Tuesday, October 30, 2012

God's protection!

      Monday was p-day and we played soccer longer than usual.  Soccer is big here in Mexico.  My legs are returning quite nicely - I scored 2 goals!
    My companion had to leave for Leon recently to re-sign his visa. I had to go with him to the bus station and then to the zone leaders house to stay there for the night, so I was allowed to take a taxi alone to the zone leaders which was only about 15 minutes away. We were driving to their area and as we were getting close I saw the zone leaders walking down a street, so I told the driver to pull over and I would get out. I got out and went back to the street where they were walking, but they weren't there anymore. My heart dropped, as I had no way to call them because I had no phone! I kept looking and they were nowhere to be found. I was pretty nervous at this point because it was starting to get a little dark and a white guy walking in a scary neighborhood in a different country is never good! I felt the urge to pray so I said a prayer in my heart that I would find them. I felt a very comforting feeling and two minutes later they walked out of their house at the direct moment I was passing it! Such an answer to prayer! I was so filled with joy as I knew God had heard my prayer and had lead me to be there at that precise moment! 
     I´m really loving it here in San Luis Potosi! It's beautiful and the people are so great here! I even found 3 flies in my soup recently and didn't freak out!  
     I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Tanner Aiken

Monday, October 22, 2012

Unforgettable week!

Getting ready for my first baptism!
     Hello everyone! This was such a week of miracles! It is so great to see the miracles we have in our lives.  Many times we are too busy to see them, but they are all around us. 
     This week our baptism was truly a miracle! Saturday was a very busy day.  We had to get the District leader to the hermana's house for her interview, fill the font, and still have three other appointments! When we arrived at Hermana Aurora's house in the early morning to see how she was feeling, she was really sick! I was wondering how this could be happening when just the day before she was feeling fine. Her pancreas was really swollen and was having really sharp pains in her stomach.  She told us, "I'm not sure hermanos if I can be baptized today." We then shared a scripture on faith, and the act of faith. She told us she wanted to be baptized for herself and for her mother who had given her so much. We decided to give her a blessing that she would be ready for that baptism. After we finished we shared our love and the Savior's love for her. We went over to the church to fill the font and had confidence that our Father in Heaven would make it happen. The district leader went over to her house a little bit later and gave her the interview.  She was ready, but still sick. We kept her in our prayers all day. We went over to her house to pick her up around five in the afternoon and she was feeling a lot better! I was so thrilled! We got her out of her bed and into her wheel chair. When we arrived at the church the members were there with open and loving arms congratulating her on this step! 

Elder Aiken's first baptism!
     We got ready to baptize her and the spirit was so strong! As we got her into the chair and carried her down to the water tears filled her eyes as she said, "Heavenly Father thank you for this miracle! I love thee my Savior!"
     We baptized her and as she came out of the water she came up she shouted, "A traves hermanos! A traves!" Which means "again brothers! Do it again!" All the members chuckled.  It was so great! I could feel my Savior's love for her! She was so happy and her face was something I will never forget! She shared her testimony which was so strong and powerful.  Even though she found the gospel later on in life, I know she will standing with our Father in Heaven after this life! 
     I was so glad to hear about my brothers return. I'm so glad that he was such a great influence to me and others around me! He has one of the most powerful testmionies I've ever heard! I love him so much! 

     I know God works miracles.  We need to show our faith, like Alma's faith when he and his brethren went to teach the Zoramites. They prayed for strength, they prayed for someone to teach, and when they prayed with faith, they had a humble people to teach and they taught with authority!! What is faith without action? It is nothing! When we exercise our faith we are drawing nearer to him. Having a testimony is not the only thing we need. We need to fully convert ourselves, with acts like the Savior, constantly searching the scriptures, and constant prayer! Pray for miracles they happen!! 
     Have a great week!

Elder Tanner Aiken

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My first baptism!

      What a great week it was! I am having my first baptism this week. This lady we are baptizing is paralyzed from the waist down, she was in a car accident a few years ago and has to stay in her bed everyday with no one to keep her company. We go over to her house as often as we can to share stories and scriptures and her smile that she has when we come over will always have a place in my heart. She is the kindest lady and is so willing to follow her Savior Jesus Christ.
      This Sunday we took her to church. It was difficult to get her from the bed to the taxi and into the church, but we love doing it. After church she said how much she loved the feeling in the chapel. As we finally got her back to her bed she broke down and sobbed, she said forgive me Elders for my handicap. I'm just so embarrassed and I feel like a burden to you. Elder Belexz and I were able to share a part about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how every pain or difficulty she has, Christ feels her pain. He went through it all. I know Jesus Christ loves her so much and is calling to her. Satan is trying to tempt her by her handicap that she has and making her feel of little worth. This woman is a sweet spirit from our Father in Heaven and I am so glad I get to share my love for the gospel with her. 
      On to other things, Mexico is really growing on me. I love the people and the food is pretty good though having tortillas every meal can kind of get old. I had my first street taco, wasn't sure if I should have done it but I did and I didn't get sick either which is a plus. 
      Living with the bishop has its ups and downs. We get rides to church and he feeds us, but everytime one of the speakers doesn't show up last minute, we are speaking, ha ha. The weather is great, almost eighty degrees every day, no rain, and the nights are perfect. 
      I would like to share my love for my brother Brock as he has completed his two years of service. Such a great example and I wish him luck in the transition! Such a great brother that I have! Love you all very much have a great week!!

