S: Elder Weston Kunz - Mexico City South Mission - 2006-2008
FC: Called to Serve
1: Elder Weston Kunz Mexico City South Mission October 2006-2008
2: July 26, 2006 Dear Journal, I am going to the Mexico City South Mission. I'm pretty excited, I always felt I would go Spanish speaking. -Weston | Iron Bo Staff By Matthew Thayne I'm in a funny mood today I have hardly cracked a smile. And it's so very strange to think I won't see you for a while I joke around and I pretend That it's not that big a deal But inside I weep at this chapter's end And this sorrow that I feel I know you are excited I can see it in your face It's a message you've decided To share in a far off place. You soon join the noble ranks of men Each humble sons of God With sword and shield you'll strike down sin Beat its face with Iron Rod So go trounce around old Mexico Seeking those who need be found Sniffing out lost souls you'll go Like some heaven-sent bloodhound We've all had good times together But childhood's over now I can see the future playing out And so I will tell you how Me, David, Chaz and probly Tuck Will leave within a year And journey far beyond our homes For all that we hold dear We'll scour the Earth from North to South And serve God with elation But you'll be there within our hearts Cause you're our inspiration. I guess I'm in a better mood Now that I've thought this through In three years or so, We'll meet again Your good old friend, Matthew
3: The MTC | October 4th, 2006 Today was my first day in the MTC. Mauren, Kira, and Brian dropped me off. For most, it has been a big shell shock but it's not so bad for me. I'm not really homesick although I'm sure it will come. I realize how much work this is going to take but I also realize the blessings I will receive because of it. I love this church with all my heart and I'm thrilled to be serving a mission for the Lord.
4: October 14, 2006 My companion is Elder White and he is from Utah. My other two roommates are Elder Richardson and Elder Farley. We all get along pretty well. I'm slowly getting over my fear to talk on the phone. In all reality I have only talked to one person but I have attempted a lot more. I feel I have a lot of work to do. Being serious is out of my comfort zone and I really need to work on it. I can tell when I'm doing it but I still have a hard time being serious. It leaves me feeling open to rejection. I don't know. I am working on it though. I want to share the restoration of the Gospel with people, I want them to feel of my testimony and my love for the Lord.
5: October 19, 2006 So for the past week or so I kept feeling water being shot on my face in the middle of the night. I would look up and no one was there. In the morning I would tell my roommates about it and they told me I was crazy.. I finally found out what it was. Apparently in the middle of the night I snore really loud and keep people up, so one of my roommates got a spray bottle and would spray from across the room. But when I found out, I was cool with it, I was just happy that I wasn't going crazy.
7: Dear Elder Kunz, Mi primero companero! Thanks for putting up with me and being so chill. Thanks for wanting to do the right thing and being a good influence on me. You were the more sensible one. You kept me sane through these crazy times, we have a lot to laugh about now that we look back. Don't be afraid to teach. I have seen your strength and felt the power of your testimony and I know you'll do great. Your friend, Elder White
8: Bienvenidos a
9: December 5, 2006 Today was my first official day in the mission field. I think I'm in the farthest area out of Mexico City. It's called "Pueblo Nuevo." My companion's name is Elder Bringhurst, he's a pretty cool guy. I'm not going to lie, today was a pretty long day. I was so lost. I understood some stuff but for the most part it all flew right past me. It's a bit discouraging but I'll be fine. We have a lot of walking in our mission with a lot of rough hills. My knee is already swollen, but it'll be alright. I also slipped down a hill of loose rocks and hurt my hand, but it's alright. And then, right before we returned to the house we were walking and I couldn't see because it was dark outside. I hit my head on the bottom of a huge sign. I think it cut open the top of my head a little bit but whatever. Everything will be great, it just takes a while to get used to.
