Monday, February 27, 2012

I can't stop smiling :)

Wow, it has been one of the greatest weeks of my mission, and one the greatest of my life.  There wasn't anything that huge that happened now that I look back on it, just those everyday miracles that make me happy to be a missionary.
Ayala Baptism
We had the baptism of hermano Ayala, he has changed so much since the day I first met him.  He was the first person I met when I came to this new area and at the time he wasn't an investigator and wasn't interested in being an investigator.  Now he is excited to do all that he can to go to the temple and be married with his wife for eternity.  First we need to baptize his wife but I have a feeling that we will be baptizing her within the coming weeks.  Last night we visited with him and he was telling us how he was trying to be so good and not cuss ha ha.
We found a lot of new investigators this week.  I always love teaching people for the first time it is great to get to know them and show them how the gospel can help them in their lives.
I have been so happy, because we are working, I cant stop smiling, (not that I was frowning before) but that the work here is just so awesome!  Elder Perez and I have been trying to teach with lots of energy and enthusiasm and I think the people can feel it.  We received six referrals from the ward this week which is awesome because it shows that the ward trusts us.  when I look back on it I cant think of a bad thing that happened this week.
We had an experience with one of our investigators.  Her name is Josefa.  She is an old lady who has been an investigator for a really long time, she said she feels like God doesn't love her because He doesn't answer her prayers.  We had this lesson with her this week, and I don't remember exactly what happened or what we said, or rather what the spirit said to her, but she began to cry.  She told us that she believes that we have the power of God because she can feel it when we come in her home.  She asked if we could give her a blessing because she has a lot of pain in her foot and this could help her come to church.  We asked if we could fast with her and give her a blessing the next day.
The next day we gave her a blessing, it was a simple, but we all felt the spirit really strongly.  She said that she felt really emotional and with tears of joy she said "I know my heavenly father loves me".  It was really cool, what a blessing it is to know these simple truths.
Everything is great here.  We are looking forward to another great week in Ixtla.
Dall- what is your recipe for pizza dough.  Elder Campbell?  I will keep my eyes open for him.
I love you all.  Your in my thoughts and prayers.
Con muchismo Amor,
A favorite quote of Joe's from Nacho Libre:   They think I do not know a buttload of crap about the Gospel, but I do!
Elder Joe Fuell

Monday, February 20, 2012

Another Great Week!!

It has been great down here in Mexico.  It has been warming up and feels like spring again ha ha.  It has been a really good week, we have been preparing our investigators for baptism and we will be have a baptism every week until the end of the transfer if everything goes to plan.  Elder Garcia went home on Friday, As much trouble as he was I miss him because we became good friends, he said if ever I want to drop by I am more than welcome at his house,  He cried when he left which was not something I expected from him, but sometimes people surprise you for the better.

l to r...Elder Perez, Garcia and Me

Elder Perez has been a great companion, he loves to work and teach and is still a little scared to contact people in the street but we are working through that ha ha.  The other day we were talking at lunch about the mission where his house is and I asked him if he knows Elder Makay Covington, he said he knew an Elder Covington and worked with him and his companion for four days before coming to the MTC in Mexico.  I know that it was the same Elder Covington because he said that he is really funny and has a twin brother who is going to some country in South America (Chile) ha ha.  Small world right! who would have guessed?
Another Great thing about Elder Perez is that he loves to cook, and I love it that he loves to cook. And he cooks great.  Last preparation day we went to a members house and he cooked this really great chicken with the hottest salsa I have had in my mission thus far, but it was really good even though his salsa made me cry.
This week we found an investigator named Juan Manuel.  He is really cool, he likes to go to the church and has been going for years in Oaxaca.  He doesn't like Mexico city because he said that everyone is always running around like a chicken with its head cut off, which is true for the most part.  

Joe at the Mexico City  Temple

He wants to get baptized, but he has long fingernails on his little finger which usually indicates that they are drug addicts.  I sure hope not because he is a really great investigator!! 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!  I love you.  It is great to hear that you are all doing well
Con Muchismo Amor,
Elder Joe Fuell
Joe in Mexico City

