Monday, August 5, 2013

Six Months!!!

He did it!! Six months of the mission down, and Elder Liljenquist is loving every second of it!

 Email from 6-17-13
Well, we hit 6 months in the mission!! It has gone by so fast! SO crazy!
This past week was probably one of the coolest experiencing weeks that I have had on my mission! We started out the week just as usual! Most of our appointments had fallen through and so we have really just been searching for new investigators to begin to teach. We went to go visit this family that is less active. They have 4 daughters that are less active that haven't been to church in a long time! So ,we sat down with them and began to have a lesson. One of the daughters is married and her husband isnt a member. So we had a really good lesson with them about the importance of going to church and the blessing that it brings to our lives! We really focused a lot of our questions on Pedro, who is the husband. He seemed really interested in our religion, especially because his wife is a member and the rest of the family. So at the end of our lesson, we asked him to be baptized and he accepted! So we put him on date for the 7 of july! What was even better is that he and all the sisters came to church yesterday!! We talked to him after church and he said that he loved it, that he felt a peace and a different feeling inside the church! So our goal is to reactivate that family and baptize him!
  Friday this past week, we did splits with our district leader and his companion. His comp is still in training and only has been  3 weeks in Mexico!! The district leader told me that I would be going to his area for the day to serve with him! I was kinda nervous in the beginning. So we got to his area and we to help one of their members cut down this massive tree in their yard!! haha. and there  we were hacking at it with machetes! Well about 2 hours in the heat, I called it good enough!! haha. Still didn't fall but the blisters on my hand were starting to bleed!! haha. So we went back to their house, dropped off our stuff,  and went to our first appoinment! It went so well!! I loved it!! Being able to lead the teaching, I could feel the spirit helping me through! Usually the words that I would forget, just flowed out of my mouth! The gift of tongues is real!! During the whole day, I could feel it! Around five o'clock that day, we got a call from one of the members asking us to go to their house and give a blessing to one of their family members that has cancer terribly and I guess is close to death. So we got to his house and I realized that I've never given a blessing in Spanish yet! And I looked at the elder that had just got here, haha, he said you better not ask me to do it!! Haha. So I gave him a blessing, I dont think that I have felt the spirit stronger on my mission. It was one of the best experiences that I have had. When we finished the blessing, we began to talk to the family. I started to think back and try to remember what I had said, I could only remember a few words or so. I know that the spirit of our Heavenly Father was speaking though me! I am so thankful for the Priesthood that we have in this world, all the blessings it has brought into my life, for a Dad who has blessed our family with it! I know that its real!! Love and miss all of you guys!!
Elder Liljenquist

