Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014

Hola 'Happy' Family,

How are you all doing? Who is ready for conference this weekend??! I AM!! Man, i cant wait to listen to the Prophet, Apostles and all the General Authority! General Conference is definitely one of the best times on the mission, there's so much we can learn from our leaders and disciples of Christ. Ill be cringing my teeth all week waiting for Saturday and Sunday. I hope you guys have a wonderful week and are able to watch every single talk given. Elder Cook said he'll be talking about 'The Family and Temples'. Im excited for that!

This past week was one solid week! So we worked with Ana Cecy a lot this past week and visited EVERY single night of the week to help her be prepared for her baptismal date which was on Sunday. I have honestly never seen somebody strengthen their testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ so much in just one week!! Honestly family, it was a miracle. I am so blessed to have been part of this journey with Ana Cecilia and I know she's going to be such a great member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. YES, she was baptized on Sunday!!! So much emotions came about this past week I cant explain it all. She will definitely be one of my favorite converts! It was a special day for her. 4 months ago, you guys would have never thought that she would be baptized, she was so strong in her christian church before and she just had a hard personality. But the Lord did it!!! What makes me the happiest is that now she and her now can all be sealed in the temple together! I love this girl, she's a true angel of God! 

So yes, it was a great week! Right now Elder Aguila and I have 10 baptismal dates and we are working harder and harder to be example for this zone and live to our potentials. Yo amo esta 'FREAKIN' obra!!
Les agredezco mucho, familia. Sé que estoy viviendo a mi potencial!!

Elder Needham

March 24, 2014

Dear Family,

What a great week, definitely one of the best ones of my mission!! So we had transfers and i got my new companion! His name is Elder Aguila(Elder Eagle) and we get along great!! This week has seriously been amazing and we have had such amazing success and received so many blessings! We were able to set 6 new baptismal dates with people and we had the most lessons this past week than I've had the whole time I've been here. When we first got together, I had us sit down and talk about the area and stuff and what we need to do to make it better! So Elder Aguila and I are very excited to work together and change this area around! He has just 7 months in the mission so I'm training him to be a zone leader. He's a great missionary though, that's we he's been bumped up so fast as a zone leader so early in his mission! We are similar people, he's played football here in Mexico ever since he was 5 years old. So yeah, we have that similarity, and we are both just ready to work hard and we examples for our zone. 
We are still working with ***, who has her baptismal date for this next Sunday. We visited her last night and we set some big goals for this week so she can prepare herself to be baptized. She knows the church is true, but just something is holding her back...and we cant figure out what it is. We will exercise our faith this week though and prepare this daughter of God to enter the Kingdom of God. PRAY FOR ***! Ill post a picture of her, i smashed a cake in her face for an activity we did haha. Its the only picture i have. 
So this past weekend we had an amazing visit from Elder Quentin L. Cook from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. It was absolutely amazing. On Saturday we had a mission conference with our mission and also the Reynosa mission came so that was fun to see some MTC friends i hadn't seen in a year! Elder Cook, Elder Callister (presidency of the seventy) and President Johnson(President of Area) came and talked to us and we heard some great words from them. The spirit was very strong, it was also great to shake the hands of each of them! Elder Callister is a great speaker and I really enjoyed his talk. He talked about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he's also a funny guy! 
On Sunday we also had Stake Conference here in the stake of Libertad. And guess what? Elder Cook also came to that! It was pretty special because Elder Cook specifically chose to come to this stake and visit us. It was great for all the members here in the stake, less actives, and also investigadors to see an Apostle of Jesus Christ. There were a TON of people there at the Stake Conference! 
So yeah that was the great weekend down here in Monterrey! Today as a zone we are going to buy pizzas for Little Caesars and watch a movie! Its raining a bit today! 
Also congrats to my brother Nate and his wife Morgan for their new little baby girl, I'm super happy for you guys!! I cant wait to meet her when she's about 6 months old! Maybe ill send home some little baby girl clothes :) Mexico sells some great clothing for babies and its really cheap. But dont worry, its nice, not like gross haha.
March 17, 2014

