Tuesday, June 23, 2015

...bonds within the family can be eternal and peacefully joyous..." (6/22/2015)

So this is it! It's our last week in the Utah st George mission. Da
feels are real. We had a a amazing week last week though. We had zone
conference in ephraim! Super inspirational. Had an interview with
president that brought me to tears. We worked and watched the manti
pageant! Beautiful! Michelle, Caden, and Gary were baptized! Super
stressful day that was. Edwin continues to go to church. RL, Amanda's
husband got the priesthood and will be baptizing her this upcoming
weekend. Andddddddd we are getting a mini missionary today who will be
with us for 3 days. We got his crib ready. Haha. We told the kids at
the manor to haze him when he gets here. "He goin to learn today"
haha. Other than that all is well. I'm happily exhausted daily and I
wouldn't have it any other way. Gary had asked me to bear my testimony
at his baptism and in that I shared an excerpt from "The Family. a
Proclamation To The World". For those who don't know the article it
has been published by the prophets and apostles in these latter days
as Heavenly Fathers view on the family and the sacred roles a mother
and father have. Here is the excerpt!

"The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is
essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within
the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who
honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is
most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord
Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and
maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness,
respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational

I testify that the family is ordained of God as it mentions. I testify
that the value and bonds within the family can be eternal and
peacefully joyous through living the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is
no other way. I testify that a mother and father though there roles
are different are equal partners in the upbringing of Heavenly Fathers
children. What a great trust has been placed on us. Let us be inspired
and accept all the tools our God has given us to make sure we do it
His way. I love you all. Happy Father's Day!

Elder Luis Augusto Castellanos


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"May we have the courage to say as Moses did, "get thee hence satan"" (6/15/2015)

So it's the first week where we began covering all of delta. I'm just
tired :( haha it has all been worth it though. Especially for all the
change of hearts we've been witnessing. So here's some updates!

Noah was baptized Saturday! He had great support from the ward and
from his friends at the white river academy. It was one of the most
powerful baptisms I've been to. I'm grateful for Noah's example for
his friends. He will be graduating from the program in a month or so
and is eager to go home to teach his family! Along with him we have
Josh, Hunter, and Nick who will be baptized the 18th of July.

Edwin, Jocelyn, and the Flores family. New family brother Sorensen
introduced us to. Little Edwin is 11 and wants the gospel! We gave him
the first two lessons and he ate it all up. He even rode his bike to
church by himself yesterday! He has 4 adorable little sisters. His mum
also has interest in the gospel and we will start teaching her after
work schedules get worked out.

Brother Klein surprised us by telling us he was ready to make
covenants! His baptism will be this Saturday. You can imagine we were
bouncing off the walls.

Michelle Cropper and Her nephew Caden Cox will still be baptized this
Saturday as well. Our last meeting with them was a little rough but so
powerful as they shared concerns and inadequacies that they felt. We
reassured the love of their father in heaven and the power of the
atonement helping them overcome whatever feelings they may have. After
some testimony and emotions they decided to keep their date :)

Michelle Robison continues to be on track for the 27th of this month.
She has really transformed spiritually. I'm grateful for the influence
of the temple and what it did for our area.

We met a family out in Callao this last week. Mum, pop, and two little
boys. Cute little family. Part member, mum hasn't joined yet. She has
shared her desire for an eternal family though. She knows her
goal so we will do what we can to get them there.

And that's a few of the miracles we are experiencing! This week we
gave talks in sacrament. The theme was ordinances. I spoke on the
sacrament, but specifically applying the atonement through daily
repentance as preparation to partake of the sacrament on Sunday. It is
that sacred. Preparation is needed. I related to Moses' encounter with
satan. Satan tries to convince Moses that he is a son of man. Moses
understood his calling as a son of God and responded quickly with,
"get thee hence Satan". How many earthly things try to convince us of
the same? That we are not children of God but merely children of men.
How many satans are in our midst clouding our judgment making us
easily forget our divine lineage? May we have the courage to say as
Moses did, "get thee hence satan". May we receive the strength to do
so through daily repentance, a daily accountancy with the lord every
night of things we need to be forgiven for. May we prepare to partake
of those sacred emblems which are the body and blood of our eternal
savior. I love you all.


'Provo Mission?" (6/8/2015)

First and foremost, Matia got baptized! Woot! :) see the pictures!! Also, we found another adorable family! Parents and 6 kids!! We met with them this week and put them on date for the middle of July and one of the kids just yelled out yes! It was so amazing.
Second. It's true. Transfers are here and we will be both staying. Attached is a picture of a letter we also received on Saturday. Here is a brief excerpt from it.

"We will lose the following areas/stakes to the Provo Mission:

All of the Price Zone, the two Nephi stakes and the two Delta stakes.

With this transfer, the missionaries serving in those areas will become part of the Utah Provo Mission as of June 30, 2015. They will not only have a new mission, but will serve under a brand new mission president.
Yup...Elder Hernandez and I are officially part of the Utah Provo mission starting July. Say whaaaaa. I know. I cried. I had been called as a representative of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and assigned to labor in the Utah st. George mission. That's been my heart and home for 18 months now and all of a sudden it changes in a blink of an eye. After some conversation with my mission president and a lot of prayer I do however feel comforted. The Lord is preparing the next chapter of my life. I know that there are people in the Provo mission that my testimony needs to reach, and their testimony I need to hear. The work is the same, just in a different part of the vineyard. I'm also not the only one....33 other missionaries will be transferring over as well. At least I'm not alone, right? Elder Hernandez and I will also be taking over all of delta being the only set of missionaries in the area now. To put it into perspective, we were covering 3 congregations last transfer and now we cover more than 20 in two stakes. 🙀 I know. Nerve wrecking. I will have an assignment as soon as our new president come in. They won't tell me what it is though. We will see what exciting new things come to pass with this change. Blessings are waiting! I love and miss you all!

