Mexico City Temple

Mexico City Temple

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Pero mire como baila Santa Claus...[Dec. 28, 2015]

This week I set up a bet with some recent converts here (they are 8 and 9 years old) that I could learn the 13 articles of faith in Spanish before they could. I have them memorized now, but we haven't seen them for a few days, so I have no clue if I actually won or not...

We had an investigator come to church for the first time since I got here. We just started teaching her this last week, so she seems to be progressing really well. We contacted her in the street and she said that she had listened to the missionaries before. When we invited her to be baptized, she said that she wanted to, so that made us quite excited.

Christmas Eve was good because we had the Christmas conference in Puebla. It basically took up all day and it was a lot of fun. The president and his wife also gave us new socks as a gift. Actually, I am not sure what they gave to the sister missionaries, but I hope it was good too.

Christmas we spent, at least the morning, cleaning up a school that some members own that live in our area. It was honestly a lot of fun and a lot of work as well. We had to seperate plastics that were all put together in a bag as tall as I am. Also we cleaned up a part of the school that had a lot of dust because it was under construction.

After that I talked to my family and we tried to visit some people that weren't home. What a weird experience talking to the family when I will see them in almost 3 weeks.

Anyways, hope you have a great week!
élder Seymour.

1)My companion and I during the Christmas Conference
2) The missionaries in our stake during the christmas conference


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

La Posada...[Dec. 21, 2015]

So this week was a fair amount of activities in the church. Thursday we had a stake activity that was called 'viaje a Hawai' or Trip to Hawaii. It talked about the different kingdoms of glory. You know the type. It went pretty well even though none of our investigators could come with us. They obviously put a lot of effort into it.

The next day we had a sort of 'cena navideña' in the chapel. They had a piñata that the children destroyed. The bishop also made some carnitas. It is basically pig meat cut up and boiled in its own fat until it is cooked... it tastes better than it sounds. So, we ate together as a ward and I spent a lot of time trying to learn their names and everything. In all, it was quite fun.

Apart from that, it was a very difficult week as far as finding investigators in their houses. It seems like the building village that we live in just went on vacation. Probably about half just aren't here now because they went somewhere else. We didn't have a single lesson with an investigator and much less any new investigators. However, this week is a lot better because we just had a lesson with a new investigator. Promising stuff going on.

Plus, I forgot to mention that I went to the temple dedication of Tijuana last week. It was an amazing experience going to 2 different temple dedications. I feel really blessed.

Anyways, have an excellent week!
élder Seymour.

Las Pinatas
Other Elders in our ward
La Carnitas

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tetla...[Dec. 14, 2015]

New area, new companion.

Right now I am in a town next to a big city. The town is called Tetla and we are the only 2 missionaries here. Lotd of buildings, but not lots of people on the streets during the day, but we steadily find new investigators and there is a lot of potential here.

My companion is Elder Zamora. He is from California which makes him my first American companion. However, both his parents are from México and most members just assume he is Mexican until they get to know him. He came to the mission speaking Spanish, so he already knows it pretty well. Honestly, it is super fun being with him.

This week we found 3 new investigators. One of them was slightly drunk when we taught him, but he seemed largely in control of himself and very sincere, so we will see where it goes.

Anyways, I have a lot of hope for this area. Just gotta work, as they say.

Have a great week!
élder Seymour.
1)study room of the last house.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Made in Oregon...[Dec. 7, 2015]

So, as it would turn out, I have transfers yet again. My companion also has transfers, but they are going to send two other elders when we leave. It will honestly be sad not being here for Christmas and enjoying the prescence of members that I already know, but that's life for you.

This week we set a baptismal date with an investigator who we found through a member reference. She and her mom came to church this past Sunday and she is progressing quite well. She said in the last lesson that she knows the church is true because when she was in the hospital (she is going through kidney trouble) a man she didn't know came to her with a book and told her she had great faith. We were like "Um, but your still going to pray to know if it's true right." She said yes and we set the baptismal date. She also has read almost all of the book of mormon in the short 2 weeks we have been teaching her. And now we both have to leave...

In other news, things are going pretty well in the house. I feel slightly jealous for the elders that are going to come here after.

Also, I have decided to start ponderizing here on the mission. I feel it useful for those moments when you have nothing else to do. I also feel it allows to keep our minds focused on what's most important all day.

Well, I hope all goes well for each one of you, Have an excellent week!
élder Seymour.