10: Hermanito Kunz, Hey it was cool to be your comp for these 3 months. Keep being obedient and use the spirit as a clutch. Hijo mio, el love you a ton. Goo bi my frien, Elder Bringhurst
11: February 19, 2007 We have gone through a few hard weeks. However, at the end of this last week I had another opportunity to baptize which is always a great feeling. Watching people take that first step toward a better live by making a covenant with the Lord.
12: February 28, 2007 My new companion is Elder Manriquez, another new missionary with the same amount of time in the field as me. When I first found out that I was going to be the senior companion, I'm not going to lie, I was scared out of my mind. I was thinking that someone must have made a mistake. Then the strangest thing happened. I was looking through my little hygiene bag and I found a little piece of paper that said, "Alma 37: 6-7." It pretty much says not to assume that God is foolish and that through small means he will bring about great things. I don't know where that paper came from but it helped me out. I need to have more faith and understand that I am a tool in God's hands.
13: April 25, 2007 Changes have come and gone again and I'm still in my first area. My new companion's name is Elder Diaz.He returns home after these changes. Elder Diaz and I get along well so this change is going by fairly fast. If things go as planned we are going to end this week with two baptisms. It's a family that consists of a widowed mother and two kids. However, only one of the kids is old enough to be baptized. They are really excited about everything and should be firm members.
14: May 28,2007 Where does the time go? I write one day and the next thing I know it is 2 1/2 weeks later. I finally got changed out of my first area. Now I'm in the city in an area called Iztapalapa. My companion, Elder Silva, is really good. We both have a lot of desire to baptize and be obedient. Finally a companion that gets up on time. I think that we will see a lot of success here. Oh yeah, I ate a cricket the other day. In all honesty, it was horrible! Never again...
15: June 8, 2007 I saw a miracle a week ago. We had a lady who was preparing for baptism but hates being pressured into things. Our zone leader called her up and try to put her baptism date for sooner in hopes of reaching the goal that the zone had made. The lady was so mad that she took down the signs that the missionaries had made that said "no coffee" and threw it in the trash. We talked with her a little bit and then we asked her if we could sing a song. She eventually permitted us to sing only after assuring us that it would be the last time. After the song we asked her how she felt and how she had felt when we had been teaching her. In the end of things she told us she just felt pressure because the other Elder who called her. As we got her to calm down and lose her anger we were able to put another baptismal date. Now she is scheduled to be baptized tomorrow night. It truly was a miracle to see someone who was so angry and who never wanted to talk to us again change her heart and accept another baptismal date. It's amazing, the spirit that music can bring.
16: September 2, 2007 After church today my companion and I returned to the house to change out of our suits. As we were getting ready to leave again we knelt to pray. In the prayer I was praying that we could find one more new investigator to complete our goal. Seconds later we hear a knock at the door. We quickly end the prayer and check to see who was at the door. It was our neighbor from the next door over. He invited us into his house and began to tell us how he has a good friend who is a member of the church. He asked us to give him a blessing because he hadn't been able to sleep well for 2 weeks and he thought someone had put a curse on him. When we first entered the house there was a really bad feeling there which made me fear a little. For a second there I thought the guy was crazy and imagined him pulling out a gun on us. I had it all planned out in my mind: if there were any quick movements I was going to jump behind a nearby bookcase. Well luckily, that wasn't the case. After the blessing the atmosphere completely changed. The bad feeling left and the room was full of peace and tranquility. We proceeded to talk about baptism, and we gave him a Book of Mormon. I think that there is a good chance that he will progress in the church. The Lord has blessed us with a new investigator and we didn't even have to leave the house to find him.
17: September 2, 2007 My Birthday passed by this last week, I now am officially 20 years old. It was pretty cool, people gave us dinner two days strait. I was taken out for tacos for lunch (although I think they made me sick). I was also given two cakes that I don't think we'll ever finish. Not to mention two big packages of food arrived from home. I think I'll be getting fat real quick. | Happy Birthday Elder Kunz
18: October 4, 2007 Wow! It's been a whole year since I started my mission, and what a year it's been! The time goes by so fast. The mission is such a great experience. I've learned so much and will continue to learn and grow. I'm determined to make this next year even better than the last one. Although I would consider myself an obedient and diligent missionary there are a number of ways that I can become better. I can take more control of the situations and teach with more power and authority. I have a lot of hopes for this next year and it will definitely be one to remember. I had the opportunity to open a letter that I wrote to myself a year ago. It really helps to see what my desires were a year ago and then to see if they've changed. Although there hasn't occurred much of a difference there are ways I can improve to better fulfill my mission desires. The time is precious and can't be wasted.