"I am a child of God, and so my needs are great." (5/1/2015)

Hello hello family! So sorry that I've been MiA the past couple of
weeks. It was Mother's Day then I was just feeling too lethargic to
write. So here are some updates!

Since the power outage occurred Maria will be baptized this weekend.
She will get confirmed the same day so she can be interviewed for a
temple recommend so she can watch the Payson temple dedication. How
cool is that!? Super cool. That's how cool. Her brother Gerardo
continues to come every Sunday. Such a great little missionary too.
He's been teaching all of his friends what he has learned. Haha we
started playing games with the kids in his apartment complex and now
they all love us. Super plus.

Jose told us he had questions about
baptism and that his desire kinda went away, but then his mum says
he's been asking her about getting baptized. So not sure where he's
going there. He might be doing it for a social status which then we
can't allow him to go through with it. The struggle is real.

Hugo we haven't seen in quite a while. We keep saying we will head to
hinckley to see him but then we get caught up or they're not home.
Last time we talked we asked his wife to be a little more supportive
with her testimony and what she expects for their family. She seemed
up for it but who knows at this point.

We continue to teach the poulsons (the ones we went to the temple
with) they are such a cute family. The older daughters Madison and
Audrey wanted to get into a summer program where they just do a lot of
fun activities so we pulled some strings and got them applications and
fed em straight to the head honcho.

We started teaching the Brooks family. Missy used to attend lessons
with us by herself but now she wants her whole family in on it. Neat
huh? We have also made it the focus to get her boys the priesthood. We
were supposed to have a lesson with them last night but it didn't work
out :( we will catch em next time!

As far as I go, everything is great! Elder Hernandez continue to have
a blast working together. This is week6 though so that might end soon.
Transfer calls this weekend! I'd be really sad to leave. So much has
happened with the families we teach.

We had testimony meeting this week due to the temple dedication next
week. My testimony was about family. Not only of the one I have at
home, but all those Individuals I meet on a daily basis. I testify
that God lives. He is the literal father of our spirits. We are his
children. Each and everyone of us are brothers and sisters. We must
embrace our identity as a son or daughter off God. We should know what
it means and how it applies to our lives. We must help all those
around us come to the same realization. The words of one of my
favorite primary songs comes to mind, and I hope it rings in yours as
you interact with those not partaking of the blessings of the gospel.
"I am a child of God, and so my needs are great. Help me to understand
His will, before it grows too late. Let us gather our family, for
their "needs are great". May we do it without fear or hesitation,
"before it grows too late" is my prayer and testimony, in the name of
Jesus Christ amen.

I love and miss you all.

Mother's Day (5/11/2015)

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there! I hope you realize the huge role you have in God's plan as not only His daughter, but as a trusted parent of His spirits. Nothing big this week after talking with my family. Hope everyone's week was full of miracles!
Also, check out this video of our zone meeting surprise!
I love you all! God Lives. We Are His Children. He Loves Us. All Things Are Done In The Wisdom Of He Who Created Us. He isn't a magician with a magic wand, but he's an omnipotent and holy being with a perfect plan.


So week one of a new transfer. Like you know I'm with elder Hernandez.
Super excited. Love that kid. We've been having a blast this week
while tearing it up in delta. It's #dabest so quick updates cuz we
don't have a lot of time today.

Gerardo was baptized Saturday. He was the cutest ever. He's the first
in his family to join. After the baptismal service we talked to his
sister and she said she was ready to start working towards her big
day. So she will be baptized may 30th if all goes well. Their mum is
soon to follow after working on some things! :)

Hugo continues to do amazingly! He could use more support from his
wife though but she is easily slipping back into activity. So we are
focused on getting her more comfortable.

The poulsons were supposed to go to the Payson temple with us Friday
but something came up so we rescheduled for next Friday. Sister
poulson shared she is really anticipating the trip because she wants
to get her family sealed. That will be a great day!

My testimony this week was on the family and the atonement. The
atonement makes the family work. It strengthens relationships and the
bond of family members. It allows pain yet inhibits growth. It urges
US To learn from one another and how to succor eachother as we seek
the Lords help as a unit. I'm so grateful for it, and I know I can be
better in applying it more. I love you all! Time is going too fast!


"Do we share in both the joys and the struggles and council with one another?" (4/27/2015)

So I don't have a lot of time to write today - have a lot to do with
transfers and a meeting we need to attend.

Transfer Call!
Elder Silva will be leaving and going to Enterprise to be in a trio
with Elder Becerra and Elder Steinback.
I will be staying in Delta and receiving Elder Hernandez!

Soooooo I'm excited :) haha

Last week was great! Met with Gerardo's parents and they agreed to let
him be baptized! &&&I they actually both sat in on the lesson with us
and asked questions. Also, Jose's mum agreed to let him be baptized so
he is praying for the end of this month. Evangelina got a new job, but
it has her busier than before. Just have to work with her to catch her
when she's free. Sister Owens in my district got her visa so she
leaves us today to go to Brazil. It was fun getting to speak to her in
Portuguese haha sister Lomiga will be heading down to my last area
with one of my daughters, sister Lopez-Hernandez. Fillmore areas are
combined and elder Mullen and elder mallet will both be staying. Elder
Howard leaves us to go to cedar city and elder Elliott is pregnant!

This transfer has been so great for growth. With every trial I faced I
reminded myself of the goal I had to have the attitude of the savior.
I had committed to always look for the lesson to be learned instead of
questioning why things happen. If it be God's will then it should be
our will. I'm grateful for my district this transfer. Through all of
our struggles and strengths we truly did edify one another. Made me
think of family back home, and how the same principle can be
applied...are we truly united in the home in a way that everything
that happens we are all involved in? Do we share in both the joys and
the struggles and council with one another? I love each of you! Til
next week!

P.s. Welcome Home Sister Peterson! I know Brazil misses you!


