Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 7, 2016 - Happy birthday!!

Birthday breakfast!

Adam Sandler in Mexico??

Hey guys!  I'M 21 NOW!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Well, in 2 more days, however I'm celebrating today cause I won't have time on Wednesday!!!!!
This past year has flown by!  So much has happened this past year, but you already know about the past year, so here's a quick update of this last week.
Dia de los muertos.......  Its a day of remembrance of those who have passed on.  Its really interesting, even more interesting seeing how much people don't know about whats after this life.  SO, we went to the cemetery Tuesday and Wednesday in the morning (its two days) and we preached all morning long there.  We found a lot of people who want us to pass by again, also were rejected by a lot but hey, thats the mission life!  
The branch party was pretty awesome!  Piñata was a ton of fun, everyone got a chance to beat it.  It was a pretty tough piñata!  It still survived after all the children and youth with a couple of parents mixed in had their chance!  So, they passed the stick to me, and I got to open the piñata for everyone!  Super Fun!  Its not a party, if there's no piñata, even for Christmas down here in Mexico.  I'm pretty sure this is going to be one of the traditions that I will carry on when I get back home!
2 baptisms lined up for the 19th of this month!  Super Excited!!!!!!   Juan, the guy who found the Book of Mormon in the trash (If you haven't read the Book of Mormon yet, read it, it will change your life), and another youth of 20 years old, whom I've been teaching for 4 months now..... Finally is ready!!!!!! Wooooo!!!!!!
Heres a foto of me with Adam Sandler!!!! Yes, he visited Mexico!  Na, jk, I just found a Mexican version of Adam Sandler! 
Also shout out to the best family ever!!!!!!  2 packages within a week of each other!  One for Halloween, another for my birthday!  Super awesome!!!!!!! Love them a ton!!!!

Love all you guys back at home, good luck with the elections.  Must be super crazy out there right now.  
Elder Pettingill

October 31, 2016 - Happy Halloween!

Abandoned bull fighting stadium

Spider nest in my hair!

So this last week has gone super awesome!  Me and my comp are getting along great, the district is working hard, and the members are happy, and investigators are progressing! What more could you ask for?

Happy Halloween everyone back at home!  If you were all wondering, no, we don't celebrate Halloween out here in Mexico.... Everyone out here thinks Halloween is a day to worship the devil, so they don't celebrate it.  Which is kind of sad....  However they do celebrate day of the dead!  Which is basically the same thing as Thanksgiving here, but more focused in on their family who have passed away.  And there are piñatas!

This week we're going to be having a branch party for the day of the dead, that will basically be like the Halloween parties back at home.  There will be games, a message given about the family history work, food and piñatas!  That's the best part about every holiday here in Mexico, there's always a piñata there! Even for Christmas!

The culture is always something amazing to learn about, their views on everything is a whole lot different than ours! However, the wonderful part about our country is that its made up of tons of different cultures, so we can experience it all!  
This past week I found an old stadium for bull fighting.....  Sadly that's illegal here now.....  Also, this morning I was attacked by a giant spider, it was mostly in my hair...... 
Love you guys!
Elder Pettingill

Oct 24, 2016 - Miracle of the man who found the word of God in a trash can

Road work project

Hola Familia y amigos!!!!

So this week also went by super fast!!!  Elder Merino and I, we're finding a ton of people ready to listen to the gospel!  I don't remember if I already told you guys about the guy who found a Book of Mormon in a trash can? Well, this homeless guy finds us in the street, and starts talking to us about how he found this book in the trash, and how he read all of it in a month.  He wants to know if it really is true, cause in his words "there's no way that it can't be true".
Well, he came to church one week, then we lost contact with him cause he lost his phone..... Then he came to church again yesterday!  This time, he had taken a bath and he didn't smell like dumpster and liquor store put together!!!!   This guy is making a ton of changes in his life, and all thanks to the power of the Book of Mormon!!!!  There is no doubt that this book is truly from God!  It has the power to bring Man unto the True God of Abraham and Issac!  If you have not received your testimony of the divinity of this book, it is time to search.  It is time to read, to meditate over the message that it carries, and to ask God!  Then if you do this, as the prophets have promised, you will receive your answer through the power of the Holy Ghost. That is my testimony, that this book is true.  

