism was really great but his confirmation was even better.  After we finished the blessing and were going to help him stand up, he kept sitting in his chair and didn't look up for what seemed like a really long time.  He pulled out his little hand towel, lifted up his glasses and slowly wiped away his tears. He looked up at us and just gave us the greatest smile and little nod of the head. This guy is really so sensitive to the Spirit and recognizes that he has done the right thing.  The only worry is, his family and friends keep asking him why he did what he did and what not.  We keep visiting him, though, and our ward mission leader (who baptized him with the help of Elder H.) keeps bringing him to any activity that the ward has so that we can keep him on track.

All in all, things are going just superb and I'm still "lovin’ every minute of it"  I'm sorry there really isn't that much to tell you cuties this week but hopefully we'll have some great stories to tell you next week.  As Mormon says, no miracles happen because of lack of faith so you best be believin’ that Elder H. and I will be taking faith pills along with our beans and rice!!

I love you guys! Have a great week!!

Con amor,  
Elder Jaussi 
Sea feliz, sea Mormòn
Taylor didn't say who these people are.  Possibly ward members who attended P.'s baptism?
 Elder Jaussi sporting the Jaussi Reunion t-shirt that we sent to him.  He definitely needed the short-sleeved version for the climate of the Yucatan.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Rains Came Down and the Floods Came Up

Hola todos!!
As we say here in Mexico, "Ya somos dos,"  (two of us, we are two--maybe a reference to Noah and the Ark?) because it has been raining like crazy here the past few days.  Don't fret though, there haven't been any problems with floods.  The streets always get flooded but then after an hour or two they're back to normal with the usual puddles here and there.   

This week Elder H. and I have been struggling to try and balance the office things with our area because our area is a little bit farther away. We'll figure it all out though, I'm not too worried about it. We just need to get a good foundation set up here with the ward members so we can start finding people to teach.  

We had a pretty neat experience the other day.  P., our investigator, has always been inviting his niece to listen to us and this Tuesday we finally got her to sit down for a bit. We started talking to her about Family History and about God's plan for families. She told us that 5 months ago her Dad passed away and that he was her best friend. She told us that it was really hard for her but that she is doing her best to cope with things. We promised her that she would be able to see her father again but that God needed her to do what He has asked us all to do. We invited her to pray that night about the truth of the message and she said she would.  

The next day we had put another visit with her and her uncle but she wasn't able to make it. As we were about to leave, N. (his niece) showed up and when I asked her if she was able to read the Book of Mormon and pray she said she had prayed but not been able to read.  She then went on to tell me that that same night that we had visited her she had a dream with her Dad and he was dressed in white. She said that he was said and he tried to tell her something but she couldn't hear what it was he wanted to say... Wow, right?? We told her we were going to come back and talk to her more about that and we're planning on giving a really good Plan of Salvation lesson.  I just hope that the Spirit will tell us exactly how to get to her heart.  I think it would be awesome for her to go to the temple with her uncle and see him be baptized for her dad.  I'll be sure to keep filling you in on that good stuff.   

Also, today is... P.'s baptism!! Even though we came in halfway as far as teaching him, I really love this guy. He has such a powerful testimony and it shows that he really has felt the spirit but more importantly, that he recognizes it.  This Tuesday however, he told us "Hermanos, (everyone calls us that) I don't think this Saturday is a good day. Let's wait until the end of September, first of October so that I know more." I was a bit shocked but he told us that with all his time sitting out front and time to think he had been thinking about all of the things he DIDN'T know and that it would be better to wait. We began talking to him about baptism and asking him how he has been feeling as he has studied about the church.  He told us that he knows Joseph Smith is a prophet, knows the Book of Mormon is true and he knows he needs to be baptized. We then shared him the story in Acts 8 of the man getting baptized after only saying he believed in Christ and then we invited P. to be baptized this Saturday. He did his funny little smile and said, "Okay, you guys fixed all of my doubts. This Saturday seems good to me." 

He really is so prepared and it showed last night at his baptismal interview. Our District Leader came out of the interview and said, "That guy seems more like a member than an investigator. He knows so much!" Next week I'll be sure to send you all pictures, ¿sale, vale?

Bueno... That seems to be all my friends. I hope all is well in your neck of the woods.  Have a superb week!!

Con amor, 
Elder Jaussi
Sea feliz, sea Mormón

I caught a little lizard this week and remembered that I promised Calvin I would tell him about the wildlife here... I haven't done so good a job with that so here is a start!! There are a bunch of these little guys everywhere here Calvin! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Keep On "Hope-ing"

"Hola todos!!

