Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 29, 2013

Hey Family!!

It has been a really good week here! I loved Christmas! I hope that all of your Christmas' were good too! It has been a really good week to focus on our Savior Jesus Christ and make him the center of our holiday season. The week started off really well, I have been here in the offices working on a ton of crap trying to get all the information into Salt Lake before the end of the year! Plus we have been hit with a ton of the end of the year finance stuff!! haha Not what I thought a 20 year old missionary would be doing! But I have been learning a ton!! What I have been doing a lot of is, well here in the mission the missionaries receive a monthly amount of money to buy their basic needs and travel and things like that. And sometimes they have to buy more things than usual or have to travel more, and all of that money that they spend extra is reimbursable, so they have to send in their receipts to the offices and I have to go through all of them and make sure that they are somewhat reasonable and that they have a good reason to get their money back! The past week, I am not sure if I told you guys, but the mission bought microwaves for the whole mission!! 125! 1 per house! So the Presidents secretary was supposed to send the addresses for the drop off points along the mission so it would be easier to get them out to all the missionaries, but he did not do it on time. So we got 125 microwaves delivered here to the offices!!! Holy crap! There was a ton of microwaves!! It was crazy! and they're not little either! They're actually really nice! Stainless steel Whirlpool brand microwaves! So we had to unload them and try and fit them in here in the offices! Then my President just happen to put me in charge of writing down each serial number of the microwaves! So that has been pretty time consuming, 
Down here in Mexico they celebrate their Christmas on the 24th, so that night we got invited to go eat at 3 different houses in our ward here!! I was sooo full!!! I haven't eaten so much in a long time! But it was all really good! Then the next day was Christmas! So that morning I opened the presents that my family had sent to me! It was awesome! Then that whole day we just worked like normal and that night I got to talk to my family! It was so good to see everyone! I was so happy! Made me miss them a lot! But everything is good! The last couple of days we have been working in our area a little! It has been really nice! And we actually have been having somewhat a successful rest of the week! 
I cant believe that this year is already coming to a end! It probably has been the fastest year of my life! I am so grateful for the blessing that this mission has been in my life and all the great things that Our Heavenly Father has blessed us with! 
I love you all!

Elder Liljenquist


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Talking with this Elder was amazing! He has grown so much, and we could not be more proud of him! Here is his testimony he bore in Spanish yesterday. Truly and amazing man and missionary!

December 23, 2013
Hey Family!!

Well its been a really good week here in Villa! We have been super busy here in the offices getting ready for Christmas to come! And it has been really good because I finally got to go out and work again! I have missed it so much! I miss having my own area, but its nice to be a part of the offices and still be able to have an area to work in too! Also this past week we had transfers! And in this transfer we had all the new American Sisters that were coming into the mission! We had 9 American sisters come in to the mission and 2 American Elders. The first time that this mission has seen American sisters. It was crazy! So we couldn't find a place for them to stay, so the President told us to clean up our house and they were going to be staying there! The next morning they were all walking to the offices the same time as us, and it was pouring rain.... haha. They had all their bags... haha. I felt pretty bad for them  but it was really funny too! haha. They had no idea what was waiting for them! Then we had to get all of their visa work planned out for them and we started filling out forms and documents! It took so long because everything was in spanish and we had to sit and help them with everything! Once we finished President took us all out to eat and then sent all of them off to their areas.
Wednesday we had our Christmas dinner with the 3 zones of the area. It went really good especially because the family that cooked our food was my Bishop from Parrilla!! And a bunch of members were there serving the food for us! I was so happy to be able to see all of them! I never got to go and say bye to anyone in Parilla. It was really nice to say bye to them and be able to give my email to them so they could give it out in church! The dinner went really good! Then that night we had a activity in a big Mall that is here in Villa. A couple weeks ago, the presidents secretary and I went to  this mall to ask them if us as missionaries could do an activity and sing Christmas hymns. So Wednesday night the zone Villahermosa went to the mall and we sang some Christmas hymns and were able to receive a bunch of references for the mission! It was a really busy day. We had to take all of the equipment for the singing to the mall really early and set it all up and make sure that everything was ready for when everyone showed up!
For the last couple of days I was able to go and work in the area that im in! It was really good! I was able to meet some of the investigators that we have here! They are really good! We have a pretty good investigator that is progressing really well and is ready to be baptized! But she doesnt want to be baptized in the font of the church, but in the ocean or a river like Jesus she says haha! She has good intentions! But the ocean is like 2 hours away! But the area here is really good and I am really excited to work in it!
So the last week I hit a year in the mission!! I cant believe it! The time has gone by so fast! I feel like I had just gotten here! The time really has flown by! I have learned so much in this time! And I am so thankful for all of the things that I have learned in this past year and I am really excited for all the things that wait for me in the year to come!
I love all of you guys and so thankful for every one of you! Way excited to be able to talk to my family on Christmas!!

