Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013

 I'm going to try to write this email without crying...
(yes, I'm a wimp............................... no)

  Something I didn't realize before my mission but that I always heard throughout my life, has been The Members Prayers for The Missionaries.
There has been nothing more sweet than the true and sincere prayers from the latter day saints of Quebec. Every time we meet with them, they pray... not only do they pray, but they pray specifically for The Missionaries and their families. Before my mission I never really thought about what that truly means to a missionary but now as a missionary, I DO.
  I am truly humbled by the prayers I hear. The responsibility I have to bring people unto repentance is enormous. I mean, how would you feel, if at every meal you have with members, they pray and say: "Bless the missionaries that they may find the people who are ready for the gospel, bless them and their tongues that they might be able to speak and that they may do thy work"

... and then after you might forget and complain about how tired you are, how COLD it is, how things aren't going well... blah blah. I am guilty of that. Its not easy dealing with failure or rejection. AlthoughI have the name of a God on my chest, does not mean I am one. I am still human and this stuff is still hard.
but the comfort and strength that I receive from these people is INFINITE. I love them, and cherish them.

So that brings me to my next point.


Yes, this transfer, The Lord has called me to serve as District Leader in the Dows Lake, Ottawa, Singles Ward. As you know, in the province of Ontario, 90% of the people speak English. So yes, I will be preaching in English. Not even Spanish or French (like I had the blessing of doing in Victoriaville).

I have been in Victoriaville for the past 6 months. I got trained here. I trained here. I had my first baptism here. First temple trip here. Organized a first activity here. Gave my first blessing here. My first nasty dinner on the mission here.

The members love is the reason it is so hard on me. I've never gotten so many gifts in my life. Cologne, comic books, letters, cakes, nesquik chocolate milk. I don't think they are very excited about me leaving them but I know that The Lord needs me in Ottawa now so that's where I will be on Tuesday. The progression never ends... and it was never meant to end. We will keep moving forward until all eternity.

Well, that's my little email this week. Love you all. And take care.
Have a happy thanksgiving (ps. my birthday + Hanuka) 

Elder Castrejon

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013

 So we had the opportunity to be trained by Elder Peiper of the first quorum of the 70 this week at mission conference. Growing up I used to think "quorum of the 70? ... that's weak. the 12 apostles is where its at! ... what do the 70 even do? they're not even famous" ...
Well shame on me.
Now I understand the responsibility and sacred calling these men of the church hold. I now understand the doctrine behind who they are and what they do.

Elder Peiper gave a great training about the Book of Mormon, doctrine and the spirit.
The spirit he brought to the conference was apostolic and everything about what we learned that day was inspired. I am so grateful to have received his teachings that I will keep with me for the rest of my life.

We have been working hard. Finding more more and more people who are willing to receive us.

Transfer calls are this Saturday so I have been warning members that my possibilities are high, to leave the area.

When I told a Sister this Sunday that I might leave soon, she looked at me with the saddest look in her eyes and said to me: "No, you can't leave. I just got to know you...... we need you."

those 3 words pierced my heart.
"we need you"

this sunday was the primary program and our primary sang in Spanish and French and we had 11 non-members at church! it was great. The members are doing their missionary work and really hastening the Lords work over here in victoriaville. Its awesome to teach people who come from the members efforts!

So this morning I got a call at 6:50am telling my spanish investigator who doesnt speak french needed a ride to the hospital for her daughter.
long story short. We stayed with them at the hospital from 8-12. 3 hours of waiting. The health care here is free, and it sure seemed like it.
So i basically translated the doctors words in french to spanish so that they could figure out what was wrong with our investigators daughter. It was stressful knowing that my translation could determine what the doctors would do with her. pretty intense stuff.

well, I know these are all random stories... but I hope you liked them!

love you all!!!!!!!!!
Elder Castrejon

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

Hello family and friends. The SNOWWW IS HERE.

As the work moves forward, and the snow arrives, my testimony grows.
This week I had the opportunity to speak in church.
You know growing up I used to look at missionaries give talks and used to think to myself: "Man that must suck... they can barely speak Spanish...freak dude, I would hate to do that"
Well, now I can say, "its not that bad".
With 6 months already into the mission my French is at the stage I was hoping it would be. I know that there are unseen powers that are helping me speak French, and Spanish. Before my mission, sure, I could speak Spanish. But I had never before been a full time Spanish speaking missionary. Sometimes it feels like I'm learning 2 languages instead of 1. (Not to mention the varieties of accents here.)
Yes. Its hard. But I have never prayed so hard in my life. I think my companion Elder Noel and I pray about 30 times a day. Every time we leave the car, and every time we leave the apartment, every time before an appointment, every time we eat, every time we plan... I'm not exaggerating when I say 30 times.
I still can't believe the Lord has entrusted me with a new missionary. He is almost done with his first 12 weeks and it has been such a blessing to learn from him and see him grow. The responsibility and pressure of training young, has accelerated my growth as a missionary of The Lord.

