Monday, December 8, 2014

A woman of great faith, holiness, obedience, and humility

It's crazy how fast time is flying by! The end of the transfer is already upon us! Ahhhh! Well we started a new month with great new hopes for our Zone. We were able to meet with a couple of missionaries about the changes they want to see in themselves and how we can all unite to help each other. It all revolves around trust and faith. As we reflected upon it, we were marvelled at the messages we received last night at the Christmas Devotional. Here is the link if you haven't watched it. 

Elder Richard J. Maynes stated, "The Christmas Story, Is A Family Story" as he began to relate the relationship between God the Father and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Joseph. He expanded on the immense trust that had to be had with Mary - to have her be the chosen vessel for his Beloved Son. He described her as a common woman. Not a woman of great stature. A woman of great faith, holiness, obedience, and humility. She teaches us the importance of trusting in the Lord in all things. Then Joseph exemplified Humility and Integrity. His spiritual maturity in having the confidence that what had been done was of the Lord. The comprehension of God's plan came through earnest prayer and an open heart. Finally, Jesus - who came to fully fulfill our Father's will. Never questioning - never doubting. All 3 trusting in our Father in Heaven that his purposes may come to pass.The family was unified in seeking God's Glory. I pray that each of you can find this in your own family - find that unity and trust in the Lord as Jesus' family did. He is full of love, always willing to receive anyone that comes unto him. I love my Savior and all He represents. I love my mission, and the duty which I have been given to represent our Lord. This gospel is the only sure foundation of love and peace that can be found today - This IS God's kingdom restored on Earth, I humbly testify in His holy name, even Jesus Christ. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"Christ was our first gift..." #heisthegift

Temple lighting and baptism! 
Don't forget to check out my onedrive for all the pictures!

Forgot to mention.....
2 weeks ago we were informed of the "He is the Gift" Initiative. It's the new christmas video to remember what christmas is about. I invite you to watch it, and ponder it. Then share it with EVERYONE. 
Christ was our first gift - the most precious gift we have 
from a father that loves us more than we can understand.


So this week was super busy! We had transfers and the trainers meeting. They asked us to help out again with some of the training so it was fun :) Carlos and Veronica, Crystal's parents, went to church and they are excited for their baptism the 29th. :D We've lost a little contact with China but she still seems solid...just working all the time. Big improvement with Emma and her family....we taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and the kids ate it all up. We used rePENtance to teach the second principle and they were teaching their parents after the lesson. So we have them hold a pen gripped in their hand and go through all 5 steps of repentance with a signal for each time they let one finger go. At the end they are finally able to let go of the pen "sin". It's super fun. Our mission fast continues and the blessings keep pouring in. Ingris moved to the sunset branch so we worked with the sisters to get her integrated and she is being baptized this saturday :) I'll also attach this week's spanish communicator. Funny thing...our sister training leaders also write a message and by chance we wrote about the same thing. The spirit! Almost like it's true.... ;) haha Take the challenge! I love and miss you all....you're an inspiration to me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remember...it's not as loud as thunder- its a whisper, that penetrates if you are attentive to it

Transfer week is here! Ahhhhhhh. It was nerve-wrecking! So here it is,

We're both staying! Woooot! haha So Elder Becerra and I will stay in St. George Spanish as Zone Leaders over the Spanish Zone. Changes include Sister Riera leaving to Fillmore English to serve with Sister Nichols and Sister Morales Taking her place in Sunset Spanish As the new Sister Training Leader. Elder Castaños will be going to my birthplace of Price with my MTC companion elder Anduro! It'll be exciting :) andddd he can visit my recent converts!!

So exciting week! China broke up with her boyfriend and is no longer living with him so is now eligible for baptism. She is on date for the 29th. Carlos and Veronica, RC Crystal's parents, have accepted baptism for the 29th. They are amazing! They have progressed so well and Ramon and Crystal have been such a great light in their life. The gospel radiates in everything they do!

We thought Emma would be super solid but is struggling with keeping appointments. It's tough cuz she has such a great family and her kids Joanna and Juan Carlos really wants  to go! Bleh. The struggle is real...but I know if we keep working hard and have faith Heavenly Father will get them there. 

This week We started a mission fast from disobedience. We are super excited. Strict obedience! I've been studying a lot in recognizing the spirit in preach my gospel. E. Becerra and I have been having amazing experiences in which the spirit has been leading the work so apparently. It's hard to listen when even the smallest of things distract you. Remember...it's not as loud as thunder- its a whisper, that penetrates if you are attentive to it. What things in your daily life can you change to be intuitive to the spirit. How can you make the difference in someone's life today with the spirit's guidance. Think of all the opportunities you miss out on in helping one of our brothers or sisters. I love you. Be the instrument Heavenly Father wants you to be. Be true to your divine calling as a child of God. Miss you tons.!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I hope you can feel God's love always.

