Monday, December 31, 2012

Great Week

Francisco was Baptized!!!

It was great talking with you last week and it definitely went by super fast. It kind of messed up my spanish that day because I kept switching back and forth between spanish and english without thinking about it.

There is a sister in the branch with a severely handicapped son and last week I felt we should visit her for christmas. Then again monday night I felt that so I tried finding out where she lived but no one knew. After we all talked we had plans to visit her and an investigator but we decided there would only be time for one visit. We decided to visit her so we bought toy cars to take to her son and called her to see where she lived. We had about an hour and she just talked a ton but it was ok because her son cant talk. She then told us that christmas day she was feeling alone because no one from her family called her and right after we called to visit her and it was so awesome to see her son when we gave him his present. It was a great christmas.

Wednesday we did divisions with our district leader so I went to Tuxtla for wednesday and thursday. It was really fun to teach with an american companion haha. Wednesday night Elder Martinez called me to tell me that Francisco could be baptized saturday because he interviewed him. Friday we went to talk with him and he still didnt want to yet but we talked with him and he decided to be baptized so Francisco was baptized!!!!

Also we were walking to visit a inactive sister friday and we decided to turn down this one street and we heard "Elder" and a man asked us when the building would be finished so we asked if he was a member and he said no but he had read about the church. We taught him saturday and he went to church sunday and liked it a lot. We are going to invite him to be baptized this week.

We can talk with people in the street and so we do that sometimes but most of the time we visit members to share something with them and ask for references. We go to ward council about every three weeks and the leaders are super supportive but sometimes its like what are you talking about. The church is the same but leadership is a little bit different here in Mexico.

My converts when I first got here now have callings. Esteban teachs gospel principles class and Alejandra is secretary in Relief Society. I love this family and they are super excited. I will never forget this family and if we ever have a bad day and visit them they always encourage us.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ward Christmas Activity

Our new companion, Elder Munoz,  is from Quito Ecuador. We all get along great but this is extremely hard and humbling. I feel like I have a real problem with being humble and God is giving me these trials and experiences to help me stay humble. Elder Munoz was working with the Assistants for one week before Presidente Cardenas assigned him to an area. Something that I have thought a lot about is why me? Its not because Presidente Cardenas trusts in me because he told us before we met our companions three weeks ago that God chose us and if he could choose he would not have chosen some of us because we dont have that much experience in the mission. I am not sure why Heavenly Father has chosen me to train these two but I know it is for me to learn something.

Tomorrow we have zone conference and we will be going to the temple in the morning. I feel pretty comfortable with the language but I still speak with a bad accent and have a lot of grammar errors but oh well.

This was a trying week for us. First with the change to being in a trio. It is amazing to me how much God knows as I thought back to the fact the I learned to be in a trio in the MTC for six weeks as well.

Two or three investigators told us that they dont want to listen anymore and Francisco wasnt baptized. We werent able to talk to him but he works with Hermano Joel who told us that he doesnt want to be baptized right now but wants to keep listening. We went to a lot of appointments and there wasnt anyone there. It was hard not to be discouraged. I want to have a baptism so bad for my companions. I dont want them to lose there excitement and I feel like I need to do more to help someone get baptized so they can have that experience.

In the Christmas activity there was a lot of numbers of dancing and singing with tacos after. I have a few pictures but it was hard to take pictures because it was dark and my camera decided to act weird.
I am going to send this and another one to answer other questions. I love you.

Almost forgot. We can call home using skype or phone between 23 and 31 but I dont know when yet. The call is 30 to 40 minutes as it says in the manual misional.
Our new companion, Elder Munoz from Quito, Equador

Elder Munoz, Elder Cavazos, SANTA and Elder Lythgoe

Monday, December 10, 2012

Serving in a Trio

This was an up and down week. Francisco was pretty disappointed because his mom didnt support his decision to be baptized and then she prohibited him from going to church. We dont know if he will be baptized this week but we talked with his mom yesterday and she said she would support him if he wants to get baptized. Also, Alba hadnt been answering our text messages so I called her and she doesnt want to listen anymore. I just told her that we are always here to help her and she started to cry and hung up. We tried visiting her but she wasnt home.