19: October 13, 2007 Just when we start to get discouraged the Lord puts his hand in play and lifts us back up.This week has caused me to think a lot about two great missionaries from the Book of Mormon. The first is Nephi, from the book of Helaman. He recounts that there were people who rejected "all his words," to the extent that he became "much cast down because of the wickedness of the people." At times in the mission we feel as Nephi did. We don't see success and it gets us down. The other great missionary I've had in mind today is Ammon. Particularly his words in the 26th chapter of Alma. Here he is rejoicing in the goodness of God and how he and his brothers were permitted to be tools in God's hands to bring so many souls to Christ. He says, I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but... I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever. There are many times in the mission when we feel a lot like Ammon. We just want to shout out loud and rejoice in the goodness of God. This past through my mind today as we were seeing success and it bore a deeper witness to me that these things are true. | October 15, 2007 Today was P-day. It was pretty cool. We went to see the pyramids in Teotihuacan. I'm not usually that amused with old buildings and ancient artifacts, I just like to climb things. We met a lot of different people there. People from Australia, Japan, Peru, Spain, France, and so on. It's crazy how many people have met the missionaries before. All and all we had a pretty good time. We messed around with the street vendors who were constantly trying to rip us off because they think we don't speak Spanish.
21: November 11, 2007 Tonight I had the opportunity to talk with my companion, Elder Montejano, a little about his life. I learned that his teenage years were rough and rebellious. It's hard for me to believe that he could have been that person before the mission. However, it branded into my mind more than ever the importance of the gospel in the home. | It has made me notice how blessed I have been to have parents strong in the church who teach these principles to their children. It has made me grateful to my friends who encourage me to be better in place of trying to bring me down to their level. This gospel makes all the difference in the world. It really is the key to happiness. "Men are that they might have joy."
22: January 11, 2008 Lately I have seen the Lord's hand in my life. I've been praying unceasingly for God's guidance and help these past few days. I've been struggling with my companion. He hasn't had desires to work for some time and it's been driving me crazy. However, through my prayers and the prayers of my family I've noticed a change in him. I know without a doubt that God hears and answers my prayers. I felt the distinct impression to keep trying to be his friend and get to know him; however, I was to keep being an example and to try more than ever to be 100% obedient and work with all my might. When I've felt that I can't do anymore, God has made up the difference. These past two days my companion has started getting up earlier, he studies sometimes, and every now and then he contacts someone. It may seem like a little but I see an immense progress.
23: April 2, 2008 The other day I was feeling a little brave and decided to eat a few chile cerranos. Once my companion, Elder Canard, started taking video, there was no turning back. I put the | first entire chile in my mouth and bit it off. Feeling a little brave still, I quickly grabbed another chile and stuffed it in my mouth. The members looked at me like I was suicidal; seconds later I found out why. My mouth was on fire! I spit out about half of the second chile, but that didn't help, the damage was done. Quickly following the burning sensation, tears began to flow down my cheeks. Feeling helpless, I was drinking glass after glass of water but nothing seemed to help. The members now very worried in my behalf, ran around looking for a lime to give me with salt. After about five more tortuous minutes I received instruction to suck on the salt covered lime. After about ten minutes the burning sensation started to go away. I don't know why, but I left that room shivering... the things I'll do for a video. At least now no one jumps to the conclusion that I'm just a weak little Gringo who can't handle spicy foods.
