Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

 Dear family and friends. It is I. Elder Castrejon. I just want to tell you all, that I love every single one of you. I can not describe the joy... the pure joy that comes from missionary work. This week I had many opportunities to serve others. All the way from mowing lawns, moving a member to their new house, and doing inventory at a IGA (grocery store) at 5 O'clock in the morning for a youth fund raiser... I have never counted so many bottles of baby food in my life!!!
  As I go out and experience these things, I come to realize how I am being used as a tool in The Lords hands. I see the happiness service brings to these members and it is rewarding on so many different levels.
  Being on a mission has made me realize the divine power of heavenly father. The love he has for every single one of his children. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS CHILDREN. HE NEVER FORGETS ONE. NOT ONE.
  He puts us missionaries in the places we need to be, at the right time, with the right people. He puts the right words in our mouths exactly when we need to say it. I can not deny the power of the spirit.
  This week I felt prompted to visit someone at a certain time. We had a plan but we decided we would just move away from that plan and follow the prompting. So we did. We visited our 14 year old investigator. Her father won't come to her baptism because he is atheist and thinks it isn't important... but her mom wants her to be baptized (her mother is an ex-mormon). This was our next baptism, but everything has just been really crazy lately. That very moment when we followed that prompting, was the perfect time because she was only there with her brother. We taught them both and now we are preparing her little brother for baptism. We testified to them that 2 are better than 1. And that them together can soften the heart of their father and they can become members of Jesus Christ's church restored on the earth. It was a very uplifting experience.
  This week we also had stake conference. It was beautiful. Our stake has 7 wards and 6 branches. IT IS HUGE. And it covers so much land.
We had a special stake conference with an area 70. President Olson. We also had a choir consisting of the missionaries and the members. The whole stake conference was focused on The Prophets focus: "NOW IS THE TIME that members and missionaries work together". It was a great conference. On Sunday we also had a choir of all children. They sang a medley of I am a child of God in sign language, Spanish, French, English. I don't know where else I could see children do that. This is truly a marvelous place.
  It was fun after the conference, there was a special new-convert meeting with the area authority and I got to accompany Claire. My new convert. It was a great feeling. She is praying about serving a mission. My friend... my convert.... thinking about serving a mission. Wow.

Oh, it should be snowing soon! I bought a nice coat. Kinda scarrryyy...

Well, until next time! :)
Elder Castrejon

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

ITS-GETTING-CHILLY. (just saying)

You know, I always have these cool "opening the red sea spiritual experiences" but the moment I get in front of the computer, I can't remember them!! Well, let me be random as usual.

Yesterday, we contacted a Muslim. He let us in and fired away. Spirit of contention from the very very start... but of course Elder Castrejon had to learn more about his beliefs and share some of his, so he did.

We were there for about 20 minutes, just having this Muslim "teach us the truth" and telling us Jesus was only a prophet, NOT the son of God-"Mohammed wrote the Koran, Thomas S. Monson is not a prophet, blah blah blah, try to ask me a question I don't have the answer to"
I'd say it was pretty intense. I definitely learned a bunch from that one conversation, very interesting fella. When we left, we were sure he felt content and happy about how he "won" his little battle. It was fun. (all in French of course)


Oh, this week, we decided to take a plate of rice crispies to a potentials house. We had never met the parents before and we wanted to meet the parents of the family there. So we gave them treats and told them we would return to share a message about how families can be together forever and they accepted! OH THE POWER OF TREATS :)

So we have this less active brother, right? And apparently he used to have this really strong testimony and we've been working with his family on helping him return to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But we have never been able to find out the root of his departure from the church... or in another words, "why he left".

but this week something very interesting happened.
We contacted into a man who claimed to be his boyfriend.


Yeah, you can say that again... and we are not even sure his family knows this or if it was a joke or something but now we are soooo lost. Haha... it was rather interesting. Anyways, we offered the man to hear a message about eternal happiness and he denied us... (of course)... but hey, we tried.

What else what else what else...

So our branch president really loves ping pong...? For some reason, and he bought 2 ping pong tables for the branch. So we play with the youth & non-member youth from time to time, and I feel like I have the skills of Forest Gump. Elder Noel and I are unbeatable. (Except for Brother Labbe... brother labbe is thee equivalent to the Olympic China Ping Pong Team)

Oh... this morning we finally had ICE on our windshields.... YESSSSS.
Snow should come in the next couple days. YUP, and we ARE NOT READY-AT-ALL.

As for our investigators...
We are teaching a Spanish family of 3 tonight and we hope to commit them to a baptismal date. Pretty exciting!!!
There is nothing like the joy we missionaries get from seeing someone grow to know the gospel is restored on the earth today!

Until next time,

Elder Castrejon

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

 Sooooooooo... looks like I'm spending 6 months in Victoriaville!! I'm staying with my greenie for another transfer. Its all good because I love it here and I could literally serve for longer in this area.
  After a very spiritually uplifting week, Elder Noel and I put our shoulder to the wheel and started applying what we learned at zone training, and during general conference. We have been working twice as hard as before and we are starting to contact door to door a lot more. I'm not too fond of doing door to door because its not very effective but with the extra time we do have, we go out and search for those who are prepared to hear the gospel.
  I went to the Island of Montreal the last P-day with our senior couple "The Petersons" ... I bought a side bag at Aldo's and got some sweet grey & blue pants at H&M. Since thee missionary wardrobe changed, I thought I would get some stuff before the winter. (and we cant wear backpacks anymore)...
  The Island of Montreal is the equivalent to New York City. Huge Buildings, Crazy people running around, jam packed, payed parking, whole bunch of stores, 5347854 languages, and whatever else you can think of. The Island of Montreal has it. I can't wait to serve there and take the buses and underground metros.
  And actually that day in Montreal, my companion & I just walked out of an H&M and a African man came up to us and said: "Elders!! Elders!! blah blah blah blah blah..." (he was speaking so fast we couldn't understand his french or English....almost everyone in Montreal is bilingual) but we ended up giving him our number and apparently he was an investigator of some other missionaries in the area. Its just cool to think that people "know the Elders" ... love that. HEY! ITS THE ELDERS!

  I would lie to you if I told you my testimony was not strengthened every single day that I am out here. Every single day I see the hand of the Lord working in his divine work. I see miracles. I truly see miracles out here, and it is amazing.

  I am so happy to be in the service of a loving heavenly father and I am so happy I help people understand that he has a plan for them.

  Well, looks like I'll be spending my birthday in Victoriaville! Halloween as well! OH AND TODAY IS Canada Thanksgiving! (its not great though...)

Elder Castrejon

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

Dear friends and family.
This week has been a week of spiritual uplifting experiences.
I have never heard such a powerful conference. As a missionary I have the blessing of receiving revelation for all my investigators and it is a special and wonderful thing.
I share my personal testimony, that I know Jesus Christ is at the head of this church and that it is lead by latter day prophets.
I testify that the trials we go through in our lives are meant to go through. As we overcome our trails we must never look back and always check the sky for rainy days. Always stay prepared as we go our seperate ways each and every day into a world where the people are getting farther and moving faster away from The Lord. Stay strong friends, for you are children of a loving heavenly father. A loving perfect heavenly father who has a plan for all of us, and to accomplish that plan he works through us, imperfect beings. We are not perfect, but someone was. He was the champion, The Son of God, Jesus The Christ. The time is now friends, for members and missionaries like myself to work together to hasten the work in the time of The Lord. That time is now.
I love you all, and I pray for you all.
Take care
Elder Castrejon