Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

 A note from Anelieze Castrejon, Elder Castrejon's sister-in-law: It's almost been a year since we've posted any messages from Elder Castrejon. I slacked off a little but I wanted to start sharing again. This one particularly touched me since Elder Castrejon sounded so wise, much wiser than his 20 years. Enjoy.

Dear Family and Friends,
I am always grateful to share with you a piece of what I go through on my mission. I think to myself, how you must feel, or think about what I write and how I write it. If there is one thing I would like you to feel when reading my emails, it would be: to feel that I have changed, and continue to change every week. Change is the very nature of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The very core to God's plan. As my old football coach would tell me: "You're either getting better or getting worse, there is no in between!". My coach was right. In this short moment of mortality we call "life" we are either getting better or worse. Becoming like Our Savior Jesus Christ or becoming like Mr. you know who.

A question I like to ask myself... and other missionaries on exchanges is: Were you better than who you were yesterday?

I think it is a valuable question we can all ask ourselves. In preach my gospel (the manual for missionary work of the church) states: "Just as vital as what you do, is WHO YOU ARE"
My Mother always used to tell me before I left the home: REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE!
I wish I would have remembered... it probably would've saved me a lot of heartache and trouble.
But who are we?! Do you know who you are?

In the scriptures we are taught that we are the very offspring of God. We are his children! He loves us! AND He loves YOU! If a person truly understood their identity in God's plan, that person would have a much easier time understanding the rest of his plan (and that's why it is the first principle we teach as missionaries). The opposition will try to deceive us and make us think we are more or less than who we really are. But in remembering who we are; we can say as Moses once did: "I am a son of God."
I would like to write you my testimony that I know God lives. And that he is very involved in your lives whether you see it or not. He is a loving Heavenly Father who listens, and responds. Anyone who has faith in him can access his power and forgiveness. I am a witness of this. I have not seen God, but I have felt him. He loves every single living creature and is anxiously engaged in their lives. He wants me, you, and everyone around us to return to him one day. I know he keeps his promises, because I've seen them fulfilled.

His work is hastening. This is real. Greg just returned home off his mission and Carmen Castaneyra just got her mission call to Wash. Dc North in Spanish and will be starting her mission with one of the young men here in Montreal who got called there as well (on the same day. Sept. 3). How ironic.

Transfer calls are coming up on Saturday and I have a gut feeling that I am leaving... We shall see. And in the next 2-3 months. Our mission will have 53 greenies/new missionaries. The face of our mission will change completely. Our Mission President has a lot of faith and knows everything will work out fine but in a week he has to assign 20 new trainers, 1 new office missionary, 8 new district leaders, 4 new zone leaders, 1 new assistant, 2 new Sister Training Leaders. This gives opportunity to a lot of our missionaries to lead and to grow. It is very exciting! But also a very delicate situation. We are hoping to keep the culture of our mission and train these new elders and sisters correctly :)

This past weekend. we had our ward mission activity. The ward had not had an activity in forever! So the missionaries took charge and with the help of the members we put together a fun activity at the park and called it: "Bring a friend!"

Everyone thought it was going to rain that day! BUT with faith, the missionaries prayed and not one drop of rain fell that evening. It was a huge success! It surpassed my expectations. We have built a lot of trust and enthusiasm into the ward in my last 3 months here in the Zarahemla Ward.

Share the gospel! There is nothing more fun!
Love you all! Have a great week :)

ps. so many good movies have come out lately... it had to be on my mission.........

Monday, May 12, 2014

Photos May-July 2014

May 12, 2014

Eddy came back into reactivity. Roberta (lady in purple) just got her answer about the book of Mormon and knows its true. Caroline (purple skirt) wants to serve a full time mission. And the old man with the hat is being prepared to be baptized as well. Through Eddy, his parents, his siblings and 4 non members have been introduced or re-introduced to the church.

