Monday, July 7, 2014

Bienvenido, Elder Jaussi!

After two flights, a layover and a delayed departure, Elder Jaussi arrived home safe and sound.  It was a wonderful reunion.

Baby sister is all grown up
 This nephew has grown from a baby into a little man
 The long-awaited "anaconda squeeze"
 Hugging Dad
 The whole family together once again!
Meeting a nephew who was born while he was away.  There was also a new niece to meet.

 Removing his missionary photo from the stake missionary board after being released
 It has been a wonderful two years filled with many priceless experiences.  Well done, Elder!  It is so great to have you home again.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2 Timothy 4:7

2 Timothy 4:7  “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course.  I have kept the faith.”

Hola todos!!! 
Well. What more can I say. It's over folks. I can hardly believe it. This week was certainly surreal because we had the temple on Thursday and then I got surprised on Saturday because President gave me permission to travel to Merida again to baptize C., the son of E.! Their dad finally said yes. It was superb and Elder C. baptized her other son. It was a great day for sure.  I'm sending one or two fotos of that because of time but don't worry, I'll show more soon.  Maybe Thursday for some odd reason... Oh wait, because I'll see you!
The temple was awesome and I honestly think that it's better in Spanish.. .maybe it's just for now but I think I want to do it in Spanish from now on.  Ready Momma? McKay???? The Merida temple sure is pretty.  Really, really tiny but I like that.  I tried to think of some things I needed to know before I went home and I'll tell you a little bit about that after.
This Sunday was district conference and I was asked to play an arrangement on the piano. I was super scared but after a two minute practice and a little prayer (good recipe, les digo) it turned out all right.  I probably wouldn't have paid much to hear me play but hey, it was a blessing all the same!! They realigned the new presidency in the district.  Pobre Presidente Garcia.  He has such a tough calling. That is why I have decided I am going to be the best primary teacher ever.  Nothing more, nothing less.  My classes for those niñitos are going to be the BEYST!!!!  
 I know that this church is the true church now.  For myself. Not just because my parents are members, but God has shown me little by little throughout all the trials I may have had. I testify as a representative of Jesus Christ that He directs this church through divine revelation. How great is that!!? Ay ay ay. VERDADERO!  I would love to write you more but... what more can I say other than... THURSDAY IS GOING TO BE THE BEEEEEEEYST! I'll see you guys soon. Get ready to get anaconda squeezed by an Esquelito that has been training for two years!

Con amor, 
Elder Taylor Christian Jaussi
Sea feliz, sea Mormon

"y nuestras vidas tambien han pasado como si fuera un sueño." Jacob 7:26.  Hard to believe that two years ago I was being dropped off in good ol’ Provo.  So fast!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dying Like a Shark!

Hola todos!! 

This week was just superb!! Everything went well with L. and she was able to be baptized on Saturday. She really was "escogido" and not much had to be done on our part. Alma 26:11-12 comes to mind. I was reading it earlier today and it kinda was a tear jerker. 
The baptismal service was really nice and L.´s daughter came to see as well. She has already gone to church 4 times and only needs one more so that she can be baptized as well.  They are both really great and I hope that soon L.'s husband can find a better job so that he can come as well. He is a really great guy but he is just so focused and worried about having enough money.  Elder M. sang "Where Can I Turn For Peace?" and I played for him and that really brought the Spirit. He has a really good voice.  
All in all I feel really blessed to have been able to find L. She is such a funny lady. She invited us and the other elders in Calkiní to eat yesterday with her and.... no me diga!!!! I have never felt so stuffed. Ay ay ay... She seemed so happy and she said that she felt really great when she received the Holy Ghost.  
Honestly I don't know what to say anymore... I feel... I don't have a clue how to describe it. It's starting to happen that I lie in my hammock at night and think... I get to see those strangers that write to me every week.... NEXT.... THURSDAY????? It still seems too surreal honestly. Just keep praying for me so that I can find effective and worthwhile things to do when times get tough.  I'll do my part and I'll leave the rest up to God. He's been so good to me. I don't want to use any empty phrases that missionaries always use but I just don't know what else to say. Last night I just kept thinking about all the blessings that I have received the last two years. "when upon life's billows you are tempest toooooossed!!" Life is good my friends. 
Take it easy and know that I love you lots!!! 
Con amor,  
Elder Taylor Christian Jaussi 

Sea feliz sea Mormón

Last week with his "clase de jovenes" that he teaches each week in Calkini.  Next Sunday is District conference.
 "Here kitty, kitty"
 L.'s baptism
 L.,'s baptism.  Elder S. was able to perform the baptism.
 Elder Jaussi and A.
 "Playing with my little buddy, A."

