Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Week 9 - Birthday week!

David's birthday cake! (we challenged David to fit all 19 candles we sent him on one Ding Dong :))
At mission home in Chihuahua?
David and a new friend

David and Elder Narvaez at baptism of Lili

David chillin' in hammock :)

Hey guys!  Quick update again!

Do you remember the guy I was talking to you about last week (the one that I said needed a hard lesson)?  Well, we talked to him again, and I want to say that I followed the Spirit and spoke with love to him!  He's wanting to be baptized the 22nd, he just needs to quick smoking now....  

The Spirit also does some pretty strange things.... I was telling my story of how I came to the knowledge that this church is true, to a guy who has been going to church for the past 15 years (and has a testimony but doesn't want to get baptized).  I've told this story so many times, but the Spirit was so incredibly strong, it actually made me cry like a little baby while I was talking to him..  I'm not ashamed because I've told this story hundreds of times, and its never happened until now. This is what the guy needed though.  He's taking more lessons from us, and we'll see if we get him baptized this week or not.  I just want to say the spirit will make you do weird or strange things sometimes, but the Lord always has his reasons! 

So I've officially been to a baby shower and helped two people get married now!  Send me more pictures (over email or in the mail)!  I take pictures of all the pics you send me :)  I absolutely loved Lizzy's scrapbook!!!! The Hermanas' here are keeping me well fed.... Though I'm losing so much weight! Those packages you sent are helping to add some on though ;)  Mas Steak strips! And mangoes!  My companion wants you to send an extra for him ;)  Haha Oreos and those frosted animal cookies would be absolutely amazing also!  I'm becoming more Mexican every day!  It's crazy! And weird, but its so beautiful and wonderful.  I'm falling in love with the people here every day, and I absolutely love it!

Love and miss you guys!!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Week 8 - November 10, 2014 - Hard lessons and demon dogs

David and companion - Elder Narvaez

David outside of small village
David with Elder St. Pierre - cooking??
Hey guys!  Sorry I don't have much time again this week!  I'll write this email first next time!  So this past week was soooooo cold!!! Starting Monday night, it didn't stop raining until Saturday afternoon, and the temperature dropped down so low that I could see my breath!  Haha I didn't have a rain jacket too.... I had the umbrella though! Which helped out so much!

We're teaching this new family - they have about 5 people in it who are old enough to understand what we're saying.  They are such amazing people! We've only taught them about the Restoration and church attendance, but they're already being missionaries!  They're always inviting new friends over every lesson saying, "Hey the missionaries are coming - they always have a great message!" The Spirit is always incredibly strong when we teach them.

Right now, we're also teaching this 25 year old man. His whole family is Mormon, but he doesn't want to accept the gospel because he enjoys the ways of the world more.  In case your wondering, in Galatians 5 or 6 it talks about the fruits of the world and the fruits of the Spirit.  The next lesson is going to be a hard one.

Elder Narvaez and I talked about it, and we are going to give him a hard lesson.  We've taught all about the blessings, what you have to do, and he just doesn't want them.  His family is such a wonderful family too......  I'm going to be talking about Nephi's vision, the mists of darkness and the fall of the great building.  I'll also talk about how the Lamanites ended up as a people after they rejected the Lord.  Its all in 1 Nephi 12 (I'm pretty sure -don't have time to look in my scriptures).

I don't like dogs here anymore..... There are three demon dogs in my area.  And a lot of the dogs here don't have a home and they just roam around.... a lot of them die of starvation, or search through the trash.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Week 7 - November 3, 2014 - 1st baptism!

Hey guys!!!! Ready for the first week of miracles???? Technically the first 4 days in Mexico????  By the way sorry about grammar and spelling in Englich, the keyboards here are sticky and weird..... haha ok, so I got here and we took a giant taxi to mission headquarters where we dropped off our stuff then went to a big buffet restaurant!  Met the Mission President!  He's a great nice small Mexican man!  Haha - we stayed at mission headquarters that night and the next day got our new companions!  I got a native speaker... who is also fluent in English!!!!!  He's been a lot of help, and one of the best missionaries out here in the field, even though he just barely finished training!  He´s a district leader and a trainer right out of being trained, so this is as much of a challenge for him as it is for me!

We are in serving  Chigabata Paran!  Its a crazy area, very beautiful, very poor.  The people here are so amazing and humble!  We have a ton of investigators, and getting more every day!  I'm learning more and more every day and seeing the gospel help people in their lives so much!  Its been weird seeing everything in Spanish for a change, but its awesome!  For the past while, I haven't been able to understand anything because they speak so fast and all the words are jumbled together......   but it's getting better!

