Tuesday, February 12, 2013

February 11, 2013 Holaaaa!!!!!

Ahhh what another amazing week here in Mexico!!! We were able to baptize again. We baptized two jovens Anakarina and Carlos. They are so great and so excited to be in the church and to now have the gift of the holy ghost. We are still working on getting the rest of there family baptized. Their dad is awesome and should be baptized in two months. The Lord continues bless us with families. We found a single mother with 4 daughters this past week and they were at church Sunday. Adriana and her 2 oldest daughters (twins) have a baptismal date for the 23. They are so awesome mom and dad they just read and read the chapters we give them and have so many questions. They are so awesome and cute. We also have a baptism planned for this upcoming Saturday. His name is Brando and he is 16 years old. His aunt and cousins are members. This past Sunday we gave him a challenge to pray during the sacrament to see if this baptism is what he needs to do and if it is what his heavenly father wants him to do. He did after sacrament he told us that he prayed and that he wants to be baptized this Saturday. So we are waiting to see if his parents will sign so that he can be baptized. Oh I gave another talk this past week. I spoke on how daily prayer, reading our scriptures daily and attending sacrament meeting weekly will enable us to stay firm in the gospel and endure to the end. There are a ton of less active members here so I hope I made my point that they have to pray, read the Book of Mormon and go to church. 
  No, I haven't had anyone ask me about my teeth and lets be honest my teeth aren't as good as Nate's, ha ha. So the language is coming. I still have a ton to learn, ha ha ,but this past week Elder Charles had to give an interview in a city about 30 minutes away so we had divisions. I showed the area and pretty much taught all of the lessons by myself which was pretty cool to see how much I have grown in my Spanish the last 8 weeks. Dad transfers are this next week but Elder Charles and I will be staying here because I am training and more then likely I will stay here another transfer after that to show the area. But I am more than fine with that I love Cosamaloapan it is home. Its weird it just feels like home now. I cant really put it into words. I have really come to love my converts and investigators and the members here. I think that has what changed everything for me down here and why we have started to have some success. Because Elder Charles and I have really started to love the people here and one another. I think that truly makes the difference with the spirit you are able to have with you and bring into the houses of those you teach. So this past week Elder Charles and I bought some hammockas and we have been sleeping in them haha. They are so comfortable in the heat. Everyone as hammocks down here so we thought we would do as the natives do. When in rome right. So I haven't said anything about the heat yet down here but it is flipping hot I am in one of the hottest areas in the mission and the most humid. We are always wet its weird lol.
 I am in 3 Nephi 20 now and let me just say 3 Nephi is amazing there is nothing better than reading the words and teachings of christ. I love chapter 18 and how it speaks of sacrament and pray. If you would like to read that, That would be awesome. I have been using some versing in there alot this past week and used some about prayer in my talk. We truly have to pray always and partake of the sacrament weekly. I found 3 verses in D&C 58 that I really like verses 26-28. Other than that I have been studying alot about how we all can recieve answers to our prayers. And what I got out of my studies more than anything is that we must  have the faith necessary to receive the answer. Faith is so important in this life and in all that we we do. In Jesus the Christ Elder Talmage talks a lot about the faith of the people Christ healed. Jesus Christ himself could not of healed the people he did if those he healed didn't have the faith necessary. I have been thinking about that a lot and if I really have the faith I need to have to do this work. I would like to hope so but I continue to try my best and put my trust in both my savior Jesus Christ and my Father in Heaven in all that I do. 
   I love you all so very much and I am so very glad for all of the emails you send me every week and the prayers that you all offer for me. I pray for you all every night and like I say often I cant wait to see you all in the temple one day. I know that this work in the work of the lord and that he is with me everyday here in Mexico. I know that this church is true with all of my heart and soul. I know that Christ is at the head of this church and that he lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of god and that as we live by its precepts we will come to know our savior and gain a testimony of him. I love my heavenly father and I know that he loves me. I love my savior Jesus Christ and I am eternally grateful for the willing sacrifice he gave for me. I love all of you so very much and may god be with you till we meet again.
Love Elder Lehikainen

