Monday, February 23, 2015

Re-defining Elder Dazey

Thanks for all of the ideas to help our missionary work!  I know that I need to be myself. It feels so much better. I need to remember how I was more and try to apply that to my new life in Mexico. Thanks for the encouragement. I will try to keep up the good work and be a better ME. We definitely need to plan some new activities to do. It seems like the same thing every day, and our district leader is very number focused, so the work hasn't seemed that personal. We have a great Ward Mission Leader. How are the Ward Council meetings in church? When do you make your yearly ward mission plan? I'd really like some ideas about how the missionaries work within the ward and with the ward council. I know that you are always involved with that, and our Relief Society president is THE BOSS, but I think that we need to excite the rest of the ward to do missionary work.
   I have felt very guided this week in finding things to do when other things fall through. Tell Julia that I am sorry to hear about her ankle :/ That sounds rough. Tell Julia to E-mail me! I need some Julia love. 
   Thank you so much for all of the pictures! You guys look great! Colin looks SUPAH fine without those braces. I hope everything is going well with everyone. 
    I figured I might share one of my favorite miracles from this week. To start off, I must explain that I don't get to cry that often. Someone told me once that President Eyring said that it was a gift of the Spirit (If I remember correctly) Anyway, this week we were going to visit a family to tell them that we would have to change our appointment for another day. They asked us to come in. They explained that they wanted to just have the lessons with us, and that they did not want to involve the member family that lived a few doors down. They explained that they had had bad experiences with neighbors before, and that they did not want to trust any of their neighbors anymore. They talked for a long time about what had happened. They probably didn't share any of the details that were the hardest for them, because to me what had happened didn't seem that bad. However, I felt that I should speak of this member family and tell them about how great they are. Although we almost never do, I felt that I should share with them that that family had been the ones who had sent us to them. The sister said something like "So they just said, "Go over to that neighbor's house! They are the best!"" I felt in that moment a great amount of love for both of those families. I told them that I knew that that family had recommended them out of love for them, and that they were the type of family that they could trust. The moment I said that they had recommended them out of love, the tears came. I started crying for what was probably the first time on my mission that I can remember. I had started worrying at the beginning of this week if I really loved these people enough, and if I was really changing. In that moment I knew. I knew that I was a new person, and that most importantly, I was gaining a small part of Christ's capacity to love.
I have felt led by the spirit to make decisions that bring about success this week. We have contacted like we have never contacted before, and this next week should be full of new investigators. We are getting better in every way. Elder Hale has more confidence in Spanish. We are learning together. Our planning sessions have been amazing. I have never planned so well in my mission. We always know what to do, and if we aren't sure, the Spirit tells us. It's been good. I made a new attribute that I based on Elder Sanchez. It's "knowledge." I have been reading my Patriarchal blessing, and I have learned so much. I love it. 


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Now to make my mission personal, plus donuts!