So here we are starting the last week of the transfer! Ahhhhhh. This
year is going by so quick. Can you believe we are already in May??

Well this week was pretty much amazing - well i think it was anyway.
so quick updates.

Evangelina - Had our lessons as usual but she ended up losing her job
this week :( she was unwavering though! she said she knkew it was
because Heavenly Father was preparing something better for her - and
He was! She got a better job 2 days later that gave her all Sundays
off. Wutwut. I know, She continues to progress towards baptism and is
just waiting for her family to come in the next few weeks.

Ivan - continues to have Word of wisdom problems but keeps meeting
with us. He might be goiing into a boy's home in a month or so because
of his acting up. We met his mum for the first time yesterday. She was
really nice and supportiive of her son meeting with us but says she is
too deep in her family religion to open herself up to another.

Hugo - Had our lesson with him and talked about baptism. He said it
was something he was really considering and would attend church again.
He asked some really good questions concerning the godhead and the
nature of God. He soaked it all in and said he felt like he was just
remembering truths he had known all along. Well, of course!

Gerardo - Adorable little 8 year old boy that goes to church with his
aunt. He has been learning more and more in primary and gathering up
the strength to ask his mum if he can be baptized. (he would be the
first in his family) yesterday he came up and said that he was finally
going to do it and asked if we could be there for him. It was just
about the most neat experience ever! So we will be accompanying him
this week.

This week i've been made more and more aware of how unique Heavenly
Father is in answering prayers when we ask for things. I've been
asking for an increase in christ-like attributes and day after day I
face a situation where each attribute I ask for is challenged. I've
known all along that Heavenly Father doesn't just hand things over- it
requires of ourselves. But it's been really neat seeing how each trial
helps strengthen us and give us what we ask for. We really should pray
for trials. They teach us a lot about ourselves and our Heavenly
Father. It strengthens not only our ability to endure but our
relationship with our Father and our Savior. I'm excited to see what
more situations he blesses me with. What kind of trials have blessed
your life recently?? Love and miss you alll!

"Live like he wants you to live. As his sons and daughters" (4/13/2015)

So not much to report on this week. We were actually only in our area
for 3 of the 7 days of the week. We spent Pday in Fillmore. Then
Tuesday we spent the day in cedar city - I had to give a training at
the zone conference then we stayed after and proselytizing with the
elders there for a bit. Wednesday we had district meeting then were
able to go out and make visits. We tried to meet with hector and with
Eva but the lessons didn't go like we expected. Something is holding
them back and we just can't crack it yet. Then we saw Ivan and we were
able to make contact with Jose. Then Thursday we headed to the manti
zone conference for me to do the training there too. Then On the way
back we stopped and started exchanges in Fillmore and got home Friday
night. Saturday began early with visits. Then went out and supported
Ivan at the track meet followed by doing some yard work for the Ewart
family. It was a service day really with some visits in between. The.
Yesterday was just packed with meetings. Something I'll definitely
feel a relief from when I'm back home haha. Short update but it was so
great. Each day presented a miracle! Like yesterday for example, we go
to one of our correlation meetings and we start talking about a
brother in the ward and we felt impressed to stop by the same day to
visit. Well turns out he has a son in law living with him on the
weekends that's not a member of the church. Sat down and had a lesson.
Received a Book of Mormon and said he would be at church next week
with our next appointment being Saturday. Wow! People are prepared.
Our brothers and sisters are just waiting to be taught. The lord
teaches me this over and over again. Have you been experiencing
miracles? Have you been living worthily to have the spirit to
recognize Gods Grand working in your life? I know he is. I know that
you can know for yourself. Find him in your life! Live like he wants
you to live. As his sons and daughters. I love and miss you! Til next

"I bear my witness that we are all Children of a Heavenly Father, who loves us" (4/6/2015)