February 4, 2013

 Ahhh mi familia!!! This week was another great week full of miracles. The lord blessed as again this saturday and we were able to baptize Oscar!!! He is such a stud and I feel like he is my brother. I gave him a giant hug after I baptized him. He calls Elder Charles and I his best friends. He has set the example for his Dad,Mom and Sister and I hope and pray that they will take the step of faith and act as there brother and son has. We have another Baptism planned this upcoming sunday for the kids of Javier and they are so excited. We passed for them again this sunday and they were already walking to church in the rain and so excited to feel the spirit there again this week. We ended up having 6 investigators at church what a blessing. Growing up in the church I havent really noticed the spirit that is in sacrament meeting. But these past four months on the mission my eyes have really opened and that is propably my favorite part of the week.
  Dang so tyler is beasting at baseball atta boy. Work, Work, and Work at the fundamentals and you will tear it up bud never be satisfied. So the superbowl was a good one. I am glad the 49ers lost I dont like niner fans haha. So I have been thinking that I havent really told you all very much about my area and thought I would today. So Cosamaloapan is the name of my area and we have about 65 sq miles in my area but we stay near the city most of the time. I am in a cowboy town lol they grow a ton of sugar cane down here like a rediculous amount. It is kinda cool cause everyone is kinda involved in agriculture and I can talk to them about it and what you do for a living dad. There is a sugar cane plant in the next town over and the ash from the plant is always raining down on us. There are soooo many dogs here like a rediculous amount of sick and diseased dogs. They are always fighting in the streets pretty crazy. We saw 3 dog fights yesterday like big dog fights 4 on 4. I am never going to complain about the dogs in america again even charlie boy dad haha.
   Dang I am sooooo pumped for Colton he is going to be such a stud. His family is going to be very blessed for his willingness to serve the lord and I cant imagine how very proud his father is of the man he has become.
  Soooo this week I hit 3 nephi 11!!! Nothing is better than reading the words of Christ to us. This morning I was studying in chapter 14 and 15. I really love in the end of 14 when the lord is talking about where we need to build our house upon the ROCK. He is our rock and we must build upon him. When the storms of this life come upon us he will help us stand firm and we will come out of our trials stronger and firmer in Christ. He will never let us down when we put our trust in him. I dont know there is such a different in the people that truly want Christ and this gospel in there lives here. They will do what ever they have to for the opportunity to make it to church. Like Javier who walked to church in the rain with his 2 children.These people are truly putting there faith in the lord these are the people that truly want to have the lord in there lives. This kinda reminds me of President Eyrings talk this past conference. The lord is always there for us and when we can not feel him in our lives it is because we are the ones that have changed. This has helped me this past week. I have really been searching for the lord and what it is he want Elder Charles and I to do down here in mexico.
   Dad that is so awesome that the zwhalens have that. I cant wait for the day when we are all in the temple together. I cant wait to see you and mom in the temple again. That is going to be the greatest day in the world when all 8 of us our in the temple together. I love you all so very much and I know that families are forever there is not a doubt in my mind. I know that this church the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christs church on the earth again. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and that Christ restored his church through him. I know that the book of mormon is the word of god. I read it everyday and my testimony is strenghtened each and everyday by its wordss. I have a challenge for all of you. The next time you are reading in your personal studies read moronies challenge and pray again if the book of mormon is true. In preach my gospel it says to do so. Every once in awhile. I love you all so very much and may god be with you till we meet again.
love your son, Brother and friend,
-Elder Ryan Thomas Lehikainen