"Lots has changed this week but not all has been for good. This last Sunday we had transfers and it turns out that Centro got closed down. After the baptism of N. there just wasn't anything as far as investigators so President decided to take us out and we are now in Barrio Esperanza ("Hope" Ward being the translation.)
I am worried about N. mostly though. I just really love that man and hope that he stays strong and doesn't feel sad about us not being able to see him. I haven't seen him since Sunday and I'm a little worried. You all will have to pray for him, ¿sale?  We just have to get some references from his ward and President will let us go visit him and the references seeing as we are in the ward right next door.  
President has a lot of faith in [the Esperanza] ward and he said he felt impressed to send us there so that made me excited.  I really do feel different with this area though. I'm excited to see what we can do with the members. 
On Tuesday night we met with the ward mission leader and he took us around to visit a couple less actives, members and old investigators. He seems like a really great guy.  It was good to have him with us because we are pretty lost in the new area. I never realized how hard it is opening up a new area.  [The missionaries before us] did tell us about one of their investigators before they left and it looks like he should get baptized this next Saturday. His name is P. and he had a brain tumor taken out about 5 years ago and as such has difficulty walking. He lives two doors down from us, his sister is the dueña (landlord) of our house and he is always out front sitting in his chair. He really is one of those golden investigators. He reads everything we give him and he really ponders about what he reads. He has always felt fed up with his religion and says he always wanted something more. He says that as he read the Book of Mormon he knew that he had found what he needed. He is a funny guy too and I already get along really well with him. He also told me, Momma, that I talk like a Spaniard! Qué loco, ¿no? (how crazy, right?)
President Johnson of Area Mexico just sent a letter out to all the country saying that the requirement for baptism is now 5 times in church so we have to find a lot of investigators soon so we can baptize before the change ends! This might be my last change here in the offices I'm thinking so we'll have to see if we can get a few in before I leave."
Taylor says that there have been some amusing things happening with immigration lately.  They have had some difficulty dealing with the employees in immigration who do not care much for Mormons.  He has tried to soften them a bit by talking with them and joking about sharing their treats with him.  He suggested that he could bring the treats the next time. (Apparently, they are only able to process a few missionaries on each visit and they have to return again and again.  Due to the change in mission address a few months ago, every missionary's information has to be updated.) .  Sister Garcia told Elder Jaussi that she would bake some brownies for him to take to them and apparently, they did the trick to soften their hearts.  He goes on to say:
Then, on Tuesday I brought the famous brownies of Sister Garcia and let me tell you, it melted everyone’s heart there!  Now when I leave immigration I say "Hasta luego mis amigas de migración!!" (see you later, my friends in immigration!)  Sister Garcia says that I'm going to be a diplomat someday because of all that I'm doing.  If anything, I feel like I can maybe leave a good name for the Church with a couple friends I have made there.  Before I leave the offices I think I'm going to give a Book of Mormon to every lady there with my testimony in it. 
Well... That's it my friends!! I'll keep you all posted on all the good stuff that is going on in my neck of the woods (or jungle as the case may be) and I'll ask that you all do the same for me!! Keep being superb and remember... I luff you all lots and lots!!

Con amor,
Elder Taylor Christian Jaussi
Sea feliz, sea Mormón!

Elders Jaussi, R. and H. with the M. M. Family, members who recently were sealed in the temple. 
 The C. Family.  Bro. J.-R. with sons Z. and K.  K. was the one who referred N. to the missionaries
 Two of the M. M. family, J. and J.
 J. M. M., Taylor's "little buddy"

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

N's Baptism

And now I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be born again.  --Alma 5:49
Hola todos!

 N. got baptized today just so you all know! It really was such an awesome experience. We made the baptismal service and right before the baptism we planned to play "Baptism" out of the children's songbook and the spirit came so strong when I was playing. I was tearing up a little bit and I still am a little bit just thinking about it. I was so stressed out because no one showed up on time and I was trying to set everything up to make it be perfect but I just had to tell myself, "This is N.'s day and the Lord is going to make it be a great day no matter what."  It really was so great though. After the baptism, N. gave us hugs and I just felt like we had won church ball or something like that. I really do love N. so much. I am so happy for him and hope that he stays strong so that he can finish out his life well. He had the greatest smile after his baptism, even though his pictures don't show it that well... haha. It was a superb day though. 

We are going to try and have the members keep visiting him so that he never loses track of what he has to do. He really is a great example of someone willing to change their habits and really understands what Heavenly Father expects of him.  To close the service, he was asked to give the prayer and it was so heartfelt. He started out saying, "Heavenly Father, good afternoon..." and then rattled off such a great prayer.  What a guy this N.! I wish you guys could meet him!!!

Other than that, nothing that can amount to that excitement happened.  However... I did get a package from you guys!! Don't get me wrong, it was exciting though! Thank you so much for always thinking of me and sending me those things. 

You'll have to forgive me because I don't have much more to say after all the excitement of N.'s baptism, but I'll close with this: I have been thinking a lot lately about what I have considered to be a "lack of success" as far as a Mexico mission and something that Dad talked to me about when I was younger. Well, hearing about other missionary's awesome experiences, testimony builders, and baptisms often makes me feeling like a less than .300 batter if you know what I mean. However, yesterday we were sitting in a lesson when yet another person told me that she didn't want to keep listening to us because her [own church's] roots were too strong. We tried talking to her more, looking for a need but nothing really came. I just ended up feeling prompted to talk about the Restoration, the authority and all that and I finished simply feeling really calm. And happy! There I was, getting rejected and I felt "I really am doing what I am here to do. Maybe I don't have much "success" but I am confident that in some way, the Lord is going to make me feel like I have had success!" She ended up thanking us for our time and we left sad but at the same time I was content. I felt the Spirit and I know she felt it as well. Maybe someday she will be able to accept it. 

Bueno, just hope you all know that every conscious and full hearted effort is never lost if we are in the Lord's work. I hope you all can try to find something to do to help Him in all He wants us to do for His children. 

Con amor, 

Elder Jaussi
N. with his great granddaughter
 Elder Jaussi and N. at his baptismal service
 Elder R., N., Elder H. and Elder Jaussi 
Elder Jaussi had told Pte. and Sister Garcia that he would like to have a photo taken with them.  On this day, Pte. Garcia told him to be sure to bring his suit coat with him so they could take a few pictures together.  It is obvious that this Elder loves his mission president and his wife.  They are wonderful people and are so good to these missionaries.