Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How we doin?

ey, how we doin? This week has been SO FAST!!!! Cambios are this next week (changes), and I found out... ya me voy.... (i'm leaving) It's kinda weird to be leaving. I know I have 6 months in this area, but I would like to have one more change here. The people are so great, and there are so many people that are ready for the gospel in this area. Ok, so last week, I didn't have much time to write, so here come the miracles of Mexico!! :) We have an older man in our area names Hermano Montiel; this man has been inactive in the church for 15 years, and when I say inactive, I mean he has not attended an acitivity or stepped foot within the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints for 15 years. He refuses to tell us what went down that made him leave, but we taught about... I forgot :/ but after, we told him we would pass by his house at 8:30 on sunday morning to pick him up and take him to church. We TOTALLY forgot... but as I am saying hi to all the people in the sacrament hall, I see an older gentleman walk in the double doors.... HERMANO MONTIEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I about cried and I couldn't control myself; I straight up yelled across the sacrament hall to Elder Chico "ELDER CHICO!!!! MIRE!!!!" We seriously about cried! I ran over and gave him a huge hug and found him a nice, comfy, senior citizen-safe chair next to me, and he stayed for all of sacrament meeting!! We also had lots of people come to sacrament meeting, including our mission president, and the President of all of Mexico and part of the US, President Johnson and his wife. We had 9 confirmations on sunday, but sadly, none of them were our investigators..... Bummer.....

Miracle #2 - so, blanca valencia is the sister of one of the less active members in the ward. She got really bad depression about 8 years ago, and now she gets really upset and almost gets sick after going into the streets. We go to their house on saturday to visit her and her 90 year old mother who we are trying to baptize. Blanca is in her room with the door shut. She got really bad after selling in the streets the 2 previous days. After teaching the mom and the less active sister, we asked if we could go in and talk to blanca. They told us "you can try, but she doesn't even want to see or talk to us". Ok then. We knocked and went in. She was just laid on her bed witha blank look on her face and the television on. We asked if we could sing her a hymn. She said yes. We sang "More Holiness Give Me" (favorite hymn) and she thanked us (she loves hymns). We sat down, and began to talk to her; she expressed her sadness, and her desire to not live... She told us she didn't want to see or talk to anyone and that her mom and sister didn't understand her... Finally, Elder chico and I, with the power of the spirit, began to give her advice and express to her the love that God has, and also the love that we have for her as a daughter of God. We talked and talked. Finally, we asked her if we could go to the church, a place where it is quiet, peaceful, and a house of God. We told her we were going to give her a blessing first, and then leave. the blessing was given. and we left. On the street, we assured her that she didn't need to be nervous because she was walking in between 2 representatives of the lord Jesus Christ. When we got to the texcoco (the main street), we asked her if she wanted to take a taxi? She said NO. We walked. We got to the church, and Elder schaap and the other Elders were there giving a guided visit and doing a baptismal service. Blanca loves grass, so we went out and sat down the 3 of us. Chico ran to the bathroom, and blanca began her life story about how she got her depression, and the things that have happened in her life up to that point. Elder Schaap, my homie and district leader, asked if he could go talk to her. Yeah, that's fine. He went out and sat by her on the grass. They began to talk, and I realized he was probably talking to her about baptism. We have told her so many times that baptism will help her be happy, and that she will be clean, but she always allows the promises to be swallowed up in her depression. He talked to her for like an hour, and then they came back into the church... Schaap came in and told me that blanca had something to tell me. With a smile that looked like the grinch (practically eating her ears) she declared that she would be baptized this following sunday after the church services. I almost cried. If there was ever a time when i almost hugged a woman on my mission, that was it. I was SO HAPPY FOR HER! She told us that is was the first time she had been happy in a long time, and was ready to join the lords church!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!

God lets us be the tools to help others and then gives us the spirit to help those people. IN his own words, "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee". God will support us in our efforts to help and lift up his children, our brothers and sisters. 