January 28, 2013 Week #6 in Cosamaloapan


 Hola hola mi familia!!! So this week was awesome!! Mari was baptized and I am so happy for her and her family. I told her and her husband carlos that a year from this day her baptism Elder Charles and I want to see both of them in white at the temple. They are so great and she definately is truly converted to this gospel how we all should be.  She says it feels so right and like she already knew the things that we were teaching her were right. bueno so we had a great sacrament meeting this past week. 4 of our investigators were at church and the young man Oscar didnt get baptized saturday because he wanted to wait and be baptized with his mom. The both were at church last sunday and we had a great lesson with them last night. And let me just say Oscar must have been inspired to wait because his mom is going to be baptized this saturday as well!! We had two more investigators at church this past sunday and they are so awesome. Javier and his son are so excited about the church. We actually met javier in the street and it is a pretty cool story. He walked past us and he said hello like everyone does here lol but we continued walking about another block and then my comp and I looked at eachother and we were like we have to turn around and talk to this guy. So thats what we did and he turned out to be a member a super inactive member but his son oscar and his daughter Anacarina are going to be baptized the 9th of feb. The lord has truly blessed me this past week. I have been really been trying to submit to his will in all that I do. Which is pretty hard for me I know at times I can be pretty proud and stubborn. But today I was trying to find what becoming as a child really means and I dont know if I found for sure what it means but one thing that I took out of my studies was that we must always be humble as a child is and truly depend on our heavenly father for all of our needs just as a child depends on its parents for all of its needs. So that is something that I have been working on.
  So the ward here is still struggling we have been teaching a ton of non active member trying to strengthen the ward. There are nearly 800 members here and only 75 that are truly active and the majority of them are women. It is saddening how lazing the men here are. The bishop and one of his councelors do just about everything. Dad what is the percentage for sacrament asistance back home? So we have really been trying to strengthen the ward because what good is it to baptize if the ward isnt going to help retain the converts. So we are going to have an activity in 2 weeks and we hope that it will help. We will have to wait and see. 
   So I have really started to miss the temple.....It was such a blessing in the MTC to be able to go to the temple cada semana. I definately think I took it for granted. There is nothing like it and I cant wait to see all of you there. That is going to be a great day. I definately wish that I could be there when emily and tyler are sealed but the lord needs me here in mexico :) I will definately be there in spirit. So I am in 3 nephi 10 in the book of mormon and I cant wait to get to ch 11 when christ comes. And I am just past half way in Jesus the Christ and yes it is still blowing my mind. After planning at night that is what I do till I go to bed read. Who would have thought I would love to read lol So D&C 50 is amazing and I really love verse 24. Oh 3 nephi 9 is awesome as well. Where are all of you in your studies? I love all of you so very much and thank you so much for writing me everyweek. It really does mean so much. I love you all so very much and I know with all my heart that the work that I am doing right now is the work of the lord and that he is with me every day here in the streets of mexico. It is such a blessing to be his representative and to be able to testify that he is our savior and that only through him and his example of baptism may we return to our father in heaven and live with our families for all eternity. I love you all and may god be with you till we meet again.
love your son, brother and friend,
-Elder Ryan Thomas Lehikainen

January 21, 2013 Week #5 in Cosamaloapan

A Very Special Day, Elder Lehikainen's first Baptism

Sweet is the work, bringing souls unto Christ.

hola hola mi familia como estan??  I cant believe that this week has already gone by but what a wonderful week it has been. MARISOL was finally baptized and I was able to baptize her. What a wonderful blessing that was this week. She was confirmed yesterday by Obispo and the spirit was definately there with all of us. Her mom Margarita who we have been teaching as well was there and she asked us after the confirmation why she filled so warm and peaceful during the baptism and during the confirmation as well. It was so nice to be able to testify to her that the feeling she felt was the holy ghost testifying to her. She is a great lady and has alot on her plate but I just have a feeling that she is going to be baptized here pretty soon. So we had another great week with Mari and Carlos and there family. They are so great and lately I have been thinking about the people here in cosamaloapan I am supposed to find. My friends from our pre earth life that werent blessed like I was to grow up in the church. I know that Mari and Carlos are two of those people. Last night we had a great lesson with them at the church and we were just finishing up la ley de castidad y diezmo but there was such a strong spirit there. We got on the topic of fasting and Elder Charles and I were able to share with them that they were and are an answer to our fast and prayers. That was and will be a tender mercy. She is going to be baptized this saturday. We also have another baptism this saturday and his name is Oscar. Oscar is great we have been teaching him and his parents. He came to church this past sunday without his mom and dad but he told us how great church was and how excited he is for his baptism. The lord has blessed me so very much this week.
   Dang poor Nate. Dengay or how ever you spell it has been a scare of mine because of all the musco bites. I will keep him in my prayers and yeah I have been thinking about how all of us can speak spanish that will be really fun. I have been thinking how great it will be to see eachother in two years and know that we have given our all to the lord and have truly become men of god. Como the sons of mosiah. Tyler you stud you are probably bigger than me know I walk and sweat so much I have been losing all my muscle haha and because most of my diet is beans and rice lol the weather here has been kinda crazy one day it will be crazy hot and the next day freezing. There is a saying here about the weather for this time of year "februero loco y marso tampoco" lol. I love it down here and the people.
  We had zone conference this past week and Elder Alonso of the seventy was there that was pretty cool. He actually interviewed my companion just to get a view of how the missionaries are doing down here. He gave a great interactive talk. He said we need to get everyone of our investigators to truly live the doctrine of Christ and once they start to do that they can truly become converted. Soo I am in 3 nephi now and it is like waiting for Christmas to get to chapter 11 and read the teachings of the savior. I have been reading Jesus the Christ as well and am about halfway through. That book is awesome and to be honest it kinda blows my mind. Today I was re-reading my patriarchal blessing. And it is crazy how things show themselves to us as we need them and are searching for answers in our lives. My patriarchal blessing talks a alot of things in my life but this morning I read a line that really stuck out to me it says ryan put your faith and trust in him. Ask for his guidance and inpiration and as you do so remember that you must trust and follow that inspiration. This morning that is exactly what I needed to hear and more and more I find that I must continually humble myself and put my trust in the lord. He truly is always there for us. I have been using alot of verses from helaman lately and I have really enjoyed helaman 11. I would love it if you would read it.
   I love my mission I love the joy that we are able to recieve in this life when we serve. Yesterday we gave 5 blessings and it made me remember that we are here to serve and love the people. I love my savior more and more each and everyday. I know that he died for me and I know that he lives. I love all of you so very much and may god be with you till we meet again.
love your son, Brother, and friend,
-Elder Ryan Thomas Lehikainen

