Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mexico City MTC-Week Four

This week has been another typical week at the MTC.  This week we have really started learning a lot of the difficult Spanish grammar. I feel that I am slowly but surely making good strides in learning the language.  However, every time I listen in on the Latinos talking to each other, I’m humbled every time. Lol.  

 Anyway, I had a couple great experiences this week.  The first happened this past Thursday.  After our service project, we went back to the house to change and get ready for our next class. While we were changing, my companion, Elder Hair started yelling Nacho Libre quotes at the missionaries walking by our house.  Elder Hairs perfect Jack Black impersonation and seeing the missionaries reactions to getting yelled at was priceless!  Our whole room were in tears crying, it was that funny! Later that day we had a Skype lesson with an investigator from Mexico City.  We had technical issues, so we were only able to communicate verbally; it was a great lesson nonetheless.  

Elder Hair loves my mom.  She sent him trail mix

Every Sunday we have a movie night and EVERYBODY gets super hyped for it. haha.  This week we watched a movie called Testaments, I think…. It is a movie about the Nephites in the Americas  who are waiting for Jesus Christ to show himself to them.  As the movie progresses, the people and main character begin to grow more wicked. At the very end of the movie, the main character comes unto Christ and has a change of heart.  When Jesus arrives in the Americas, the main character tries to take his blind father to Jesus, amongst the vast crowd of people, because his father has been a believer his entire life. As the father and son have an intimate moment, Jesus comes to them and heals the dad.  The scene is very powerful and spiritually moving.  I felt the spirit so strongly in that moment.  It made me realize that every trial, every burden, every difficulty we have in life will be worth even just one second to see our Savior.  That much I do know.  

The rest of our week was pretty much normal.  Lots of studying, teaching, and mote studying.  I am really enjoying my time here in Mexico.  I can’t believe that I will be in Chile in less than two weeks!  Time is speeding by! I can’t wait to go to Chile! It is such an exciting time in my life.


Elder Hendrix

 Care Package from Mom and Dad

Mexico City Temple

My cousin Elder Wettstein welcomed  Elder Peterson to the Provo MTC today! Two of my best friends!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mexico City MTC- Week Three

This week has been great! I feel that I am slowly starting to see results with my language skills and ability to speak! There have been a lot of thunder storms here, nothing out of the ordinary for a Texan, but everyone else is freaking out. lol kids from Utah. 

This week’s had a few high points! Elder Hair and I gave a lesson to Carolina, one of our investigators, that was very powerful. She expressed that she feared the adversary because she thought she wasn't strong enough to withstand his temptations. At that moment, I felt inspired to share with her my favorite scripture, from The Book of Mormon; Helaman Chapter 5 Verse 12, which talks about how if we build our rock on the foundation of the Savior, then we will be able to withstand his temptations against us! It was the perfect scripture for Carolina. She began to tear up and we could all feel the spirit so strongly! That experience was a testament to me that Elder Hendrix didn't make her feel that way. It was the power of the spirit through the scriptures. I can’t wow my investigators with articulated words like I can in English, I have to be entirely reliant on the spirit. 

Another high point to this week was a quote Hermana Balderas, one of my awesome teachers, said to our class. 
"Anybody can be a missionary, but not everybody is willing to work to be a representative of Jesus Christ" 
I love this quote. It’s so true. Anybody can come on a mission, but you have to work hard to be a representative of Jesus Christ. Every day we each have a choice of what kind of day we decide to have. You are completely in control of yourself and what you do in your day. Utilize every opportunity to capitalize on Life! This life is such a blessing, so make it count! 

In closing, I’m so thankful for my Savior. I can’t imagine where 
I would be mentally if I knew that this life on earth was it. Through Jesus Christ, we can return to live with our Father in Heaven, and we can be cleansed from sin! 

Catch y”all next week!! 

Elder Hendrix

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Mexico City MTC- Week Two

This week went by a lot faster than last week! We are really starting to get into a routine here in the MTC. We are working really hard that by the end of the day we are exhausted. Have I mentioned how hilarious my companion, Elder Hair is? 
(Elder Hair)

Every day we get an hour for gym time. As a district, we play soccer every day. Hopefully, one of these days we will play basketball. 
(I think this is where they exercise)

After we work out, we prepare for our investigators.This week we have 2 investigators. Carolina and Edgar. We switch off every day between teaching them. We teach 20 minute lessons which are really short! 