GUESS WHAT???? I'M GOING TO HAVE A GRAND KID!!!!! THAT' RIGHT, chico is EXPECTING! I am so happy for Elder chico, and can truly testify of the growth I have seen in him as a man, missionary, and as my son. Like we always teach people. God puts us in families to help one another, to support one another in our trials, and to help us progress throughout this life. In my family, I already have at least 6 new brothers that I can look to for support and counsel in my life. I have to go ALREADY, but I love you guys so much, and I know that this church is true. I know that God helps us, and will continue helping us while we strive to live worthily of his commandments. To those people not of this faith who recieve or read my letters, please, come and see. I promis that you will find that God has prepared a place for you here and is also preparing blessings that will enrich your lives and help you find peace and joy in this life. it's not easy, but it is worth it. We must stay strong, and when we are to week to stand, let us kneel. Only from our knees will be able to reach the height of God. God loves you, I love you, and time really does pass to quickly! Don't waste a day. Magnify your callings, do your home teaching, visiting teaching, and give freely of your time and talents. God may send missionaries to an area with people that only they can reach, but their arm will never be long enough without the assistance and support of the members. Stay good, speak good english, and don't eat cow hoove tacos (even though they are pretty tasty :))

Have a great week!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Week in a minute!

ok, so who's ready to here how this week went down????? Well, to start off, terrible... I got so down on myself because everything was going wrong. The 91 year old lady, after hearing about the law of chastity, decided that she didn't want to get baptized this week.... umm.... what??? I was like "your 91 years old! What's the problem?", but hey, to each his own haha just kidding, she had this big long explanation about how she didn't want to be unloyal to her husband who had been awesome and had been catholic his whole life. Sister! he is already on the other side recieving the same lessons! We are trying to help you return to be with him again!!!!! It's just really hard because before my mission, I was really go with the flow chill about everything and I didn't really feel the impact of temptation. Now, HOLY CRAP!!! The adversary is truly gaining more and more power and is throwing all of it at our investigators! It was so frustrating because I didn't understand why other missionaries were baptizing, and we aren't. I'm going to be honest with you guys, I bawled my eyes out as I expressed my feelings from the last 6.5 months to my comp elder chico. I can honestly say I have never felt so insignificant and helpless in my life. Then elder chico told me word that I will never forget: "satan tempts these people because he knows they will be strong members. He knows that the other missionaries are just baptizing anyone and therefore he doesn't need to tempt them; they will be inactive in a couple months anyways." He also told me something I have NEVER thought about before. He told me that i thought the adversary had power to enter my mind and tempt me. NOT TRUE. God lets satan come into our mind and heart to test us, to try our faith, and to make us have to rely on him for the light we need to push the darkness out of our lives. Life is not hard, but it is worth it. God wants us to change. If not, he wouldn't let us be challenged and tried: we would always be the same and never worry about anything. Life is a challenge, but if we are willing and ready to fight each and everyday to come off conqueror, we will be supported by god in our afflictions and will be lifted up at the last day! :)

yesterday, we showed up to church, and one of the counselors in the bishopric was standing in the entrance. He told me that the people across the street were just staring at the church and he didn't know why. I told him "let's go see what they want." I told elder chico to come with me and we crossed the street to talk to them. They asked us what time the services started. we told them 9. They asked if it would be ok that they come and attend. Ummmm.... YEAH!!!!!! BIENVENIDOS!!!! We took them into the church and they stayed for sacrament meeting. We also had a family show up afte the sacrament was passed. Down here, they don't open the doors to pass the sacrament to the people out in the main hall. We passed the sacrament and they were no longer waiting!!! We went out the street and they were getting in their car! NOOOO!!!! I quickly asked them why. The mom said "we already missed the sacrament, and that's the main reason to come to church. We'll go home, and next week be there earlier" I about went off on the ward council for not passing the sacrament to the people who show up a little late, including investigators that are fasting to find out if this church is true!!!! But at the same time, I wish that every member would have that same desire to get to church on time and partake of the sacrament every week! 

We have to go, but I might get on for like 20 minutes later tonight to finish the emails. This week really tested me, but thanks to God and a great companion who is in tune with the spirit, I was able to push through to the better days! I love this gospel, and know it's true. it blesses lives in miraculous ways and helps people know that christ lives and that he loves us, each of us! Thank you to all of you for writing me and being another rock to help me stay firm. Look for ways to serve, and PLEASE, do your home teaching. if everyone did their home teaching, we would have so many less Less-actives in this world! I have an awesome expecience that I will share later, but for now, know that I love you guys, and that I hope you are all doing well!!