Elder Cavazos is doing great and we teach well together but we have room for a lot of improvement. We get along great and have a great time together. Yesterday we had a neat experience at church. We made a goal to baptize 8 people in December and we dont have more than 4 investigators and they have to go to church to get baptized. Yesterday, the husband of a member came to church and wants to learn. Also, a drunk walked in and wants to change his life. Others came also who we didnt know and with the people from yesterday we have exactly 8 potentials we can baptize in December. In the class of gospel principles we taught about the Holy Ghost and we invited about 7 kids from the primary to sing a song. One investigator who wanted nothing before began to cry and now he wants to learn and come to church.

Presidente Cardenas just called we are getting another new elder and now I will be training two missionaries.  It is hard to train one so I hope I will do OK.

A normal P-Day for us is we study in the morning, then we write to the family, go shopping, eat, cut hair or clean house, go pick up clothes (a family washes for us) and we finish at 6 and usually have a family night with a family or investigator.

Chiapa de Corzo is a little bit crazy right now because it is big time Catholic and this wednesday is Day of the Virgen so there are tons of people here with their virgen idols. We have a christmas activity this friday and one of the sisters is trying to get a Santa Claus costume and wants me to dress up haha.

We study every morning for 4 hours because we have an hour of training for my comp and then we are gone until 9. Then we plan for 30 minutes and have dinner at like 930. Then we do teaching records or journal or iron shirts or sleep because we are always absolutely exhausted.

Sorry if I didnt have any good info this week but I wrote to president first and its hard to write in english because I think in spanglish. I think I would be able to think in spanish if I knew more words.
I love you all.
Our Branch Presidente and his wife love Beef Jerky - thanks mom for sending it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

My New companion is great

This is where we meet for church (casa de oracion) right now

 Elder Cavazos de Monterrey Mexico;  One of the new 18 year missionaries.
Thank you Young Men and Young Women for my package.  I love you much!

I still think in english but I cant remember some words. Its mixed spanish and english thoughts right now haha.
I was glad to receive a companion from Mexico even if he is whiter than me. It is really hard to be a trainer. Presidente Cardenas talked with us for a little before presenting us to our companions to tell us that we have to be even more obedient now as trainers. Then friday we had a training with all the trainers and leaders of the mission. I got to see Elder Gamez because he is zone leader in Tuxtla now. At first I did not like Elder Gamez at all but I love him and he has truly helped me in my mission.
My companion is great. He teaches well and is well prepared. He is really excited to serve but only has three weeks in the mission but he really misses his family. He is 18 and just finished high school. I love serving with Elder Cavazos.
Most people here have TV with DVD but no computer. It is amazing how you can go to the smallest house and they have nothing but they have their TV haha. We show videos but we mostly just teach.
As far as training goes, it is a 12 week program and I have to teach him how the mission works basically. It is a lot of fun and I have to admit that I was honestly lost a few times this week.
A few experiences of this week, I had been thinking a lot about how we are going to find people to teach because it is really hard with just references. Presidente Cardenas promised us Friday if we ask every single person we talk to if they know someone that can benefit from this message then we will always have people to teach. After the conference, we talk a teenage girl named Jouli who accepted invitation to be baptized and after we left I remembered I forgot to ask if she knew anyone and I felt bad for not asking. The rest of the day I asked everyone we talked with and only received one reference so I didnt really understand. The next day saturday, a teenage girl called us and said she had a family who wants to listen to us. After that we asked a member if he knew anyone and he didnt but we visited our converts and they gave us a reference without us asking and another sister gave us a reference without us asking as well. I know we received these references because we are striving to do what President Cardenas told us to.
We are teaching a young man named Francisco right now. I love this guy. He has truly changed his life. He always comes to church in sweat pants and tshirt so yesterday I gave him pants, shirt and tie. He told us that he cant be baptized in two weeks. I asked why and he said his mom told him it is too fast and he doesnt know enough. I shared a scripture with him and he said he really wants to be baptized this day. After he prayed that he could be baptized 16 de December. I know he will be baptized in two weeks and I am so excited.
I am going to write to president now.  I love you all.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A New companion and new chapel