So this past week was super exciting! Ramon and Crystal got baptized last saturday and Ramon received the priesthood yesterday! AHHHHHHH! It was so awesome! PLUS, both their parents attended the baptism and have accepted to take the lessons :D Blessings! Also, there's been a bug going around (must be flu season) and we haven't gotten our shot but haven't gotten sick...tender mercy? haha we are getting our flu shots this week though...i'm super nervous o.O as you know those needles are my worst enemy.

This week we have a representative from the MTC in Provo coming down to shadow my companion and I for a full day. Not sure what for...but it's happening! haha We just got a call about it and they explained but we didn't fully understand...oh well - should be fun! haha 

We are also holding an impromptu zone meeting/activity! We will report our month and share testimony of what we saw happen and what we hope to change. We will then carve a pumpkin and beat a pumpkin piñata all while wearing some sort of costume haha we will still be in pros clothes so we need to get creative. haha

I love my zone! We had interviews with President and sister Center and they both shared how they marvel at the unity in the zone. Everyone cares for eachother and really are  focused in the vision of salvation for our brothers and sisters...makes me think of my family back home and how sometimes we could have been better in being united in our purpose as a family in the eyes of God. Changes are what we're here for though. It will be great when I can return and be a better son/brother for all. I love you. I miss you. I pray for you daily.
 I hope you can feel God's love always. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Who is in your area that the Lord has prepared for YOU to bear witness of Jesus Christ to?

Hello hello! 
So this was an amazing week! We were able to find a new family and anoher brother that are pretty much golden. First is Emma Cruz with Carlos and their 2 children Juan Carlos and Joanna. They had taken lessons before but were about to be split up :/ rough....Carlos started making changes and now they have a good relationship and say that they can see themselves getting married! Ah...so cute! Andddddd she makes the best chiles rellenos haha 

Then comes Angel ! He went to the temple grounds on Thursday thinking it was a catholic church. Just moved in this week from California. Doesn't know why he decided to settle here. No wife. No Kids. No family in the US. He felt like he needed to stay on temple grounds so he sat to look at the temple and 2 sisters in our zone talked to him and got his info. We called him Saturday at noon. Met with him at the vc at 1. Taught him about eternal families and invited him to church. Was at church yesterday and stayed for the entire block and loved it. WOW!

What a testimony of how we are not alone in this work. Heavenly Father is leading his children to all of us and we just need to be ready and worthy to speak with the Spirit of truth to testify of what we hold so close to our hearts. Who is in your area that the Lord has prepared for YOU to bear witness of Jesus Christ to? Let us be ready...let us be prepared. Diligent scripture study is the key to unearthing power and valor in this work. I would encourage you all to continue if you are, or begin if you're not, to take advantage of the holy scriptures that have been provided. Love and miss you all!

Elder Castellanos

p.s. Still trying to get pictures to work :/

Monday, October 13, 2014

Spread knowledge, charity, hope, love...we all need it.

So we had an amazing week!!!
Missionary Leadership Council with president and assistants and VEGAS all in one day on Wednesday. Prepared baptismal program for Ramon and Crystal. Exchanges in Cedar City on Thursday. The first ever Spanish Zone Meeting (in the mission) on Friday. Then we had a Noche  De Hispanidad on Saturday, then had a lot of our less active and investigating brothers and sisters at church! ANDDDD we found 2 golden families :D The Lord blesses us so much. We've been making so much effort to be worthy of His miracles. General Conference was THE BEST! It spiritually strengthened us and gave us so much excitement. We literally "killed" our area. We were so happy :D We are running around a lot today again running errands for president and we have a service activity set up for 2. The mission is just the best thing EVURR. Yea...Evurr. You really start to grow a family....the family we are supposed to be here on Earth. It resonates when I hear that we are "building up the kingdom of Heaven here on Earth". It's so true. Spread knowledge, charity, hope, love...we all need it. It's been such a great experience to grow with my brothers and sisters here. Hope you are doing your part in your section of the world! :D
Love and miss you all!

Monday, October 6, 2014

I love the blessed opportunity we get to hear from our beloved Prophet and general authorities (10/6/14)

Hello hello!