   This week has been a pretty big week.  We had exchanges with the Zone leaders, and I was so glad that Elder Hale got to know them more. It was a good experience, and I learned a lot about working with the ward council from Elder Sanchez. I feel that as we have applied ourselves in our studies more, we have gained a lot of knowledge and skills. The twelve weeks program really helps us see the cool ideas that we can do, and the ways that we can improve. We are going to try to work a lot with the members more. We have known that that would be the key to success, but it has always been hard to do it. We are going to plan with the amount of time we have per week in mind, and we are going to organize our efforts even more.
We have set a few baptismal dates this week, and we had set up many opportunities for new investigators, but they all fell through. We feel that the people will more likely be there if we get the members really involved. If we can get the members to invite them instead of us, I think that it will be more likely that they will be there in the appointments. We are also going to ask that we get people assigned as ward missionaries so that we can really get the help that we need.
We have been able to see a few investigators this week that we haven't seen in while. On one specific occasion, Elder Hale and I were teaching an investigator who is the husband and dad of some less active members in our ward. We were teaching The Plan of Salvation, and as we taught, he had a question about what was after baptism. We felt that to be an opportunity to testify shortly of the main points of lesson 3 and eternal progression. The spirit was so strong. As Elder Hale testified of families, their faces lit up. His heart opened more, and he and his wife seemed excited for the opportunity that they could have to be an eternal family. Elder Hale has been progressing really well, and I feel much better about his progression every day. He's a great help, and he is getting much better at many things that were originally quite hard for him.
A lot of big milestones passed in the mission this week. Between Chellie coming back from her mission on Wednesday, dad having his birthday, and me having a change of heart that I have needed, there has been a lot of emotions. We had interviews with the president this week. I feel that the interviews helped me visualize my goals a lot. I went home and started making my "gray" rules black and white. I started talking to Elder Hale while studying in the first 12 weeks about how we can make more realistic plans and actually complete with them. I realized that I have not focused enough in the goals that we put. I have always had an "fill up the spaces and we'll do what we can attitude," but I realize now that that was not focused enough. Most importantly, and the thing that has been most helpful from our discussion was that I started to realize that I needed to open up and be myself. The “me” before the mission was absolutely diligent. Always happy. Always energetic. Always ready to do things and have fun. I was the kind of guy that if I wasn't occupied, I didn't feel good, and I wasn't feeling successful in my personal progression. I think that I was losing sight of parts of me. I think I began to forget who I was in a study of rules, lessons, and mission cultural that before this last 5 months was quite foreign to me. I am letting that person I forgot out. I have made a vision of one of the attributes of Christ. President told me to make "person definitions" of every attribute and see how I can apply their attributes to my personality. I have patterned my diligence attribute after Elder Conrad (One of our zone leaders). I drew a picture of him, wrote what makes him look so diligent, so happy, and so energetic. I then tried to draw myself. It didn't work out to well, but I felt the impression that maybe I didn't need to draw a diligent me. I could imagine me better than I could just "imagine" the attributes of my human definition of diligence. I began to write down experiences in my life in which I had already shown that attribute in the most pure form I could find. I have been possibly the most happy and most energetic and diligent that I have been on the mission these past few days .I feel that little by little, I will find the person that God will make me. President told me that when he thinks "Elder Dazey" he does not worry that I will be disobedient or that I won't work. He worries that I am not learning the lessons that the Lord is trying to teach me. President taught me of a quote from Joseph Smith in which he talks of the difficulties that he has seen. He says that he has seen difficulties all his life, and then says, "Deep water is what I am wont to swim in." President keeps telling me of the refiners fire that I will go through my whole mission, and how it will be hard, and I will learn till the end.  I will continue listening to the spirit to know what lessons I need to learn as I swim in deep water. 
   Well I love you all! I hope that you have a great week and that you all can continue in your own personal progression! I pray for you all every day! Love you! 

-Elder Dazey

Friday, February 13, 2015

First Baptism!