9 June 2014

Hola todos!! 

¿Cómo les va? Espero que todo esté muy bien. This week rained like crazy and you best be believing I'm all right with that. It's tough because we don't have members to visit or less actives and we just get soaked all day but I'd get soaked by rain one hundred times before I would get soaked by my sweat.  I find myself lately doing all I can to keep my shoes together so that rain doesn't get in by using super glue and the likes but it's not holding up too well.  Likewise, I find myself doing all I can to keep myself from dying like a normal chap and to "die like a shark" instead. As of right now I just try to talk to as many as people as possible even though we don't have many appointments that are "fijas." Pray for me.
Other than the rain we had a pretty good week because we were able to talk pretty directly to a couple investigators and make sure they knew the point of our visits.  J. J., a guy that says he wants double nationality with the Mormons and Catholics told us that he feels like little by little God is answering his prayers and that he feels like a baptism in this church is what he needs. Also, L., a lady we have been teaching for a while is set to be baptized this Saturday! She has been to church 5 times and this week we just need to review a couple things to make sure that she knows the covenant she will be making. As of right now, she seems pretty prepared. Her daughter has been coming with her the last three weeks and she should be baptized on the 28th of this month! 
Every Sunday night we have been visiting the family D. and they are really great. The guy that is standing far left is L. and he is an ex- missionary.  He helps us out once a week and he is a hoot. I like the days that he comes with us. He loves soccer and is stoked for the world cup. 
Last p-day I mentioned that we were going to play soccer with a few people here in Dzitbalché and we sure did! It was really fun and the little kids that live nearby all came out to play as well.
I'm trying to focus on the task at hand and keep thinking about the people and their needs.  I just need to pray more because I tend to "confiar en mi propia experiencia" and not enough in God.  I have been trying to be better with that lately and it's really good stuff. Things tend to work out a ton better when He is driving.  He sure has been good to me. 

Soccer with the ninos last week

 Elders Jaussi and S. with the familia D.
The yard out back before working to clean it up....
 and after
 The last zone meeting

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Church Attendance: A Blessing Indeed" June 2, 2014

Hola todos!! 
¿Cómo estamos? Everything is going just dandy here and we were even able to have 4 investigadores in church yesterday!! It was good for the sacrament because the spirit was really strong.  God is merciful and the investigators liked the meeting. 
One of the investigators that we have found lately is named P. B. and he is a hoot. I love that guy. He is from Chetumal but lived in Belize for some time and picked up some English. I'll have to explain the story of how we found him, relation he has to members in Mérida and all that good stuff later but for now, I'll give you this much. 
He loves baseball and every time we pass by his house he invites us to come inside and watch with him. Such a tempter, that P., but we resist for sure! Ha,ha He can be hard to teach at times because he likes to talk about random things and likes asking us for English advice but he is a good guy. He loves alcohol (we're working on that) and his wife says that when she sees changes in him she is going to accompany us to church as well.  I love visiting him because he is so funny.  He would be a great young men leader. 
Also.... This week it is Sean and Caitlin's birthday soooo.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOVE BIRDS!!  
We're just living it up as usual here in Dzitbalché.  Tonight we're going to play soccer with some kids here, and L., the member, so it should be fun. The district meetings got changed to the morning so we have all night to clean and to play for a bit if we have time. 
I really like 2 Nefi 28 where it talks about line upon line and that that is the way that God educates us and helps us along. With my personality, I don't like waiting for things or "walking by faith" as Peter says but that way is wisdom for sure.  God really has blessed me by giving me just enough and then when I do my part, He fills in the rest.  I love Jesus a lot. I don't know how else to put it.  Life is good.

Me with my "grandparents" in Hecelchakan doing divisions.  This man, B.,  is 92 and he speaks English.
 "Let's follow this train track to the frontera mis amigos!"
 World Cup sticker book.  Sweet!

May 28, 2014

Hola todos!!!! 