Also this week we were helping out in making a dirt road for an inactive member!  We were bringing dirt from a huge hole, to the road!  Then we had a great American style BBQ after!  Brought back a lot of nostalgia, but it was great!

Love you guys a ton!
Elder Pettingill

Monday, November 7, 2016

October 17, 1016 - New Companion!

David and new Comp Elder Marino

New District in Jiminez!

Hey guys! Everything in Jimenez is better than ever! I got a new district out here, and a new comp!!!  His name is Elder Merino, also from Peru!!  Its crazy, I was convinced that all Peruvians were like my old comp, but thankfully my new comp has proved me wrong! He's super awesome, and he's ready to work a ton out here, which means we're going to get along super great!  
Sorry, not a lot of time for this email today, but wanted to let you all know, I'm super excited for this transfer, and we'll see a ton of miracles out here!
I don't have a tie in this picture cause I had taken it off before I thought about taking a photo.....
Love you guys!
 Elder Pettingill

October 10, 2016 - Getting lost in Mexico...

Lost at a ranch in the middle of nowhere!

Zone conference

Somewhere in Mexico...

This week has been an awesomely hot week, pushing forward the work of God!  

We´re finding a ton of new people, teaching powerful lessons with the Spirit, and keeping the house clean!  Nothing crazy happened this past week, just another week that flew by helping people come unto Christ.

Whats new is that this week there were transfers.  My comp is getting changed to a different area (Finally! Even though towards the end we started getting along well enough), and I'm getting a new comp, and district!  Sadly I won´t have my amazing district that I were up there in Parral, what they're doing is sending me 2 more Elders to my small city of Jimenez!!!!!  This is exactly what we needed here in Jimenez, an extra pair of Elders ready to work so that we can push forward with amazing speed!

I'm super excited to work with these guys, and help them get things moving in their new area.  We're going to start seeing a lot more miracles in Jimenez very quickly!  Changes are always a good time, they give us a new opportunity to start again, to do things better than we did the last time.  That's the wonderful part about the Atonement of Christ.  If we apply the atonement in our lives every day, every day becomes a new day to overcome our faults and our weaknesses.  A new day to do things right,  according to the Plan of Happiness that our loving Father in Heaven has given us.  Change isn´t something to be scared of, its what gives us the opportunity to grow, to be better, and become more like our Savior.  

A lot of times Change is necessary, for those who aren´t happy with their lives, or for those who wish to receive greater blessings from God.  Change to correct old behaviors, and create new habits that bring you closer to God, and those around you.  Did I mention that another word for Change is Repentance?  Only through Repentance can we make the mistakes of the past into a learning experience to grow, and to rid ourselves of guilt, anger, and regret that came through these mistakes.  How is this possible?  Only through coming unto Christ is this possible, only through following Him, and His Gospel can you repent and find True Happiness.  That's my challenge to each of you today.  Do a small little internal search, and see what you need to change in your life.  If you know how to pray, ask God, and He´l let you know what it is.  

I love you all a ton, and I hope you have a wonderful week.

Oh I also forgot to mention that me and my comp got lost in the wilderness as we were proselyting......

The other photo is of all the Elders in my Zone, we're a pretty serious group of guys.  Well most of us anyway.....

Elder Pettingill

October 3, 2016 - General Conference in Spanish!

The weather here in Mexico is going bipolar right now!  I dont think it can decide if it wants to be hot, or if it wants to be cold.  It keeps changing every day!
This week went great, we're finding a lot of people, and working on finding even more! We have a ton of plans to work well with the members this week, so this week should be super awesome!  Capacitated (?) my district on doing something different if they hope to get different results from their work.  It's good advice if they decide to work act on it..... 
This last week we also started on a new service project, we're helping out this one guy to build a new roof for his home! It's a ton of fun! Learning a lot about mixing cement, and building materials. I wish I would've paid more attention to what my dad wanted to teach me before!
Conference was amazing! It was my first General Conference where I committed myself to watching fully in Spanish!  In every other session I was always with other missionaries who didn't understand Spanish too well, so we always watched in English.  It was a great accomplishment to do that, however I have to admit I missed the voices of the prophet and apostles!
Now, our next step is to apply what we learned in this past conference!  Once you aply the words of the prophets, you will see your lives change completely!
Love you a ton,
Elder Pettingill

September 26, 2016

Biggest hill in Parral with David's district!

