Sunday, February 28, 2016

Nate's Homecoming Weekend

 My mom had a vision of this palm tree she really wanted to so for Nate's Party. Thanks to a handy son in law Ez build the structure and made it happen. It was a fiesta theme. Kimber made some really yummy churro cupcakes and 7-layer dip cups to tie into the tacos for the theme.
 She even cut the palm leave off of her plants in the yard

 That night after the party there was of coarse more swimming before was so hot it made it hard to not swim
 Sunday was Nate's homecoming. It was so good. Nate did an amazing job. Most missionaries talk about random people they taught without a real cohesiveness with the talk but Nate had a purpose to every story he told. After church Nate passed out the gifts he had brought home for everyone. They were really cool and beautiful.
 We also sat around and just hung out. Nate got out his guitar for Matt to play while we sang and just listened.

 It was a busy weekend and these 2 were feeling it. Don't they look so sweet together?!?
I think almost everyone got a nap on Sunday including these tired dads. Ez and Matt totally crashed
 That night while preparing for family prayer the kids were settled on the grass when Riggs decided to make it into a duck duck goose game. It was hard to not laugh eventually we got settle and completed family prayer.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

1 Week Til He is Home

Let monsoon season begin

Hey mama, 
The weather here has been incredible too!!!!  Every single day we get up and it's cool outside til about 11 and then it heats up a little til about 3 and then the clouds come in and it is either overcast or rainy for the rest of the day. I will probably enjoy the rain even more when I'm not walking outside in it for 5 hours haha I honestly don't mind the rain. It's either get home wet from rain or wet from sweat; I prefer rain cause it doesn't smell as bad :) I have really enjoyed the mission though. I can't believe that it has already been almost 2 years. I didn't even remember that yesterday i completed 23 months! haha it's interesting because the time has recently been counted going down, not going up.

let's see... what happened this week..... well, we are still pretty much teaching the same investigators, but we found this incredible lady last saturday! We walk into her home, and it is just so pretty and open to the spirit! her boyfriend is a member of the church that got baptized about a year ago, and she called him when she saw us on the bus. She didn't want to jsut talk to us. So she decided to do the following: If we got off at the same time as her, then she would talk to us. I remember that day; we were going to get off a block later, but we decided that we might as well get off with her. ummm, coincidence? i know that it wasn't. She is sooo incredible. She is already in 1 Nephi 17! Yep, she is pretty freakin awesome!!!!!! She couldn't come to church on sunday, but she is going to come this week for sure!

I also saw some pictures a couple of weeks ago that I hadn't ever seen that you guys had taken, and I kinda got emotional as well, but it's ok mom, we can make it! 

On monday, we got called by President and we had a special "suicide watch" assignment. Needless to say, someone had to be with this elder at all times, and his mother had asked that we watched him for the night. So we tried to pull an all-nighter (worst decision of my life)! We played monopoly til about midnight, and then we got permission from pres to watch both the Lego movie and Frozen (both of which were phenomenal!!! And even though I tried, my stomach started hurting so bad by about 3:30 that I just decided to go to bed. Elder Orchard was the only one who made it all night, and the sick elder got exhausted and crashed til morning as well. We had to get up at 5:30. I swear I almost puked multiple times because even when I tried to nibble on things, my body was like "i'm too tired to eat, I'm going to give it back to you!" So I didn't really eat until after we got back from the airport and I got to crash for a few hours before going back out to the area to work. I felt pretty aweful though. However, now that I am a little more rested and feeling a little better, it was a pretty fun night without the stomach ache! 

I am not sure what else to really write about... We went to my first area today to say goodbye to some converts. It was such a good time! I love them soooo much! i got the opportunity to share my testimony with one of the families that has been struggling with going to church because of their schedule, and that was very special for me. I hope that they can come back to be sealed in the temple! That would be sooo awesome for them! 

I think I am going to ask you to forward this mom! Thank you much! I know this church is true. The mission really has changed my life. I know that christ lives, and it had never occurred to me how important it was to share our beliefs with others that he lives and that he has restored his gospel! It is VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!! I hope we can all find a chance to share our beliefs this week!