Quick updates today...Family history library is closed so we don't have much time to email today :(

I got my new companion! His name is Elder Becerra. What a stud. He is from Puebla Mexico but lives in Taylorsville Utah. Has been out 15 months and is on fire! I've been learning so much from him. He really knows how to love the people. His patience is unwavering. It's nice to take a step back and just slow down sometimes. And he is a powerful teacher. I look forward to this transfer!

Now CONFERENCE! Hope you were all able to tune in. I love the blessed opportunity we get to hear from our beloved Prophet and general authorities. How cool was it to hear it in different languages too!? Email me some things you liked and I will share more next week. I love you! 

Didn't share pics cuz no place to put my camera :(

Let us build a habit that always makes us turn to Him. He knows us better than we know ourselves (9/29/14)

Hello family!

So here's the update!

Elder Cavazotti will be going to Fillmore Spanish to whitewash, and be District Leader while training a Greenie. I already called dibs on being Uncle Lou. xP haha suer exciting! It's the first time he leaves St George in 15 months! Crazyyyy!

I will be staying in St. George Spanish as Zone Leader training Elder Becerra as a new ZL. Ahhhhh...Going nuts! I'm stoked though. He is an amazing missionary!

Our zone added 2 new areas as well: Cedar Spanish and Enterprise Spanish. We are growing :')

This week was kind of off o.O a lot going on so we were going everywhere. Heber keeps doing well but won't commit....Just hasn't felt it in his heart yet. Jaime is doing well...he seems more committed now. Said he prayed and felt good all day about baptism. Hopefully next month :D Ramon is so great. He is so excited but nervous for the 18th. He just doesn't want to have to speak in sacrament. haha Roberto and Efrocinda are good as well! Still working on the divorce so we can get them married! Big things are happening!

We also had the privilege to watch he Nauvoo Pageant at the Tuahcan Theater yesterday. It was so beautiful! I put some pictures in the collages. 

The mission is just so great. In my personal study i've been focusing a lot on the New Testament. Just finished Matthew and I love it. Jesus is just the best example we could have. He teaches, he loves, he rebukes when necessary. He just does everything to the will of the Father. Sometimes our carnal state makes us forget to inquire of our Father in Heaven. Let us build a habit that always makes us turn to Him. He knows us better than we know ourselves. I love and miss you all!

we are prone to mess up and that's part of our human nature...it's what we do after that matters. (9/22/14)

So Transfer calls are this Saturday and I literally have no idea what might happen. They called a new assistant yesterday because Elder Berven is leaving us next week. Really sad to see him go. He's been such a great example of leadership. Really going to miss him. They called Elder Jensen . 

So this week just went from the best to the absolute most painful. We started off super well (although we lost the car to the mechanic again) biking out to far areas was super neat. Wednesday we had a baptism, friday we had a baptism and saturday we had baptisms. In total 7 were baptized in the zone. Wow. 7 of our brothers and sisters entered into an eternal covenant to follow Jesus Christ. My heart was so full of happiness. Well, still is. Friday we had our Noche De Hispanidad and it was a hit! See the pictures. We had a lot of guests come too that we were able to talk to and make plans to visit. Super nice! 

Then it all changed :( We met with Heber last night to go over his baptism questions and he shared he made a mistake the night before. My heart dropped. I was and am devastated. We had prayed, and fasted and did everything we could, but Satan wasn't giving up on him. Brought some hope though that he said the second he realized his mistake it was all guilt and depression. He knew it was wrong. His spirit had finally been strong enough to tell him how bad of an act he was doing. We just encouraged him and said he doesn't have to go back to it. That we are prone to mess up and that's part of our human nature...it's what we do after that matters. Be alittle better each day :/ well that and a combination of a couple of other things in the past 48 hours have really made it rough.

 I was blessed to take part in the Ogden temple rededication yesterday. Wow. What an amazing experience...i feel it both recharged me and prepared me for what was to come. How blessed we are to have the House of the Lord to connect Heaven and Earth. To feel His presence and His love. How grateful I am that my parents taught me the importance of being temple worthy - that they lovingly encouraged me to serve the Lord for 2 years. How grateful I am for my mission...and everything i've learned and will continue to learn. I wouldn't trade it for the world. May we strive to be worthy to be in the presence of God one day. I miss and love you all more than you can imagine.

-Elder Castellanos

There were dancing strawberries in our living room this morning (9/15/14)

hello hello!

let's start with the brothers and sisters we are teaching!

