Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Working Hard With a Side of Volcano Hiking

Hey all!

This last week was phenomenal, and full of hard work. Elder Fjerstad and I are really trying to find another good family of five that can get baptized this next change, and we have felt a lot of the guidance of the Spirit this week. Though we had a couple of fechas fall, it was still very productive and helped us to see best where we need to keep spending our time.

Elder Fjerstad and I just finished a few lesson plans that we have put together to give the members, with the goal of helping them to want to share the gospel and magnify their callings (which always has resulted in more baptisms from what I have seen before), and we are really excited to start edifying the members. The idea is that we have them written down so that the ward missionaries can give the lessons, because we, the elders, only stay a short time in each area and often when one elder leaves all the work he left behind with the members just kind of dies away. The goal is that we can make a lasting impact on this ward in such a way as to result in continued teaching and working together, members and missionaries.

The work with the members is going well. We have a big open house this Saturday that the bishop has organized with the goal of giving us a mountain of references and we are very excited. They even printed out flyers and the like, and we will be handing those out over the course of this week. The bishop has very high hopes for the turnout of this activity. We have even higher. :)

The district is doing ok. I am very worried especially about the sisters in Sauces 1. They really don't have anyone progressing, and each time that we go out there to try and help them teach or look for new investigators, I gather that the reference that they got is not good, or that the investigator isn't home, and the like. The Elders have also been really struggling. We will be doing lots of interchanges this week to keep them going and excited. It is a huge privilege to have an ex-zone leader and an ex-assistant in the district to help me out and teach me how to do things. I have learned a lot from the elders and sisters here!

That is about all that I have for this week. Thank you all so much for everything you do. I love you guys! You're the best! Go eat lots of chocolate for me. :)
Elder Kennington

Preguntas Bien Rapidito
Q:  When is/are the next change dates?
A:  The next change date is the ninth, one week from today... O.o I would have to check. Next change is only five weeks, and the following one will be seven. Weird Christmas flight stuff. :)

Q:  Has Presidente Whitehead said anything about his July release?
A:  He gets released TWO WEEKS BEFORE I do.... :( That means my last interview with Presidente in the mission will be from someone else completely different. I know he will be an incredible man, and perfect for me and the mission, but I was a little disappointed after I found out. :)

Q:  How was Dia de los Muertos? (it’s becoming bigger here)
A:  It was pretty normal. Unfortunately here the Halloween cultura is doing a massive takeover. It was more Halloween than anything. it was a lot more tranquilo. Lo que pasa es que aca no tienen tanto, asi que los niños y niñas no salen con disfraces y todo esto para pedir dulces. Me gusta mucho mas Halloween en los Estados Unidos. :) [it was a lot more quiet. What happens is that here they do not have much, so children do not come with all this costume and trick or treating. I like Halloween much more in the United States. :)]

Q:  What are some of the “hard” questions you get asked as missionaries about the gospel or about God? -
"So I didn't get baptized by the priesthood. Does that mean that my baptism isn't valid?"
 - "Well, God is everywhere. All religions are good, and they all believe in the same God. So it doesn't matter where I am because everything goes to the same end in their own way, right?"

Q:  How do you handle those questions? Maybe give one answer to one of the questions you get asked?
A:  We always try to handle them very carefully, especially that first question. The way that we answer it is usually the difference between a baptism and an offended investigator. We do our best to just show them how Jesus Christ was baptized. There is a scripture story that I always like using too that is in Acts, where some people who were baptized by John the Baptist later got rebaptized by Paul. It usually helps them to see the truth without feeling like we are attacking them.

Picture time...
I painted Elder Fjerstad's face Halloween night just for fun.  He is a handsome stud!

A visit to Nevado de Toluca, an extinct volcano located southwest of Toluca.
The peak is 15,354 feet above sea level, with the crater basin at about 13,800 feet. There are two lakes in the crater: Lago del Sol (Lake of the Sun, and the larger of the two) and Lago de la Luna (Lake of the Moon).

Elder Kennington said the drive took about 2 hours to get there, although he did not say who took them.

I just had to take a Smeagol picture. It was perfect for that. :)

Badges under the crystal clear water.

I totally won the rock skipping competition. :)  11 skips, thank you very much :) Lago del Sol:

Elder Fjerstad and Elder Adams.

Elder Fjerstad, Elder Adams background.  Elder Kennington looking thoughtful.

Nevado crater walls.  The last time it erupted was 10,500 years ago.

Elder Adams, Elder Fjerstad, Elder Kennington, Elder Medina. Lago del Sol (Lake of the Sun).

Lago de la Luna (Lake of the Moon).

Lago de la Luna on the left and Lago del Sol on the right.

We took the son of a member with us and he got very tired. Heck I was out of breath after about 2 minutes of walking up a slight incline.  I am not kidding!  :) But it was wonderful.  It is ridiculously high above sea level.

This is in the car going away from the Nevado. It was BEAUTIFUL. Quite frankly, I felt like I was in a temple while I was there. I really want to take you beautiful folks out here one day. :):):) The drive over there was decent ( a couple of hours), and though the hiking trail was very short it was very laborous. There is almost no oxygen up there!

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