Elder Liljenquist

Sunday, December 22, 2013

One Year!!!!! December 19, 2013

Just a little video to highlight Elder Liljenquist's 
first year of his mission! 
(Again, if you click on the "Vimeo" button in the bottom right corner, you can watch it a little bit bigger:)

Hey Family!
Well it was another week here in Villa! Haha... We haven't really being doing much! I have been feeling a lot better! I feel like I have gotten all of my strength back and can finally go back and start working!  I have been working here in the offices ever since I got out of the hospital! Its not that bad, We actually help out here a lot! The president has us doing a ton of things here to help him and the mission! It kinda sucks though because we just had transfers today and the president told me that he is going to keep me here in the offices to help him. I wanted to go back to my area in Parilla and work there some more. I had only a little bit of time there but I loved every minute of it! The people there were amazing! and I had such a good experience there with my Son! Abraham is progressing really well! Already has a calling in the ward and they just told us that theyre going to have a baby!! Hopefully I will still be here in the mission when they go through the temple to be sealed as a family! That area has been one of my favorites in the mission! I am really happy that I had the chance to serve there!
I have a lot of time to do some extra studying. Since I have not been doing much, I have been reading in the book "Jesus the Christ." I have been learning about the life of our Savior. In this time of the year during Christmas and all the presents and everything, we sometimes forget why we have this holiday. I want everyone this Christmas, even just for a minute, to remember our Savior. Really having this time to study and reflect on who He really was for the world has opened up my eyes and helped me understand all that much more that Christ really is my Savior and the Savior of the world! I am so grateful for all of you guys and the support that you have given me in this year of my mission!
Elder Liljenquist

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December 9, 2013

Hey Family! 
Sorry that I was not able to write to you guys in the last week! It has been a crazy last couple of weeks! There has been a lot of stuff that has happened! SO we are gonna start in the last 2 weeks on Tuesday! So it was just another Tuesday and we had a zone meeting. So we went to our meeting in our stake center with all our zone and there I was just not feeling good at all! I had a pretty bad fever and I just felt pretty bad. During the meeting felt like I got hit by a baseball bat in the stomach! It was one of the worst pains that I have had ever! and then out of nowhere, I had to go to the bathroom to throw up! It was pretty bad! After the meeting, I called our mission Presidents wife and she told me to go to the doctors and get looked at. So we called the mission doctor and he told me that he was full until the next day! So I went back home and just laid on my bed! Finally my bishop came over and took me to another doctor, and there they gave me an ultrasound and saw that my appendix was pretty swollen!! From there, our mission president called me and told me to go the Hospital and get checked in. So at the hospital, they started doing all these tests and they took me to do a cat scan. Once I got put into a room, the doctor came in and told me that they had to operate now to take out my appendix. So at this point I was pretty freaked out!! My mission president got to the hospital right as they were about to take me in for the surgery. We called my parents and got permission and they took me in! Haha.. It was pretty scary! They didn't put me under for a while, and so I was awake in the operating room! Keep in mind that we are in the south of Mexico!! haha... I was pretty freaked out when they took out the operating tools right in front of me!
 So when I woke up I was being wheeled back into my room and I guess I was still pretty out of it and all I saw was my mission presidents face and he said that everything went good. So the next day I was pretty sore! They had done 3 incisions, pretty small so it wasn't that bad! So they had told me that I would be fasting and not able to eat, so from Monday night to Thursday I did not eat a thing! I have lost so much weight! Its pretty bad! I am eating a ton right now to try and gain it back!, but anyway I was in the hospital for 5 days after my surgery! Still not sure why I was in there for so long but all we did was watch the same movies over and over again! It was terrible! But every now and then we got some visits from our investigators and members that came to see me. And our mission president came in almost everyday. It was a pretty nice hospital. From what they told me, the nicest one that was here in Villa. So that Saturday, I was allowed to leave. Walking was so hard! It was like I was 90 years old! haha, So the president put me with the assistants. For the past week I have been living with them and working in the mission offices everyday with our President and doing things there. Then after the office closes, I go back home and basically do nothing! It has been alright working in the offices, but going back home and just resting has been awful! 
I am feeling a lot better now, I am able to eat pretty good just have to watch the fats;) and walking has come along way! Still not at full strength but almost there! I have been kind of worried because of my area! We had just started doing really good and then I got taken out! But Abraham had a baptism date for the 7th of December! So luckily yesterday I was able to go the baptism for him! I was pretty sad that I couldn't do the ordinance but it was so good to see him take this step! And what was even better was the look on his families face! Then having them say,thank you was the best part of the whole thing!:) I was so happy that I was able to go! He said that he didn't want to do the baptism unless I was there! So grateful for that family! 
So it has been a pretty crazy last couple of weeks! with a lot of things that I am never going to forget! The hardest was finding myself down and feeling like there was no going back up, no matter what I did. Satan attacked. He can work emotionally and even sometimes physically. Being so weak, it was easy for me to get down on myself and take the easy way out and be done with it. I could feel it so strong that I should just stop. Then I remembered why I am here, and what I am here for. Then someone shared a scripture with me in Mosiah 24 13-15. This scripture really helped me! I just know I didn't come to do a half way job. All the sacrifices that this church is built on,  I should be able to do the same! I love all of you guys so much, I said in my farewell talk that I would work as hard as I could and I intend on doing so.

Elder Liljenquist

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Purpose of Missionary Work

Elder Holland's powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon.  This is why missionaries do what they're doing. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Prayers for Elder Liljenquist - Mosiah 24:13-15

   Bryton wanted me to send a quick update on him. He did not have time to write due to having to answer a million questions from me. Last Tuesday, we got a call from Bryton's mission president. He was in the hospital. He needed emergency surgery to remove his appendix (little scary being in Mexico). He remained in the hospital until Saturday night due to some complications. He has had a rough time but is slowing improving. We still don't know why he was in the hospital SO long. Needless to say,we have spent most of the past week on our knees. We have had a few opportunities to speak with him. He is so brave and completely determined to finish his mission. He loves the people and loves the work....and he is super bugged that he has lost so much weight:) Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. He sends his love as always. 

Mosiah 24:13-15

"And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.  And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.  And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were mad light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."