Elder Tanner Aiken

Monday, October 8, 2012

Great Conference weekend!

On the bus with my companion Elder Velez
     This week was a very good week!  Wow - conference was amazing.  I was shocked at the announcement that was made Saturday morning with the new age for missionaries, but I felt the Spirit so strong, knowing that we will be having an increase of missionaries to spread this great gospel to all the world!!  I Love my Savior Jesus Christ with all my heart and draw nearer to him each and everyday. 
     I have 2 stories to share with you. Tuesday morning we woke up and had no appointments until 1:00 so we needed to go knock on some doors. We walked around for an hour with no luck. Elder Velez and I said a prayer that we could be directed to find someone that would let us into their home. We were led down the street about 4 or 5 blocks which led us to an empty street with no houses.  We were wondering why we were led here.  We turned and headed back the direction from which we came.  We felt an impression to stop at the first house we passed.  We knocked and waited and finally got an answer.  A young woman named Ana came to the door, she's in her mid 20's.  She seemed a bit shocked to see a white guy standing at her door!  We told her who we were and that we had a message that we wanted to share with her.  She invited us in and we taught her about the Restoration.  The Spirit filled my soul as I spoke on prophets and the Book of Mormon.  I bore my testimony of it and I could see in her eyes that she knew there was something different about this message.  We challenged her to read Moroni's promise and pray.  She accepted our offer and we are visting her this week.  We are praying hard that she can find it in her heart to not cast out this message and to have an open heart. 
     The second story I share was 2 hours after conference had finished.  On Sunday we were asked to go to the hospital and give a blessing.  We were going with a recent convert who used to live a troubled life and had recently received the priesthood. When we arrived at the hospital, my heart sank as I saw that the hospital was filthy.  The rooms were crowded and a lot of people were suffering.  I felt many eyes cast upon us as we bear the name Jesus Christ on our shirt.  We went to a room of an 18 year old girl who had been in a bike accident an had had bleeding in her pancreas. This recent convert anointed the oil and he did very well and we were proud of him.  I knew how he felt, he was so thrilled to do that.  Elder Velez gave the blessing and I felt the Spirit so strong!  Her mother stood at the foot of the bed with tears rolling down her cheeks.  She was able to feel comfort through the priestdood and of the Spirit. 
     I have a testiomony of the priesthood of God!  We have the authority on earth to heal the sick, perform ordinances, and to act in the name of Jesus Christ.  I love this work, there is no more important work on earth then bringing others unto Christ.  I know that my Redeemer lives!
     Have a great week.

Elder Aiken

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cow eye soup???

     Hello family!  Wow what a week, a week of many different emotions!  This week was tough but very spiritual.
     To start things out, I got a stomach infection from the food, spent a lot of time in the bathroom, and I also had some pretty rough headaches but I went to the doctor and have medicine now! 

     My first area I'm serving in is called San Luis, in the branch Benito Juarez.  After being here for a week I have realized how fortunate we are. These people have very very little but yet give so much out of love. The people here are so incredibly nice, it´s amazing!  Benito Juarez is a very poor area, the streets are of dirt, the houses are run down no carpet even sometimes no tile. I´m lucky enough to have a shower and I live in the bishop's house!  He´s a very nice man! My companion is Elder Velez from Ecuador who doesn´t speak a lick of English but has a strong understanding of the gospel! 

     We taught quite a few people this week but two in particular were very special. Guadalupe and her husband Juan own a very small clothing store.  We were approaching their store to teach them and we saw Juan at the front of the store diligently reading his Book of Mormon.  I had a special feeling from the spirit that we should teach about the plan of salvation.  We sat them down and began to teach. It was my turn to speak and I beacme nervous, but then the spirit overcame me and I felt confidence and  I taught my part.  My companion and I  both began to bear our testimonies and their eyes lit up, and the spirit was very strong!  We are hoping to have a bapstimal date for them in two weeks! 
     The Book of Mormon has struck very deep in me and I have a firm testimony of its words and it´s teachings! I have a firm testimony also of the expiacion or Atonement in English. The love I have for my Savior and for His suffering for me and for those of the world is great. God loves all of His children white, black, brown, rich or poor. We can return to Him through His plan. 
     Here in Benito Juarez it is very hard to find new investigators because everyone is Catholic!!  When we knock on the doors they always tell us two return in the afternoon the next day and we never see them again! 
     I love the food here in Mexico, the only part that's wierd is that you have tortillas for every meal, and the meal consists of potatoes, rice, pica, and the tortillas!  Wow, I thought we had spicy food in america and was I mistaken! Yesterday we were eating cow eye soup and it lit me up!!!  The members all laugh because I´m the gringo with the weak stomach!  There is a plus to being the gringo because every house I go to I get to have some Coke!   
     Also there are dogs everywhere probably about 20 each street! The driving here is ridiculous, absolutely no laws.  My first time in a car I thought for sure I was going to die!  I´m having a great time here in Mexico though it's pretty hot here!  My companion is pretty funny. I ask if we can turn the fan on in the night and he tells me no because if you have the fan on at night you can get diseases ha ha! 
     Have a good week!  Love you all!!

Elder Aiken