¿Cómo les va? Espero que les esté yendo muy bien como siempre. This week went pretty well and we were able to have two investigators come to church yesterday.  L. has already been twice but it was her daughter, M. S.´s, first time. L. is really funny and she always teaches us some Mayan when we go to her house and teach her. She laughs sometimes at the things we try to say to her in Mayan. Her daughter doesn't really believe that much in God but we were able to have a really good lesson with her and she seemed to be a bit more open to things about God.  L. is doing pretty well in her study of the Book of Mormon and now we're trying to see what we can do with her daughter. I am convinced now more than ever that the best investigators are the ones that really read.  It sounds pretty obvious but with so many things we have to verify and teach to investigators, we tend to forget that really important part. 
A problem that we've been seeing here in Dzitbalché is that we find a lot of investigators but once they hear about Joseph Smith they close off really fast.  We always place second visits but it always seems to be that they tell us the times that they WON'T be in their house. I was looking at the area book the other day and all in all we only have 4 investigators that have listened to us more than twice. There is a lot of anti-Mormon stuff here in Dzitbalché and Calkiní and I don't know if that is the reason that we're having these troubles.  All in all, the people are really nice here but it seems like it's hard for them to tell people straight up "no." They're just too nice. 
It's pretty rough because we walk around all day trying to contact, something that really isn't that effective.  Just gotta keep working, right? This week we're going to try and focus a lot on the investigators that have been listening to us and have been following through on commitments and we'll see what we can do as far as helping them get closer to baptism.
I don't think I have ever told you guys but ever since I got here to this area I have been given the assignment of teaching the youth class. Apparently the teacher that teaches the class has another calling so he asks me to teach it for him. It is really hard to do by the "seat of your pants" with the new program. 
 I've been teaching the youth the past couple weeks and I like teaching them. There are some really good youth here.  I try to do all possible to help the kids read and pray every day and finally this Sunday decided to make a prayer and reading rock for them all. Pretty neat right? Not too original, but you do what you gotta do. 
Well my friends, I'm not sure what more I can say other than keep praying for me. I'll just keep giving it my all and leave the rest to the Lord.  He knows best after all! 

Con amor, 
Elder Jaussi
The picture is of us "tortilleando" with R., a recent convert in Calkiní. It's pretty fun.
 The "Reading Rock"
 The "Prayer Rock"

May 19, 2014

Hola todos!!

We had zone conference this morning in Campeche so we had to wake up at 4 to get there on time.  Ask me if I'm tired... Nah, better yet don't worry about asking.  I am.  But it's all good, it was great to see everyone.  
 Last night we put a baptismal date with the daughter of one of our investigators, Lidia (she is the one that has been inviting friends to church) and the date was... when I'll be home. With 5 times in church as the requirement for baptism, we're already putting baptismal dates for the last Saturday in June. Ouch. 
[In the zone conference] Elder De Hoyos talked about a lot of cool things but mostly focused on the importance of using the Book of Mormon in all that we do.  He told of a village in Chiapas, Mexico that speaks a dialect, similar to Mayan, where he went and visited.  He said that when the people there heard what the book talked about, they grabbed it and hugged it close to them, even though they didn't read a word of Spanish.  They felt the power in the book.  President Garcia always talks about how he feels like the people here are extremely spiritually sensitive and we have to take advantage of that. 
During the break I worked up the courage to go and ask Elder De Hoyos how we could help the people understand the importance of the Book of Mormon. I explained that because most of the people have Spanish as a second language, it seemed to me that they changed personalities when they talked in Spanish. He told me that I should take a member that knows Mayan to translate for us and when I told him that we only have one family that is member and they don't speak Mayan he thought for a second and said, "Just find a friend there who speaks Mayan!  He can translate and then learn at the same time as well."  We've found our translator for now but now we have to see who we can try to teach first.
This last week we went crazy with the Book of Mormon and I told everyone that there is a book that contains the communication of God with their ancestors and we have that book, Jesus visited their grandparents a little over 2000 years ago, etc. to try and get things moving here.  So far we haven't seen any difference at all but after only a few days that is to be expected.  We're going to keep on keeping on with the great book.  My testimony of it sure has grown over these last two years and I could honestly defend my life with it. We had a few [women of another faith] come to our door on Saturday (you should have seen their faces when they saw us come out of the house) and one of the ladies tried "planching" me about the Book of Mormon, saying that she used to be member but came to find out about the "lie that is the Book of Mormon."  I tried to be sweet and loving but I gave it to her and bore my testimony to her.  I asked them a question and they stayed silent with nothing to say. We thanked them for the visit but told them that we would always be there to give them a message of the true restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 
I'm not sure what more do tell you, but this much I can say:  This church is true. God blesses me so much and I am very aware that He loves me personally.  I know that Christ lives and that because of Him, we will too!  The Book of Mormon testifies of all that.  Keep on keepin’ on my friends. Todo lo puedo en Cristo, que me fortalece. (“I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.”)