January 14, 2013 Week #4 in Cosamaloapan

Elder Lehikainen and His trainer and AWESOME companion, Elder Charles

Feasting upon the words of Christ

hola hola mi familia!!! This past week was amazing even though we didnt have any baptisms. We had a family at church this past sunday and Marisol was at church as well. These past couple of weeks have been very humbling and I have really had to start really on heavenly father and our savior Jesus Christ more and more. So Elder Charles and I have been working very hard and we havent been seeing the fruits of our labors until these past 5 days. This past miercoles another baptismal date fell through with felipe and he doesnt really want to talk to us anymore because of his family traditions of being catholic and what not. So we went to our next lession after we found out he didnt want to meet with us anymore and that fell too. I felt like we needed to pray so we went behind this house and more or less poured our hearts out to our Heavenly Father. That is really when things started to turn around. We have started really working with the members oh and yeah we have a building that is a year old dad. So we have really started working with the members here and trying to bring inactives back into the ward. We have a new goal to increase the asistance by 10 percent every month and this week we went from 70 people in sacrament to 101. What a miracle and a blessing that was because the ward here is slowly dieing.
  So this family that was at church sunday the father is a member his name is carlos and he has been inactive for about 10 years. His wife Mari is not a member and she is going to be baptized this 26th of enero. She is soo awesome and they have 3 little kids. More than anything I cant wait to see them in the temple in a year and that is there goal as well after mari is baptized. After our first lesson last sunday I couldnt help but see them in white going to the temple and I think for now on that is going to be my goal to picture our investigators in white. We found another family last night there names are Ana Louda, Acerdo and oscar all three of them have accepted a baptimal date for this 27th and the same with them I cant wait to see them in white the 27th and a year from now. The son Oscar is 18 and he just gets it. He understands already why this gospel is so very important for alll of us in this life. We had another miracle fall into are laps we were having a lesson with one of our investigators named gui and her friend was there here friend told us about her neighbor named Alexis he is 14 and had been talking with the Elders before and we some reason or another he fell in the cracks and hasnt been meeting with the Elders anymore over these past 2 years. Anyways yesterday we went over and talked to him and his mother he is getting baptized this saturday and he and his mom told us that he wants to be a missionary some day. Marisol is getting baptized for sure this miercoles and she was at church. Every lesson with here we have been going with a member and that has really helped. Ahhh this week has been Awesome and my testimony has grown so much. I gave a talk yesterday and I spoke on faith, hope and charity. I tried to explain in my baby spanish that we all have faith in our savior Jesus Christ and that we have felt his love throught the atonement in our lives. Then I went on to talk about how this has giving us hope in this life and then I shared jacob 2:19 and it says after we have recieved this hope in our lives we must help those that are hungry and afflicted physically but we must also be charitable to thoughs that are afflicted spiritually and share the hope that we have in our lives with those that have no hope.
   I have eaten this soup called manuto and it is cow stomach soup and it tasted like a cow stomach haha I ate chicken feet this week and that wasnt that bad. President I am sure knows we dont have any hot water lol and the language is getting better. Last week in a taxi I had a decent regular converstation with the taxista that was pretty cool I felt like elder calhoun. I am doing great I love this work and I thank my heavenly father everyday for the opportunity to serve him and his children here in veracruz. It truly is a blessing. I have been reading Jesus the Christ and have been trying to come to know my savior more and more. I truly want to become his friend over these next 2 years and I want to tell him yea lord I love thee when I am able to see him again. I am in helaman 12 in the book of mormon and in nefi 16 in spanish. Where are you all lol? oh mormon 9 is amazing and you all should read it this week.
 I love this gospel I have to go but I want to leave you with my testimony that I know with out a doubt this church is true. That our heavenly father loves us so very much. That our Savior Jesus Christ died for us and he knows us. When we are in or having a hard time we need to remeber that he is always there. I love yoou alll and may god be with you till we meet again.
Love you son, brother, and friend
-Elder Ryan Thomas Lehikainen