Monday, February 13, 2012

Learning humility......and patience

Wow, what a week!
It seems to have went by really fast but when I look back on it, last week seems to have been forever ago.  So last Monday, me and Elder Garcia where gearing up for the new companion, cleaning the house and what not.  I was really nervous because I don't feel quite ready to train, and especially with Elder Garcia getting ready to leave also.  Tuesday we went to get him.  His name is Elder Perez, he is from Chiapas which is in the south of Mexico, his pueblo is on the border of Guatemala and Mexico.  He is really cool and has a desire to work hard and serve the Lord, what more could you ask for.
Trainers or as President Chavez says instructors (because the scriptures don't use the word trained, he says training is for animals) had meetings all this week, which was kind of boring at times but cool.  He talked about how we need to be receiving revelation all the time as missionaries.  We put it into practice here in Ixtla and BAM! success!!  The work has been really good, and we weren't able to teach a lot this week because of all the meetings but every lesson we had were some of the best lessons, and most spiritual experiences, that I have had on my mission.
Having two companions is difficult at times.  I just try to set a good example and give direction when needed.  Sometimes my companions fight with each other, they are worse than little girls, I wouldn't mind it so much if it was in the house, but it is in the street where everyone can hear and see, and we definitely don't have the spirit with us when they are fighting.  President Chavez said we should think through are problems and then look to the Lord for help,(remembering that he wont do it all for us). 
So my companions where being pretty lazy sleeping until 7:00 or 7:30 and usually I have a squirt bottle and I start squirting Elder Garcia in the face, but then he is grumpy all day and we don't have the spirit. (Per Louie and Brenda-He did not learn this at home)!!!! So at 6:30 I said lets go for Tamales and everyone seems to like that, is out of bed, and is a lot happier..
This week we went and married the Ayala's for the civil wedding.  It was a pretty cool experience.  They wanted me to be one of the witnesses. but I couldn't because I am not "Mexican"  The Ayalas were pretty upset about it, but its all good, I am leaning to be more humble . . .  and patient.
This week we found a really cool investigator, his name is Jose.  We started teaching him and he said that he knows it is true.  He has no doubts about Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon, but he has a problem. . . When he was 5 he fell into a well and now has a phobia of being submersed in water.  We are working with him and a psychiatrist in the ward to help him overcome his fears.  I know we can do it, but I would hate for his baptism to be a traumatic experience.
But yeah, everything is great!  I love being a missionary and sometimes the Lord tests us but these are the experience's where we can learn the most.  I love this work and this gospel. I love all of you too, and yes, I have the opportunity to play the piano for church every once and a while.
Con Muchismo Amor,
Elder Joe Fuell

Monday, February 6, 2012

La Semana de Milagros--The week of Miracles

Wow! this week went by so fast! The days are going by so fast, and there is so much to talk about once again.  First we brought Pedro y Rosa to church with there family of three little kids!  Which is a miracle in and of itself.  The ward was so excited to have a family there, the bishop said that the missionaries hadn't brought a family to the church for a long time, I hope that means more referrals for us now that the ward knows we are working!
We had the baptism of Juan this Sunday.  The whole ward was there and it was awesome to have that kind of support. The baptismal service was a super spiritual experience.  His mom who is a recent convert got up and bore her testimony, how she thought that Juan would have been the last to join the church and listen to the missionaries but he was the first.  During the Baptismal service his dad started crying.  He said he could feel the love of God.
So this morning we passed by Juan's house and his dad was working moving dirt,  we offered to help him and he accepted.  He was glad for the help and afterwards we were talking a little bit and he said.  "Elder Fuell, I want you to baptize me in two weeks, can you do that?" I said of course.  what a miracle!
So, it turns out that the first presidency didn't clear my companion to go home six weeks early for school and that he could go home four weeks early.  So, that means he is going to be with me and my new companion for two more weeks.  My new companion is Elder _____, I don't know his name because I am going to be training.  I will find out who he is tomorrow when we meet him.  I dont feel ready to be training, because I am still learning, but I will do the best I can.
Another miracle this week!  Brother Ayala, from who we took the grim reaper things, didn't want to get baptized until he received his answer in a dream, because all of his sons had received answers in dreams that the church is true.  He reads the scriptures every night and prays, because he really does have a desire to know that the church is true.  We had done all that we could do and he was doing all that he could do and so I knew that it was in the Lords hands.  Tuesday afternoon I started my fast so that he could have his dream. Wednesday morning we went to his house and I was a little bummed, but I continued my fast until Wednesday afternoon.  Thursday we went to his house in the evening and he said that he had a dream and he is going to get baptized!!!!  I was so excited we ran to the church were we found his kids, his one son Qualtelmoc, who is a missionary started crying and I started crying with him!  it was awesome!!! 
but.. .
he is not married so we need to get him married which I found out was harder than trying to get him to get baptized!  So we had a lesson with three or four couples from the ward,  it was awesome and the spirit was super strong, and then sister Ayala said,  I have been waiting 41 years to get married, it is only a matter if you want to or not.  and then he went over to her and he asked her if she would marry him.  Of course she said yes.  41 years of marriage.  He told us he was afraid she was going to say no ha ha.  they will get married this Saturday!
that is crazy that the giants won again against the patriots.  and it is good to hear that you had a good trip Dad.
I love you all
Con Muchisimo Amor,
Elder Joe Fuell
Mom and Dad: Pray for me this week.  I have a feeling I will need some Divine help.
Joe and his Butcher friend

Joe, Elder Garcia and a recent convert and his family

Joe finishing playing monopoly...and winning he said....He always hated losing at monopoly


Joe and his Companion Elder Garcia

Joe doing his favorite thing---Eating

Elder Joe Fuell

Elder Joe Fuell