Con amor, 
Elder Taylor Christian Jaussi

A beautiful morning today in Campeche
 We had the meeting with Elder De Hoyos and I got to see Elders R. and H. again from the best district ever in good ol' Escarcega.
 This package that was sent for Valentine's Day in January finally arrived in May.

"I Love Your Faces!"

Hola todos! 
I've said it once and I'll say it again.. I loved seeing you guys yesterday. It was great to catch up on things for a bit and just to chat it up.  If wishes were fishes... I would have loved to talk for a couple hours longer.  
All is well here in Dzitbalché and we're gearing up for another week. Patience is a virtue and I'm trying to be very virtuous this week, that's good right? 
Yesterday in church we had one investigator show up and on Thursday we're going to go with him to see what he thought.  He writes books. He started out one of the visits we had with him last week by telling us that he was [of another faith], it was his tradition, he listens to everyone to be nice, and I could basically sense that he was telling us all that just to say... "Guys, I don't want to get baptized."
We have been focusing a lot on that with investigators and letting them know that we're there to baptize them. It tends to scare most people off but it also helps us see who the sincere investigators are. We were able to talk him down by asking him questions and sharing scriptures with him and at the end of the visit we invited him to come to the church to see if it really was something that God would want him to do. That had him convinced and wouldn't you know, he showed up yesterday!! Yay! Pray for him this week so that everything goes well on Thursday and that he liked church.
This week we really have to focus on trying to get investigators to come to church because if they don't... It will be hard to get them baptized before I leave. Now that investigators have to go to church 5 times, it's even harder it seems.  It was already hard enough with three times! All I am going to do though is work my hardest and trust in God.  It will all work out for the best.  If anything, we are laying the foundation for great things here. :)

Zona Calkini
 Elder Jaussi was able to SKYPE with the family on Mother's Day.  Here, he chats with Aaron, Christa and little Harper

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Blessing!

Hola todos!!!  
Cómo les va??? I had to laugh a little bit when someone sent me a letter saying that temperatures had reached 80 degrees, making that one of the hottest days so far this year. Yikes. This Tuesday it hit 43 C this week. (Who knows what that is in Fahrenheit... --actually 109.4 F) I had never felt it being so hot before. 
Then... God showed mercy and sent beautiful rain on Tuesday night almost out of nowhere, and Wednesday and Thursday and almost every day it rained a little bit.  It made it super-duper humid but you win some you lose some, right?  I was thinking a lot about Nefi and how he talks about the tender mercies of the Lord. We sure got one here this week.  
Other than that.... What can I tell you about this week??? We found a lot of really, really cool investigators and had really awesome lessons with them... but only one came to church. We don't know what happened with the other four we were waiting for but we'll have to do some good following up this week like my buddy, Elder Ballard. 
Lately I have decided that I just have to be super bold with people but it scares me at times. I feel like Thomas S. Monson in a talk he gave in Priesthood 2010 I think where he started by saying "I wish not to offend anyone..." I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but at the same time it is necessary for them to know that their baptism isn't valid and that their church doesn't have authority from God.  Whenever I try to be tactful about it, they don't understand so I just shoot it straight to them... It's actually worked a lot better but it still scares me.
For example, last night we passed by a family sitting out front (Mexican tradition that I am TOTALLY doing after the mission) twice and the second time I felt like we needed to talk to them. As we got closer, I started doing some small talk with them and they warmed up even though at first they seemed like they weren't too excited to see us coming to them. We shared a part of the message and testified and then invited them to learn more. G., the husband told us thanks but that they already were members of the true Church of Christ (another church).   I explained about prophets and the restoration after and then he asked, "Who started your church?" I told him that Christ restored it in 1820 and you should have seen that old man's face. He cringed a bit and made a nasty little sound and said, "Are you mad???" He went on to talk about Peter and how Christ established a church on Peter... I'll give it to him, he knew his stuff honestly. I haven't met a [member of their church] that knew so much. We left after I told him that I knew that Christ's true church had been lost for almost two thousand years and that thanks to Joseph Smith, Christ was able to restore it! 
Well... time’s up but... We'll see you this Sunday! (Mother's Day call)  Literally! 