Love Elder Norr

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2 weeks of a lot of stuff‏

Ok, so after getting my mom's email of "hey, haven't received an email in 2 weeks hint hint" I figured i should probably write again this week. In my defense, these last few weeks have been soooooo crazy! The first week of this cycle, when I wrote on monday, we were in the offices all day with the news on monday, Tuesday was changes and a pretty normal work day,we went to Teotihuacan on wednesday (I will explain in a second), Thursday we had to go to migration all day (in super nice part of town called Polanco), and friday one of my comps went with pres ALLLLL day from about 7am til about 11 pm to clean out all the houses that are now empty, and saturday was a normal work day. Sound exhausting? The answer to that question is YES!

First, what is Teotihuacan? Answer, Ancient Aztec civilization that is over 2000 years old. Is it awesome? Uh, YEAH! There were tons of people, all of which were trying to RIP us off for the cheap fake things that they sell to ignorant tourists for 20 times what it is actually worth. But it was an awesome experience! They even had original wall paintings that have been preserved for over 2000 years! Sweet. It was about a 3 hour trip to get out there and then another 3 to come back, we got completely fried because my neck was the only place I didn't put on sunscreen, but it was a blast! 

Polanco? Just a super nice upscale city in the middle of mexico city. We decided that we had a couple of hours to kill while waiting for green cards, so we went and got something for lunch and then we went to an art museum. It was interesting, but I don't think I am a very good art person. I just can't really grasp the whole This woman has a giraffe's neck and drawers coming out of her stomach interpretation, but it was rather entertaining.

Last week we went to Maravillas (second area) to say goodbye to some members and the convert I baptized while I was there! Turns out Raymundo (the 18 year old that I baptized) has now had the opportunity to baptize his younger sister and we are hoping that he will decide to serve a mission soon! Super cool opportunity! 

Yesterday we had to go get green cards again so we ran to wendy's to get some lunch (there are only like 2 in this entire huge city!!!!9  and then we decided to go to a really cool aquarium. It has 3 underground floors that have all different types of jellyfish, sharks, rays, fish, crazy things, and it was a blast too! I don't think i have ever been to a real aquarium before. I have been fish and sharks in tanks, but I think this is the first actual aquarium I have went to. It was a blast!

Now for the spiritual things! The last couple of weeks have had incredible miracles. our companionship has decided that if we want something from God, we must tell him what we are willing to do to get it. Each of us has goals as well as companionship goals that we are going to work on this week to truly show God how willing we are to work to receive his blessings! I have never really thought about that concept before, praying for God and then telling him "look, I am willling to do this, this, this, and this, but I am asking you to please bless me with THIS." it makes sense though. We must decide to be willing to tell God what we are going to do so that he will bless us. "I the lord am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." DyC 82:10. That has been something that has really helped me this week!

We went and made Horchata with the Familia Macedo last week and it was delicious! I love horchata, and now I  know how to make it! Yes! We had stake conference on sunday, and that was an experience! THere were many inspired talks that I really enjoyed! Also, 2 of the members in our ward were given the melquisedec priesthood (one recent convert that was baptized about 5 months ago, and another man who has been a member for 5 years, and is absolutely incredible!) It was such an incredible privelage to see them ordained. I know my life has been blessed by the Melquisedec Priesthood that my dad has held, and that I have never had a great chance to serve than I have while holding it. It truly is the link between us and Our heavenly father!

So, now a funny spiritual story. We found this incredible family last night. Please pray for them. Griselda and Salvador Alva. So this is something that I have seen a couple times in my mission but I love it. The father was willing to offer the closing prayer to the lesson. We explained to him a little bit about how we should pray and he started. He was doing such a great, simple prayer, and then his daughter (less active member) slowly started to help him when he got a little lost, and then finally he was just like "that's all I got" and his daughter just kept the prayer going for a minute and ended it. I have only seen tag-team prayers a couple of times in my mission, but they are a little funny. I am just grateful that the people are willing to try to pray in a way they aren't used to. This family is very special and I hope you can keep them in your prayers as they continue to receive the missionary discussions. 