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014

We will be hearing from Elder Andersen (Quorum of 12) & His wife, Gerald Causse (Presiding Bishopric) & His Wife, Elder Donald L. Hallstrom (First Quorum of 70), and Elder David Homer (Our area 70) ... and all 200 missionaries and 4 stake presidents will be there as well. It is going to be sweeeeeeeeeeeeet. I will try my best to set apart as much time as I can to my letter to you all next week to update you on its intensity :)
This week had a lot of crazy experiences but I'm still alive and going!

have a great week!

pic: Caleb's baptism (Had the blessing of interviewing him as well)

Elder Castrejon

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014

IT'S MARCH ALREADY?!?!?!I hope you all realize that on May 1rst. I will be out for 1 full year.

Anyways, I'll share a cool experience I had this week.
So my new companion Elder Hardy is a NERD. I love him!
He listens to classical music, eats like a pig, has a funny voice, super intelligent when it comes to the gospel and other smart stuff. Hates math though. Super creative. Played trombone for the BYU marching band. Has a problem with contacting people. Makes really sarcastic jokes. And this week he had a dream that he pee'd himself so he woke up and changed his pants, then realized it was just a dream.

This is going to be an awesome transfer. Hahahahahaaha.

Anyways, like I said... Elder Hardy has a hard time talking to people on the fly. So we've made goals to talk to more people. So one day, on the bus home. We sat down in different areas of the bus so we could talk to people and Elder Hardy started to talk to some "big bearded lady" (he described her as) ... and I noticed he was contacting her!!! so I said to myself: "If Elder Hardy is doing it, I gotta do it too!" ... so I look to the person I'm sitting next to and it is a young Chinese man.

FYI: Lately I've been learning how to speak some Mandarin Chinese so that I can contact people and testify.

So I decided to practice my Mandarin. I contacted him in Chinese and set up an appointment with him! (He spoke some fair English as well) He is what you call a golden investigator.
He expressed to me how all his life he has wanted to "follow God" and how he liked previous experiences with going to church. He just moved here for school and needs friends. I'm praying Greg (his name) will get baptized. I just know it!!!
Anyways, that's my short story! :)

this is a picture of Simon. I taught him on splits with the Mandarin Elders and he was baptized 2 weeks ago! This week I did a baptismal interview for an Islam guy named Arzan and his baptism will be this weekend! So excited!

Have a great week!!! 

(oh yeah... I ate pupusas last weeks for the first time on my mission)

Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014

Elder Hardy is hilarious. We're probably the shortest companionship in the mission. So sorry I forgot my pictures! I left my camera at home.
The District had another baptism and everything is going well :)
I don't have much time, but I hope all of you have a great week!

I'll send some good pictures next week!

Elder Castrejon

Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17, 2014

Elder Rock is getting transferred to outer darkness! Haha, just kidding! But he is getting transferred to the most French area in the mission. Its called the City Alma. It is the northern area of our mission, and its boundaries lead all the way up to the north pole. He's super excited to speak and learn French finally! And he was astonished to know that his companion was someone he said: "I would hate being that guys companion" ... I guess The Lord has a sense of Humor, right?

  Speaking of sense of humor... I am receiving Elder Hardy from Washington State. He is one transfer younger than me. And I have to be completely honest, when I heard Elder Hardy was coming to YSA with me, I was confused. He was the last person I saw replacing Elder Rock. Lets just say, I question his social skills. I've met him twice and he is a ball of sunshine though. His attitude is what I love about him. Always positive and smiling. He just had a baptism last week, so he's coming with fire power! haha. But as far as I know, he's this nerdy nerdy white kid. Some sisters say: "You will have to break him out of his shell" ...
  I have no doubt he is an awesome missionary and, I'm just excited and a little nervous to see how he adapts to YSA in an English area. I am expecting some fun stories with this companion! I will get him Wednesday.
  Elder Rangel (the other mexican missionary that I love so much) is leaving our apartment to Montreal. So we will have 2 new Elders in our 4 man. Its going to be so so so different. I think it will be good though... more peace, and less screaming and kicking.
  Everything is going well, just excited to see what lies ahead...

Until next week!
(preaching to every creature)

You should stalk our facebook! We post some funny stuff! Don't add us though... that'd be weird. [DowsLakeElders]

Elder Castrejon