Monday, June 1, 2015

Last Email From Mexico June 1, 2015

 Two years ago today I entered the Boise Idaho Temple to make covenants with our Father in Heaven. This Friday I will be blessed with the opportunity to go with a family I love dearly as they too can make these sacred covenants. I'm super excited and couldn't think of a better way to end my mission. 
If there's anything I learned this week it's that there is an opposition in all things. This past week we had 6 baptisms lined up but could only finish with 4. Don't get me wrong, I'm super excited and glad that we baptized those 4 but there was just a lot of opposition we had to go through. But it was worth every minute of it.
First off we had a grandmother and her granddaughter set up for Saturday. They both had their interviews set for Thursday. Thursday comes around and the grandmother passed her interview but the granddaughter doesn't because she wasn't in accordance with a key commandment. So we go from 6 to 5. Still we're very excited because the grandmother is Arturo´s mom. Well, we pass by Friday to check and see if everything is ok for Saturday when she tells us that she wont be able to be baptized Saturday because her husband is coming into town and he opposed to anything having to do with religion. So we talk her into getting baptized that very evening at 9. So we rush to get everything cleaned and fill the baptismal faunt. We hurry and call the Bishop and a few members so they can be there to support her. Well 9 comes around and nothing. We call her and she says that she can't do it because her husband arrived early. But she said that he was going to leave around 2 and we could do it at 4 PM Saturday. Well, Saturday rolls around and she calls us at 3:30 completely drunk. She had drank alcohol with her husband. She even asked if she could show up drunk to her baptism. I was more than a little upset. First we lose basically our entire day Friday and not only our time but the Bishops time and the members time. That's what made me more angry. I wouldn't have been so hurt if she only wasted our time but she wasted the bishop´s and ward members time.  So that bumped us down to 4.
The 4 we baptized had their last minute struggles also. Brayan was just fine and wanted to be baptized until a few of his mom´s friends, not of our faith, showed up and started putting thoughts into his head and his mom´s head. We arrived and Brayan´s mom said "I didn't know he was going to be baptized."  Brayan, ever since we started teaching him he told his mom he wanted to be baptized and she knew it. Then the two ladies started saying that Brayan wasn't ready and wasn't sure or wasn't aware of what he was doing. So I asked them who decides if he's ready or not. They then told me that he should have to pass a test and I told them that he already had.  I told them that Brayan was perfectly fine and perfectly aware of what he was doing. They then said "well, let Brayan decide."  Brayan was baptized Sunday.

The final opposition was with the Robles family. Alfredo Robles was baptized last week and his family was baptized this week. They called me at 2 and asked if we could postpone the baptism until 6 so that Iris' dad could show up. I initially told them yes but then I sent them a message to see if they could do it at 5 because we would have all the members of the ward waiting for them. It wasn't too much opposition with them, just lack of communication. Needless to say they were all baptized and Alfredo received the Arronic Priesthood also. It was a glorious day. I really to love that family. They are such a great family and I had the privilege to baptize them all.

After much tribulation, come the blessings. That scripture has helped me a lot here in Mexico. Although we may be in the pit of tribulation, we must remember what the Lord said unto Joseph Smith; "Peace be unto thy soul. Thy adversity and afflictions shall be but for a small moment...and if the very gates of hell open to drag you down to the depths of hell, remember that all these things shall be for thy experience." I know this to be true because I've lived it. Not to the level of Joseph Smith but I have know adversity and afflictions and through it I have gained experience. I know God lives and loves each one of us. I know Christ payed the price for us and we can find comfort in him because "[He] has descended below all." Christ lives. This is His church. I am forever grateful for my time and experiences here in Mexico. I wouldn't trade it for anything. My time has come, I am no longer needed here in Mexico and the Lord has more assignments for me back home. I have fought the good fight and have kept the faith. I am not done fighting but will continue to fight until the day that our Lord our Savior comes in all his glory. May we all be prepared for that great day, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Parker Freeman Dial