David in Parral

Alright guys, another week has come and gone out here in the mission...   Everything's going great out here. We've got several investigators on date for baptism, we're out here activating the inactives, and having a blast!  THE SECRET to reactivation is getting them to come to church to feel The Spirit again (which is the key, the more they feel The Spirit, the more they'll want to feel it)!!!  If you can do that, then your on the right track with them!!!!!!
Everything is basically the same as last week, not much change out here in Mexico.  Which isn't good, so I'm brainstorming and looking for revelation to see what I can do to get things moving forward again.  The good thing is that nothings gone for the bad, just got to hope that doesn't change...
Today, had an awesome district activity!  We climbed up the biggest hill in Parral (to me its a small hill...) at 5:30 in the morning to get to see the sunrise!  It was super cloudy, so we didn't get to see it.... However, it was still super fun!  My zone leaders hopped in on our activity, and we all had a blast!!!!
I love you guys a ton!!!! 
Elder Pettingill

September 19, 2016

So everything this week went super awesome!!!!!

To start off, no I didn't lead the ward in the national anthem, do'nt worry!  I may be in Mexico, however I'm still a loyal AMERICAN!!!!!!!! America!!!!!!!!
However, with a member of the 70 coming, we did have a lot of work to do.  We had a competition between the zone here in Parral and another in Delicias, to see who would give the special musical part of the program.  Zona PARRAL won!!! WOOO Mi zona!!!!!!    So, it was super cool, we had a bunch of adjustments on two different primary songs put together, however we needed a director for it.... Guess who they wanted to direct them?  I did! Even though Ive never directed a choir before, I have to admit that I did a super great job in doing it!  
With Elder Piper, we learned a lot about how to teach investigators better and focusing in on teaching their need with a commitment in mind to give them.  
I also had the opportunity to have an interview with Elder Piper!  Super awesome, gave me some good advice, and now I'm ready to hit these last few months with every ounce of energy I got!
This week, lots of work to do, however everything is getting increasingly better!
Remember how I told you Jimenez had been destroyed by the last Missioneries?  Well, now we're seeing the efforts of our work!  Assistance in the Church has come up a ton, the leaders are more engaged, and ther'es even a choir in the branch here now!  We've got people preparing for baptism, and have a good base of investigators, so now from here its only going up!!!!!
Love you guys a ton!  Hope all is going well!
Also!  I want to give a SHOUTOUT to my wonderful Mother!!!!!! Its her birthday on the 20 of September!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!! Love you mom!!!!!!!!!
Elder Pettingill

September 12, 2016 - Build a solid foundation!

Baptism of Merced Tovar

This week was fantastic! My district is working hard, and they're getting results now so they're pretty happy.  Also everything out in Jimenez is going great!

The branch members are finally starting to get more active in missionary work, and are starting to get things together in the branch!  Everyone is working hard to have more people come to Church, working super hard to reactivate members, and we're all doing super awesome out here!
Now, there's a lot more heat, however I'm pretty sure its only going to be like this for a week or two....   This week on Saturday is Mexico Independence Day!!! WOOOOOOO!  Everyone here is like, vive Mexico!!! while 'Im here like, Vive America!!!   The ward wants me to lead them in their national anthem..... Aunque tengo el corazon de los Mexicanos, todavía soy Americano (Estado Unidense).   
What's new?  Well we had a baptism this week!!!!  Super awesome!  Her names is Merced Tovar, sh'es like 80 years old.  Her son was baptized almost a year ago.  Super cool family, super humble.  They built their house in a funky way, basically didn't put a raised cement foundation like in all other places, and because of that, whenever it rains they have a river inside their house....  They figured out that putting sandbags at the door keeps the floods out. There's a good spiritual thought in this...Build your foundations on Christ, and according to how Christ has said.  You can't go wrong in building upon his foundation, and that way, once the floods come, your spiritual house will still stand strong, firm, and dry on the inside!
Love You guys a ton!
Elder Pettingill