 The New Chapel they are building in Chiapa De Corzo
 So  Boy was it nasty!
Great family baptism!
Thanks for the letters. I am going to try to write fast because we dont have much time so there might be a lot of errores.
First off, Elder Turpo has been transferred to Tapachula. I will be going to Tuxtla tomorrow to get my new companion. I will be training a new missionary.
We had a baptism this week. Danna nine years old. There were two other baptisms. Her sister Yeroma eight and another girl with 8.This baptism was really special because we helped activate the family and the dad received the priesthood last week so he could baptize. Then he asked that Elder Turpo and I confirm his daughters. The love the people have here for the missionaries has strengthened my love for the people.
We are really close to the family of our ward mission leader and a couple others. One daughter in this family just turned 8 and wants us to teach her. She then said she would choose who would baptize. Us or her brother (our ward mission leader). I told her better her brother but she told me that she wants me to baptize her. I feel bad for the brother and want to convince her otherwise but she told me if I am transferred to take her in my suitcase so i could baptize her haha.
As far as my talk goes, I will share that after a high councel member (who was president of a mission in Panama) approached me and told me he can see that I have a true testimony and meant what I said. Something like that but that made me feel really good.
The other pictures are of the chapel they are building and the nasty pizza we ordered.
We have been teaching a woman named Alba for several weeks. Her husband cheated on her and she has lots of problems. She worships images in the catholic church and didnt undertsand why we didnt. We explained about 5 times but she wouldnt accept it. We stopped teaching her and then she came to teach because she is a reference. We taught her again and she didnt want much so we planned to visit one more time. We shared a video about the family and after we planned to talk about that and invite her to church. I felt we should invite her to baptized but I immediately thought she would say no. I decided to do it anyway and she accepted the invitation to be baptized. She told us she feels closer to God now that she has been praying and listening to us.
I love you all.  I found out we might get to skype for christmas but I dont know.

Monday, November 19, 2012

First Month in Chiapa De Corzo

First off, I completely forgot it was Thanksgiving because they dont celebrate that here in Mexico. It is hard to even describe what I am thankful for as a missionary. First off, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to represent my Savior Jesucristo. I know that this is truly a privilege in my life. Also, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve here in Mexico. Spanish is super hard for me to learn. I think it is the first thing that had not come naturally easy for me to learn. However, I have learned so many lessons from the people here. They just give and give and its hard to accept but they are so happy to help us as missionaries. One sister in the branch does so much for us and she told us because her son was a missionary and her other son will be that she hopes people treat her sons as she treats us. I am thankful for the changes in the mission. We dont have many investigators right now because a lot of the members are learning to work and help us but it is so fun to see the happiness of the members as their friends or family members accept the gospel.
Most importantly, I am thankful for my savior and for a loving Heavenly Father. I dont remember when but one day I decided to kneel in prayer and dedicate MY LIFE not just my mission to God. Heavenly Father will always come first in my life unlike before. As for my future, I am here to serve my Heavenly Father. If that means I become a teacher in elementary school vs a doctor I will do it because God knows more than we do and he will only guide us. I say this as I have learned that we avoid the natural man when we submit to the will of God which is extremly hard but rewarding.
Yesterday, I gave my first talk here in Mexico. I talked about the Atonement and conversion and how we as members have to convert to the gospel to receive the blessings of the Atonement. A person converted is unshakable in the gospel. Conversion is a lifetime process but if we dont strive daily to convert ourselves more we wont become converted.
We have cambios again next week so we will see what happens but I think both Elder Turpo and I will still be here.
Elder Lythgoe and his companion, Elder Turpo (from Peru) in Chiapa de Corzo

Monday, October 15, 2012

First Transfer

Dear Family,
Thanks for the letters and pictures this week. My letter is going to be a little shorter today because there have been transfers. Elder Gamez is going to Tuxtla this afternoon to be trainer again for another gringo. I will be leaving tomorrow morning for Chiapa de Corzo just outside of Tuxtla. I dont know who my companion will be. It is really hard to leave because I am beginning to understand a talk and we have some really good investigators right now.

We werent able to talk with the parents of Jalil and he was scared to because he just wants to wait until he is 18. We are teaching a young man who is 15 years old and he will be baptized in a few weeks. He is so excited about the gospel. After our first visit he told us the next time that he had prayed about Joseph Smith and felt really happy about it so he knows it is true. He has told his whole family and friends and is not afraid to talk about his lessons with the missionaries which is great.
I am excited to go to my new area and get to work.