What a beautiful week to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. For this week i'd just like to share my notes on General Conference and a little bit of what I hold to be true. BUT, since I know some of you might not read it til' the end, i'll ad my testimony first.
I bear my witness that we are all Children of a Heavenly Father, who loves us. I bear testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. He was born, and lived a perfect life as a flawless template for us to follow. He took upon himself the sins, worries, and tribulations of the world and sealed the act with His own blood. On the third day, he took up His life and His body and spirit were reunited in a glorified state - never to be separated again. He has paved the way and opened the gates to Heaven that all who choose to believe and act in His name may have everlasting life. His perfect gospel has been restored by Heavenly Messengers to modern prophets who lead and guide us today. I testify that Thomas S Monson, is the Lord's living prophet. I testify that through those same heavenly messengers, the priesthood authority to act in God's name and perform His holy ordinances has been restored. I testify that God's plan of happiness intends families to be together forever. Through the Lord's holy temples this is possible. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I have taken upon myself his name, and have accepted sacred promises to endure and stand as a witness of Him in all times, in all things, and in all places. This is His church, His kingdom once again on the Earth. He is our cornerstone, our Leader, our Master, our Brother and Friend.I love Him. I love my Heavenly Father. I love my family. I invite all to know of Him. That you may all come to know truth, "for he that asketh, receiveth - and he that seeketh, findeth." Is my humble prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
GC Saturday Session
Henry B Eyring
As we reach out to succor others, we reach out to succor him.
Interview with Christ - Then shall the king say unto them on the right hand, come ye blessed of my father, for i was an hungered and ye gave me meat...
How can we deserve it?
Simple Commandment - Law of the fast
Rich promises are made to those that fast, and assist the needy.more than clothe and feed bodies - help heal hearts
If he lives it long enough, he will receive the blessing promised. - not just once, or twice. - Until it has been planted in our hearts.
Boyd K Packer
Cookie and a Kiss
The end of all activity in the church is to see that a man and a woman and their children are happy at home, sealed together for all time and eternity.
The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth continues to be an essential part of the plan of salvation.
Power of procreation is the plan of happiness - it is the key.
Avoid situations where physical desires can take control
The sealing in the temple is part of the full completion of true love.
We cannot escape the consequences when we transgress.
Every debt of transgression must be paid.
No scars will remain because of the atonement.
God is our Father.
His mercy is without limit.
Sealing is much more of a wedding.
The atonement can push you through to those limits you desire to reach.
You can "remember your sins no more"
Linda K Burton
Because of the office I hold, I am required to tell the truth. She is perfect.
Life without Craig, would not be life.
Husband is not more attractive to his wife, than when he is serving as a worthy priesthood holder.
Makeshift fence. Obedience. Love of a father. Role as a protector. Be like dad.
What it takes to be a "real" man?
Satan is not just angry for not having a body - he has also forfeited the opportunity to have the role of a father.
When was the last time I complimented my companion
When have I prayed for them
When Have I stopped myself from saying hurtful
When was the last time I chose to be happy, rather than fight to prove i'm right.
Thee lift me, and i'll lift thee, and we will ascend together.
Dallin H Oaks
Conference topics are assigned by heavenly help
Parable of the sower.
Seed that was sown is the word of the kingdom, or the word of God, the teachings of the master and his servants.
The soil represents how his children receive the message.
It serves as a warning.
Stony ground - those who immediately receive it with gladness, but are offended when persecution arises.
No root - converted to the missionaries or attractive characteristics of the church or its membership.
Spiritual food is necessary for spiritual survival.
Exposure of spiritual strength.
If the emblems of the sacrament are being passed and you are texting or whispering or playing video games or doing anything else that denies you spiritual food.
Keyhole view of the gospel- focuses on a limited aspect of the church and ignores the whole view of the fruits of the gospel.
Among thorns- Hear the word but the cares of the world and deceitfulness of riches make it unfruitful.
The root of all evil is not money - it is the love of money.
Cares, riches, and pleasures of this life.
Putting the cares of this world in front of God in our actions and thinking.
Addictions, distractions, and entitlement mentality. - Damnatiion
Fear of the future hinders our ability to go forth in faith.
Thats been the whole story of the church hasnt it, you have to be willing to offend here, you have to be willing to take the risk, thats where the faith comes in, its supposed to be hard, its supposed to be a test in this mortal world.
I want to stress again of really living what we claim to believe. In everything we do.
Difference between being leaven in society and being digested by society.
Good ground - How can we prepare ourselves to be that good ground?
They that keep the word with patience.
Seek to be firmly rooted and converted.
Achieve conversion by prayer, service, scripture reading and continual partaking of the sacrament.
L Whitney Clayton
Light in the distance and the fight to get there.
There was hope.
Took courage that no matter how bad things are, there is help if we reach the light.
If we search it, there will always be a spiritual light to offer rescue.
Recognizing spiritual light vs physical light.
Begins with our initial desire to believe.
Give place in our hearts.
Requires personal choice and action
For every one that asketh, receiveth....
"Believe the works..."
Closer to the light we get, the brighter it seems.
Sometimes we lose glimpse of the light.
Sometimes we aren't sure what the light is, but we know there is refuge.
IF we choose to believe, the Savior's light will show us the way.
He stands ready to receive you.
L Tom Perry
Family issues
We now live in a culture of temporary where more and more people are giving up on marriage as a public commitment.
- Pope Francis
Families are the basic unit of society.
Muslim scholar who quoted the Proclamation to the family.
Love of spouse. Hope and dreams for children. We are all the same.
Marriage between a man and a woman.
How is this church different?
Only we have the eternal perspective of the restored gospel. We make it a subject of eternity. Families go back before this earth was, and they will go forward into eternities.
Raise responsible children.
Marriage vows
(signal went away :( )
Families have always mattered, and always will.
Through marriage and families we can unite with the rest of the world.
The older I get, the further I'm convinced that the family is the center of life.
David A Bednar
Eliminate fear with the gospel
Should not be frightened but remember the Lorf their God
Alma did not hush their fears, but merely reminded them to trust in GOd which enabled them to hush their own fears.
Jesus Christ is the only source of peace.
Look to Christ - always fxed in all times and in all places
"Lord, save me"
Build upon the foundation of Christ
Helaman 5:12
We are connected to the Savior as we make and keep covenants.
Press forward with a faith in Christ
Submit to his will and timing.
We can be blessed to hush our fears
Godly Fear
Peace, Assurance, and Confidence
Reverence, respect, and awe for the Lord
Godly fear is the beginning of knowledge
Fear God, and keep his commandments.
Godly fear dispels mortal fear
We will never measure up
D Todd Christofferson
Your love is your own private possession
It is not merely your love in marriage that joins you with God
Intelligences - spirits - Mortal body - Resurrection - Crowned with respective glory.
(Pause for situation being handled)
I can teach you to dance - but you have to hear the music
We learn the steps with our minds, we hear the music in our hearts.
If our converts learn the steps, but don't hear/feel the music - they will eventually stop dancing or keep dancing for the mere pressure of those dancing around them.
M Russell Ballard
RM does not mean retired mormon.
Balance your life with spiritual experiences.
Understand the importance of visiting the lonely, sick, or discouraged.
Seminary. Institute. Religious education in college.
Continue to find ways to learn and receive guidance.
Never think you are too busy to study the gospel.
4 courses encouraged.
Put down your cell phone and look around :P
YSA's need to date and marry. Stop delaying.
Anxiously engaged in courting and dating.
Don't text, use your voice.
Marry. Serve. Lead
Larry M Gibson
What you see is silver reflecting you. If you focus on the silver, it will keep you from seeing the picture of the destiny Heavenly Father has prepared for you.
I never want to do that again - unless my son wants to.
The son can do nothing of himself but what he seeth the father do.
I do nothing of myself, but of my father who taught me.
Honor and Protect Womanhood
Do your sons see you striving to do what heavenly father would have them do?
Without waiting too long, marry a daughter to God.
Learn to be a Father.
Assist your father in his duties
Support your mother
Dieter F Uchtdorf
Potempkin Village
Make believe we are better than we really are
Extremes in desire to impress shift from useful to deceitful.
Lips close but hearts are far from them.
Priesthood holders who cover their sins - the heavens withdraw themselves.
Lost focus of the essence of the gospel.
Examine our hearts to make correction.
What is our ministry?
Desire to follow my Master.
Yearn to do all He asks.
Hunger to be edified by the spirit.
Be a better man.
Learn how to more effectively minister to those in need.
Love my Heavenly Father and His Son
Blazing Bonfire
If you feel small and weak, come unto Christ.
Arent we all in need of repair
Come to church to heal
GC Sunday Session
Thomas zS Monson
Few challenges, but countless blessings.
When we enter the doors of the temple, we leave everything of the world behind.
Peace of the temple will transcend any worry or fear the human heart can have.
Go to the temple
Remember the covenants that were made there.
Spirit of temple worship
Rosemary M Wixon
Ask the Lord to give me courage.
When testimony was brought to ashes, all that was left was JEsus Christ.
Man does not comprehend all things that God does.
Jose A Teixeira
3 Habits for healthy online activity
1. Visit the church's official website for resources
2. Subscribe to church's social network
3. Make time to set aside your mobile devices.
Gerard Causse
Can you imagine being in his presence??
Have we become insensitive to the messages of the spirit?
The people began to forget...
Is the gospel still wonderful to you??
If we seek, we shall find.
Anchor your faith in the plain and simple truths of the gospel.
What effort or great length would I go to attend church?
Seek the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Never do anything to lose the gift of the spirit.
Brent H Nielson
Parable of the Prodigal Son
The Father response in a loving and caring manner.
After all his efforts, he just watched, and waited.
Let her go, but not without letting her know the love that there is for her.
Although we can"t embrace all of someone's choices , we can embrace them.
Watch, pray, and wait.
All of us are lost and need to be found.
Jeffrey R Holland
The love for my brother. How many a times did he just wait for me to do something foolish and then grab and pull me up, and save me. How many councils were rejected, yet still patiently waited to save me from falling.
Are we all just hanging?? Are we all just desperately and anxiously searching for something to grasp?
All part of His eternal plan.
Dieter F Uchtdorf
Never lose our sense of awe and eternal gratitude for the savior's sacrifice.
God loves us deeply, perfectly, ad everlastingly.
Grace of God
Grace unlocks the gates of heaven. Opens the window of heaven.
We cannot earn our way into Heaven on our own.
Grace is our hope.
To inherit this glory we need more than an unlocked gate.
We must enter with a full and sincere heart with an intent and action to change.
Windows of Heaven.
Are we Simon? Going through the motions?
Are we the woman? Worried of being lost by our sins?
When we pray, do we reflect on our righteousness? Or do we cry out aand plead to be forgiven of our own nothingness?
Merge our works with God's grace.
Grace is a gift of God.
Don't walk - Run!
Freely choose to follow him today and always.
Kevin W Pearson
Oh God, bless me that I may not lose my testimony
No one at any age is exempt from Satan
Distraction and Deception
Hanging in there is not a principle of the gospel.
Casual obedience and lukewarm commitment includes wavering faith.
Lehi's Dream
1. Don't forget to pray.
2. Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.
3. Press Forward with a steadfastness in Christ.
4. Book of Mormon is KEY. Cling to truth. Be patient.
5. Don't be distracted and deceived.
6. Stay by the tree. Converted.
Cannot return from your mission to Babylon.
If you lose the Spirit, you are lost.
I made this decision as a 20 year old boy, and made sacred covenants with God.
Average is the enemy of excellence.
Neil L Anderson
We are not casual in our faith.
We deeply love him.
If everything is going perfectly for you right now...just wait.
He is the grand architect.
Can you see the hand of God in your life??
Opening of our spiritual eyes.
Stand steadfast.
Jorge F Zeballos
2 great commitments.
1. seek our own salvation
2. serve all other men
Salvation=Exaltation=Achieving highest degree of glory
If you don't know where you want to go, it doesn't matter which path you take.
A person's word should be enough to establish truth and commitment.
Jesus was able to forgive sin because he had the power to do so by his word before performing the atonement.
If it is our Father's will to take him home, then it is well with us.