PS. Viva México!!! 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

I'll go where you want me to go. May 25th 2015

 We had 7 at Church yesterday with a baptism. Alfredo Is such a great guy. I love him. He has quite a story but I'll have to tell it when I get home. Long story short, he has no job and he is separated from his wife and kids because he literally can't support them. The economy here is horrible. But that's another story for another day. It is sufficient to say that even though he has no job, he has bright hope for the future. This week we are working with him so he can receive the Priesthood and baptize his son and daughter. It's an amazing family. We also have another few baptisms lined up for this week so I'm not dead yet. Still have a lot of work to do. 
I went and had my last interview with President today. I went to the offices to renew my Temple recommend so I could go to the Temple on the 5th and he decided to have my last interview then and there. We started talking about the mission and how it's been for me and then he asked me what where my plans for after the mission. What would you have said? Well I said what I thought he wanted and told him that I was going to go study and work and all that jazz. He replied, and why? I was a bit confused and then he explained that normally nobody ever thinks or understands the blessings of the Temple. And how we should attend the temple as often as we can. Luckily There will be 2 temples within minutes of me and I'll be able to go with Dad at least once a week. We also talked about a few other things and he said something that put things in perspective. He said "imagine if you would've stayed in Terra Blanca, you would not have helped these families." I was thinking about that and well its true. The Lord knows me and knows who needs my help. I just pray that even after the mission I can be lead to those that need me. 
Well, that's all the exciting news for the week. Plus I don't want to tell you everything because then in two weeks we wont have anything to talk about ;) Love you all. The church is true. God lives and loves his children. He has said "If ye love me, keep my commandments." We show our love for him by keeping the commandments. It is the only way to eternal happiness. 

Elder Dial

Who Knew I Liked Shrimp? May 18th 2015

Shrimp Cocktail...Pretty good but no way
I could finish the whole thing!
This past week has been pretty good. We had zone conference Tuesday with president, so that was pretty cool. Then my companion felt sick again so after the conference ended at 3, we went and ate and then taught a lesson at 4 and were then at the hospital until 9. They took my companions blood and did some tests to make sure it wasn't anything serious. The tests came back negative for EVERYTHING! I really just think he had a stomach ache. 
After that we went out and worked. We have a few families that are progressing very well and I should be able to baptize them before I finish my mission. I hope so because I want to return to be able to go through the temple with them. That would be Amazing!!! I just have to get a job when I get home and start saving. 
 One of the families that we are working with is a blast!! The dad is in desperate search for a job. He's been out of work for a good time now and he's desperate. They literally don't have any money to buy a food. I feel bad because we've done everything we can. We took him to the self sufficient center to help him look for a job, we've asked everyone we talk to, and we've even talked to the members if they need some one to clean their houses. It's a family of 5. Him and his girlfriend (they aren't married) and 3 kids. The oldest child is 12, then there's 10, and 4. The 4 year old is so funny. She's the cutest kid ever!! She always wants to sing hymns and is beginning to pray. She's has a little potty mouth, but that's because she has been raised that way. We are working with them on that but it's so funny what she says because it's at the most random times. The package that you sent me full of candy, well she ate about half. Hahahaha and every time we visit them, she asks me if I brought candy. They are a great family and we told Daris (the 12 year old) that if she reads the Book of Mormon, my companion and I will sing a song that she likes in English. Hahaha all those years in Tactus are paying off ;) Haha 
We also are teaching a 12 year old kid who is a character!  He is short and chubby and hilarious!! He just does random stuff and acts like a goofball. At church he is very well behaved though. 
We are also teaching in English!! It's kind of weird...well, actually really weird.  She lived in the US for quite some time but returned because her papers expired. She is currently trying to get her papers again so she can go see her family. We actually haven't taught her in English yet but my companion always talks to her in English. I've tried talking to her in English but I don't like to. I would rather stumble over broken Spanish than speak English at this point. I have no clue what I'm going to do when I get home. I think I'll have to go live with Carson so I can at least translate for him when he needs to speak Spanish with his patients. 
Things are coming to a close. I'm not dead yet! I'll keep working until President Porter releases me and even then I'm sure I'll still be wanting to work. There are people who still need to be rescued and if there's anything I learned on my mission it's that the members need to help the missionaries. They are willing to feed and to go on splits with the missionaries but that's it. We as members can do so much more. We cannot rest. Christ, when dead, still got to work. His lifeless body was placed in a tomb, but his spirit went into the spirit world and continued to preach. He is our perfect example and I invite all to follow his example, members and non-members. He leads the way to eternal happiness. He is the light and the life of the world. This is his church. He leads and guides us today through a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. I know Christ lives. Having been testifying of Him these past 2 years has deepened my understanding and has helped me feel more of his love for all. I love this work and hope and pray that we may be able to follow his example and continue bringing souls unto him. 

Elder Dial

Frozen Pineapple of course I had room for this!!!