 President and Sister Garcia came to Calkini yesterday.  Yay!
 We got SOAKED!!
 Soccer ball made up of different players from around the world. Everyone is getting riled up for the world cup here. 

Rockin' the Pueblo

28 April 2014

Hola todos! 
Esta semana estuvo bonita a pesar de que.... los 6 investigadores que nos dijeron que iban a ir a la capilla no llegaron... suele pasar... Híjoles!! (This week was good in spite of the fact that 6 investigators that told us they would come to church didn’t come.) It's all good though because L. came and she seems like she really likes church. She has found a group of friends and they always stay after church rattling off Mayan discussions... I really want to learn that language! 
Yesterday in church the counselors of President Garcia came to visit the branch and because a member didn't prepare a talk, Elder Z. asked me to give one... Oh boy. I talked a bit about Grandma Brinkerhoff and her conversion story and then told them all about what Dad told me. (When Grandma grabbed Sean before he went into the MTC and showed him the flags [that represented her grandsons' missions]) It was kind of a President Eyring talk because I just jumped into the story. I like that style and it works a lot better than any other way here because people here like stories better than long sermons.  I told them of the impact they can have in being good members and trying to share the gospel because if it weren't for Grandma and my other ancestors I probably wouldn't be in a tiny church in Mexico right now.  It was good and I really felt the Spirit. 
So... the story of Elder Crook and I in Pomuch:  We went to go and teach a guy that he and his companion had found the week before but because he wasn't home, the member we were with said that we could go visit his cousin, even though she is a pastor of another church.  We got to her house and she was with another visiting pastor from another church and they gladly let us in. You should have seen the face of the other pastor; he is an older guy and he looked at us like fresh meat to pick apart. 
We sat down, sang a hymn, said the prayer and then the older man, S., said to us, "Jovenes, (young ones) if you can prove to me that your message is true using the Bible... I'll join your church. Mark my word." I kind of laughed and told him that our job wasn't to convince; something that didn't convince him that much. We talked a bit about the plan of salvation with focus on direct revelation from modern-day prophets and when the member we were with pulled out a scripture from the Book of Mormon, S. practically screamed at him, asking what book he was reading from. We then went into the argument about the bible being sufficient; with S. pulling out every scripture known to 21- month missionaries (I even gave him a couple others as well).
The member we were with must have been on the right page with the Spirit because he whipped out a scripture I just didn't have the guts to whip out. ... He started reading from 2 Nefi 29 and read the parts where it talks about "o necio," (fool) and talks about the people that scream they already have a Bible and don't need another. The pastor kind of stayed shocked for a bit but then went on to share more scriptures to prove to us that we were completely wrong.  I asked him to take a pause for a moment and just bore to him my testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the way I had received an answer.  He shot right back saying that it wasn't true at all and out of nowhere, literally nowhere because I usually keep it cool in lessons I said "are you telling me that God lied to me?" Boom.... Complete silence and R., the other pastora (female pastor) looked at S. as if to tell him to stop talking and listen.  He tried to explain himself more but we told him that we were only there to invite him to draw closer to Christ and not to argue, so we closed the lesson quickly and went on to the next appointment.  I don't know why, but I love talking to really educated pastores (pastors) because it just strengthens my testimony, if anything. Would Joseph Smith ever have thought that his name would be known in a remote pueblo called Pomuch?
I really do have a testimony of the truthfulness of this work. God is merciful by letting whiny servants like me take part and try to make a difference.  I am grateful for the Savior and his love he shows me daily and ultimately for his infinite sacrifice. I might as well be called Thomas for how often I doubt but "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." 
I love you guys so much!!! Keep on keepin’ on!