Familia Necestimos Jamon,

Its good to be able to talk to you guys again today. Mom's and Dad's emails were awesome, I really enjoyed them a lot. Also grandma nomi and glenda, thanks a ton! You are all awesome! Congrants to Nate and Morgan this week with finding out the gender of their baby, im going to be freakin out this next week when i get on here! 
This past week we had another Zone Meeting...haha i feel like im always preparing capacitations for the zone!! its a lot of work! We talked about using each and every personal talent that we have been given by the Lord. Matt. 25: 14-30
Also yesterday we found out transfers and im staying here in the area where im at. And my companion Elder Tenorio will be leaving! He has 7 months here so it was obvious he was going to leave! I just have 3 months here, so i still have lots of energy to be here :) 
Also this past week we had an awesome stake activity. It was called Mini-mission. Its where all the youth between the ages of 16-23 came and worked with us as missionaries. They stayed a complete 30 hours with us and pretty much lived the mission life for a little. Saturday thru sunday is when we had it and it was a great experience. I was assigned with a kid named Aaron, he was a cool kid and we had an good day working together. He's 17 and is planning on leaving for his mission about the time I go home! There were about 40 youth that participated and it was really great!
But also something really cool, our investigador ***, particpated in it as well!! Pretty crazy huh?!? She's not even a member but she wanted to be a missionary for a day. They assigned her with the sister leaders of the mission so they could help have a good time and help to be baptized! After the mini-mission, we went to her house to visit her and we had an awesome lesson with her. We committed her to pray that night and ask if she should be baptized on Mar. 30! We are super content with her right now, and how far she has progressed. We'll see today or later this week what she thinks! 
Love ya fam, hope you all have a great week! This saturday Elder Cook comes here to the mission so im siked to hear from him! Its going to be very spiritual. As a mission, we are all fast this Friday and saturday so we can have a spiritual experience to meet an apostol. 

Elder Needham

Friday, March 14, 2014


Hola Mis Seres Queridos,

This past week was awesome! It was a great time celebrating my one year mark and my birthday! I almost filled up like 2GB of memory on my camera taking videos and pictures so you'll will be able to enjoy it when i get home! I had some awesome experiences with members and investigadors for my bday! I wasn't expecting too much because like you guys know, I dont like huge parties for my birthday. But mexicans are crazy, so yeah i gained about 10 pounds this past week! Hahaha. 
Down here in Mexico, they have a funny tradition where when its somebodys birthday they buy a cake and then all the people sing a birthday song! After they start screaming BITE BITE BITE! And then you have  to take a bite out of the cake with your mouth and then everyone shoves your head in the cake!! Hahaha its hilarious!Inline image 1

I feel like i havent shared with you guys too much about our area so i wanna share a little with you guys! This area is called Victoria,( Victory) and....its not much of a victory. Hahaha its a VERY VERY difficult area where theres not too much success. Its placed in one of the richer parts of the mission, so people are a bit prideful. Also there are TWO HUGE CATHOLIC CHURCHES in the center of the area. So nobody wants to talk to us...and sometimes they become very rude. So me and my companion(who has 7 months here) have come to the conclusion that we cant get discouraged when times get hard. We know what we want are baptisms, but what matters is that we are working hard, and serving people in every moment we can. In the email I received from dad, he mentioned I havent been able to receive as much success as i've wanted in my mission. But I feel like the amount of baptisms doesnt reflect the success I can have on the mission. Yes, we have some great investigadors who have baptismal dates and go to church each week. But I base my success if we are serving each and every person and helping them come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. If I leave a family better then they were when i found them, i've done my job. And im perfectly happy serving people here in Mexico. I know the Lord will bless us with baptisms, as long as we are doing OUR part! Our Heavenly Father is 'obligated' to bless us when we do our part! And i'm so happy for the people i have met here, and we are going to continue to serve them with the Light of Christ that shines around our bodies. 

Right now we are working with this young woman named Ana Cecy. She's a member of a family that are strong in the ward, and she's the only non-member. Her mom and brother and sister were just baptized a year ago and they all just moved here in October because the mom re-married to a brother here in the ward! And they are such an awesome family and very strong in the church. The brother has 3 little kids from his first marriage so its a big family. And now him(Bro. Xiqui) and his new wife are going to have a baby in the time that Morgan will have a baby. So they are all pretty excited! Ever since i arrived in this area we have been teaching Ana Cecy. She's 18 years old and goes to church every week. She just participated in the Young Woman presentation at church yesterday for sacrament meeting. She's gone to the temple. She's going to work with sister missionaries this weekend(we have a stake activity this weekend where the youth are going to spend saturday and sunday with us as missionaries and live the missionary life. They'll also stay the night with us, pretty cool!) So anyways, Ana will be participating in that. She knows the Book of Mormon is true, she just DENIES COMPLETELY Joseph Smith. We work with her about 3 times a week to help her with her doubts. She has progressed so much and she's just a push away from falling in that baptismal font. We have fasted and prayed so much for her. She's an amazing young girl, she would make a great Sister Missionary. She would be such a miracle if we can help her get baptized! But for now, we'll keep doing our part. 