Día de las Madres!! May 11th 2015

Happy Mother's Day!!! Día de las Madres!! It was great talking to you guys yesterday. We didn't really talk much about how my week went. 
This week went very well for us. We had 10 investigators at Church with 1 baptism and 1 confirmation. It went super well! Which is surprising because we didn't work all day Wednesday, and only half day Thursday and Saturday. My companion got sick so we were confined to the house. It was a boring day Wednesday. 
Saturday we baptized Arturo. It was a very special baptism because there were three of us trying to baptize him. We got him completely under on the first time but we had to carry him into the faunt and out of it because he's in a wheelchair. He is really cool and we are working with his daughter for this week. We will need a miracle to pull it off but we can do it. 
So the 10 we had in church came from 3 families. We had a family of 4, a family of 3, and a family of 2, and the son of another family we are teaching. The family of 4 is a great family. They are in a very difficult situation right now seeing that the father doesn't have a job and is about to separate from his family because he thinks it will help them. He told us that all their problems are caused by the economy. We took him to the self sufficient center that the Church has here and they took down his information and are in the process of looking for a job for him. We are praying for a job opening this week because he's losing hope. We can only do so much to help him and his family but I fear that if he doesn't find a job soon, things will keep getting worse and worse until he doesn't want anything to do with the church or God. 
The family of 3 we found this week and they came. There's actually more than 3 in the family but only 3 came. It's a family of 5 or 6 but they couldn't come. They seemed to like it. Being Mother's day yesterday, they only stayed for the first hour. They are really good and I hope they continue to progress. Right now they have a baptismal date for the 7th of June which would be my last week here in Mexico, so I'm crossing my fingers that they are baptized so I can go out with a bang!
The family of 2 is actually the family of Arturo. His mom and his daughter. His mom has a problem with coffee, smoking and drinking but she's doing very well right now. I kind of hit her with reality last week because I pulled out the mathematics on her. no, not algebra or calculus. I doubt I'll ever use those again. But simple multiplication. It costs 5 pesos for one cigarette. She smoked one a day and has been smoking for at least 10 years. And also one beer costs 25 pesos and its never just one. So, 5 pesos for 7 days is 35. 35 pesos a week plus the 75 pesos of beer she drank every week, 110 pesos a week. Now for 52 weeks in a year = 5720 pesos a year. Now for 10 years....57,200 pesos in 10 years! I remember that lesson that Conrad Johnson taught me in elementary school. Probably one of the most important things I learned in school. Of all the things one could do with money, why waste it on something that literally destroys your life. Anyways, she hasn't smoked or drank after that stunning fact. 
So everything here in Veracruz is going great. It's still hotter and more humid than ever but I better enjoy it while it lasts because in 4 weeks I'll be back in the freezing Idaho weather. 
Before I go I have to tell you something funny that happened to me yesterday. So we were walking to an investigators house to go pick them up for church when out of no where I feel something hit my backpack and then explode on the ground. I look down and see a can of beer exploding all over my companions shoes. Hahaha I look over and see a guy glaring at us. I just smiled and waved. I don't know what made him more upset; the fact that we wasted a beer or that he saw us "Mormons." Hahaha We just kept walking and there on the corner of the street were a couple of old guys that saw the entire thing and they were saying, "Don't pay attention to him, he's the devil. It's only the devil" and I just laughed. The bad part was that we smelled like beer but Eagle Scout Dial is always prepared and had his trusty deodorant in his backpack. So after a good Deodorant shower, everything was fine. It was pretty funny. I was happy because we didn't even have to teach the guy the Word of Wisdom and he willingly threw away his beer. 
The devil is strong here in Mexico but we are strong. I know God lives and loves us. In spite of everything bad that happens in the world, there is always hope. Christ lives. He suffered so we might not suffer. If we seek him, we will find peace and rest.

Elder Dial

Pictures: Baptism and celebrating 23 months with Pizza in the English class!!!!