"She's so tiny!"  This is L., a convert from Calkini that I was able to interview.  She wanted me to be in the picture too with Elders R. and Z."

21! Yay!

21 April 2014

Hola todos!

          Antes que nada.... Thank you so much for that package! It was superb! It was the highlight of my day for sure! We had a whole lot of lessons planned that day but then at around 6 at night after almost every one had fallen through I started out conversations with people by saying, "Hey, it's my birthday will you please listen to us????" Ha, ha not really THAT desperate but something like that.  It is all good in the hood though.  I just kept thinking of what my favorite Book of Mormon prophet Benjamin says in Mosiah "Oh how ye ought to give thanks to your Heavenly King!" God sure has blessed me beyond my wildest Pedro dreams. These have been 21 very good years if I do say so myself! A lot of that has to do with you! That being said, thanks again for all the wonderful birthday wishes! 
          So remember how I said I wanted to try and talk to leaders of the churches here? Oh boy... did we get our wish. The other day we were teaching a guy we contacted in the street in his house. He told us not to worry about him because he was really involved in the [his] church, but as Lehi said:  "no le hice caso." I heeded him not (When everyone is "burlandose" making fun in the great and spacious building and they put their hands in the air like they just don't care) and told him we wanted to visit him anyway.  It turns out that he is a pretty open guy when it comes to religion and he understands the Restoration REALLY WELL.  It was a really powerful lesson and just as we were about to invite him to be baptized... someone drove up in his driveway... none other than.... the priest of Dzitbalché!! Oh yeah, it was pretty interesting. You should have seen how he shot up out of his chair, "oh, it's the priest!" 
          He had in the back of his nice truck all of the youth doing some activity for Easter and when the priest asked what M. had in his hand (the restoration folleto pamphlet) everyone started laughing.  I truly felt like Lehi.  Tough stuff.  I was tempted to be bold and stand up and talk to him but I felt like it wasn't the right time nor situation. We just sat and smiled. :)
          Seeing as I don't have time... I'll keep you all on the edge of your seat with this lovely introduction: Elder C. and I in Hecelchacán on divisions talking to two pastors of Christian churches.... 
          I love you all so much! Thanks for all the support, love and prayers.  Consider yourselves anaconda squeezed!

Elders Jaussi, S., R., and M. (Elder R. is a former companion who served with Elder Jaussi in Escarsega)
"We bought a cake for my birthday because we couldn't find a pan to cook the one you sent me....oops.  Don't worry though, we're going to make it!  I'm blowing out my "candles/burner on the stove.  Only in [the mission.]"
 Balloons and tiny cake candles
 So happy to receive his birthday package
 Handsome 21-year-old missionary  :)
 A photo of the opened birthday package

"Strange Things are Afoot at.....Dzitbalche"

14 April 2014
Hola todos!! 
This week has been a pretty good one. It's tough finding new investigators however, because almost everyone we talk to already seems to be pretty dedicated in their church. For the most part, [they] go every year or so but we have found more dedicated members [of another church] than I have met in my whole mission.  It's pretty nuts. 
I was talking with Elder R., our zone leader yesterday, and he brought up something really interesting and something I really think we might do. I mentioned that there seem to be churches on almost every corner and every street and he said that we could try to ask the members of those churches where the pastor lives so that we can try and talk with them. He told me of an experience he had when he was waiting on his Visa in Columbia. Apparently they had a little pueblo just like us and there were a lot of churches there as well.  He and his companion started talking with the pastors and they found one that had a church but all along had been trying to find the truth but the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He was baptized along with his 14 members of his flock. Pretty neat right? We're just going to try everything possible here because I have to push it to the limit at this point in the mission. 
Elder Z. and I did exchanges this week and we had a pretty cool experience. There is a ciber we go to to check Mormon.org for investigators and since the first day I have always been talking to the owner and inviting him to different activities.  I invited him to watch conference while we were there this week and when we were about to leave the thought of Elder Ballard's talk came into my head so I did some follow up. I asked him what he thought of the talk (Elder Oaks) and he straight up told me he thought that it was quite apostasy because he didn't use any references to the Bible. This guy (owner of the ciber) is pretty well versed you could say and once again used all the scriptures I have heard at least once. 
Elder Z. started talking back to him and it got to a point where they were going off in crazy Spanish and weird arguments and I kind of felt like it was a lost cause. Then I thought, "We still haven't borne testimony. We've just been using our brains here" I stuck my foot in the conversation and said to the guy that I knew that all the things we taught to be true because God had answered my prayers.  I told him that God would do the same for him but only if he was humble and put aside all his knowledge.  I quoted the scripture in 2 Nefi about it being good to be wise as long as we "hacer caso de los consejos de Dios." Ingles?... give heed to the counsels of God.  After I told him all that he seemed to not have much to say and said that he would be willing to investigate a bit more.  I gave him a book of Mormon and told him what he had to do with it to see if it is true. We'll see if he follows through because he tends to say that he forgets to read and such...Never fear though, we'll keep following up, Elder Ballard!!
Well, time sure went fast today.  Have a superb week and remember... Your favorite Elder loves you all so much!!