1) I didn't think it was possible either
2) A photo of my companion and I with some members of the ward

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

We have a garden...[Nov. 30, 2015]

So we changed houses. That's the first time I've done it in the mission. The house is very beautiful and has a lot of things I've never had in my entire mission... like a washing machine. It also has a jacuzzi (not the slightest clue on the spelling) that we won't really use for times sake. We also have a garden with fruit trees that I have never seen before, but that's life.

In missionary work, we are doing fairly well. we had some new investigators this week that we found just contacting people like normal. Hopefully we will be able to keep finding more because we really need it. One of the investigators we found is a Jehovah's witness which has never happened to me in the mission. We pray often for their progress and we ponder often on how we can help them. I feel that the most important thing is to focus on these people and try to understand how we can help them. As we do so, we become entitled to receive revelation for their needs.

I finally got the photos in, so enjoy.

Have a great week!
élder Seymour.

[In no particular order (sorry it's a busy week for mom)...:]

1) My failed attempt to make cupcakes
2) A scorpion we found at the bottom floor of our department
3) Wedding of the family I taught in Tepatlaxco
4) This looks familiar...
5) My companion holding a (live) rooster
6) An empty road we walked down... there was construction.
7) Baptism of Jacqueline. Our mission president came.
8) Our district leader at the baptism
9) Our district leader climbing our fruit tree.
10) The moon
11)A member in our ward waiting to go on a mission to Brazil and my companion
holding a lizard
12) Stars and stripes forever
13)A scorpion I found in our new house
14)A strange light effect.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

We're Moving!?!...[Nov. 23, 2015]

These last couple of days we found out that we are going to change to a house. Some member from another ward is donating their house to the mission, so we are going to move into it.

Apart from that, we also had a baptism this last Saturday. Her name is Jacqueline and she has been an investigator here for a while. She has wanted to get baptized for a while, but wasn't able to for a while. She had a lot of difficulties that I can't really describe here and was finally able to overcome them. We still have to pray for her a lot and know that God is helping her.

President Nelson asked us earlier to tell us when her baptism was going to be so he could come, and he did. It was a huge help having him there to support her. President later said that of all the people he has met, she is one of the greatest to be able to appreciate the Atonement in her life. I honestly don't know how to explain the baptismal services with words, but it was one of the happiest moments of my life. I felt humbled and honored when she asked me to perform the ordinance.

Apart from the baptism, we keep working hard to find new investigators. Everyone seems to get excited to come to English class, but almost no one shows up. I guess we just have to keep praying to receive inspiration and miracles because we can't really do all that much by ourselves comparatively.

One of our investigators, we contacted in her store. At first, she didn't seem all that interested, but we felt impressed to keep persisting and eventually she relented. We have taught her a few times and she is really good.

Sorry, I don't have more time. Have an excellent week!
élder Seymour.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Changes are coming...[Nov. 16, 2015]

Another week gone by here in Tlaxcallan. We had the blessing of finding another family that is progressing. They came for the second time to church yesterday. They are actually the neighbors of the ward mission leader and he invited them to listen. Hurray for member missionary work!

Apart from that, we also have a baptism planned for this Saturday with an investigator that we've had for a while. She has had to pass through a great many obstacles in the path to be baptized and It is amazing being able to see her go through all that and enter in the gate.

Another trend that I have noticed here in the mission is that it is changing quite a bit. There are quite a few changes that I can't even describe because of time, but things are changing quite a bit as far as how we teach, what we do at conferences and in district meeting...

Sorry about the photos, but the computer won't let me upload them this time.
Have a great one!
élder Seymour.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Book of Mormon...[Nov. 9, 2015]

In some ways, having my bag stolen was a blessing. This past week I have been working hard to get my Book of Mormon up to date so I could use it in proselyting. Searching up scriptures and seeing how I would teach them has helped me a great deal to understand them more deeply and apreciate the simplicity in its teachings. The Book of Mormon really does contain the fulness of the everlasting Gospel. I believe that we can teach any principle of the Gospel with just the Book of Mormon, it just takes a bit of searching and pondering.

Sorry, I don't have much time, but have a great one!
élder Seymour.

Monday, November 2, 2015

I lost some stuff...[Nov. 2, 2015]

So I have an interesting story to tell.

We were at a shopping mall to take out money from the ATM. I decided to use the restroom and we went in. I left my shoulder bag outside of the stall I was using and when I came out it wasn't there. I figured my companion must have done me a favor by taking it out for me. When I got out, I asked him where my bag was and he didn't know. I went back in the bathroom to find the lost bag and it wasn't there. We then reported a stolen bag to the mall cops and they told me that they'd keep an eye out for it. Unfortunetly, we could keep looking for it for very long because we had to get to a wedding in Tepatlaxco of the family I was teaching when I was there.