May the 4th Be With You.... May 4th 2015

May the 4th be with you! Hahaha I couldn't resist. Well, the days have been counted and in 35 days I'll be back in the states. 5 weeks. It's a little hard to believe but I have to accept the fact.
Anyways, my new area is very small. It's about 10 by 12 blocks. The ward is great. It's very small but has a lot of potential. Elder Lewis is a great guy and very funny. He has a full ride to St Catherine college to play basketball. 
So this week we had a scare...well it's still not over. We were going to baptize yesterday. Yanothan passed his interview and everything but when we go to pick him up Sunday morning before church, he's not there. He went AWAL on us! Come to find out he was at his grandparent´s house and slept over there. We even asked him if he was going to do that and he told us no, that he would be in his house Sunday morning. Well, we have to talk to him very seriously this week so he can be baptized this Saturday. Also, we were expected to baptize Arturo on Sunday too but he also didn't show up. Well, actually we were going to baptize him Saturday but he couldn't on Saturday. What happened with him is that he is in a wheelchair because he was in a bad accident and was in a coma for about 9 months. When he woke-up from the coma, he said he saw my companion and that my companion said he (Arturo) had something more to do in this life. Well, he is going in for a very high risk surgery in these next couple weeks. We don't know when exactly so we received special permission from President to baptize him Saturday even though he doesn't have all his attendances. But he had family come into town. The good news is that if everything goes according to plan, we will baptize 2 this week. 
We also had Alfredo, Jose Manuel, Fatima, Jesus, and Mari attend church this week. Alfredo is a great guy. We are teaching his family and they are really great too, only they decided to sleep in this sunday and not attend. We have to get them married before they can be baptized.
Jose Manuel is another good guy whom we are teaching. He and his wife... but his wife wasn't able to attend yesterday. He arrived alone. We asked a few members to go and pick him up and bring him to church but the members failed but needless to say he came.
Fatima is a 15 year old girl who has attended many times before with her niece. Her cousin also just was baptized. She accepted a baptismal date with-in 15 minutes. We were talking and getting to know her when I felt that I should just ask her about her experiences in the church and to extend the invitation. Well she accepted and now we just have to check the commandments and everything and she'll be in the water on the 16th.
Jesus and Mari are a couple that we also have to get married. They came to church and are progressing very well. I'm just worried that marriage will be a stumbling block for the both. They have a son named Bryan that we are also teaching, so we will see how everything goes.
Today I had the wonderful opportunity to return to one of my old areas because it's in the same stake. I went to Buena Vista and saw a few of my converts and some of the members that always took very good care of me. It was such a joy to see them again. It reminded me of when Alma reunited with the somes of Mosiah. It was such a joyous experience and I'm hoping to go back once more before I return to the states to never again return :( I hope I can return, I may not be mexican but a part of me has been left in every one of my areas and with every person I have taught. I love these people and will never forget any of them. I've grown to love these people. The Gospel of Christ has changed my life forever. Being able to teach and live the Gospel has changed my heart. Like I said, I've left a piece of me here in Mexico. The Gospel is true and is thriving here in Mexico. When we forget about ourselves, we can truely learn to love. It is this kind of love that mends broken hearts, that changes lives, and makes complete strangers into the best of friends. I know Christ lives. It is his love that brings us peace and comfort. The church is true.

Elder Dial

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My last transfer April 27, 2015

6 weeks, 1.5 months, 1 transfer, or however you want to say it, it's coming to a close. My last transfer, which means, transfer day! Yep, believe the unbelievable. Baseball Jr year has struck again! Or so I thought. But before I will get int the details, I have to tell you about my week. 
So it all started out Wednesday. Wednesday, I had splits with Elder Ortiz. He is a funny and great missionary. We had a lot of fun in spite of the 112' heat! 
Then on Thursday, my companion, Elder Ibarra, got sick! He couldn't leave the house because the heat would only make him worse. Luckily I went on divisions with a few ward members. So Thursday, Friday and Saturday I was without a companion. I now know what it feels like to eat alone. To be honest, I'm even more scared to return home because when I was with the ward members, it just wasn't the same and I felt completely alone. Obviously the member was with me and the Lord also but it was just really weird. 
Well, Saturday comes around and again splits. But when I get home, I return to a big surprise; transfers. At first I didn't believe it but then after a few minutes I knew my companion wasn't joking. I was shocked and frusterated because not only was I leaving the area but I was leaving as a Jr companion! Many questions raced through my mind. How could president do this? Why now? Why me? Why send me to a new area with a new companion for my last 6 weeks? Why when we're having success, change me? I felt like it was Jr year baseball all over again. I couldn't sleep at all Saturday night. I didn't want to leave. I didn't want to have to adjust and adapt to another area only to leave in a short 6 weeks. To me it didn't make any sense. Why, when I had been working so hard to reach my potential and be a good leader, would the Lord cut me down? It seems to be a pattern in my life. In football, a sport that I love and was probably my best sport, I had a sudden anxiety attach that hit me so hard that I couldn't play. In basketball, I wasn't the best but I had started 2 years in a row only to be benched my junior year by the same teammates who I had started over the previous 2 years. And in baseball, starting Varsity short stop and third base sophomore year only to have been degraded by my coaches and put on JV and then not play a single minute my senior year. Was this going to be a pattern for my entire life? All these thoughts crossed my mind. 
As I was pondering all this, two stories came to mind. One is a story by a general authority who cut down a bush so that it could grow bigger and better and he likened it to how the Lord some times cuts us down so we can really reach our potential. And the other story is of Alma the younger. Alma was the chief judge of all the land but seeing all the wickedness he decided to give up his judgement seat to preach the Gospel. In that moment it hit me. I wasn't being demoted,... I was given the opportunity to "give up my judgement seat." I realized that I'm suppose to teach and influence my new companion and help train him how to be a good leader. That's what president has asked of me and I guess that's what the Lord wants too. I am learning that the Lord's ways are not always my ways or ideas. He has a plan for me. He knows me individually and knows what I need to do to reach my full potential. It's not about me, it's about the Lords work and I will continue in any way he asks me.
My new companion is Elder Lewis from Utah. My first companion from the states. He's 6'5'' and loves basketball. He had many full ride scholarships to many good schools but he decided to serve a mission instead. He's a really great missionary. I knew him back when I was in Ojo de Agua. He was in my district so I'm very excited to be working with him. Also in my zone there are a lot of great missionaries. And also with this transfer the Lord answered my prayers and in my zone is Elder Moreyra! He was such a great companion and is a great friend and I'm super glad I'll get to see him before I head home. I also might get to see some of my converts from Buena Vista because I've returned to the same stake. My area is Unidad and the stake is Villa Rica. I hope to swing by and see a few of them before I return home.
But I didn't leave the area with out first baptizing! We baptized Patty. She is the sister of a recent convert (Norma). She was super excited and I was glad that I could be there when she was baptized. 
Saying goodbyes is always difficult but I know that I will return and see them again some day. If not in this life, in the life to come. I know this church is true and that God's ways are higher and always better than our own. I may not always understand why But I know that I will be blessed when I follow his will. I know Christ lives and that this is his church. 