 Email from 6-24-13
Que Tal Familia!!
Well another week down here in La Venta, Tabasco!! It was another pretty good week! Seems to go by faster and faster every week!! Nothin really big happend this week. We started out the week by going to have a zone conference with our Mission President and his family that are going to end their mission this Saturday! He is an amazing guy! Some of his examples of how we need to use the spirit to teach were unreal!! It wouldn't surpise me if you hear his name to be called as a 70 or something like that pretty soon! He has been so cool to have as our mission president. He has taught me alot about the mission and how it will shape the rest of your life! So this Saturday, our new mission president will be coming down from the states! President Morales! Excited to be able to begin working with him and see the changes that he has for the mission!
So this past week has been a week of learning and patience. Just really being patient with our investigators and especially with myself! This area is really hard! It is a really small town and the people have a different personality here. haha. They are really racist!! haha,. Some of the people here hate the people from the United States!! It's just hard to keep my cool in those situations and not have a bad attitude at them. I've  just got to remember that it's not my work. The Lord said that everyone will have the chance to hear the Gospel, either in this life or the next. Cant wait to see them again and say ( haha i came to your door!!, but you said no!) kidding haha kidding!! my companion says that all the time though! I just know that everyone has their own time! I have been studying hard to try and learn the Bible! Gosh, it's so confusing! But I have learned so much! Really knowing and learning the scriptures has been a goal of mine here in the mission! It is pure bible country down here! So really studying and knowing all the scriptures in the bible to back up our only true Gospel is super important. It has been really good!! Some of the scriptures in there scream that this is the only true church!! haha... and people still have their ways to go around it! So crazy how big the apostasy really was!
We have been really focusing on finding people to teach this past week! Almost everyone that we see out in there yard or even in there house, we try and talk to them! We have had some success but still we need more investigators!! Just really being diligent in all that you do and in every moment is the best way to do anything!! We are promised the Lord's blessings if we do these things! We have had some pretty good lessons this past week though! We have 2 investigators that are going to be baptized within the next 2 weeks. We are really excited for them! Ulicess baptism is going to be this Saturday! What's even better is that he is even more excited for it than we are! Everyday he asks us about it! Yesterday we heard the conference talk to all the missionaries! It was really good! I was glad that our members were able to go and hear it! haha cause not gonna lie, they don't do anything to help us! In our ward council, haha, I get the biggest head aches of listening to them complain and whine that they don't have time or they don't want to do their calling! It gets pretty bad sometimes and just ends up frustrating me! haha. But I think that the Church leaders have made it pretty clear about how it is supposed to be done! So crazy to see all the missionaries that were there!! It is so cool to see all of them and how big missionary work has become!! Pray that we have a better week here!! I love all of you guys and miss you so much!!
 Another shout out to my bro Karsen for making the All Poly All Star Team. Dude, you're going D1. I know it. Love ya.
Elder Liljenquist

Updates from La Venta

Skyping Elder Liljenquist on Mother's Day! 5-12-13

Elder Liljenquist was doing great! Such a happy day seeing him! He's even forgetting some English:)

Email from 5-13-13
Hey Everyone!
It was another good week! I actually love my new area here in La Venta. This area is really poor, and pretty run down, but the work is going really good! We put 2 people on date for the 1st of June! One of them is  named Walter. He lives with his famiy that is catholic. He has 3 brothers and 2 sisters. He is the oldest. He is 14 years old. But he is a really cool kid! We met him when we were visiting a family that are members and he and one of their kids are friends. He came to church the past Sunday and told us that he wants to be baptized! He has a pretty rough life. His parents won't pay for him to go to school. They use the money to pay for their alcohol instead. I think he finally felt like he had a family when he was with us in church. You could tell that it meant a lot to him! The other date, her name is Norma. She is 24 years old and lives alone with her mom. Her mom wants nothing to do with us but she seems to be really receptive to hear our message! This past week has gone by pretty slow haha. I have been waiting all week to be able to talk to my family! It went really good! And it felt really good to see all of them! So, yesterday after church ,we went around and did some contacting to get to know our area a little better and we ended up being in the middle of the jungle haha. We found this little village. In front of this little hut looking house, 4 old men sitting in a circle with their beer and liquior around their feet were singing at the top of there lungs haha. So we walked up on them. Not sure why we did, but they all stopped and just stared at us! One of them got up and got right in my face! He smelled so bad!! haha. But I helped him sit back down again and we started to talk to them. One guy was missing a hand. He said that he got it taken off because he kidnapped a kid and got caught...haha. I felt like we should probably leave after he said that! But then they like started to repent to us, saying how they want to stop drinking and leave it all behind! So we actually set an appoinment with them! haha ....We'll see if they remember!  Everything is going really good here! I am continually learning so much each day! I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to be out here! 
Elder Liljenquist
 Loving the CTR rings from Elder Liljenquist:)