Love Elder Nathan Bill Norr

 how taxis work in mexico!

 me and my dogs!
 and the injections in my knees! gross!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hey from a week of pain, surprises, and miracles

Ok, so I apologize in advance because the zone leaders are bugging us to get the stake center to have our meeting to help us prepare for this week, so i will have to be pretty quick! So this week has been, to say the least, the most EXHAUSTING week of my life. We get up, elder chico does exercises as I watch and eat my breakfast in quite envy. Luckily I have some good news.  We went to the doctor to get my knee checked out. after waiting for like an hour chillin and joking with the doctor (he's the 2nd coucilor to the stake president and he's in my ward... we're homies) he told me to lay down and walked in with the shot; I HATE SHOTS!!!! He is a really funny guy, and for like 5 minutes before he injected me, he was making jokes like "i'm jason" and acted like he was going to poke me haha triste vato presidente! Then elder juarez had to hold my leg down as the doctor injected me. It hurt SO BAD! then, after squeezing the pillow behind my head, I relax, only to open my eyes and see that the doctor is filling up the needle again. "hey doc, what ya doin?" Oh he replied, "i'm going to inject your other knee too!" OH FREAK! NO! He then told me that it was slightly damaged and that i needed to get the shot so both my knees would be healthy. Ok, entonces, me vale! He poked me again! Then, elder chico had an ingrown toenail; the doctor wasn't afraid to get in their. Elder chico's toe nail had ingrown backwards!!! The doctor had to use these special needle nose plyers, and he just held chicos leg down and probably just dug about an 1/8 of an inch back into his foot. I cringed the whole time!

So, for surprises, SURPRISE! I have officially completed more than 6 months of my mission! SO CRAZY!!!! We also had 9 new investigators this week, with 9 people who came to church too! We had a crazy surprise! So we have this awesome investigator Abel Rosiles; he has been progressing really well, and then we went to house for our appointment. HE didn't come out... ok... We called, and then knocked again, and he came out. HE said "listen, I really don't want to be baptized. I have been talking to my family, and all of them are catholic!" Well, there's your problem haha just kidding! The first time we met him, he told us that he lived alone, was divorced, and that all his daughters lived near by. He didn't know that his daughter was already one of our progressing investigators and so told us that we shouldn't visit his fmily. Ok, esta bien. He decided to come to church to check it out before he decided to stop listening. He shows up to church, and guess who is there???? HIS DAUGHTER!!! It was so awesome! She went and got him a hymn book and helped him sing and then sat by him to explain stuff to him! It was SO AWESOME! 

Ok, another miracle! this family, valencia, has been listening to us forever, and one of the daughters and her daughter is mormon and baptized already. We decided that the time was now right to invite the other sister and the mom to be baptized. The sister has super depression problems, and the mom has been catholic a long time... 91 YEARS!!!! THEY ACCEPTED BAPTISM FOR THIS NEXT SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

This week has been crazy and I am so excited to echar las ganas again this week to help these people out! I'm sorry i can't explain all the investigators this week, but we have found lots of new ones. The doctor told me that in about 3 weeks my carteledge wiill be new and I will be able to ease my way back into sports. he said that my knees will be as if they were never damaged for at least the next 10 years!!!! SO EXCITING!!!! 

I truly know that this is the true church of god! If it wasn't, i wouldn't be here, and people wouldn't be baptized. This the church to help families be forever and I know that someday i will be with mine, Including my incredibly gorgeous wife (who knows who) someday and we will be with god for time and all eternity. I hope you have a great week and remember that I love you all and love to hear how you guys are doing! Work hard each day and you will never waste one!

