Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Year!

I'm really glad everyone had such a good Christmas. I have to say things were really different here. But I learned a lot, I learned the importance of family more than ever. And how blessed we are to have a family like we do and all the things we do together. My companion was shocked with how many people I talked to the other day when I called home. Things are so different here Christmas was more about eating more than anything else for these people. But I know this is where I'm supposed to be. It can be hard at times but then I realize that I can only thank Heavenly Father though my service. I have been Given much so I too must give. Haha I have started to memorize that hymn in Spanish. Really makes a difference when you take a step back and look at what you have. It crazy that things are going so fast out here. The new transfer just started today so I should be here in Neiva for another 6 weeks. Which I'm really excited about. This last week was actually one of my best ever lessons wise. We taught 19! This week I really want to break 20, but the best part was yesterday we Got 4 people to church, all of which we found this last week. And all seem to be really interested. Two of them have a baptism Date for the 17th, so we have a lot of work to do. We also have a family who is going to get married on the 10th and baptized the same day!!! We have a few others who are progressing but it's been a challenge to get them to church. It was so nice to talk to everyone the other day, but I have to say it's nice to have the work go back to normal. I have really grown to love the chance I have to share this gospel. And I don't want to lose any time what so ever. I'm going to hit 7 months in this next six weeks. 7 months!!!! I don't know where the time has gone. Kinda scares me, but at the same time drives me to work harder if I only have so much time as a full time missionary. I have grown to realize that the best thing we could ever do for someone is share this gospel, it brings an eternity of blessings. I love you guys have an awesome week, and Happy New Year!!!

Elder Chavez

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Feliz Navidad Elder Chavez

Christmas came a day early this year.  Mason is currently serving his mission in Neiva Colombia. He and his companion are the only 2 missionaries in the area! We were able to Skype with him as a family on Christmas Eve.  Mason's face radiated with pure happiness.  He was calling us from a little store just off the street that was maybe 10x20. No one in Colombia has cell phones, so you go to a store where several computers are lined against a wall and pay for your internet use.  He said it cost him a penny a minute to use the computer.  As we were talking you could hear traffic and honking in the back ground.  He said life there is so different than the states.  They have no rules on the road.  He said lights turn red and people still drive.  He joked that I would never survive in Colombian Traffic cause it is so crazy. One scary thing he said ... is that he is nearly hit by cars every day because in Colombia cars first then people.  He said the work is hard but so worth it and he is trying his very best to stay obedient to the Lord.  He eats plain simple foods daily like, rice and a Chicken bone wrapped in a tortilla and grilled ham and cheese. In Colombia They don't eat dinner.  So just 2 meals a day.  He said the food is plain and he is always hungry!  He says he eats to get full not because it tastes good! Craziest thing he has eaten so far is the fried fish.  He says you eat the entire fish including eyes.  He said the bread there is amazing!!! And probably his favorite thing!  He said in Colombia they celebrate Christmas on the 24th.  It is one big party.  Everyone parties hard all night and then sleeps the entire Christmas day.  So his plans were to spend the 24th with his bishop at their home and on Christmas they would have a planning day.  He says he loves and misses everyone!   He was able to see his pup Sophie and he was calling and whistling to her, she was looking around confused as to where he was.  The best part for us was seeing how Happy He is. You can truly see and feel the pure love of Christ within Mason.  It Brings such peace to our family know he is doing so well.  He is an awesome Missionary!  He wishes you all a very Merry Christmas. And said Please write!

He Is The Gift!

Mason asked we share this video he has been sharing with everyone he meets.  This is the true meaning of Christmas.  We hope and Pray we can all feel the spirit through out this coming year and remember and find Christ our Savior.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Greatest Gift ...

Things have been going good. I have been thinking a lot about what is the greatest thing I have ever received  for Christmas, because of that movie. And I have to say hands down that it is my family! But I would not have the chance to live with you forever if it weren't for this Gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and Redeemer.  I've started to realize that this mission is the greatest gift I have ever been given. I have the chance to Thank God though this service, the chance to say I'm sorry for my faults by working my guys out to make up for them. I love you guys with all my heart and I hope you know I pray for you every day! Merry Christmas!

Elder Chavez

Monday, December 15, 2014

People Actually Came To Church!