I had my interview with the mission president this week and one thing he asked me was: "So Elder Castrejon, what is the next step for you as a missionary?" .... I didn't know how to answer but it really made me reflect on where I am as a servant of The Lord. I love receiving witness from the holy ghost that I am in the right place doing the right thing and becoming the right person.
Anyways,transfers are coming up soon and I don't know if I can leave Victoriaville without tears in my eyes. I hope I stay 5 transfers here but we NEVER know.
The members are excited for my birthday the 28th, and told me if I leave the 26th on transfers, then they will still do something for me. haha. They're too sweet.
Tomorrow we have a super rare super special MISSION CONFERENCE with President Pieper from the 70. Pretty excited about that. So I'm getting a haircut from a member today. Her haircuts are wayyy better than the ones I usually give myself.
hmm... this week I helped chop down a tree! That was cool, and scary because we really didn't know what we were doing, but we did it anyway! Fun fun fun!
Until next time! stay warm! ..... oh wait..... you're all in California....
ps. 40 degrees is NOT COLD. Hahahaha.
Elder Castrejon

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4, 2013

 It's November everybody! That's my month! And it has started off with miracles! miracles! miracles!

Last week my companion and had splits with the district leader and his companion. So I went to Drummondville to split with Elder Losee again and I worked over there on Halloween. It was very interesting. We contacted a media referral from the visitors center and we called them up. The zone leaders advised us to tell them we were friends of "K***L". So we called her up and she answered. (Elder Losee is a transfer younger than me but still got scared of the french and handed me the phone). I then started to talk to her and I told her: "Hey, we were sent here by "K***L" and we wanted to know if we could visit you, we are right outside of were you live actually" and she then started to curse and told me to tell "K***L" stuff... blah blah blah sfsdkhfkdshjfh ....


In a nutshell... the person that sent us to her house happened to be this 'sexual predator' who keeps harassing her handicap (blind) daughter over the internet.


I ended up figuring out who she was, what her experience has been with missionaries, what she liked, her family, so on and so forth. And she happened to be this old lady who was told by her doctor she doesn't have very much time to live.

I felt prompted to ask if she spoke English.
she did.
I than spoke to her in English and told her after being denied several times before to visit her: "My'am, we are the missionaries of Jesus Christ, and we would like to meet you and shake your hand and tell you how grateful we are for people like you in this world"
She really appreciated that and let us visit her.
We spoke with her and her daughter for 20 minutes and talked about the plan of salvation. She will now be receiving missionary lessons.

I can't imagine what would've happened if I would have quit at the sudden awkwardness that came from those first instances on the phone. Wow.

Anyways, the past 3 days have been unbelievable.

We keep ending up in the right places at the right time. I would go into detail but it would probably take more time than I am permitted.
In a nutshell... the Holy Spirit is real and it can guide you.

My companion and I felt prompted to bear our testimonies in sacrament meeting. I've never felt prompted to do so before on my mission. It was so strong and profound I could not resist (although we are counselled not to go up...) .. We went up.
As I stood up, the chapel got really quiet. it felt as though even the crying babies had been silenced. I opened my mouth and I felt like a French Puppeteer was taking control of me. Somehow I was speaking so fluently. That afterwards the members came up to me and told me how they admired the testimony I bared. I felt a reassurance that whatever I had said was true and that the families in Victoriaville needed to hear that. It was a nice feeling.

hmm... we also had a very powerful lesson with a former investigator who came back to church. It so happens, we committed her to baptism and she knows the church is true. If the Lord allows. We will have another 2 victoriaville baptisms. It was an intense lesson filled with tears and spirit. and SPANISH. She only speaks Spanish.

Well, I had Colombian Tamales and they are my new favorite ever.

Oh and just before my comp and I got to the computers, we thought we would go "thrift store shopping"!! YAYYY!

We went up to the thrift store where the door was locked but the sign said: "ring to open"... we rang and a lady came to the see through glass door and waved her head in disapproval. She wasn't going to let us shop at her thrift store. So I pulled out my wallet and waved money at her. She then opened the door and asked: "what do you want?" ... I said: "this is a store isn't it?" she answered: "Theres nothing for you here" (I could clearly see things that men would buy there) ... I answered: "We just want to look and maybe buy something" She said: "Your jehova witness" I said: "No, not at all" She answered: "sure, bye" and closed her business doors on us. 

The world is rapidly changing friends and family. It is getting further and further from the Lord.  Stay strong, keep your faith. God lives, Jesus lives.

Until next week,

Elder Castrejon