 We had a very uplifting experience as we were both able to enter the baptism waters this week with our investigators! I believe that they will stay faithful as long as they have the three things they need. We are helping them by nourishing them with the good word of God, and we will continue by helping them have friends. We will make sure Maria Elena has a calling soon. We are finding more people to teach as we use Como Se Llama. We haven't been able to see some of the investigators that we know will progress the fastest this week, and we are worried about losing contact, because at least one of them got a new job and works a lot now. I want to be able to continue feeling excited for this work. I don't want us to come to a halt with this baptism. We have many people to help, and we don't have the time to help them all, but I want to be able to help as many as we can.
We got to see a family go through a great change this week. When I was with Elder Sosa we visited them once and they had said that they would not be baptized because they had already been baptized. We knew that they needed to understand the priesthood, but they obvously weren't going to progress as fast as others, so we left them for a while. Elder Hale and I recently saw them in the street and we set up an appointment with them. We taught them very clearly about the priesthood. They accepted baptism. Needless to say, I was very excited. They had had a big change of heart, and hopefully they will now progress.
Elder Hale continues to progress and teach me new things. We
 are learning from are mistakes together. I've found that Elder Hale almost understands everything that people are saying to him now, or at least the really important things. I used to explain a conversation to him afterward, but now when I do, he says that he understood :D I'm so glad that he is coming along well. We are making more changes that will hopefully increase his and our progression substantially. He is learning to teach well. He memorized the ordinance of baptism, and was able to put it to practice this week. I feel like I love him the more we talk. I love to talk with him. He and I have a lot in common.
I don't feel stressed almost at all anymore. I studied The Fourth Missionary a little today and the talk "Are we not all Beggars?" by Elder Holland. I felt really good. I realized that as I focus on forgetting about myself and getting to know God, I will become like him. I want to forget who I am. I don't want to get to know who I am, because who I am in this moment is a person who is not like God. I realized after reading in the teaching skills chapter with Elder Hale for companion study that something that I was horribly neglecting in my personal studies was the attributes of Christ. It says that we need to study the attributes of Christ, the lessons, and our mission language, and beyond that listen to the spirit and then we can be good teachers. I loved that, because I love studying attributes of Christ, my patriarchal blessing, and Adjusting to Missionary Life. I will try to work those things into my study more. I was looking over some of the things that I wasn't doing so well this week, and today I decided to talk to Elder Hale about those things and set some goals to change them for the better. We had much more effective studies today for the little things we changed (Like not eating, and talking in Spanish more) and I hope that I can continue being a good example with that so that we can progress more as a companionship. A day at a time. 
   Well today I took Elder Hale downtown and showed him the giant Cathedral. We ate the 5 peso tacos that I love so much, and we had a lot of fun. It felt good. Our baptism was of Maria Elena, Jafeth, and Benjamin. She is their Grandma. They are really awesome. She only moved her like 4 or 5 months ago to live with them, and I had contacted her on the bus. Now they're members! I'm so excited for them! Elder Hale and I felt really good doing that, and we are excited to keep going and hopefully be able to do it again soon! Elder Hale was telling me something awesome about eternal families that he read in the Liahona (Agradecida por los convenios del Templo) But in english it means Thankfulness for the Blessings of the Temple. 
I love you guys! Till next week! 

-Elder Dazey 

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Fine Tuning of Missionary Work

This past week there seemed to be a problem with the church server and receiving missionary letters in some parts and so I emailed the Mission Presidents for Sister-Chellie Dazey and Elder Benjamin Dazey and they were allowed to resend their letters which came today so here they are:
Elder Benjamin Dazey wrote:
I got the Christmas package you sent on Thursday along with a package from Anna that had a very yummy cookie Christmas tree. We ate it that night! J
We have learned a lot, and with the fast that we just had, I could immediately see blessings. We immediately planned a chart to put on our wall to plan for all of our investigators. This came because of the fast, and that I was reading through the things our mission president told us to do, the Area Mexico Plan 2015, and the things that our District Leader has told us. I decided in that moment that I wanted to talk with Elder Hale about how we could change the way that we are doing the work in order to do it in that way, because I know that that is how we will find success. I felt a little lost at first in this 6 weeks, but I feel that we have a good direction now. 
The way that we have been doing a lot of the teaching is that Elder Hale does all the teaching that he can, and then I explain the things that they might not have understood. His Spanish is very good, and he will get a lot better quick. We are going to be changing a lot for the better this week. We have new plans and we are setting new goals. We made our "wall list" to be able to focus on a few people and continually change who we'd be focusing on because we will be finding new investigators. We put a checklist of key indicators by each name to try to put them in an order of who we think will progress the quickest. We call our list "The Chosen of God." We are going to start sending a scripture text to our investigators every day. 
Hale taught me how to make a better language study plan this week. He's been able to teach almost every part of the first 4 lessons to investigators, and they have understood him very well. I learned a lot about the work, and we found less active members that I had never seen while I was in exchanges with Elder Camacho. We have a baptism this Saturday, and one of our investigators returned from vacation and hopefully she will also be baptized soon. The baptism this Saturday is of a grandma that I had contacted on a bus one day, and her two grandkids. They are awesome, and they asked me to baptize them. Elder Hale and I are very excited. (Pictures soon to follow) Elder Hale and I are becoming better friends every day. I'm loving it. 
Could you also send me a picture of Colin's face without braces? I HOPE EVERYTHING IS GOING WELL. I pray for you guys every day. Go baptize a million in the temple!