Friday night we were talking to an investigator, and she and her boyfriend wanted to get baptized.... but she had to get married first to him, and needed a signature from her mom who she hadn't talked to in a while. We tried to convince her to go and talk to her but she wouldn't, so we went talked to the mom ourselves (she is this sweet old lady who wants to make us hamburgers soon and take some more lessons)!  Anyway, she said she'd be willing to if Alejandra came and told her why she wanted to get baptized.  So we walked back, told Alejandra, and she and her boyfriend walked with us to her mom who then signed it and talked with her.  She seemed really surprised about some of the things she said.

Anyway the next day we ran into even more roadblocks like not being able to find Alejandra's birth certificate (the mom had it under a huge pile of papers) and then we couldn't find her boyfriend who thought the baptism wasn't going to happen...... but in the end, I had the wonderful opportunity to baptize both of them!  The Spirit was incredibly strong, more so than usual, and that night the language finally clicked for me.  When we were teaching a family after the baptism, I realized that I could understand most of what they were saying, except for random words here and there. I could finally tell their words apart, and it wasn't just a weird jumble to me!

Every day is full of these wonderful moments, and I will tell you guys more next week! Just know that I'm walking like 10 to 13 miles a day, I have gotten some pretty big blisters, almost have a hole in my shoe, and I'm absolutely loving it here!!!!!!!!  Haha even the spicy food, even though its killing me!  Oh! you guys will be proud, I actually am eating lettuce and tomatoes, rabbit food.......  Haha but its all going great! 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

More pics from David's 1st day in Mexico - October 27, 2014

David with new Elders/Sisters in the mission October 27, 2014

David with new Elders/Sisters in the mission October 27, 2014
New Transfers October 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 6 - MADE IT TO MEXICO!!! - October 27, 2014

David having dinner in Chihuahua with all new Elders and Sisters

Ola!!!! I'm in Mexico!!!!!!  I love it here! and I'm not doing that bad of a job with the language!  I'm actually having to think English right now...... and the keyboards are really weird too.....  Its amazing here! The city is beautiful! The food is amazing!  The rules are strict! and Ill tell you more next week! They just want us to send a quick message!  Plus there's not really much to say, except I love being immersed in this culture!!!!

Week 5 - October 23, 2015

David and his district with the MTC Presidency

David with 2 districts and the MTC Presidency
David's old room at MTC West Campus

David's new room on main MTC campus

Hey guys!  Sorry I dont have much time right now!!!!  We moved down here to Main Campus!!!!  We are going to MEXICO THIS MONDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So excited!   Don't have much time for a spiritual thought!  But I'll ask a question.  How do we show love to god?  Remember!  Actions speak louder than words!!!!!!   We cant just tell him we love him, we need to show it. How?  By following his commandments.  WHen we follow his commandments, we show God we love him.  Thats the easiest, and simplest way to do that!  Sorry I'll share more of Isaiah next week!  And how Charity is the greatest of all Christs attributes, and why he desires all of us to have it as well!   Maybe look it up yourself and tell me what you think?  Btw i found out my investigator was already a member..... Ugh I cant wait to be a real missionary out in the field!!!!!!!!!   Best of luck to you all! Know I pray for all of you every day!!!
Fuerte Siempre,
Elder Pettingill

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 4 - October 15, 2014

David, Companion, and teacher
David and Companion

Alright guys! Time for another update on what’s happening down here in the MTC (aka Spirit Prison)!!!!  Haha jk about the spirit prison, but seriously.  I'm loving everything down here!  The language is getting better!  I'm able to get through most gospel topics easy enough, it's just everyday sort of stuff that I have trouble with!   I love the gospel so much guys!!!!  Everything I'm learning is amazing!!!

Ok, so gospel thought of the week(I'm not trying to prove anything, I just want to share what I've learned) - During my own personal study time I wanted to search up a scripture that some people have said discredited the Book of Mormon.  The scripture people refer to is in Revelation 22:18-19 which says:

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

Because of this scripture, people say that there cannot be anything else, because it says don't add unto these things.  But if that were true, then it would discredit the whole New Testament!  In the Old Testament- Deuteronomy 4:2-5 it says the exact thing!  

2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
3 Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baal-peor: for all the men that followed Baal-peor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from among you.
4 But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.
5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as theLord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.

So what did this really mean then?  I didn't know, so I continued to study it and pray about it....   Then I read a scripture in the Book of Mormon, that says the exact same thing, just in a way that is simpler to understand.... In 3 Nephi 11:40 it says...