Also, we went by with a lady named Rosario who is the sister of an old investigator who we were really looking for. we ran into Rosario and she accepted a return visit. She wasn't at the appointment, so we went to the house where we found Griselda and Salvador, and then we went back. As we were walking up to the door, a lady from the other side of the street said "you guys are looking for me." Ummm, what? Turns out, it was the old investigator Adriana that we had previously looked for. We go over and say hi to her and her boyfriend. We start talking to her a little bit. The conversation was a little awkward at first, but then the wheels got rollin. Turns out her dad is sick and has to be treated in a hospital that is in a completely other state (lame) and she and her sister have to be there almost all the time to watch out for him and take care of him. She received the mission lessons for a week... She read up to Alma 42 in the book of mormon, went to general conference and received at least the restoration and the plan of salvation. She know what baptism was and they had talked to her about it; she wanted to be baptized, but then her dad got sick. She has a hymn book, everything. This woman is incredible!!!!!!!!! We tried to set up an appointment, but because of her dad, she couldn't give us a date. She has our number and she is going to call us when she is home! I felt we should sing her a hymn, so I asked her if it would be ok? her words "You guys are going to make me cry. I'm here with my boyfriend, and now you guys show up. I'm just going to be an emotional wreck. God always just seems to send you guys when I need you most. I just don't want to cry right now.... But what hymn are you guys going to sing me?" haha We sang "Abide with me, 'tis eventide". I promise we have never sang that in tune in this entire cycle. I felt as if we were singing with angels to this woman. It was just such a sweet spiritual experience! Loved it!

Well, I think that's it for the next 2 weeks....ummm, I mean, uhhhh...... nevermind sorry mom haha  I'm grateful for the gospel in my life. It is a true gospel and I am grateful to be a representative of Christ. The mission is coming to an end. I literally have less than a month left in my mission. We gotta us the time we are given! I hope you all go out and help someone in need this week. You will know who they are. Don't be afraid, just have faith!

Elder Norr

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The familia Acosta Velazco got baptized!!!!!‏

Hello everyone, I decided to write today because we are going to be int he offices all day, and I doubt I will really be able to write on p-day because we are going to be gone most of the day. The family Acosta Velazco got baptized this last saturday! It was a beautiful baptismal service and I will never forget it. I would like to just write a little bit about their story today.

We received the familia acosta velazco as a reference from the sisters in the other ward. They had given her a quick guided visit of the stake center. Guadelupe (mom) had went to the elementary school in front of the stake center almost 40 years ago and had always wondered what happened inside. When we started teaching Guadelupe, she was just an incredible investigator! Her eyes just sparkled and she understood what we taught. She started to study on her own and began to know more and more as we kept teaching her. Finally, we got the chance to have an appointment with her whole family. They said it would be tough because they were really busy, but they made it to the appointment. We got to meet Jose Israel (father), Estafany (daughter 20), Daniel (son 18), and Fernanda (daughter 11). We started just kind of getting to know them, and right off the bat, they were open with us. They explained their doubts, questions, everything. After a couple lessons, the dad explained that he wasn't sleeping well in their home, and that they had all experienced some weird stuff in their home, but the person who really noticed was the dad. He had served in the military and had been a security guard too; he had seen some things that just wouldn't leave him alone. We felt we should give him a blessing. He accepted, and we gave him a priesthood blessing. The following week when we got to talk to them again, his wife told us that he hadn't had problems sleeping or anything since the blessing. SO COOL! The lessons continued, and they accepted the date for the 30th of May. We went to get them married on that saturday morning, the judge got their late, but when it was their turn, they couldn't get married. Guadelupe didn't have a social security number; like it really didn't exist. BUMMER. So the following week, without us, they went 2 or 3 times with the judge until they could finally get married! They got baptized on the 6th of June, 2015. I baptized Guadelupe, Estafany, and Fernanda. The spirit was sooooo strong. The baptism started a little late, but it was probably the strongest baptism I have ever been to. At the end, the time was given to Guadelupe and Israel to share their testimony and their feelings. Guadelupe bore the sweetest testimony and it was just soooo great! I wish I could have hugged that woman!!! But can't... Israel then stood up, and he has always been the one who keeps it together, is really calm, doesn't express much emotion. He thanked everyone for coming, and then his eyes started to water up. He then said "I'm grateful that my family can be here with me today. Thanks to those 7 minutes of tour that my wife got in the stake center, my entire family has been able to find the true church". My eyes started to tear up. It was such a sweet tender moment! Fany wasn't going to be able to make it to the confirmation, but everything worked out so that she could make it and stay at church. The confirmations were so beautiful. The spirit was soooo strong in the sacrament meeting, and it was also testimony meeting which made it AWESOME!!!!  This family truly is a one of a kind family! I love them dearly! Thank you for all of your prayers and support! I hope you all have a great week! 