"Repentance is a beautiful thing. Progression is life" (3/30/2015)

Bonjour Ma Famille!

What an exciting time to be a missionary! Well, at least I think so.
Quick updates today.

Still in Delta

Still Working Hard

Still loving Life

K, that's about it
hehe, kidding.

Hector - Continues to be super awesome! We took him some fresh fruit
this last visit and read through the book of mormon with him. We
invited him to pray about being baptized the 18th of April and he
accepted the invitation. He does have some holdbacks with his family
but he knows he needs to trust in God and follow the answers he
receives. We are excited to see him progress :)

Jose - Little 12 year old whose older brother is baptized and his
parents are catholic. He tries to be just likes his brother so he has
taken an interest in the church. We invited him to take the
discussions and will teach him this afternoon after school. He is so
excited to learn more about the Savior. PLUS, his mum came out and
talked to us and shared she had thought about coming to church too.
She says she sees a big difference in her son since he has joined the
church. Fun, no??

Those are the biggest updates anyway. We had an exciting service
opportunity which you'll see in the pictures. Also, last p-day we
found some naturally heated hot spots. Pictures included.

This month's ensign has an amazing talk titled, "Sins and Mistakes"
which explains beautifully what we should condemn and what we
shouldn't. Remember, we are still subject to the natural man -
mistakes happen because of it. Heavenly Father is understanding. We
should be careful, however, on the times we do commit sin. Repentance
is a beautiful thing. Progression is life. Let's not damn ourselves by
choosing not to turn to God. Read the article to know the difference!
I love and miss you all!