40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.

What those scriptures are trying to say is don't change the Doctrine.  If you noticed, there are many books and prophets throughout the bible and the Book of Mormon.  Each prophet, and each section, builds upon the same foundation (which is that Christ is our Savior and Redeemer) and everything they teach is in accordance with each other.  There is not one thing that contradicts each other.  If you have read the Book of Mormon, you'll see that contained in every page, ever verse is gods will. 

I also found something really interesting....  The Bible also predicts of the Nephites in the Book of Mormon, the Great  Apostasy, the Restoration, the Book of Mormon, all that great stuff!!!!     In Isaiah 29, the whole chapter talks of all this!!!!!   I don't have time to talk about it, but if you guys want I'll share what I got out of the verses next week? 

Everything with Emilce (our Investigator) is going great!!!!!  She's really progressing!  So on Friday we gave here the challenge to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it sincerely.  She said she didn't have time.....  So I was prompted to have her read Moroni 10:3-5 (which is the promise to have an answer from the Holy Ghost) and then I asked her to just read one chapter that night, and pray about it sincerely and with real intent.  She agreed to it.  Then on Monday, she comes to the lesson immediately asking about the spirit!!! (I was like YAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! Haha I knew the spirit would come through for us :)!!!!!!!)She said she felt something, but didn't understand what it was, and wanted to know if it could be of the devil.  We told her what the spirit was like (feelings of Peace, and happiness) and that its impossible for the devil to imitate these feelings.  We showed her 2 scriptures that explained these, and she's really coming a long way!  Sorry I don’t have much time!!!  I hope all is going well!!!!  What do you guys want to know about???  Have any questions for me?  How about stuff I can look for and study on my time when I'm not doing anything???  I love you all!!!!  Hope everything is going great with you guys!!!!!  Miss you all!!!!!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Week 3 - Oct 11 - Siempre Fuerte en el fe de Jesucristo

Buenos Dias!

    Como Estan????  Todas los cosas en la CCM es muy bien!!!  (How are you? Everything in the MTC is very good!)   Still learning a lot, still stuck in  a classroom for 9 hours a day!  Only 19 days left till I go to Mexico!!!!!!!!!!  I seriously can't wait.  People here are going crazy.....  I have guys in my District, who are literally hugging buildings just cause they're 'warm'.....  I might be next.....  Haha 
We're moving up to Main Campus on the 22nd, thats going to be even worse than here.  At least at West, me and my companion have a whole apartment to ourselves! 3 bedrooms-2 bathrooms-Kitchen-and a living room!  We also have a stream running right in front of our house!  
We got a new investigator - she's a Catholic from Cambodia.  You have no idea how difficult it was to explain to her that her church didn't have the correct keys of the Priesthood. I was doing well, understanding most of what she was saying. We were talking about the Priesthood (as part of the Restoration) and then she said something (I totally forgot what she said now) and I was moved  by the Spirit to tell her that they don't have the keys of the Priesthood and basically that their Priesthood was invalid.  Wow.  She started talking super fast in Spanish!!!!  She was using words I didn't understand, and speaking so fast that it all sounded like one word.....  The gist of what I got was that she heard of a story of a pastor back in Cambodia, and how he healed a man who couldn't walk.  She asked me to explain that. (Any suggestions?)  
I told her that Heavenly Father rewards those who have great faith with miracles.  I didn't know how to exactly explain it......  But what I did tell her is how the Priesthood worked in my life.  Both me and my companion testified of times, of how the Priesthood blessed our lives.  I told about how my mother, is a very strong women, and nothing can keep her down, not even sickness.  But how one day, all of a sudden she was so sick that she couldn't even get out of bed.  She asked for a Priesthood blessing, and asked me to give it to her.  I then described about how within a few hours she was up and moving about, and the sickness had totally gone away.  The Spirit was incredibly strong when we both were testifying.  
We had run out of time and had to leave, but before we left we told her that the Book of Mormon is proof of everything we say.  That if she would read it, and then pray with real intent, sincerely asking God if it was true, and if what we were saying was true, then she would receive an answer of the truth, through the Holy Spirit.  She agreed to read the Book of Mormon, and pray about it.  We meet with her again tomorow, so we'll see how everything goes!  Love all you guys!  Miss you all!  Tell me whats up??? 
Siempre Fuerte,

Elder David Pettingill
(My District in the first Pic-and Just a pic of me in the Classroom)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week 2 - October 1st, 2014

Another week is gone by!!!!   Much of it is the same, a lot of study, and guess what?  Even more study!!!!!   Remember how I said me and Warden got someone to commit to baptism?  Ya..... Ended up being a teacher, who is now teaching us and helping us to get better!!!   Im learning so much about the gospel, finished the Book of Mormon, finished the first two gospels and working on the rest of the new testament!