Fast forward a day and we went back to the shopping mall and guess what was the only thing they had recovered because it was thrown in the trash by the thieves - my hymnbook.

Aside from that story, I have a new companion now, Elder Montijo. He is from Sinaloa, México and is the first companion I have had who has eyes that aren't brown. He likes to work a lot which helps me a lot right now.

Actually, Elder Montijo replaced me in Xonacatepec when I left and now he is with me. Basically that is the only reason the mission president let us go to the wedding. It was amazing to see them all there again.

Anyways, have a great week!
élder Seymour.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Legacy...[October 26, 2015]

Honestly, not much has happened this week. It was my companion's last week here in the mission. It was a bit of a premonition to what will come to me in 3 months. I guess the most important thing to remember is that it is difficult for everyone near the end of the mission. As we learn and accept that, we can prepare ourselves and create the good habits we need and stick to those habits in the hard moments so we can keep going and not slow down. If we can do that, others will see the example and want to do the same.

Along this same topic, I often ask myself, what will my legacy be? What will people remember of Elder Seymour after I have left here? I won't answer that here, but it really helps to think that in difficult moments.

I looked at some of my missionary photos yesterday... I don't know how to explain such an emotion very well. I think it is only something that can be felt by those who have also been able to go on the mission. There is a lot of joy, a little bit of sadness, perhaps more than anything else, you feel on a different level. The same feeling you've felt while you were there comes back, if just a little bit. My greatest hope for any and everyone that reads this is that they will be able to recognize and feel this.

I hope you have an amazing week!
élder Seymour.

1)My companion and I eating tacos.
2)Different sodas I found in Chignahuapan. There is also a blackberry juice that I loved so much.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Chignahuapan...[Oct. 20, 2015]

Sorry, this is going to have to be a quick one because I am writing late.

This last week, we had a baptism. Her name is Ariana and she is a reference from a member. Actually, she doesn't live in the ward, but we got permission, so it is all good there. I guess one interesting thing there is that she is a doctor. I have never even had a doctor investigator before in my mission.

Yesterday we went to a 'Pueblo Mágico' called Chignahuapan. It was really interesting being there. There is a branch out there, but not a stake branch, a mission branch. I don't have much time to explain the difference now, but basically the missionaries end up doing a lot in the branch.

Hope you have a great week!
élder Seymour.

1)Ariana's baptism
2)They call it the inmaculada. It is so big once you are actually there.

3)Here's my pose in front of it.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Round Three (sort of)...[Oct. 12, 2015]

So, this week I got sick again. This time I got lucky, in a manner of speaking, because I didn't get salmonella this time - just some other sort of stomach virus. I guess one of the comforting things is that my companion got sick as well... he said it was the first time on his mission that he got sick. It started at about 7:30pm on Saturday. My stomach started hurting a lot, so we headed home. My companion said that his stomach started hurting about 2 hours later. To keep a long story short, I'll just say that we didn't sleep much that night.

On a much lighter note, I started an English class again. I imagine you already saw that one coming sooner or later. I am starting to wonder if I will be able to start an English class at home as well after I get back :P This time it actually went very well as we focused a lot on pronunciation. Honestly that is the hardest thing here because there is almost no one that knows pronunciation well.

This week we have also planned that we are going to visit one of my companion's past areas, Chignahuapan. It is a pueblo about an hour from where we are at and from everything that I have heard, it is very beautiful over there.

Well, Have a great week!
Elder Seymour.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ponderize this...[Oct. 5, 2015]

I feel like it went fairly well this past week with the work and all. One of our investigators needs to get permission from her husband to be able to be baptized, but we will do anything necessary to help convince him. I really do hope she is able to get baptized because she has had so many obstacles in life and really wants it. Also President said he would come to her baptism when it happens.

This week was pretty exciting for my Bolivian companion. Apart from general conference, he received his patriarchal blessing this weekend. He came out from the blessing really quiet and thought-filled, so I imagine it went pretty well.

I've felt that conference is really a time to reflect on our lives and Think about if what we are doing is what God wants us to do to be able to live with him again. He is always trying to teach us something, and if we want to learn it, we just have to sit back and listen every once in a while. Perhaps we won't have all the answers, but we will know enough to keep going until we learn more.