24: 25 de Julio 2008 Things have been going great lately! We are really seeing miracles come our way. It's kind of hard to be so excited when the other companionship who is with us is passing through rough times. A few baptisms have fallen through and they've kind of lost their enthusiasm. We have many possibilities right now for Baptism and they all seem very excited. People who I thought wanted nothing to do with us are welcoming us into their home and embracing the Gospel. It's a great time to be a missionary! Although I feel tired at the end of my mission, lately there has been something giving me extra strength and a desire to push even harder. It would be a shame to not take full advantage of this precious time in my life.
25: Some crazy lady served us these tacos de gusano.
27: August 14, 2008 Yesterday I received a new companion, Elder Boyle, from Rigby, Idaho. He seems like a pretty cool guy. We had a big Zone Conference yesterday. Something I especially liked was a presentation by the mission psychologist. He talked about how we've been given the opportunity to choose. We can choose to be what we want to be and we can choose to feel how we want to feel. Everything begins with our thoughts. We can't have negative thoughts and feel good. The real power comes through being able to control what we think. He gave each of us a small white stone that he calls the "grateful stone." He told us to carry it around in our pockets during the day and anytime we touch it we have to say ten things that we are grateful for. It sounds a little funny but it helps. Last night we were walking around in a rain storm and in an attempt to warm our hands we would stick them in our pockets where we would find the stone by accident. Well, we know the rules. We would start naming off things we were grateful for... "well, I'm grateful that it is only raining and not hailing." Soon we were happy as we could be soaked from head to foot.
28: Where is Elder Kunz? Can you find him?
30: April 19, 2008 Yesterday in the bus I was thinking back on my past areas and investigators. I remembered a specific family in my first area. They had a lot of problems because the husband was an alcoholic and a drug addict. I haven't heard anything about them from them for some time. However, I was reminded of a time when we were teaching them and trying to help them through their problems. Apparently their 7 year old daughter could see the difference the gospel had made in the lives of her parents because she made the comment that she thought that my companion was God and that I was one of his angels. When we first heard we thought it was a little bit funny; however, thinking about it yesterday it really made me think about the power and importance of our calling. How can two 20 year old boys have such an effect on people? With this calling comes a power to touch the hearts of the people. In that time of my mission I barely spoke any Spanish at all but they were still able to feel the love I had for them. Sometimes we as missionaries forget about the power of our calling. Sometimes we see ourselves as mere boys while those around us see us as loving leaders of truth and light. May we never forget that we are representatives of Jesus Christ and that we must always live worthy of that calling.
31: August 6, 2008 Yesterday we had interviews with President Doxey which went pretty well. I asked him what was something he wanted me to focus on these last few months. He told me it would be a good idea to start writing in my journal everyday and take a little time to write the things I've learned. He also thanked me for all the work I've done with difficult companions. He told me I was a leader in this mission although I didn't have a leadership position; he could have easily put me as a leader but didn't feel like that was where the Lord needed me. He's used me to help people weaker in the faith. Then he told me that I've been one of his best missionaries and he has always been able to confide in me. I don't write these things to toot my own horn or sound like I'm better than anyone else; I'm not. Actually to me it showed me how much the Lord really knows me. I feel the patience and humility that I have learned due to difficult companions has been one of the greatest blessings during my mission. Actually, not being made a leader has forced me to lose my pride and made me realize that where my treasure is, my heart is. Before I felt like I needed to hear praiseworthy words from the mission president, but now I know that I'm not part of this for the praise. Many of the things that have happened can be related to promises in my patriarchal blessing. It has been a clear testimony that God knows me personally and only wants the best for me. I couldn't have asked for a better mission.
32: Rise Up, O Men of God Hymn 324 1. Rise up, O men of God! Have done with lesser things. Give heart and soul and mind and strength To serve the King of Kings
33: 2. Rise up, O men of God! In one united throng, Bring in the day of brotherhood And end the night of wrong. 3. Rise up, O men of God! Tread where his feet have trod. As brothers of the Son of Man Rise up, O men of God!