My Spanish is getting better, still have a lot to learn, especially after we visited the Mexican Consulate!  We took a trip down there, and it was so nice to be out in the real world again!!!  Met a lot of very strange people though.......   All at the train station btw- anyway this homeless man came up to us, he seemed pretty normal, except for the fact he had two dolls with him.... Both were of Missionaries.  After I said hi, he started talking about his first doll, went to San Diego on his mission, and gave a Book of Mormon away.  He basically was treating his dolls as if they were children, which was really interesting, but he still was a pretty awesome guy.  After he left, me and a couple guys were talking about how that's probably what happens after being in the MTC for too long....

It's great here, though we literally spend 9 hours a day, in a classroom, with nothing to do but study!  I think I'm learning now cause I'm bored!  The first guy I talked to here though spoke only Spanish, so that was good practice!  And he was in a wheelchair, so he couldn't run away from me! Muahuahuahauhauha!  He was actually a really nice guy, his family is all Mormon, and hes already talking to the missionaries in his area.  Another guy we talked to reeked of alcohol, and was telling about how he just took a huge hit of Meth so he could speak every language........  it was interesting talking to him.....  Haha I can't wait to actually get out into the field!!!

I am really enjoying learning, it just seems like an eternity here cause there's not much differentiation in what we do here.  Growing closer together with my Companion and District, we had a guy ship out to Spain on Monday, so tha'ts pretty cool, great to think about.  Lets see.... special thought of the week!!!  -  You know how people think of the commandments or rules as a restriction? or something to get around?  Well stop thinking about it like that, Heavenly father gave them to us to help us and enable them to get through life easier.  Look at it as an Instruction Manual (same with the book of Mormon and Bible) its an instruction manual of life and is only there to help us, never hinder us.  Also you know how everybody is saying god loves us and shows it by blessing us?  Well how do we show love back to him?  We follow his commandments, that's how we can grow closer to him and love him.  Hey send me more letters!  More Packages!  Getting letters throughout the week is what keeps my spirits up!  Love you guys!  Hope everything is going great!!!!!  I took pics, and I'll try to figure out how to get them to you!
Siempre Fuerte,
Elder Pettingill

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Week 1 in the MTC!

Hey guys! I'm missing you all a lot and its crazy here at the MTC!!   I've learned so much here already and it's only been a week!  My Prep Day (P Day) is on Wednesdays so I'll be sending an email out every Wednesday, though if you write me letters I'll be able to write you guys some a lot more than a week and it'll be more personal to you!  We are in a classroom for 9 hours a day!

So our day is typically like this- Wake up at 6:30 - breakfast at 7:30 - Class starts at 8- then at 11;25 we have a gym hour!  They actually have weights here!!!! So I've been lifting and during that and getting in better shape (actually think I've lost a few pounds) - then lunch until 1:40 then straight to class! Dinner is then at 5:25 and then another 3 hours of class from 6-9pm!

I've learned so much while I've been here, and I love every second of it!  The second day I was here though, I was assigned to be the district leader!!!!!  Already a District Leader and only 2 days into it!!!!  My companion is a great guy, Elder Warden.   He's actually a lot like Caleb Gray, so he's pretty fun!  Meeting a ton of people and just having a blast!

I've been feeling a little overwhelmed here, the teachers won't speak anything but Spanish unless we ask what a word they say is (wouldn't have it any other way) and I'm actually starting to understand about 65% of it now!  Its been such a spiritual on rush, and I definitely feel the spirit here!  We had a devotional from Elder Bednar last night (of the quorum of the twelve apostles) and he just gave us a ton of advice, and we have a ton of speakers and devotionals and for me a lot of meetings as district leader.  Doing my best as the DL, I'm pretty sure the guys enjoy having me as DL!  I'm learning to love others more and have more charity and hope, and learning that as missionaries we aren't trying to convert, but trying to love others and get to know them more so we can find out how we can help ease their burdens and bring peace to them through God.  Love you guys all so much!  Keep sending me letters and I will reply!!!  My Address is:

Elder David Daniel Pettingill
2023 N 900 E unit 849
Provo UT 84602

Love you all and think of you guys!!!!