The Pueblo Life

7 April 2014 - Hola todos!! 
How is it goin’ in the good ol’ civilization? Things here are going just dandy.  It was weird getting to an area and not knowing anything, not even where we were going to live but we've been figuring things out.  Tuesday morning we found out who our companions were and then we were off.  Elder S. from Queen Creek, Arizona is my new companion and he's a good kid.  I am training again.  He smiles a lot so that is good.
When we left Mérida we went to Calkini where the zone leaders were going to be waiting for us. We got off the bus and had to wait for them for a while, which made me worry we had got off in the wrong place!! They showed up however and then we were able to find a little bus going to Dzitbalche and the zone leaders gave us the keys to our house and some sort of directions so that we could get there. We finally got to the house around 9 so we just had to set up what we could in the house. There isn't any place to hang up clothing so we had to tie some strings in one room and we're just going to settle with that for a closet.
Dzitbalché is pronounced...  Tsit (the t is fast) ball- chay.  Tsit-ball-chay with the emphasis on the chay.  It is really different being a missionary in pueblos for a few reasons. First off, the teaching is really difficult.  I've had to find some pictures because I find that that works a lot better than any other technique. Does anyone else have teaching suggestions for me? It's tough because a lot of people have very little or no education here so it is not a very normal thing for them to sit down, listen to someone talk and then understand what is being taught, especially if it is a completely new concept.  I have found that short lessons work well too but one step at a time we'll figure it out. The Catholic Church has a really strong influence here and it's pretty surprising. We passed by the Catholic Church last night and there were so many people there. I think all 15,000 that live here in Dzitbalche were there. We've certainly got our work cut out for us. 
I basically start out the first lesson talking about the nature of God the father and then telling them that he expects us all to be baptized by someone having authority, just like Jesus did.  Then I show a picture of Moses giving authority to Aaron, Jesus doing the same with his apostles and tell about Joseph Smith receiving that same power. And then... the moment of truth... we invite them to be baptized. Good stuff for sure! People are really nice here and we have had only about 2 people tell us that they didn't want to listen to us when they were sitting outside their house. We found 8 investigators this week and most of them came from just talking to people outside their houses, and then them letting us come in to teach them something. 
One of the investigators we found is called G. He is a really great guy. The elders from Calkini met him before because they were previously working in Dzitbalche a little bit and so we decided to contact him to see if we could set up a date to visit him.  He opened the door really skeptically.  I wasn't sure who exactly we were looking for because the zone leaders didn't remember the name but I just started talking to him. I felt like we needed to talk to him in that moment so I asked, "Can we come in and teach you a message that will change your life?" Surprisingly... he opened right up and pulled up two chairs for us! 
This guy has had a pretty tough life. Apparently he has had some trouble with alcohol and he is tired of saying he will quit but then the next week falling again. We talked a bit about the atonement and power that comes from trusting in Christ and the spirit was really strong. He asked us questions about why life was so hard, we read 2 Nephi 2, left the rest for him to read and... he read all of it! (He was a teacher a few years ago so he learns pretty fast) We went back on Friday night, having planned to teach lesson 3 in Preach My Gospel (study that one) but he said some things that made me feel like we should teach the Plan of Salvation... We started talking about that and when we got to the Atonement again... Man the spirit was so strong and I know he had to have felt it. He ASKED US when we would have church and I told him the Sunday morning session hour but then I felt the impression to invite him to the priesthood session. I promised him that something would be said that he needed to hear. He ended up not going, but the talk by President Uchtdorf was perfect for him. I'm going to try and print it off this next week when it gets translated into Spanish so we can read it with him.  (We did get to see all sessions even though we watched every one but the last one in Spanish. Don't get me wrong, Spanish is great but it's just not the same.)  He ended up not coming yesterday either but I don’t know... I feel really good with this guy. Gotta have faith!
I love you guys so much! Keep us in your prayers so that we can figure everything out here. Moroni 7:33 is my favorite scripture these days... ("And Christ hath said:  If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.")