Email from 5-27-13
Hey Fam!
Well this past week has been pretty up and down. We  have found a lot of new investigators! The hard part is just to get them to keep their commitments! We are still working with Walter and his Family. His mom is hard to get. We have tried to get back on teach her and her family but she tends to always be out of the house for some reason! Well, we had a lesson about the Word of Wisdom with her and the next day she couldn't even wake up she was so wasted...that was awesome! ...not. Gosh haha but she had a excuse for it...she says it was because there was a party. That's ok right?? haha I guess we need to talk about the Word of Wisdom again! We have been working with a lot of our less actives here. If we could get all of them to come back to church, they would turn this Branch into a Ward! We have been trying to work alot with them. We visited one this past week. This family has not been to church in almost a year or so. We had a really good leson about agency and the Holy Ghost. Haha kinda made it as obvious as I could that they need to come back to church haha! But Yesterday, they came!! I was so pumped when I saw them there! We also had transfers today. Luckily I will be staying here so we can hopefully see the baptisms that we are working for! We have worked really hard in this area, and we have been praying everyday to see some change in our investigators. Spanish is getting alot better! But I still need help with it like none other! Im noticing things and being able to talk without problems when I am not thinking about my spanish, haha .But once I start to worry and doubt myself, thats when it all goes down hill!! Keep praying for me!! Everything is going good here! Just got to keep working! We have Walters baptism this Staturday! We are really excited for him! Hopefully during the service, his mom will be able to see and feel the spirit work and will hopefully make changes in her life!! I love you all so much!
Elder Liljenquist

Email from 6-3-13
Hey Everybody!!
What up!! Well the beginning of this week was kind of a slow start!... Just investigators not progressing!! The world would be so much better if alcohol didn't exist!! haha. It honestley doesnt matter what time of day it is here! It could be 11 in the morning and they're pounding cases of Coronas while laying in their hammocks! haha. Some of them are pretty funny though! We always walk past this little house that's on the main road, and the family are actually members! The dad is a complete drunk. Its all he does. He'll go to the gas station and buy the 15 peso alcohol thats in those plastic bottles. haha. Think about it, thats like  1.25 USA money! I bet that stuff just tears you up inside! Well, we were walking past his house and he was out just as drunk as ever, and walked right up to us. We said hi and just kept walking. But he had grabbed my comp and wouldn't let go! So I had to rip this guys death grip off my comp. He wasn't too happy about that! Luckily, my comp grabbed me and we just kept walking.
 Just the usual here. We were really just working to get to Saturday! We had the baptism of Walter! It went so good! It was so cool to see how excited he was! And his best friend, that is a member, got to baptize him! It went really good! His mom and his little brother came. You could tell that they were a little nervous and felt really out of place. Having them watch the baptism of Walter and see it all happen, really let the Holy Ghost testify to them. You could see it working in them! It was so cool! His little brother really has showed no inetrest in us, but after seeing his brother get baptized, he came up to me and my comp and asked us when he could be babtized!! haha. It was so cool!! He and his mom are on date for the 15 of june!! We are really excited for them! Other than that this week has been alright! We are just really looking for a family to start teaching! It gets kind of discouraging at times when you see these people that know the gospel and you know how much it could help them, and it never happens for them or they just reject it. I know that there is a time and a place for everyone though! And that's why we are here! To give these people that opportunity to either except or reject what we have. All we can do is what the Lord wants, and if we do that, we can know that everything is going to be ok! I know it's true. I've seen the truthfulness work in these people. We are all so lucky to have had it all of our lives! I love you all! Keep praying! 
Elder Liljenquist! 

Shout out to my Bro, and Lone Peak for winning the Ute Shoot!!

Playing Soccer:)