I love family, sorry for the long email. I've just had lots of things on my mind lately! Hope you have a great week!

Elder Needham

Thursday, February 20, 2014

February 20, 2014

Dear Family,

Ugh....its getting so hot here again in Monterrey!! Haha it just reminds me so much of a year ago when i got here! Plus, im oficially less than one year until i get home!! How crazy is that? Time is seriously flying, I just cant get my mind to relax. Haha. But things are going so good here in the mission. Today we went to the temple here in Monterrey and it was a wonderful experience, but hey it would be nice to soon be able to go to a different temple. Haha that temple is a great experience everything you go. Today I was able to receive some great answers and I felt something different today in the temple than I have ever felt before. I honestly felt like I was in the presence of God. It was amazing. And it also made me think about how far back time goes. I was thinking about how many worlds that have ever existed! And then it made me think about how many more worlds are going to be made in the future. The gospel sure is one crazy thing. I love it. 

This past week we had a leadership council with president and we received some great information. Also from the Area Presidency we received some information that we need to start having 40-60 discussions each week. And for those of you that dont know the mission life, thats A LOT!! So we are adjusting a few things and trying to meet this new goal. We also had a Capacitation as a zone that my companion and I gave and I think it was the best one I have given so far! It went really well and what we focused on was one of the attributes of Christ, Hope. We talked about this topic to help the zone KNOW that they CAN accomplish these new goals! Its going to take lots of HOPE, FAITH, AND FASTING. But we know we can start doing it! The Lord really is hastening his work in these moments, its wonderful. 

Elder Tenorio and I were able to fast this past week and it really tested our love and desire that we have to serve our Savior. We received amazing blessings on Sunday when we showed up to church with 5 investigadors that were there and 2 that came for their first times ever. It was amazing. Also I gave a talk on Sunday about 'Take what you learn at church, and Apply it to the life' or in other words 'Live the Gospel with your families'. I felt that it went good. 

But overall it was a great week and a half and especially receiving a package from Mom! Thanks so much!! Im just loving those mangos every night! Also i've been learning how to play the ukulele! Its been going good so hopefully when i get home ill be able to play some stuff for you guys! 

I love the mission and I wouldnt want to be anywhere else. Well.....maybe somewhere where its not SO hot!! hahaha. Love you family! :) 
Temple Day in Monterrey

Just ballin up with the Mission buddies

Monday, January 27, 2014

January 20,  2014

Aloha Family,

Man, each week here in the mission just keeps getting better and better. I feel like a mexican more and more each day. I dont know if you guys received the picture i sent home of me eating Cow stomach. Yeah, that was interesting...kind of good though! Everytime i eat some thats really mexican-ish...i say 'Yup, im completely mexican now' haha. But lately, i've realized that im getting a little too chubby so im going to start trying to work out a little more and get trimmed down a little haha. I've never been fat before, and its kind of fun. 
On Friday we had exchanges and I went to an area called San Miguel which is one of the best areas in the whole mission so it was fun. I actually worked in trio that day with Elder Keller who i wrote about a few weeks again, and Elder Bojorquez who is from New Mexico. And he played Bball for New Mexico State University so that was a fun day with them both. We worked super hard all and taught like 5 lessons. It was a day with great success and then we ordered KFC in the night time. 
The next day, Saturday, we had another leader mission conference as zone leaders so we had to hurry and change back to our companions early saturday morning and then Elder Tenorio and I headed to the mission offices to have the council. It was freakin bomb cause after the conference, President Bird took all of us to a restaurant called Los Generales and its a buffet of just pure mexican food. You can kind of compare it to the fancyness of Olive Garden. But maybe even nicer. It was super good and President was surprise how much i could eat! ooops. 
Also on Sunday i have a funny story. So we were at church and had just finished taking the sacrament. The first counselor gets up and tells us the speakers for the day. He says....Elder Tenorio....Elder Needham....Elder Celedon....and Bro. Davila. I just look up at him like....WHAT?!?!?! Haha NOBODY told me that i was speaking!! While Elder Tenorio( my companion that didnt even tell me that i was speaking) went up to start his talk, i ask Elder Celedon if i was really talking. Him and his companion were like yeah yeah! They told me they told Elder Tenorio while we were in exchanges and Elder Tenorio forgot to tell me. Hahaha so i freaked out!! While Elder Tenorio was talking i hurry and prepared a talk right there in the meeting. hahah it was funny cause it just surprised the crap out of me!! I talked on missionary work and faith. It ended up being like 10 minutes so that was cool. I honestly know that the Lord was blessing me with words, ideas, and scriptures so that i could give a great talk! It went well and my lesson learned is 'Always Be Prepared' 
Yesterday we were in a lesson with a new investigador that we found named Martha. And she said something that i really liked a lot. 
'This earth is hell. When a baby is born, it cries.'
This world has a lot of things to destroy our lives. I know that if we keep moving foward, enduring till the end, we will enjoy the life we had like in the premortal life. 