As far as spanish goes I understand during lessons and the other times I dont understand much. It has to be quiet and I have to focus 100% to understand.

Elder Gamez and I are feeling better but monday, tuesday, and wednesday were pretty tough and we werent able to work a lot.

Now that I can understand kind of I get to hear all the funny things said about me. I havent noticed until this week but people always explain stuff to Elder Gamez and then tell him to tell me and I just laughed when I understood this for the first time.
I love you.
The picture is of the young men and some others in Barrio Indeco
Love, Elder Lythgoe

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A week of Lessons

This week was a week of trials. On wednesday we committed three women to baptism and it felt great. We had lessons planned for all three saturday. First one was cancelled because she moved out of her daughters house to another daughter out of our area. Second, she wanted to be baptized and only needed to talk to her husband and he said no because his family is a different religion and he was mad she had two young men in their home. Third, this sister was extremely emotional and laid her problems on the table big time and we told her to read the book of mormon and pray and she wanted to receive an answer and be baptized but the last couple times we tried to visit she told us that she was too busy or didnt answer the door. We went from having zero investigators to having three to having zero in three days.
We had a cool experience though. We went to the house of a member last sunday to ask for a reference. When we got there the daughter Alexia walked out put a chair in front of us and asked for a blessing because her dad isnt a member. We ate with this family two days later and the mom told us the experience her daughter had. She was sick sunday and when we arrived asked her mom who was there and her mom said los elderes. Good they are here to give me a blessing. Her mom said no they arent. Then Alexia said yes they are mom because I just prayed that God would send someone who could give me a blessing. God answers prayers.
Now that I can talk more and understand more its kind of scary because the mom of some girls was indirectly telling me to marry her daughter. She told me a i will marry a mexican return misionera which describes her daughter because her daughter wants to serve. I didnt know what to say but it was scarry.
I contacted a man in english yesterday and completely butchered some words in english. It was pretty embarrassng.. I love you all.
Genaro (the little short man) was our recent convert at almost 80.  He has so much faith.
Elder Lythgoe

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mi Apartado

Here are a few pictures of Elder Lythgoe's and Elder Gamez's apartado in Tapachula.  Not too bad considering.  Elder Lythgoe was informed that Tapachula is the richest city in the state of Chiapas.  And he said, "And it is really poor here."  He is filled with gratitude at all times.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Don't freak out but I was in JAIL . . .

Elder Lythgoe's version of the story. . . 

So I had an experience this week and I dont want you to freak out because it wasnt dangerous but i was in jail for a day. Me and two other missionaries were travelling to Tuxtla to be legalized and we only had copies of passports and they put us in jail for not having official documents. We slept  on cement beds and it definitely was not an Alma and Amulek experience or nephi and leih experience. president cardenas rescued us the next day with our passports luckily. then we still had to go to tuxtla so that was a three day experience.

I (Tyler's mom) happened to be on  Elder Palmer's blog - a missionary in Tyler's mission and I came across this . . .

Cool story: 3 missionaries got put in jail last week close to Tapachula, but Pdte. Cardenas didn´t know that they were in jail or where they were. They were going to tuxtla in OCC, and the records said that they boarded the bus, but in Tuxtla they weren´t there. President Cardenas sent the assistants to a conference in Oaxaca while he went looking for the missionaries. He had been praying very hard, and after asking many immigration people and having many of them say that they had no idea, a man came up and offered to help. He made a few phone calls and found out that they were sent back to Tapachula in a prision there. As Presidente got there, they wouldn´t let him see them until they had done the paperwork so that they could leave (which takes a long time). After the whole ordeal, he saw them come out. Their shoes and belts and ties were taken away, so they looked really funny, but he saw them super happy. He asked them, how are you?! And they responded that they were so excited and had just taught one of the guards and were sending his name as a reference. They contacted and taught -- even in a little bit of a different situation. That is being a missionary. But they didn´t get hurt or anything, all was well. (but this is not to scare you, it is just a cool experience that happened to a few missionaries)

We can't wait to hear all about it in two years.