Email from 6-10-13
Hey Everyone!!
Well another week down here in La Venta Tabasco!! Crazy how fast the time is going by! This week has been like a roller coaster!! So we started out the week pretty good! We have just really been searching for new investigators and trying to get the ones that we have to keep there commitments and most of all, just to come to church! We have be working with the Family of Walter still almost everyday! They seem to be doing pretty good, His younger brother Ulicces, has a baptism date for this Saturday. So we are really excited about that! His mom is still doing pretty well, just we cant get hereto come to church for anything! On Tuesday, we had to go to a city called Coatzacolcos. Its in Veracuz. Its actually really close but we went there to have our zone meeting. It was good to see all of the Elders there and to be able to talk to them haha, A ton of new elders from Utah just came in and haha, I shouldn't worry too much about my spanish! But it was good to be able to talk to them! We also got to go to Subway! haha .It was the best thing ever!! I miss the food back at home. The food here is pretty good, just not like at home! I've pretty much been living off peaunt butter and jelly sandwiches and fruit. So Thursday, most of our appointments fell through, so we had pretty much nothing to do. We were both thinking of people that we could go and see and we both thought of this old investigator that we found when I first got to the area. His name is Eddie Burto. But he has a terrible problem with drinking and whenever we met with him he was usually past out in his hammok. But we went to go see if he was there. So we got to his house and yelled to see if he was home(haha thats how you have to get there attention) but he came out and looked like he was so excited to see us! He brought out some chairs and brought the pamphlet that we left him. We started to talk and he said that he read the pamphlet and read the the chapter in the book of Mormon that we left him. And he told us that he knows that its true! haha. We were both stunned! And them he also said that he has not been drinking for 4 days!! He just had a question about the Baptism because like everyone else here, he was baptized in the Catholic church when he was a baby. So we explained to him what the priesthood is and how we need to have this authority to be able to baptize. So after he accepted our invitation and said that he would be batized!! The only thing is that next day he didn't show up to church! But we are going to go by and see him tonight to see whats up! But yesterday in our Gospel Principles class ,we were talking about the Atonment and the Preisthood. Dont know why both together, just cause they are too huge subjects.... But I was able to learn so much more about the Book Of Mormon and the Atonment of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is such a good tool that we have here in this world. I am convinced that we can find all of our answers inside this book, There is no way that we will ever be able to understand the Atonment, but through the BOM, we can search and find our answers in it.
 Then after church, we always eat at our Branch Presidents house. We got to his house and waited for his wife to bring out what we were going to eat, and we usally eat pretty good with them. Haha. She brought out these big plates of crab!! It was so good!! haha. The best thing that I have eaten here so far!! She said that they were caught Saturday....soo good! But it has been a good week here! Hopefully we will see some change in our investigators this week!! Just got to keep workin at em!!
Elder Liljenquist

Finally to Villahermosa!

Elder Liljenquist's first area in Mexico was Paraiso!

Email from 3-18-13
Hey Everyone!!
Wow! Mexico is amazing!! I don't even know where to start! So we got in last Monday night and right as you got off the plane it was like someone dumped a bucket of water on your head! So humid! We slept at the ap's house and the next day we went and found out where we were going and who our companions are! So, my companion is Elder Rosales! He is from Guatamala! and guess who is the only one that got a native companion that doesnt speak a lick of english! ME! OHHH! It has been so hard the past couple of days haha but has already improved my spanish so much! Our area is the city of Paraiso. It's like 1 1/2 hours outside of Villahermosa. Like 20 minutes away from the coast! It is so pretty here! Such a big city with a ton of history! But if you dont like being watched everywhere you go and people always eyeing your pockets, than I wouldnt come here haha. no... it is reallly cool! Soo green! Palm trees and really heavy forest surround the city. Our apartment is alright. haha. Nothing like the one I had in Salt Lake but its nicer than a lot of the peoples houses that are here. So in the city there are just a lot of shops. The streets and blocks are all shops of little taco stands, clothes stores, and just alot of random things. So, the first thing that I saw when we came into town was a pick up truck full of guys in military uniforms all holding these big rifles. Kinda freaked me out a little haha. So my first week in our area has been so good! The weather the first few days was raining on and off all day. Then thursday the sun came out! And it has been about 95 degrees ever since and probably hotter because of the humidity!, And we walk everywhere. haha I already have the best farmers tan! but its good! Probably the hardest thing has been the language and like knowing where I am. Now I kind of have a idea of where I am at and all of my sorroundings, but my companion and I still kind of have a hard time communicating. During our language study time in the morning, he teachers me spanish and I teach him english. Haha. He is doing pretty good! Our ward here is unreal! They love the missionaries! They all take really good care of us! We got to do our laundry today in a members house that has a washer! So thankful for that haha cause it was going to be the kitchen sink! But probably the best part of the week was when we went to have a meeting with this family that was supposed to get babtized this past saturday. Just the mom was going to be baptized. But the other missionaries left and the ward did not know who was going to preform the baptism. So we asked her, "who would you like to baptize you?"  and out of all the male members, the bishop and my companion, she chose me to do it!! I couldnt believe it!! So on Saturday I had my first baptism!! I was so nervous. haha but it went so good, and I was so thankful that she chose me to do it! So like a hour ago we were walking back into the city from a members house and I had my first run in with someone trying to get money from me. haha. This old bum on the street saw me and ran right to me pulling on my clothes and on my tie asking me for money and food. I just kept saying I dont have anything. haha No tengo no tengo. He wouldnt leave. Then I felt his hand start to go down my back and knew he was going for my wallet!. Haha that's when I jerked away haha. He acted like nothing was happening. well what do ya do, I guess. But I really do love it here. We have 4 progressing investigators and 2 are on date! We receive lots of referrals everyday! I am so thankful to be here and working with this people! I love this Gospel and I am so thankful that I get to see the happiness that it brings to people! I love you all!
Elder Liljenquist
Oh...One of my Best Friends, Brody, just got his call to Villahermosa! Can't wait to serve with him. So stoked!!!