"We are imperfect - how great the love our God has for us to bear with us in ur imperfections" (3/23/2015)

So as you all know i've been transferred to the big little town of Delta!! Kay so maybe it's smaller than i make it out to be. It reminds me a lot of richfield but in a mini size. haha Some details, we cover one building which has 3 congregations. An english ward, a spanish branch, and a ysa ward. We attended all 3 sacrament meetings yesterday and it was awesome! I've grown to really appreciate these little towns in Central Utah. They are the heart of the church in my book. The devotion and love that is felt here among the people whether they be members or not is remarkable. I'm excited to get to know them and love them.
So not too much happened this week as I got to visit with the leadership but there are some people that stood out. Let's begin!
Ivan- 13 year old kid that moved over from Reno. Grew up in a rough part of town, and he got involved with some things that have kind of followed him here. Super neat kid but doesn't realize the harm that will come in the future from the decisions he is making now. Especially the heartache that his mum might experience. #yolo right?? wrong - He knows the gospel is good for him but he just kind of wants to enjoy life right now. Hopefully the spirit can penetrate his heart enough to cause that change he needs. Although we can't take away his agency, we can awaken that light of christ within him and help him make the clear choice.
Hector - Brother who moved here from Peru to work and supply for his family back home. Catholic by tradition but does not attend. Had a powerful message about his desire to come unto God and to really know his Savior. Wow did his countenance change. He just unloaded his questions and his fear of breaking away from tradition. We used some scriptures to comfort him, and give him advice with the Savior's very own words. He was definitely touched. Bore his belief in God and asked us for a book of mormon cuz he had lost his. Then we went back and had a powerful lesson witht he restoration of the gospel. He accepted to continue to receive the lessons and to be baptized.
Just 2 for this week but i'm sure Heavenly Father is paving the way for many more this upcoming week as we go out and work hard. I had to drive up to Manti yesterday for a training with President Center. I love every chance I get to spend time and be instructed by him and sister center. I got some amazing notes and the spirit taught me a lot about what more I can do for the missionaries around me. How to serve them better. I'm excited to see how it plays out in this transfer. One of the pictures you will see is our district holding up a title of liberty. I put it together for District meeting as a stand and commitment to be free from the useless waste of time with the iPads haha It was pretty neat. We used the verses in Alma with it too,
"11 And now it came to pass that when (Elder Castellanos), who was the (District Leader) of the () District, had heard of these (possible) dissensions, he was angry with (Satan).
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 (families), and our (missions)--and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.
...and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and (they) bowed (themselves) to the earth, and (they) prayed mightily unto (their) God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon (them)..."

I love each of you. Thanks for listening to my ramble every week. The church is true. The gospel is true. We are imperfect - how great the love our God has for us to bear with us in ur imperfections. I love this work. I love my Savior. He carries me every day. Til' next week.!

"God loves you. He misses you. Let's try to make it (3/9/2015)

Hello family!!

So this week has been super random. I'll try to remember everything.

So we had our mission conference wednesday in Beaver to get our ipads.
It was nuts!! Although I realized i don't know everyone like i used
to...too many new people! haha but it was great to see all my old
companions and friends! follow the link below to see all the pictures.
But the training was awesome! The brethren are really taking this dead
serious. We had Elder Evans and Elder ****** train us on the usage and
purposes. I think from what I received from the meeting, most of the
concern and purpose for the ipads is how to teach the youth how to
control temptation with digital devices. Just preparing the
missionaries to gain righteous habits that they can take with them
after their mission. It was awesome though.

I went to do a baptism interview for this brother that was 87! He is
confined to a wheelchair and is one of the most amazing men i've ever
met! We had the interview and conversed for a while. The next day the
sisters who were teaching him called me and said that he asked me to
perform the baptism for him. What an honor. we had 2 other brethren in
the water to help hold him and make sure he was completely submerged.
It was an amazing experience!

We have been teaching Javen and Lexi and they are doing super well! We
set up rides for them to come to church last week and this week their
mom came with them :D Tender mercies and miracles all around. Lexi
finished more of her personal progress and was rewarded and Javen is
praying about a baptism date.

So side note: during the mission conference they told us in reality we
were not receiving our ipads that day :'( you can imagine the chapel
filled with 163 missionaries just burst into tears. Haha well the next
morning on Thursday President calls me into the office o.O dun dun
dunnnn haha well, i didn"t mention it in last week's email, but 2
weeks ago President called me to be the Pad consultant for the
mission. So he called me into the office and gave me my iPad so I
could configure and toy around with it and familiarize myself with it
so I can create presentations and help troubleshoot any issues. Then
he called me yesterday and asked me to attend the Missionary
Leadership Council this week to give a presentation - which is
awesome! Haven't been to one since December! I miss it a lot.

So that's this week at a glance. Missions are fun, huh? This week has
been focused a lot on second chances and repentance. The Bible
Dictionary mentions that repenting is experiencing a change of heart
or nature. In gospel terms, it is overcoming natural man and acquiring
christ-like attributes to adhere to our innate calling as a
son/daughter of God. There is great power in recognizing our identity
and fulfilling our call as His children. Repentance is for everyone!
Whether we are bad and want to do good or good wanting to be better.
The Savior helps us in every step of the way. I'm grateful for Him and
His atonement. He made iit possible to even ask for forgiveness. How
many times do we take that too lightly. Remember Him always. I love
you. I miss you. God loves you. He misses you. Let's try to make it
back to Him.