Love Elder norr

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

6 MONTHS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Holy What?!?!?! I have 6 months?!?!?! This is so weird! I already have a fourth of my mission! It really just goes so fast. This week has been a really crazy, really stressful, and really tiring week. Well, we have had some awesome lessons this week and we have the possibility of baptizing 16 people this month!!!!!!!!!! It is so exciting because we have been trying to find people to teach and trying to find people to listen, and we are having the opportunity now to really work harder than ever before and help lots of people and families recieve the ordinances of salvation. 

Ok, just so I can get this out of the way already, I got sick again, but the only problem is that this time, it was completely avoidable. I make a breakfast smoothie everyday. I literally put everything except the kitchen sink in it. Normally, I will put things in this order. Milk, blended granola cereal, calcium chocolate powder, banana, apple, powdered cinnamon oatmeal, fruit juice, yogurt, actual cinnamon, and then usually an egg... That last one is the killer. I got up on tuesday and I felt pretty good, but my head kinda hurt. Throughout the day i just got a little bit worse and worse until my companion and son (elder chico) told me we were going to the doctor. I won't describe to much, but long story short, I explained my symptoms to the doc. Oh.... UMhm he tells me.... I know what you have................ Salmanila! Ummmmm.... that sucks... I had to go back home and just lay in bed all night. could only eat jello. and then Got up the next day to go have an interview with the mission president which went good. He always helps me learn so much and helps me get so excited to work. Just sucks that I couldn't work that day either. I was put under quarentine to chill at home and just sleep and stuff. Good news: I'm back to normal. Bad news: I lost 2 days of work. We only have 2 years to work as hard as possible for god and we don't have time to waste them.

Ok, so we should have a baptism this week! He has been in teaching for over a year, but he is really changing to accept his role as a son of god and role model for his family. I just love having the opportunity to help people. I have been thinking so much about helping others, I don't really think about much else, but I don't feel bad. I feel the love of God helping me love these people even more. I thought about home this week one night, and then it hit me like a brick: These people won't be in my home. Mexico truly feels like home to me, and the ward Juan Escutia just feels like my home. The bishop is my homie and he is fluent in english so we always talk in english. I truly do love these people! It just seems so hard to think that they won't always be in my life like they are right now. Each week I get to see them grow little by little. We have less actives coming to church more often and we get the chance to visit these people everyday and try to help them recieve the eternal goal: Exaltation with our heavenly father. We had a really special experience last night. 

Ok, don't call me dead, but we watched the super bowl. We went to a families house to eat tomales last night at like 8 and they just happened to have the game on. I didn't want to be rude, so I sat intently eating my tomales and watching the seahawks absolutely destroy the broncos, but that isn't the experience. 

We have an incredible family that we are teaching. The familia Solano-Rivera. they just randomly didn't go to church on sunday and when I called them yesterday, they told me they were talking about our church.... ummmm..... ok...... My comp set an appointment with them last night at 8:30 and we went. We get there and the dad starts to explain to us that he would like ot know more about our religion. Ok, this is your time to ask us questions then! His family loves the church and every chance she gets, the mom throws in a good word about our church. Luckily, the mom's brother and sister, and niece came over last night while we were explainig the gospel and answering questions. The dad had some reasonable questions and then some pretty crazy questions. I just prayed for my comp every time he started to explain a doctrine that he would say the words god wanted him to. At the end, all the questions led to the same doubt: What is the difference between our church and the other churches. Ok, again, I just explained "our church has the authority of god" and before I could really explain too much, my comp went into a testimony. Even though i didn't understand at first why he didn't let me finish, but then I humbled myself and listened to his testimony. He poured out his heart in some of the most powerful invitations to find the truth for one's self that I have ever heard. He truly testified that God really wants us to know the truth, and if we are willing to ask him in faith, he will let us know which church is really his.

I don't have more time, but I can truly testify that this is the true church of god, and that he wants us each to ask him what we need and ask him the questions we need answers to. The scripture D&C 46:8 came to mind. God wants us to ask him and pray to him for guidance because he wants to help guide us away from the false traps and doctrines of the world. I truly know that God guides us and That his son Jesus Christ is our redeemer and salvador (forgot that word). I truly testify about prayer, that it is a conversation and a connection with our father in heaven. Don't doubt. Pray in faith and ye shall recieve. Love YOu all and hope you have a great week!

Love Elder norr