A little bit about my companion as well: his name is Elder Sánchez and he is from Bolivia. Actually, that makes him my second Bolivian companion. He is on his last transfer here in the mission, so that makes him the third companion that I am sending home. He turned 21 about a month before me so he is almost the same age as well.

Have a great week!
élder Seymour.

What can I say?  I was tired.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

21!!...[Sept 28, 2015]

Well, this week we had 3 baptisms. It was interesting to me because I just got here... that has never happened to me in my entire mission. I have felt a bit this week to be grateful to be a missionary. It is an opportunity to learn and grow so that I can help others. As a missionary, you learn in great detail about all your weaknesses and it can be difficult at times, but all the good moments make up for it. If you feel the Spirit in your life, it doesn't matter much what opinions others may have about you. All the criticism in the world cannot take away the peace that you feel.

I have thought a lot about the legacy that I want to leave behind when my mission finishes and for me, the most important thing is to love others. I could have a lot of errors, and I do, but if I can say that I honestly loved everyone, I will not feel bad at the end of my mission.

I thank everyone who gave me birthday wishes; it is nice to know that you still care even though I am so far away.

Anyways, as far as the baptisms go, it was a bit of a rush near the end. We had a baptismal service at 11am and another one at 5pm. We had to make copies of the program, fill the baptismal font that still had water in it from the last time. It seems like every time there is so much to do, perhaps it has taught me a lot about planning. Who would have thought a mission teaches so much about event planning.

Anyways, I hope you have a great week!
élder Seymour.

The baptism of Alex and Elías.
I am not sure what I am looking at.

Angélica's baptism. Her uncle baptized her.

Bird pooped on my shoulder

Cat hiding in plant pot

The drawing I did for the second baptism.
I sortof didn't have time to draw the other
 niños, so this is what I ended up with.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

So Long Puebla...[Sept. 21, 2015]

So I had transfers that ended up sending me pretty far. I am actually in another state right now. Before I was in the state of Puebla, but now I am in the state of Tlaxcala. Actually, I am in the city of Tlaxcala as well. Our area covers all downtown, so there is quite a bit here. There is also quite a bit of people in the streets. I guess one of the interesting things of our area is that it is pretty big. It would take us about an hour and a half to walk from one end to the other and we try to not take the combis (those vans that they use as buses) as much as we can because we don't have a whole lot of money. I guess one of the nice things about the area would also be the members. The ones that I have met so far are very kind and willing to help if asked.

There is also more vegetation here than in Puebla where I was at. It is a little more like home, I guess.

We are going to have 3 baptisms this week which is a good welcome for me because that has never happened before in my mission. I just hope we can keep up the rhythm, because it will be not all that easy.

I also forgot to mention the temple rededication that we had last week. It was a very special experience... one that I won't forget. It felt even more special for the Pueblans here.

Hope you have a great week!
élder Seymour.

My companion and I helped bail out the house of the family
in Tepatlaxco because it was in danger of flooding and there wasn't
any other way to keep it out of harms way.

Chile en nogada

Elder Armenta and I with the Cardona family.
They were converts of the sister missionaries
and the father helped us a lot with visits.

A photo with Elder Suárez and I with Josefina,
her mother, and Arlett.

Julián (from the family in Tepatlaxco) had his birthday
and we celebrated it with a cake.

A photo with Mayra, her father and children

This was a photo I took in San Martín,
but it is actually true now.

I found strawberry lemonade for the first time here in México

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Chiles en nogada round 2...[Sept. 14, 2015]

This Saturday I got some terrible news, I have transfers.

It has been a bit hard on me because we have been working so hard here and are now starting to see the results of it. The family we have in Tepatlaxco is going to get baptized a week and a half after I leave and I have been there every step of the way. There was a powerful/sad moment when I told the family that I was going to be having transfers this Tuesday. Most of the family just broke into tears at this moment and I almost did as well... it´s going to be really hard to leave them.

The one thing that gives me a bit of comfort is that I know that they will be strong in the church and that they will be the strong pillars of Tepatlaxco. I guess the main message from all this is that we just have to answer the call when the calling comes. Perhaps it won't be what you want or think is best, but it will be what you need in that moment. The only smart thing to do is answer the call and keep moving on.

On a lighter note, this week was the first time I have eaten chiles en nogada this year (I don't remember if I explained before, but chiles en nogada is a typical dish from puebla that we can only eat about 2 and a half months out of the year.) I wish I could put photos, but the computer still won't let me do it. I assume that I will have more chances next week as I will be in a different area.