Email from 3-25-13
Week 2 in Mexico down! Haha. It was such a good week! I don't think that I have been hotter in my life though! It was in the 100s all week! With freakin humidity! Uh.. I was dying! haha. But it's all good! The work this past week was so good. We found 5 new investigators! I was so happy! They all have so much potential too. Everyone of them have the desire to be better in life and to feel a change! It makes me so happy when I hear them say those things! We have found a couple of families also that are intrested. I love talking to the families! haha. It's always easy to know where to go with the lesson when your with families. Always ask the mom or dad what the most important thing in there life is! haha. Then they'ree cornered! This Gospel is centered around families! Which has made me so grateful for my family! Some of our progressing investigators: One is Carlos Lopez. He is an older man who is very religious and is looking for the gospel. His daughter is a member. He is progressing really well. Another that we just met the other day, is a lady named Carla. She is having troubles in her family and such and know that religion can help. She just is not sure which religion. plus 4 or 5 more! It's awesome being able to work with these people. I love it! So one of the weird things here is that they eat at 2 o' clock in the afternoon! So all of our dinner appointments are at 2! And it is the same thing every day. haha. Some sort of meat, tortilla and rice! Gotta love it! But for some reason, the 3 hottest days of the week this past week, we have had some sort of boiling hot soup!!! I dont know why! But we have! When it is 115 degrees outside, the last thing that I want to have is a bowl of hot soup! haha So this Saturday we have a baptism!! Her name is Fildencia, We met her last week and she was so ready to be babtized that she asked us if she could! I about fell out of my chair! I was so happy. Everything is going so good here!, The language is coming. Gets better and better everyday! I love and miss all of you! and I am so grateful for this Gospel! I know that it is true and I love it so much! Brody, hurry up and get down here already!! I love you guys!
Elder Liljenquist
 Elder Liljenquist watching General Conference on a member's laptop to he could read the English subtitles:)