January 7, 2013

Snack time
Elder Lehikainen outside his house in Cosamaloapan
  Hola Hola!!! mi familia!!!,
    So marisol bailed on us again ahhhh she left for 2 weeks to the port of veracruz but I think the lord is trying to tell us something but we still had a great sunday. We actually had been really thinking and pondering about how we can find a family to teach and needless to say fast sunday couldnt have come at a better time. So we fasted to be ablle to find 2 families this upcoming week and yesterday bishop had recieved 2 referances and we went and visited one of them last night with him. First let me tell you how blessed I am to be working with Bishop Rodriquez he is a spiritual stud and is so so so pumped for missionary work. So we had a great lesson with this part member family and the spirit was very strong. The husbands name is carlos and he is a member but his wife and 4 kids are not and I cant help but picture them in the temple with there children being sealed. We also have been teaching this man named felipe he has had a hard life but his heart is truly looking for what his heavenly father wants him to do. His family is very catholic by tradition and there has been alot of opposition from them. But last night the spìrit was able to touch his heart and he accepted a baptismal date for the 20th. Yesterday really got me pumped again for this work and even though we did not have the baptism we planned it was a great day. Elder Charles and I have been working really really hard. oh dad here is my usual day 1.Arise at 6:30 and until work out read and eat and shower until 8. second personal study until 9 and from 9-11 comp study then 11-12 estudiamos nuestro idioma. then from 12-9 we have lessons accept for 2-3 we have lunch with a sister. We have been really trying to squeezeas possible every day dad and a couple days this past week we have been running from lesson to lesson. The people here in veracruz are very opèn and kind but they seem to lack the desire to act. This upcoming week we are going to work on being bolder and I think that is what our heavenly father wants us to do.

    This past week was a little crazy they party like crazy down here during the holidays there have been drunks all over the streets and I am thankful for the promptings of the spirit to know what streets to walk down and what streets not to. Oh mom there has been fireworks everywhere haha like ridiculous fireworks on New Years and pretty much all week. We have been saying its almost like a war at night haha. It has been way fun I love it down here. But I have been safe and I know that the lord has one or many have his angels walking next to Elder Charles and I every night. Bishop has a dog and that has been a blessing. I have felt safe here every night.
   I have been studying more and more for our investigators every morning and trying to find scriptures that can help them. Scriptures that explain what we need to do plainly and simply. This past week I came across alma 5:26-29 it talks about we need to prepare ourselves quickly (pronto in spanish). I love that and if you would can you read alma 5 :) I also have been reading Jesus The Christ and I love coming to know my savior little by little. He loves us so very much and  I absolutly love testifying of him and the atonement he made for us. Oh this past week we gave about 8 blessings and mom and dad and the power of the priesthood is real when we have faith and the person recieving the blessing has faith anything is possible. Although I dont know the language very well still I can still feel the spirit and the spirit testifies the same way in every language. I love that and I love you all so very much. I am happier than I have ever been in my entire life and I am so very grateful for the opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ for these two years. I love this gospel and this church I know it is true with my entire heart. I can testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of god. That Jose Smith is a prophet and he restored the church of Christ back onto this earth. I know that my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ lives and I love him so very much. I know he died for us and I know because he died for us we can return as an eternal family to our heavenly father. I love you all so very much and I am so grateful for the support that you give me. God be with you ´till we meet again.
love your son, brother and friend,

-Elder Ryan Thomas lehikainen