Elder Luis Augusto Castellanos

"Our Savior love you - each of you "(3/2/2015)

Hello family!
It's been in another great week in the Santa Clara Heights Stake!
Here are some updates!
Andrew continues to progress towards his March 7th baptism date. Mikayla has been kind of out of the loop but the Young Women and Relief Society are working to get her back on track. Andrew is so awesome though! Every time we come over to teach him he plays a song for us on the piano. It's amazing especially since he's 20 but has the mentality of a 12-14 year old. Truly inspiring. We are excited for that whole family.
We visited the Maycocks this week twice! super big. It's har dbecause they're pops works a lot and it's a house full of teenage girls so we can never go in.But we taught them and the dad was more receptive and said he needed to come back to church. Music to a missionary's ears of course. They're such a neat family - just been through so much :( hope things start to look up for them.
Jeven is doing super well. He had the problem of not remembering any of the lessons but we switched up the way we taught and he has remembered the last 2 perfectly. Of course, offering his favorite chocolate as a reward helps in keeping his attention ;) haha We hope to give him a baptismal date as well. We are trying to work on his mum too. She's opened up a lot since we've been teaching. and we were able to reactivate his older sister. Need to get them on the way to the temple.
Cheyenne is on fire! She's been reading and praying and going to church. She accepted to be baptized on the 14th of March. We went to the visitor's center last night to watch Meet the Mormons and God's plan for families. It was awesome! We are also working on her parents. They have taken lessons before but the missionaries were overbearing and it kinda turned em off to the whole thing. Fingers crossed and prayers in our hearts.
So other news!! Remember the Chestnut family back in Richfield?? Well Gage was baptized and Sister Chestnut has accepted to be baptized the 15th and Brother Chestnut will hopefully baptize her!! Wow! There's a song in my heart. I love their family. Some of the most spiritual moments of my mission have been there.
The gospel brings change - good change. We need not be afraid of it. We strive to follow Christ. We show our love to Him by being obedient to His commandments. If we haven't been He has prepared the path of repentance so we may if we choose. That is - if we choose. What choices will you make today?? I love you - each of you.
 Our Savior love you - each of you. May your day be filled with His light and His love.

"...small changes make the biggest difference..." (2/23/2015)

Hello Hello Family!
Quick Update for the week!!
So Chris got baptized Friday!! His whole family attended and his dad ended up going to the confirmation! His sister and his brother continue to progress for their march 7th date.
Cheyenne is on fire! She is gaining her testimony and hopes to be baptized on the 14th of march. She has amazing fellowshippers and great support from the entire ward! She's going to make a great new member!
We have been trying to get in to teach Nick but his mum is kinda hesitant. They've been super less active for a long while. Same with Javen although a little more success there. Although he has a bit of trouble remembering the lessons sometimes.
Also chase who was baptized right before i came in is havig a lot of troube. he got baptized and hasnt been back to church :(( might be a gf issue. We hope to get in this week.
My companion continues to be amazing! His english is getting super good!! We are having a lot of fun working hard :)
For my birthday we taught 7 lessons, had our baptism, went to olive garden, then a member had a bonfire and cake for me. It was awesome!!
this week there has been a lot of focus on obedience. I know it is the law that Heaven is governed by. We need to heed the counsel given by our father i heaven, our savior, and our leaders on earth. It is the only way we will get along. What more can we improve on...small changes make the biggest difference. I love you. Every one of you! Thank you for all your support. Miss yoou tons! til next week!

So you know how I was pregnant last week? well turns out I had quadruplets... (2/9/2015)

So quick updates!
My companion is Elder Arrieta. He is 21 years old and is from the phillipines. He is learning english and is amazing! Super humble and just so funny. This is going to be a great transfer :D
unfortunately the area we were placed in was an area that was going to close. Then President was just like "Let's put elder C in with a greenie and see what happens" haha oh boy. I love it though. It's an amazing opportunity for e. arrieta to experience every aspect of the work in trying to revive the area. PLUS i'm back in the geezy which is just the best. haha
So you know how I was pregnant last week? well turns out I had quadruplets and i'm a relief society president haha I have all sisters in my district and the 3 sets are training. So i got a son and was surprised with 3 daughters :D haha We have S. Garatti from Italy, S. Lopez from Mexico, and S. Iongi from Tonga. It was the best district meeting. They're super fun.
So this week we met with the WML and bishops to get updated area maps and we hit the streets and knocked some doors. We found 3 new which include a brother and a sister (Andrew and mikayla) and a young man named Nick. We put the siblings on date the first lesson for the 7th of march and talked through some things but they are excited. We hope to get back in with Nick this week and talk about his goals. We will be visiting all the less actives in the area and trying to get fellowship for the part member families.
The work is amazing. This gospel is so true. It's the only source of happiness that will last. I love my mission. I'm grateful to know my identity as a ason of God and the potential each and every one of us has as we embrace our calling. I love and miss you all!
View the recent pictures here under the transfer folder

I'm Pregnant! (2/2/2015)

K...so don't take the subject line too far. Butttttt it's transfer week :D
Ready for it...?
Elder Castellanos will be serving as a District Leader in Santa Clara Heights, training a missionary and teaching him the english language.
Ahhhhh! How exciting, huh? :D I'm going to have a foreign son :)) AND i'll be back in St. Geezy.
I'm Excited but sad :( :) I've been bipolar the last 2 weeks cuz I had dreamt I was leaving. Weird huh? So many amazing people here!! Another crazy thing - Elder Stickler got ET'd with the Elder Joens that was in Price for some reason. So i've spent the last week with Elder Joens! Awesome!! We always said we'd serve together - who knew it'd be for a week. Haha. But he will replace me as the District Leader in Richfield and have Elder Stickler.
So updates on the work. We had Bailey's baptism on Saturday. What a spirit!! What a light she will be for her family and friends. It's been ana amazing experience seeing her and her family progress and invite the light of the gospel into their life. They're definitely the family i'll miss the most! Gage's baptism is the 21st and i'll try to be up for that :D
Larry keeps doing well! He is getting interviewed for the priesthood and will receive a calling pretty soon. Chynna is trying her best to get back in and she's doing awesome! Trent is working on some things but he's made a lot of progress too ! :D
Lateishia and Aubrey are still doing great :D They got up and bore their testimony yesterday and it was a great experience. I'm grateful to have been part of their journey. Theya re both amazing young women who have infinite possibilities to look forward to. I'm excited to hear what great things they accomplish as they adhere to the gospel.
The Olvera's will be sad to leave behind as well. They've been getting reactivated and been doing so well. I'll be cooking chicken parmesan for em tonight :) Hopefully they don't get sick ;)
Little Hagen will get baptized this Saturday and i'm super sad I won't be able to perform it :( He's such a smart kid with a bright future.
I know Heavenly Father had me in Richfield these past 7 months for a reason. All these families were my reasons. My prayer is that you ponder who Heavenly Father will have you reach out to that you may make a difference in their lives. I love this work. I love the gospel. I love my mission. I love my Savior and my God. With them we cannot fall. If God be with us who be against us. The adversary has no chance. I love and miss you all. Fortify your strongholds. Consecrate your lifestyle. Choose the Right.
Love and Miss you!
-Elder Castellanos