Heber: He is such a great person. He just wants to make sure he's left his whole life behind before baptism. He just doesn't wan to be tempted the same way afterwards and let Heavenly Father down. We focused on the power of the covenants he would be making at baptism and the power of the influence of the Holy Ghost. We decided to fast with him and he asked for a priesthood blessing for strength and guidance. This is probably the hardest fast i've ever done. There were dancing strawberries in our living room this morning o.O but i'm so grateful for the opportunity to be there to support him. He's still on date for the 27th.

Roberto and Efrocinda are the cutest. They are from Chiapas Mexico and they want to be baptized. We took them to the visitor's center and watched "God's plan for families" and the spirit was so strong. Efrocinda is still married in mexico so we are working on the divorce so we can get them married. They were in church this sunday! Miracle! so we were on splits Saturday and I took our Ward mission leader to go see them and Roberto was going to have to work sunday and couldn't go. We invited him to pray for Heavenly Father to open the path for him to be able to attend. He gets a call right before he leaves saying the job site will be closed for the day. How awesome is that!?

Jaime: Remember him?? 15 year old part member family. Mum is less active. anywho we didnt have a car all this week because the bumper is getting fixed cuz of the car crash and we were on bikes so we couldn't get out to him. So he calls friday night and says he missed us coming over and said he had done his reading and asked if we could come over the next day. So we strapped on our helmets and rode our bikes over! what a journey haha luckily on the way back it was all downhill. Well we met with him and he said he'd been praying about baptism. He's so close I can feel it :D

I'd say that's the highlight. We got a new missionary this week so we are in a trio. His name is Elder Tim. He is just the best. He reminds us to be a little bit "boulder" badumpsh....okay he's our pet rock...but he's been making his way all the way through st. george!

we continue to teach elvia through the phone and she is just the best! she is already reading mosiah! what a great inspiration!

Heavenly Father really tried us this week....we really doubted we could make standards but we said we were going to go forth with full faith and ride our bikes through all of st. george if we had to. Guess who made it?? Yup :D I'm so grateful for the blessings Heavenly Father pours upon us as we are diligent and obedient and act with an open heart and full of faith. He really provides whenever we fail if we are humble and seek Him. 

I Love you all!

[ the many adventures of Elder Tim the pet rock ]

May we let him take the reins and steer us as we diligently push forward in his gospel. ( 9/8/14)


Alrighty, so this week was awesome! we've been having Angelo come out to lessons with us. He is just ON FIRE! like he literally shares his testimony with EVERYONE! A true inspiration. He says since he doesn't have a chance to serve a full time mission he can still share with everyone he meets. Only if every member was like that! Every missionary at that. He has no fear to let people know what he holds to be true. Best convert yet! 

On Heber - he is getting closer to accepting baptism. We went to a baptism with him on sunday of Flor, (elvia's daughter) He was so amazed at how much he was able to feel the spirit. Heavenly Father is truly opening doors for him to accept the message. He is reading more and more and actually receiving revelation as he reads. What a great blessing to be able to receive answers from our Father in Heaven.

Daniel! So we went out looking for Irvin on Tuesday night and he wasn't home, but his cousin Daniel was and he said he had been going to the english ward for 2 weeks now but would like to go to spanish so he could learn more. We visited him again Thursday night and he agreed to work towards baptism at the end of this month. Heavenly Father truly prepares his Children  receive His message!

This week has been centered on patience. Both in conversing with our brothers and sisters and waiting for the Lord's timing. We need to always remember to be grateful for everything we have, and to praise Heavenly Father continually as we wait for the next big part of our life comes. It's all planned out with blessing that will help us endure this earthly trial if we are faithful to his word. I love this gospel with all my heart. I love my savior and my Father in Heaven. He is mindful of me, and every single one of us. May we let him take the reins and steer us as we diligently push forward in his gospel. I love and miss you!

Flood. Elder Clarke and more! (9/2/14)

Hello family! Not too much time to write...still running around with getting things sorted for Elder Clarke next week. President has asked my companion and I to organize everything. Super busy! PLUS we flooded last week and we were running around everywhere helping people. Some of our missionaries got flooded too so we were out all night helping. Here's some pictures. I will update more next week. I love you all! Heavenly Father loves you! May we live worthily of his eternal love for us.

oh, and a newsletter i came up with to share with our zone. thought it'd be nice to keep em in the loop and inspire.