Well i love you family and yeah. I pray for you lots but from your emails, you all seem to be doing great :) thanks for all the support! 

Elder Needham

January 27, 2014

Dear Family,

So i'm getting pretty excited for the month of January to be done with. I always remember that Grandpa Shumway hated January because its just a month when we are all poor after christmas. And especially that he didnt want to pass away in January....February 3rd was a perfect day...i'm excited for that day. It'll be a great time to remember Grandpa and the little memories I have of him. Ill wear his tie that i have of him and buy myself a pink cookie in remembrance of him :) I think its next monday isnt it? I hope you will all remember him that day. Sometimes i just sit back and think about gramps. Also, when i have a bad day on the mission...i put his tie on and it ALWAYS makes me feel better. I can feel him protecting me here on the mission. He was a great man....I miss him but I know he's a missionary angel right now.

So this week was a pretty busy week!! We had exchanges 3 different times during the week so that was exhausting. I worked with Elder Bergman from Washington, Elder Jaramillo from Mexico City who actually played linebacker in high school so that was a fun day, and Elder Villela from Guatamala who is one of the assistants here in the mission. So yeah lots of work this past week!! Elder Tenorio and I capacitated again to the zone and we talked about how we can get the members more involved with finding people that we can teach. It was great, ill send some pictures! 

Also on wednesday we had a meeting with president Bird and the stake presidency to talk about the missionary work in the stake. The stake has about 8 wards and 4 missionaries as zone leaders. So we have growing here in the mission cause usually its just one companionship for each stake. But we are growing a ton! It was fun to talk about what he can do to do even better!! Also it was hilarious cause after the meeting we walked outside and some member gave me a football and president was like hey lets play catch! haha it was sick, and it just felt good to throw a ball again. I took a video of us playing so you can see it when i get back! President was a QB in high school, he's got a good arm!

Also funny story. So right before we got the offices which is actually the stake center for our zone, we took a taxi to get there. I sat in front and i gave elder tenorio my duffle bag that i had with me to him in the back. When we got dropped off. I noticed that elder tenorio didnt have my bag and i was like Elder! wheres my bag?!?! hahaha. We noticed it was in the taxi and i just dropped all my stuff and started running like Bolt chasing after that taxi. I was hoping elder tenorio was behind me because i cant leave him, but i was kinda man he left my bag so i was like screw it! and i left him haha, as i was getting closer to the taxi..the guy thought someone was chasing after him so he got scared and took off really fast hahaha. I was like BROTHEERRRRR!!! He heard me and finally stopped and i got my stuff, haha and slowly elder tenorio comes running behind me! haha it was so funny and just so fast how it all happened!! It was always hilarious because when we got back to the offices, everyone was like freaking out because of how fast i just took of and started running after that taxi man. I dont mean to brag, but it was actually pretty cool hahaha. 

Also guess what?! Remember in tamaulipas, Elder Bautista and I were teaching that lady named Guera?! yeah, she got baptized on saturday with her son! And Elder Tenorio and I were able to go! Guera will always be one of my favorite people that i've ever taught! I hope you can all meet her one day! She was so happy on her baptism day and just loved it! I just wanted to cry during the baptismal service! It was also great to see everyone!

But anyways, yeah, it was a good week. I love you all and hope all is well :)

Elder Needham