Missionary Jake – Part 6 of 10

This is part six of a ten part series chronicling Jake’s Mission. It is told mostly in his own words using excerpts from his letters and photographs sent home.

August 2007

Oakland Temple statue of Jesus Christ
This week we didn’t have any baptisms, but we found a lot of families to teach. My companion is learning all of the words that they use differently here. He is a native Spanish speaker—I have to correct some of his Spanish :). Transfers today. I am going to the Zone Valle Dorado. It is the best zone in the mission. There are 12 zones in the mission and Valle Dorado baptizes about 1/4 of the total baptisms. I still haven’t met my companion and I don’t know in what part I’ll be so I will let you know next week.

Yes, we are baptizing stakes. This month we are going to baptize even more. I am just going to tell you this for right now, but this past week I was assigned District Leader. It is exciting to be in charge of other missionaries and have to teach them how to work! The mission is great. [Dad], I appreciate your small letters that don’t distract me too much but also don’t leave me out in the cold. Feel free to write more if you would like.

[Dad] please include God in every important decision that you have to make about your health. That is what Joseph Smith did. If you do that every time you have a doubt, if are sufficiently humble, God will give you the answer “abundantemente y sin reproche” (James 1:5). He will never tell you to do or take something that will do you harm instead of good. If I can ask one thing of you it is to always do this. Ask Him if you can trust Him, ask Him if you should consult Him in this. He will give you the truth, ETERNAL truth, that will “greatly enlarge the soul without guile”.

Everyday I teach the principle of “Ask and ye shall receive”, but I myself always forget to apply it. I try and demand answers from people, sometimes getting frustrated with them. But they cannot make my decisions and give me answers that I have to look for myself. Ask God for every little answer that you want. He will give it “without reproach”. He never will say “But you did not do x or y”. If you ask for bread He gives you bread.

[Dad] please let me know what you think of this principle, and if you were able to apply it successfully in this week. Please excuse the Spanish. It is difficult to keep it from sneaking in :).

I have lost the focus of the Spirit in my work. It is amazing how fast you can change who you are in the mission. You can change companions and be a totally different person and nobody knows anything. Keep up being a good Dad. I always am teaching people how to raise their kids based on the principles that you used to raise us. I even told a Dad to kick his 24 year old son out of his house if he didn’t start to study in school. It worked.

We need to plan a vacation to Mexico. The traffic is worse than in California, but we’ll put a blindfold on you and rent a car. There are a lot of neat sites to visit.

Thank you for the Endeavour photos. It helped me to raise my spirits and my goals. The work in the new area is slow in starting, but is gaining speed. We have doubled the numbers of previous Elders working in this area, but we still haven’t reached our goal. I still haven’t been in a Testimony Meeting in my new ward. It is basically the same, but there are testimonies much stronger of mission work. Mom, you should talk with all of the people in your work that are not members about the church, it will be a lot of fun if you put effort in it.

We go to members houses to eat “el almorzo” (2:00pm). We just eat a small breakfast and a small dinner in our house. Haven’t seen the newsletter since the MTC. Not much time to read it, but if it doesn’t take too much effort you can print it out and send it. My zone broke the record of baptisms in one month and we are going to break it again in September. It is amazing what you can accomplish with vision and a lot of work.

Thanks for the emails and updates. It is nice to stay semi-informed. Daniel is school officer. Paul is working and has a scholarship. Sarah is working. Derek is working, an entrepreneur, and going to school. What is Steven up to? Graduate school?

The package has arrived. Thanks for all the candy and the “No Comes Ernesto”. Yo había dibujado uno para las noches de hogares. Que bueno que tengo uno oficial ahora.

Please activate the credit card and let me know when it is active.

Practiquen su Español todos. ¡He olvidado hablar en Inglés y todavía me falta un año! Voy a tener que leer mi discurso al regresar a casa.

September 2007

We had three baptisms this past week. Una señora and a young couple with a 5 month old baby. They are really happy to have found the gospel. My new area is great for finding complete families that will be sealed in the temple.

Fantastic. Part time work. I should have asked for more money before you changed it. Now you just need to work by internet and buy a huge house here in Mexico.

Steven and Paul: Hurry up and get a wedding planned so I don’t have to go. Districts are between two and three companionships.

The summer is really cool. It rains about every day. Just enough to keep you from overheating. I am going to try and upload more pictures next week.

We baptized another family this week. They have been waiting a long time for their baptism because they weren’t married. It is easy in Mexico because if you give them $20 more they ignore most of the silly requirements. I met a missionary that returned from the México León Mission the same day that Tyler [Moss] entered the mission field. I think Tyler went to the area that he left. The mission needs a lot of help. Tyler should be a great help for them.

Our mission broke a record of baptisms in the mission (500 something). Our zone broke the record of baptisms in a zone (101). This month we are going to break it again (120). We have a great zone leader with true vision and faith. The rest of the zones have a hard time with 30 baptisms.

I forgot my camera again. Next week I will put it in my backpack a few days before. Don’t have athlete’s foot anymore. Shoes are doing great. Did I mention that Elder Zwick of the 1st Quorum of Seventy came and taught us? Times up. Until next week.

Daniel, you are not in Cross-Country just to “stay in shape”. You should strive to win the fastest runner. If you are not putting in your best effort why do it?

Es tiempo de escribir en Español. Me cuesta mucho trabajo tratar de hablar en Ingles.

Daniel, Happy Birthday little brother. ¿Quién es su novia? ¿Está ganando las carreras? ¿Cuál es su mejor tiempo para 5k? Felicidades por su águila.

¡Perdí mi cámera! Voy a buscarla en esta semana. Hay muchas fotos allí. Les adviso si no puedo encontrarla.

Bautisamos a una otra familia. Su hijo ya había sido bautizado hace 3 años. Ellos están muy contentos.

El Sábado fue como el 4 de Julio aquí. Teníamos que estar en casa a las 6 de la tarde. Compré una bandera chiquita para traer a casa.

No hacemos nada especial los días de preparación en esta zona. Solomente enfocamos mucho en la obra.

Sounds good about the camera. I honestly don’t know what happened to it. I cleaned the house and my luggage looking for it but without results. I want to buy one that fits in my pocket so it is safer. Suggestions from Paul and Steven? The card works great. Did you cancel the Certificate of Deposit or did it just expire?

Transfers. My new companion is from the MTC here in Mexico. I am in the same area. There is a lot of success here in our zone. We are going to break our own record and October looks the same.


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