Elder Jaussi with his newest Trainee, Elder S.

"Dzitbalché... Yeah... Say That Three Times Fast"

31 March 2014 
Hola todos!!

Well last night we had transfers... I didn't tell you anything because I TOTALLY thought that I would stay in my beloved Campeche... Nope. I got knocked off my feet for sure. Luckily last night when we were going to our last appointment to teach, we were able to see G. when he was taking home the young men after doing visits. It was sad to say bye to him and the young men but it has to be done some time with everyone I reckon.  
We had a really neat experience though to end off things in good ol’ Barrio Esperanza.  I received the call that I was going to change areas at around 7 and so when we ended a lesson at 8 I was thinking, I have to go pack my bags! Elder C. was asking me a couple questions about the lesson we had planned at 8 but I was thinking that we would have to tell them we wouldn't be able to make it but I thought... "Die like a Shark my boy! "  Ha. ha.  We went after to the lesson we had planned with A. and L., a few investigators whose mom is a less active. 
When we arrived to their house, we found their dad sitting with them as well! When they saw us coming, he tried to make a run for it but I told him, "Brother, we came to visit you too! Don't run now!"  He reluctantly stayed and little by little we were able to break his shell. We had planned to teach the rest of the restoration to his daughters and have him just hear but then it turned out being mostly a lesson to the dad, C. While I was explaining about Joseph Smith I asked him if he could feel the nice feeling that there was in his house (it felt uber good) and he commented that he felt the "energy that was present." Whatever you want to call it C., that is the Spirit and when we talked a little about that he really seemed to have a lot more interest. 
We then went on to ask him if he believed what we had told him and he said... "It's kind of hard to believe this, coming from two young guys... How can I know that really happened?" We went on to explain the importance of the Book of Mormon and its role and he understood so well. He is grrrrrreat! I was able to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon again and share the experience I had this week because... I finished otra vez!!!! Again  Yay! En español también mis amigos. Soy un mexicano de verdad ahora.  In Spanish too, my friends.  I am a true Mexican now.  Like I was saying, it was such a powerful lesson and we were able to put another visit to go see him and his family.  He committed to read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it is true. Good stuff!
What more, what more can I say... O be wise?... already been said.   Hmmm... I'm just kind of sad because I was just barely getting the grasp of things in Barrio Esperanza, we had two baptisms planned for the 19th, I loved the members and then.... PUEBLO!!! OUCH. It's all good though, folks. I 'm excited for the task at hand. 
This last week when Elder G. and I were doing divisions again we found a reference we had been looking for for a long time and he is pure gold! He is a boyfriend of a member of another ward (something I was worried about) but when we talked to him we said straight up that we didn't want him to listen to us for any person, but rather because it was something that he wanted to do. We had to be pretty direct but it turned out nicely. He told us that he wouldn't be baptized just to do it and that he really wants to have a sure answer from God before he does so. We taught the Restoration and he listened really well, had great questions and at the end of the lesson accepted a baptismal date. The spirit was really strong in that lesson too.  F. is a good man. I hope it all works out well with him! 
I was able to see President Garcia again today.   He told me how he felt strongly that he needed me to go help the pueblo... however it's spelled.  Apparently there is a grand total of... one active member. Yep. The field is white and ready to harvest! Apparently we travel in bus every Sunday to church in Calkini. I don't know where in the world all that is but... I'll keep you posted! 
All in all, I'm still keeping my shoulder to the wheel and I'm happy as ever.  Nervous?  A little bit.  I love you guys sooooo much and hope all is well in Zion! 

The small pueblo of Dzitbalche is at the north edge of the state of Campeche (near orange marker in the center)
 The pueblo is listed as "Dzibalchen" here on this map.  Calkini is just to the north.