This church is true! Live it! Love it!

Elder Norr
This is the familia ACOSTA VELAZCO!!!! THEY ARE JUST SOOOOOOOOO GREAT! They got baptized on saturday!!!!!
First, This is Hermano Salvador. He's an awesome brother. He helps us out all the time with our visits! This time we were painting that room that e are in!
 That's just me hanging out on p-day in my hawaiian shirt.
 Blotter and I got pretty excited when we got to put together the new vacuum for the offices haha

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Week 6!‏

Hello everyone, I hope you guys are all doing well! This week is going by sooooo fast! The mission is literally starting to just feel like a dream. This week has been awesome so far! We had almost all of our investigators come to church with us this week, which was awesome! However, the familia acosta velazco didn't get baptized. When we went to the public registry (judge's office) Hermana Guadelupe didn't have a curp (kinda like a social security) and turns out, she doesn't even exist in the system.... :/ So, they couldn't get married, but they have already tramitted another curp and they are going to get married tomorrow at 2! Please pray for them! They are sooooo great!

So, I think it is time for me to take my anti-paracite booster again (it says to take it once, and then again in a month to kill the strong bugs) because I think in the last couple of days I have dropped like 3 pounds... But no big. We went to walmart, and the solution to 3 pound weight loss is.... ICE CREAM! So we are on our way back from walmart, and we have the big recyclable bags. I have everything from a gallon of milk to eggs to juice to fruit to body wash in my bag. I change shoulders and after a little while I here something pop (something in the bag, not my shoulders haha) I had the ice cream on my hip since we left walmart so when my hip started getting colder I didn't really pay much attention. We get back home, and go up to the kitchen, I put the bag down on the table, and reach inside for the stuff. ICE CREAM! It had popped the top on the ice cream and compressed the container so that quite a bit of it was squished out and on my other groceries... Oh man....... Not to mention the giant ice-cream stain that I found on my left hip. So that's why it was sooo cold.....

In the area we have been doing really well! We have had the chance to go looking for most of the less actives in the ward. It is so sad when you get there, and they tell you "them? They haven't lived here for over 2 years." These baptized members of the church just disappear until someone someday says something that will get the "I was baptized into the lds church" comment out of them by surprise. But nonetheless, we have been working hard. It hasn't rained as much lately either. We are working on a project that is called "mil vidas en cien dias" (1000 lives in 100 days) It includes each companionship choosing 10 families in their area/ward and then working with the ward to make sure that those 10 families get/stay converted and active for the rest of their lives. It is a good project, and even though my companion and I are starting a little late, we are trying hard to get into a little more action with our ward with regards to this activity.

I learned a very important lesson in the last week. The truth, it was pretty rough, maybe not on a physical level, but on an emotional, mental, spiritual scale, it was tough. Sometimes we want to make it sound like it is just great all the time, but it's not easy. I didn't really have tons of ganas (i don't really know the best word for that in english; it's like desire) I was doing the things that I should. Reading, praying, teaching, financial stuff, but I didn't feel good. I prayed and prayed that God would help me have ganas. I looked in the scriptures hoping to find some cool scripture that would motivate me. I read a lot. I prayed a lot too. But I didn't find what I was looking for. I finally one night realized something. God doesn't always just give us more strength. He doesn't just give us the scripture that motivates us always. Sometimes it is our own responsability to make a conscious effort to feel better and be better. I wasn't reading different things than before. I hadn't stopped praying. But I was different. I looked at everything from a different perspective than normal. I finally decided that I was going to wake up the next morning and try. I was determined to not have another day that I didn't want to have. God always gives us the signs, but sometimes it is our perspective of the signs that either keeps us going up the right path, or starts us going on the wrong path. We need to want to see the good in the world that God gives us. 

My companion found this video and I think it would be cool for you guys to see.

Life really is a great gift. We have truly been blessed with so many talents and abilites. God knows our true potential, and through the atonement of his son Jesus Christ we may someday return to his presence. I hope we can all understand and appreciate that. Thank you all so much for what you do! I hope you have a great week!

Elder Norr