Spanish is becoming easier to understand every day, but being able to convey your thoughts is still very difficult to do. That will still take tiempo! Our district is becoming really close too. All but 2 companions are going to the Santiago South Mission in Chile! This past Sunday, we had our sacrament meeting as we usually do. Mind you, everybody in the congregation has to prepare a talk in Spanish because they select people to speak on the spot!! Sure enough, I was selected to give a talk for 5 minutes......and it didn't help that I left a portion of my talk at our house...Needless to say, I gave a talk, in my broken Spanish mind you, on the Christlike attribute of faith. I shared the experience of when Nephi’s bow broke and he had to turn to the Lord for food even when his family was murmuring. After I shared this, I testified of faith. Despite only having half my talk, I was able to speak for 6 minutes! 

Faith is something we all have, but can’t tangibly see. We show our faith in Christ through our daily actions in how diligent we are to study the scriptures, say our prayers morning and night, and turning to the Lord when we are in difficult crossroads in our lives. I can testify that turning to Christ can change your life! I’m  a 1000 miles away from my family and friends speaking a language I don’t know because I know that my Savior lives, and He will live in each and every one of us if we turn to Him! That much I do know!

Elder Hendrix

(Outside of where he lives)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mexico City MTC-Week One

This week and a half has been amazing here in Mexico City. I was able to meet up with missionaries in Dallas and Atlanta, so that was very relieving. Mexico City is gorgeous. The MTC (missionary training center) sits in a valley with surrounding mountains that are really cool. It is the rainy season here, so it rains every day, at some point. My companion and I learned that lesson the hard way. Lol. Anyway,the MTC is a very spiritual place. I can’t describe it, but there is just a feeling to it. I thought I would be nervous coming here, but it’s the exact opposite. I am VERY excited. 

I will take you through my typical day here. We wake up at 6:30, get dressed and are at our classroom with our district by 7. We study a certain topic in that hour like Christlike attributes or the atonement, or any other topic. After that we go to breakfast, and get an hour and a half to work out after breakfast. My companion, Elder Hair, is a weight room junkie, but I can still bench more than he can. haha. Anyway, we spend half our time lifting, and the other half playing soccer. After that, we go back to our classroom to study Spanish until we have lunch around noon. Following that, we have additional classes and such. At 3, give a missionary lesson to a hermana (sister) by the name of Renata. We have really progressed our lessons with her over the past week. I have to do most of the talking and interpreting because Elder Hair hasn't learned Spanish before coming here. We had to give her the lesson on The Restoration on our second day. Going into it, our district joked that they were teaching us Spanish the same way you throw a new swimmer into the deep end of the pool. As we gave her our lesson, we were able to answer her questions and give her a surprisingly good lesson. We were merely the instruments in that lesson. After we give our daily lesson to our investigator, we study some more and then go eat dinner. After that, we have additional study time and computerized studying called TALL. It is very helpful. After that we plan and then hit the hay. 

I’ve been thinking about what experience I should share with you guys, and it isn't very spiritual oddly enough. 
So a couple days ago, we were playing soccer on the basketball courts like we typically do each day, but on this particular day things got a little more competitive. Mind you, they don't like it when missionaries get competitive because its supposed to be a “loving environment” here. Anyway, when things started heating up, I stuck it to those guys. I scored 4 goals and had an assist and we completely spanked those self-righteous missionaries that were being punks to some kids in our district. Kevin would be proud of me. haha  As you can tell, I am still trying to phase out of competitive sports haha.

Anyway, I should probably share a spiritual experience this week. Every day I have noticed that my parents had left a note in one of my shirts or shorts. One quote from my mom said, “love their children and they will love you.” In 5 weeks, when I am out in the field, I wont be able to speak very well to the Chileans, but I know that they can see my conviction and love for them even though I can’t speak the language. I know that parents care dearly about their children, and by showing interest and care in them will, in turn, be my way of showing a love for them.
There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus is my Savior. As a representative of Jesus Christ, I am going to tell the whole world that He lives!! 

I will talk with you guys next week,

Elder Hendrix

The last days in Texas

 The weekend leading up to Matthews departure was filled with many "see you in two"hugs.  Nicholas had to say goodbye early. That was a hard one to witness.  

Elder Hendrix, after being set apart as a Missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

We said our goodbyes, shed our tears and hugged our precious little boy.  We watched him as he composed himself, and made his way through security.  He gave us a final wave before walking through the TSA checkpoint.  We waited, anticipating one final glimpse of him.  He turned the corner, looked over his shoulder, smiled and then he was gone. Nothing prepares a parents heart for the complete joy yet utter sadness they feel as they send their child off on a mission.  We know that there is no other place he should be, yet still miss him like crazy.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Call

Dear Elder Hendrix,

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  You are assigned to labor in the Chile Santiago South Mission.  It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 24 months.

Matthew opened his call surrounded by his friends and family.  It was a wonderful night sharing this experience with many who are members of other faiths. We felt great joy as we witnessed his friends and their families excitement for him.  They pored over his mission pamphlet, read over his call and were touched by the entire process.  Matthew will be an amazing missionary.