Check out this week's pictures later - forgot my camera.

"You don't realize how strong you are until being strong is all you have left" (1/26/2015)

So 'tis the end of the uber long 7 week transfer. Well...not too long but that extra week deals me in. haha a lot of exciting things are coming about.
I was able to feel Heavenly Father's love this weekend a lot! We had a baptism for Jodi and Bailey will be baptized this weekend. Jodi asked me to perform the baptism and I felt really honored. She's such a strong woman and has changed her life around completely. We are also teaching a LA YSA named Latisha. She's going through a lot and I felt I could really relate to her. She definitely needs everything she can get to feel the spirit. Every lesson we have with her is super strong. It is helping me be more grateful for the atonement and what it can do in the lives of those that have fallen so low. Miracle of the week! We were on finding mode for the last week of the month. We had one to go and we prayed and prayed and Heavenly Father gave him to us Sunday at church :D 10 year old Hagan went to church with his LA dad that is trying to get back into the church. The bishop helped us out on the lesson and we are seeing him again tonight. He is super smart!! He's never been to church but he knows who he is to Heavenly Father and who Jesus Christ is and his life. He'll be baptized by the end of the month as we meet with him 3 times a week. We are doing a lot of recovery efforts for his dad and a lot of people in our stake. We met with Aldo again in Loa and found 2 boys, Matt and Joe, who have been assisting scouts. They said they'd like to go to church so we will be back to teach later this week. We will try to set up skype lessons though since it's uber far. We saw the Welch family and gave Ashley, Range, and Dailynn a date for March. They are uber prepared just been a little spotty with their church attendance. We pushed the Delgado's back to the 21st of February because they've been up north the past weeks and not been at church. The Bagays are still going for the 14th of Feb but it's getting a little tough to meet with them. Silva family is slowly progressing but still working with Elder Deyhli for S. Silva's divorce. Gage, Bayley's little brother is on date for the 21st of Feb and is super solid! Going to all 3 meetings and doing his reading. He actually helped with our priesthood lesson yesterday which was awesome!
Quotes for the week!

"Forgiveness doesn't excuse their behavior - forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying their heart"
"You don't realize how strong you are until being strong is all you have left"
1 Nephi 18:20
"And there was nothing save it were the power of God, which threatened them with destruction, could soften their hearts"
Heavenly Father is in all things - Afflictions are blessings - tribulations are lessons. Sometimes it takes the divine intervention of a threat to place us back on the path He needs us on.
I love and miss you all!

Met Elder Holland (1/20/2015)

Hello hello! So not much time but some quick updates!
*Went to the manti temple today. Beautiful!!!! I'll be back after the mish.
*Met Elder Holland. Said i'd be a great priesthood leader one day. Almost melted.
*Bailey and Jodi being baptized this Saturday. Pics next week!
*It's almost Februrary!
Kay not that much going on. But i love and miss you!
here's some quotes to ponder!
"Our happiness may be great based on how many prayers you say - but true happiness will come from the many prayers you answer" -Uchtdorf
"You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the apples in a seed"
"Reducing the morality of God to the convenience of man is apostacy"
"The time draws near. The church will be presented to the Savior - Will He recognize it? Will He recognize us as it's members? As His disciples? Will He recognize YOU?
-Elder Holland
Look at manti and week pictures here!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

" It's an exciting time in Richfield! " (1/12/2015)

So I'm a year down "officially" - although i still haven't burned my shirt :P 

This past week was insane!! So we put our brothers and sisters on date for baptism - we got to meet John Bytheway - Elder Holland will be at our stake conference this week - Elder Bednar will be at the Manti stake conference next week - ANDDDDDDD I'm a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It can't get any better :D

so here's the update!

We had a baptism Saturday for Larry Kennin, and have 2 scheduled for the 24th. Jodi Shannon is a single mom who was friendshipped my a widow in the Sigurd ward. She went to church and loved the spirit, and we met with her after sacrament and taught the Restoration. After praying for her date, we extended the invitation to be baptized and she accepted after we answered some questions. We feel really great about her. Second is Bailey Chestnut. She started going to church a little over 2 months ago off and on because she had to get rides with her uncle but attends mutual on Tuesdays every week. We started meeting with her mum and brother with the lessons and now they too feel a desire to learn more. We extended the invitation for her to be baptized on the 24th and her mum agreed it would be a good date and late February for her brother. We have an hispanic family of 5, last name Delagado, on date for the 31st. We are really pushing for meeting 3 times a week to solidify their testimony. They hold the Book of Mormon to be true but the dad feels he needs to learn everything first. We are using the progress record so he can track his own progress as suggested in PMG. Then we have Damian and Miriam Bagay on date for the 14th of February. Miriam had a bap date but then felt she wanted to wait for her husband so we have been working on his steadiness in spiritual CPR. It's an exciting time to be in Richfield! 

Attached are some pictures of the week :)

Love and miss you!