Well we started to get to know the area a lot better and who we are actually teaching, This was one of the first weeks where I actually got people to come to church. We had three people come to church, and we actually hit almost all of our goals this last week which was awesome! It's been really hard with this companion,  Not because we don't get along we actually get along really good laughing alot in the streets. But it's hard because I feel l like I'm the senior companion when I'm not. Haha He's from Colombia sorry I left that out last week, but from way up north somewhere. It's hard because I have been the one remembering everything. With Elder Mizari he always just took control of the lessons, of the planning, of everything. But now, I'm the one who calls and confirms stuff, plans the lessons, it's hard. But at the same time I am really grateful. I feel like the Lord is really preparing me. I feel like I have actually grown so much in these last two weeks here. Once I noticed it a lot more in the lessons, I have been putting so much more focus into theses people and their lives So I'm praying that they can continue in their progress. I would like to see some pictures of the new car you got. That's sweet! Mom Don't worry about a car payment. This Gospel has blessings. Spiritual and Temporal, if we put everything we have in the lord we have his promise that we will come out on top. So just always have that faith that things will get better, because they will I know it. I love you guys so much I actually had an intercambio, which is when the district leader goes with another companion for the day. My companion is the District leader so he went with another elder. And I got to go with, Elder Tulseck, Remember him? Haha my friend from the CCM. It was a really fun long day. But we both got a little depressed in the night when we started to talk about our families. I hope all is well you guys. You are always on my mind I love you!

Elder Chavez

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Area Neiva Colombia
Mason said it is still in the hot lands, but it is not as hot as Girardot was.


Well This week was really interesting for me. Wednesday Elder Mirzari and I were eating lunch when all of a sudden we got a phone call from our zone leaders. I answered the phone and they told me that they had some news for me. That I was getting Emergency Transferred. That I needed to have my bags packed in two hours and that I was headed to Neiva. So that was a really weird way to start of my day. We ate lunch with one of our favorite families that day and when they lady served us lunch I just started to cry. Haha I felt like I had grown up in Girardot with my Dad. Elder Mizari. We were both in pretty big shock. Then we raced home and I started packing like a mad man. Got it all in my bags in about an hour and headed for the bus terminal. I always knew that Elder Mizari was going to be one of my friends forever. They call your trainer your Dad out here. When we left the house that's when I knew how much he cared for me we started walking away and he started giving me the dad pep talk. That I must always remember who I am and what I stand for, That I must always be an example and that he thinks I'm an awesome missionary. Then we Got to the bus station and that was it ... we bought my ticket and I left never knowing if I'll see him again. So I'm in Neiva. I took like a 2 and a half hour bus ride alone to get here. My new Companion is Elder Hurtado. He's 26 years old!! Haha we are both new to the area. And it's huge and I have to say I have never been so stressed in my life. I don't really know what the last missionaries did here but they left us nothing. Apparently we have investigators. They left us the names with no phone numbers or addresses. I have to say these last few days have been so hard. Not a bad hard, but we have been looking everywhere. And we are walking too so my feet are absolutely killing me well they were. Haha I can feel my faith growing. All day long I just keeping praying to my Heavenly Father to help us and I can feel the strength. I was so tried yesterday but once we hit the pavement it was like I was filled with a new life full of energy ready to work. Our ward here is awesome though. We are the only ones in the ward. Two missionaries for and entire ward! In Girardot there were 88 missionaries for a branch! So I'm really excited. I can feel the potential here, but it's hard cause we don't have a clue where anything is or where anyone lives. But hey, we are here. We are ready and we have the Lord on our side we can do this. I love you all so very much!! 

Mason and his New companion Elder Hurtado
in His new area Neiva!

This picture is for you Dad ... Thanks for cooking all those years!

Thanksgiving Dinner
Creamed Corn

Thanksgiving Dinner
Turkey Hot Dogs ... yum!

Thanksgiving Dinner Final product!
Smashed potatoes, creamed corn, peas and Turkey Hot dog!

Mason smashing the potatoes with a cup.  It was all he had to use!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Smashed Potatoes and Turkey Dogs

This week was pretty good, I was really bummed out yesterday because we had 9 people tell us that they were going to come to church and then no one came so that was really really frustrating. I don't know what more we can do with some of them. I also had my first interview with my mission president since being in the field. It was pretty good I guess.  It was really quick but his wife made us cookies so that was pretty sweet! I forgot my camera, but I have some pretty sweet pics for you. Dad's going to be proud of me ... I made Thanksgiving dinner for my whole house, I bought corn, peas and made smashed potatoes, and topped it off with turkey hot dogs. That's the only turkey they had here. haha!  I had to smash them with a cup that's all I had. But they tasted good. Love you all.

Elder Chavez