Email from 4-15-13
Hey Everyone!
  The weeks are flying by! It was the end of the transfer here. Luckily, I am staying here in Paraiso! So happy about that! I love this area! So this past week has been really good! Besides being one of the hottest weeks of my life! One of the worst thing that could have possible happened to me this week though.... haha so we got back to the house for the day and it was probably the hottest day of my life! As I was getting ready to go to bed, I went to turn on my fan and it wasnt working!!! I was dying!! I woke up like ten times within the hour! haha. Around 12am, I couldn't take it anymore and I aimed my companions fan in my direction haha. I was fine after that! I'm sure he hates my guts sometimes:) Haha. He's pretty cool but when you're around someone ALL the time, you can get on eachothers nerves. He had a right to be mad I guess...
 The work has been really good. We put another 2 people on date this week and we have a baptism this Saturday!! I hope that I have explained the process a little better than last time and he won't think I'm trying to kill him off and drown him.haha. This area is doing so good! The one that is on date is Jose Juan. He lives alone and is around 33 years old. Last week we brought him to listen to conference. He told us after that when he heard the Prophet speak that he knew that this is true! He has been in the area book for a long time and he has finally commited to be baptized! We are way excited about that! We had fast sunday here yesterday and haha pretty much the whole ward bore there testimonies! So I went up there to bare mine. Of course I am the last one. So right as I get up to the mic, the dang power goes out!! haha So I had to pretty much shout my bad spanish at all these confused members. It was awesome! It has been another really good week! Our planners are getting more and more full of people everyday! So happy for this Gospel in my life and all that it has given me! Love and miss you all!!
Elder Liljenquist
 Email from 5-6-13
 Hey Everyone!
Well there has been alot of things that have happend this past week! The week started off just as a normal week. Everything was goin' so good in Paraiso! The work there was really progressing and everything was going really well!. Wednesday, we went to Villahermosa because my comp, Elder Rosales' foot had been bugging him for the past few weeks and it was getting to the point that he could not walk very well. So the President met us in Villa and took us to this so called doctor haha. This man worked out of his house and had never been through school to become a doctor or anything! haha. But I guess he doesn't want any money and he just takes donations from people! So crazy! All the people said if you go to a hospital to see a doctor, you'recrazy! I guess he's the best guy around to go see! And whatever he did to my comp worked haha!
So Thursday, we had a zone meeting in Cardenas. It went really well! There were new missionaries there from the states! It made me feel like I wasn't so bad at spanish! I also got my package! I was so pumped! I guess it took about 2 and half weeks to get down here. Thx for the Insanity dvds mom! So Thursday, we were visiting this family that is less active. The mom is active and her son is less active. His wife is not a member but has been saying that she wants to be baptized! We have been trying to work with them as much as we can but they're always busy running their resturaunt that they have. There was no one in their place and we were just talking with the mom about things. The wife, Nyibelli, she came out and laid in the hammock because she was so tired from work and taking care of her baby. Around 10 minutes later ,the baby started to cry in the house and the husband came out (who I guess had been drinking all night)  and flipped the hammock and told her to take care of her kid!! It took everything in me not to get up from my seat!! I could not believe it! Gosh it was so hard to have to watch that happen and not do anything about it!!!  I am grateful for my dad and how good he treats my mom. That night, we had a family night with a family who is really less active. We talked about the Atonment and the sacrament. It went so good! The dad, who has been a member since he was 8, really felt the spirit strong and he said he knows what he needs to do! It felt so good to walk out of that lesson! So... we get back to the house around 9 and around 10 at night we get a phone call from our zone leaders. They say Elders, "tiene cambios"!!! You have a transfer! What?? I could not believe it!! "|You need to be in the office at 9 tomorrow morning!!"  It was the worst feeling ever! I had no time to do anything! So that night I packed everything up and the next day, we were in the office at 9 in the morning! So, the reason that we had these emergency transfers was because an elder here can't be in a area for too long because he starts to get comfortable and flirts with the girls!! So, they chose me out of all the elders in the mission to move! I promise I'm not the flirting elder! haha. I was so mad! I did not get to say goodbye to anyone!! I felt like I was leaving home all over again! So, my new area is La Venta!  It's really small. The ward is a branch with around 65 members! The area is really cool though! And the people are all really nice! My comp is Elder Frazier, He is from St. George. I thought I got weird looks when I was the only white kid! haha ...People are stunned to see 2 of us! But the area is really good.  They have no progressing investigators and the area book is shot! So it looks like were gonna have to start over in this area! I'm excited though! We will build it up!!  Everything is going really good now! The past few days have just been a little crazy! but We will just see how the work goes this week!! Love and miss you all!!
Elder Liljenquist