Hope you have a great week!
élder Seymour.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Special Visit...[Sept. 7, 2015]

Sorry I didn't really write last Monday.

This Saturday before last we had a baptism. It was with a 10 year old investigator that we have had for a long time. Her name is Estrella and her brother, who is a member, baptized her. Her brother is actually a convert of one of my past companions, Elder Compean. We have been teaching her for almost 3 months and it was a little slow because we could only teach her on Sundays. She has been to church a lot and was really excited for her baptism which helped a lot.

Monday we didn't have much time because we went to African Safari. It was great the second time and I liked it a lot because it was just my companion and I with the elders in my district. I took photos, but I can't upload them because this computer won't let me. Oh well, next week!

The family we have in Tepatlaxco is going to get baptized the 26th, but I have no clue if I will still be here because it is after changes and I have been here like 6 months... keep your fingers crossed.

Today I had the chance to visit my first area in Roma with Elder Suárez who trained me. He is going home in 10 days and knowing it would be the last chance to do it, we went together. It was super weird walking into these homes that I remember so well and now that I can 100% understand what they are saying when a little over a year ago, I didn't understand more than half. It honestly made me super happy though.

Have a great week!
élder Seymour.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Beet Juice...[Aug. 24, 2015]

Today for the first time I had beet juice mixed with orange juice and it has a very strong taste. I honestly have no clue how to describe it so I'll just leave it at that.

Apart from that, we tried out a pizza árabe that we made from taking a dominos cheese pizza and we put meat for tacos árabes on it. It tasted much better than I thought it would.

Tuesday we had a special conference with a doctor that supervises the medical care of missionaries here in México or something like that. He talked a lot of how we can maintain our health here in the mission and avoid getting sick.

Wednesday I had divisions with my MTC companion who is in my district that went fairly well.

Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference. We had a good amount of investigators at the Sunday session, even though it was a lot of work getting them there. I feel like they had a good experience and that they are even more ready to keep going. At the end of the day, all of our efforts seem to be worth it. I know that at times missionary life can be a bit stressful, but that is all part of what we need to learn to be able to grow.

Hope you have a great week!
élder Seymour.

Pizza Árabe!!!

Of course, the end of the rainbow is
in the sister's área... should have known.

Double rainbow all across the sky.
What does it mean?

Some sort of beetle that had found
 its way into the chapel.
I honestly had no clue they could get so big.

I started to count from when I go home
so I have 5 months left... :(

Igloo shaped sauna that the
prehispanics used to bathe.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Four in the morning...[Aug. 17, 2015]

This week the family that we are teaching in Tepatlaxco went to church, but it was a bit of a battle. In the lesson that we had Tuesday(that took a while to remember), we told them that it was possible that we would go to church with them Sunday and we asked them if they wanted to go. They replied that they did and that started the planning of how we would get them there. It was slightly difficult, but thanks to a dedicated ward mission leader who drove us there at 5:30 in the morning, we were able to pull it off, though we had to wake up at 4am to be ready on time.

We were incredibly surprised to arrive there to find out that they were all ready to leave even though it was so early in the morning. We took a photo in the car as we were going and I put it here... it should be below. We got to the chapel about an hour early, so we decided to do a tour of everything there and we also showed them how to sing hymns and everything. The great thing about them getting there earlier than the members is that they met the majority of them as they came in.

At the end of church, they seemed really happy and wanted to come every week even though it will be a bit difficult with money problems and all. The ward got really excited in ward counsel and it seemed like everyone now wants to go to Tepatlaxco with us. I guess I can't complain about that.

Apart from that, the sisters in our ward had 2 baptisms this week that were fairly unplanned much beforehand. We were also going to have one, but we were still missing some commandments when we were going to have the interview. I was thinking that we should just continue on with the interview anyway because I felt like she was ready and everything, but my companion told me like he felt like it wasn't a good idea. I pondered on it a little bit and it just felt wrong. We decided that it would be better to put off the baptism for 2 weeks due to stake conference that we have this coming week. Probably one of the most important things we can due in missionary work is to follow the spirit to know what God wants us to do.

Well, I am out of time, so I'll talk to you next week.
élder Seymour.

Family and us in the car on the way to church

Zone leader after a planning meeting
Elder de Jesus with a member's rotweiller
Comp eating starfruit
Comp getting a haircut
Drugged cat graffitti
Fruit drink we make
Last photo with the Zimmermans before they left
New camera case

 Elder de Jesus with me and my comp

My worn out shirt

Argentine cookie the Brazilian elder brought that tasted good!