It's heating up in Mexico! April 20th, 2015

I don't know what to say at this point. It still hasn't fully hit me that I'll be home in 7 weeks. Well, it comes and goes. Mainly when I'm getting ready for bed. To be honest I'm a little nervous. The transition will be another 180. I just hope it's not as bad as the first culture shock that hit me my first few days here in Mexico. 
I have to congratulate Zach for following the call of the prophets. Long Beach will be blessed to have you. And the good news is that we have family close to Long Beach. Well, actually I don't know how close. All I know is that when we went to Carson's wedding In San Diego, we flew to the Long Beach airport. Who knows, but anyways, congrats man! 
So this week has! We are in the 100s almost everyday! Luckily I haven't been burned. We actually aren't out in the sun a lot because the people here have adapted the city to the climate and every house has a big tree to provide shade. It's still hot but I don't burn. 
Mondays we basically don't do anything. It's our P-day until 6pm and then we had District class  from 6-7:30. By the time we actually get done its 8 and we only have time to visit one person. 
Our mission president now wants us to focus more on visiting less active members and recent converts. And from them he wants us to receive references to fill up our teaching tank. We've had a lot of success with this actually.  
Patty is progressing very well and if everything goes according to plan, she'll be baptized this week. We also have Luis lined up but it will be more of a challenge with him. We also want to start working with his parents because they are really kind. Actually, his dad lived in Salt Lake for awhile and attend church for 9 months. Didn't get baptized but he liked the church, so we'll see where that leads us. 
I won a pizza this week! Last Wednesday or Thursday the US played Mexico in soccer and so there were a few over confident investigators and so I took the risk. I actually just wanted an excuse to eat pizza. Either way, win or lose, I'll eat pizza. The good news is that I wont have to pay. I was supposed to claim my victory Saturday but the guy that lost the bet crashed on his motorcycle and broke his leg. He's ok but the pizza will have to wait.
Yesterday we had a stake activity. I know, stake activity on a Sunday? But we watched Meet the Mormons. It was good because every person brought a non member friend. But I will say that my heart was moved yesterday. A little 7 year old girl came up to me with one of her member friends. Her friend had just been baptized. But this little 7 year old girl told me she wanted her mom to attend church with her. This 7 year old girl had been attending church with her friend every Sunday for a few months or even years. Time doesn't really matter. What matters is that a 7 year old attends church alone. I had to fight back tears as I listened to her. She doesn't live in my area so I can't do much. But I do know that God hears and answers his children's prayers. Especially the prayers of the children. I know God loves all his sons and daughters (each and every one of us). He lives. Christ is his son, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. I know they live. I testify with all the energy of my heart and soul.

Elder Dial