Family is the best...let's appreciate them while we have them. (8/25/14)

So this week was the first week in he all new spanish zone! Wut, wut. Super exciting. We had our district meetings wednesday and thursday which is super nice because we could go to both. In one of them E. Becerra had a super cool idea to make our own "standard of liberty". You will see some pictures in the collages I made. You will also see pictures of the box I got from my family :) Andrea loves to draw pictures and the mission office loves it! haha since I live down the street from it they just call me when I get a package. They all love looking at the pictures haha
On the next one you will see the baptism! Angelo made it to the baptismal waters! :DDD He was the most prepared of anyone i've taught on my mish. He was just so humble and ready to accept heavenly Father's answers. He went and bought a cristus the day before :D So we had to have the baptism at 8am on sunday because of some of his guests' availability. We were at the chapel at 530 to start filling up the font and making preparations. It was a long day but totally worth it!!

Heber told us he wouldn't be ready for the 30th :( we were super sad but then he told us he has beenslacking on reading and praying. Well no wonder he didn't feel ready. We committed him o the 27th of September and he said that was the day he'd be ready for sure. We also committed him to meet with us every day. That's what we did with Angelo and his progression was just phenomenal. We are super excited for him! :D

This week has been a real "spring/summer cleaning" both in our apartment and in our daily tasks. We felt a need to be more organized and ready for the day. Our apartment was rearranged and tidied up and our schedule was filled with effective finding and teaching opportunities. We noticed an increase in time spent and a decrease on time wasted. We only serve one mission, and we only live one life. Lets make sure each day is filled with things that will help us be better prepared to one day meet our eternal judge. Sister Peterson(mum) shared in her email today that she too was also working on tidying up the house and made sure everyone was involved. It was great to hear of the bonding experience it was as well for the family. I'm sure we can all have these same experiences. I think back before the mish on the times my mum would urge us all to collaborate in a clean-up and how fun it was though we argued and grunted at times. Family is the best...let's appreciate them while we have them. 

I love you all. I love my mission. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. 

'Til next week! :D

12 And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.
 13 And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christiansremain to possess the land—
 14 For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church.

Spanish zone!!!! wooot! (cue mariachis) (8/18/14)

Hello! So I have super crazy stories for this week! Well....i think they're super crazy. The first are transfers! so 3 weeks ago or so we had Zone leader interviews and president asked what he could do to increase the spanish work. I recommended that a strictly spanish zone of missionaries would be beneficial since the work differs from english. That way trainings, exchanges and focuses could be fully based on spanish work. Guess what is happening this transfer!?!?!?!??!?!?!??!?!
Spanish zone!!!! wooot! (cue mariachis)
ohtay, maybe not that far....but e. cavazotti and I are the new Zone leaders for the first ever spanish zone in the mission. Ahhh!!! We are so excited to be able to be a part of it and work with the other areas in bringing an increase in the hispanic work.

2nd. We met sister Elvia  the 3rd of august. Born in Guatemala but now lives in Belize. She came for a month because her daughter Flor was getting married to Jaime. When we first met her she didn't even want to talk to us at church. We were fasting that day for a golden investigator and decided to go knock some doors. Guess who we knocked into? Elvia! So we sat down and taught the restoration on the spot. Both Jaime and Flor bore their testimony to Elvia and thanked Heavenly Father for answering their fasting prayer. That's right....they were fasting for missionaries to enter into Elvia's life. She agreed for us to return on tuesday the 5th for a lesson. Went back and taught the plan of salvation and she just fell in love. We couldnt meet the rest of the week due to wedding preparations but she was at church on sunday. She asked if we could come back on monday to teach her and we did. We taught every day and she accepted baptism on Wednesday the 13th after receiving a priesthood blessing. It all sounds great right?? well we ended up teaching the word of wisdom on thursday and she committed to stop drinking coffee. We went to walmart and bought her PERO (coffee substitute) and she was stoked about it! We had her interview that morning nad we had to consult with president since the baptism was so close but president denied our request. :( I know it's for the best though. We were excited because she was just so prepared. She will get baptized in belize and we have permission to keep in contact through skype :D

Next is Angelo! He continues to blow my mind. He visited a part member family and bore his testimony to them :D and he's not even a member yet! his baptism is this sunday! We are so excited! 

The theme for my life this week was gratitude. As we indulge in the scriptures we come to know more and more about Heavenly Father. As we come to know Him better we are able to recognize him more and more in our lives. As we recognize Him more in our lives we will be filled with his love and we should aspire to thank Him for more and more that we have. Alma 37:37 holds a wonderful counsel and promise.

"Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."

I love this gospel with all my being. I'm grateful for my Savior and my Heavenly Father that gives me so much. I testify that this is the truth and light we must acquire in this world. It is a path that leads us into the Kingdom of our Father in Heaven. Let us grow and fill our lives with our beloved Brother's teachings and acknowledge him in all that we do and have.

Les amo mucho! :D

selfies and groupies (8/11/14)