Monday, August 13, 2012


I have more time than i thought so i wanted to share some thoughts about gratitude. We have been working with a less active family. 7 people in the family and the live in a house about the size of my room at home. The ten year old works every saturday to help pay for stuff as well. Houses here are often cement walls with cement floors with metal sheets for a roof. when we eat with members they give us so much food and sometimes dont eat or give themselves and their kids only a little. this is extremely hard for me but i have to eat all my food and i feel horrible. some families are more well off but there are some super poor areas. people think they understand but they dont. I had no clue until i actually got here. This has taught me that humility leads to happiness. These people are so loving and yet they have nothing. The ward mission leader has been a member for about 6 weeks and he doesnt really know anything about church organization or missionary work but his attitude is contagious. Attitude makes all the difference. I remember one time last week just feeling happy and sweating and smiling for no reason and this old lady walked off the sidewalk to shake my hand when I smiled at her. This simple act of service can make someones day.

Remember every day to thank God for what you have because someone always has it worse. 

Remember to smile through afflictions because Jesus Christ went through the same thing FOR YOU and he didnt have to.

Remember God always loves you and he is sad when you are sad.

This last week has been super frustrating but I am learning great life lessons. I figured out why the mission is the best two years. Because you study, live, and allow the gospel to change you. Never before in my life have I lived and studied the gospel like this and when we are obedient we are happy. Helping others and teaching others is great but the joy i have comes from living and teaching not just baptizing.

For anyone struggling read DyC 122 8. I think. It is the one that says Christ has descended below all... think ye are greater than He.

Quiero compartir mi testimonio en espanol. Dios quiere que seamos obediente y cuando somos obediente, podemos recibir mas bendiciones. Hay muchos mandamientos pero muchas veces los mandamientos pequenos son mas importante come leer las escrituras, orar, y asistencia a la iglesia cada domingo. Podemos superar las tentaciones del diablo por medio oracion. Jesucristo puede ayudar en cualquiera cosa en nuestra vida proque El sufrio por todo en el jardin. Recuerde! Dios nos ama mucho

I love you!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Semana Una

Dear family,

First off sorry for any typos but this computor is horrible. so i must have been the most prideful person in the world. i am in tepachula for my first area which is six hours from tuxtla and closer to guatamala than tuxtla. i dont even know where to start right now.

in the mexico city airport we had no clue what was going on and luckily there were missionaries leaving who translated for us haha. presidente cardenas is great. doesnt know english. his wife went to high school in huntington beach and speaks a little english so that was fun. basically the first night was awful because i forgot bug spray so my face got eaten and swollen. talk about good first impressions of the gringo. my first meal was a hamburger and the next day after orientation sister cardenas made spaghetti and chicken cordon blue. what the heck. then i met my trainer. elder gamez and yes i spelled it right. he is from monterrey and he knows like ten words of english so this is fun. also he said he speaks faster than most other missionaries so i need to tell him mas despacio all the time. plus the people in indeco (my specific area) apparently talk faster than the rest of chiapas. not kidding but i probably only understand 5% but at least my spanish will be good. the first meal i had was amazing. soup chicken and tortillas. the next meal was beans eggs and some nasty pork but i ate it and told the hermana it was delicious because people are so poor and her stove was broken so food was cold.

also we went and visited the bishop and he gave us home made pan which was amazing and warm chunky milk... i about threw up... the ward here is amazing... there are five young men about 17-19 and one of them goes out with us every time because elder gamez is new to this area also so we know nothing. also he said our apartment es the worst of the mission haha. it is a really poor area and it rains every day and is super hot but the people are so loving. except the drunks on sunday morning.

in church the first counselor told the ward to help us out because we are new and i dont speak spanish and everyone just looks at me and laughs. also all the young women literally watch my EVERY move and its a little creepy being the only white person. i am in so much culture shock right now its unreal. oh well i love being in the field.

i had my first two lessons yesterday. first one i didnt say a word and i dont even know what elder gamez taught. the second we stopped by the house of this man who was in the area book. federico. we taught him baptism and i undertsood that he asked about infant basptism so i taught from moroni 8 and he agreed and then i shared my testimony at the end and we committed him to baptism. i didnt have a strong spiritual experience or anything but it was pretty exciting.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Last Weeks of MTC

Week of July 19, 2012

This week has been super long, and I am constantly nervous. I feel comfortable with spanish with white people but natives speak way differently. All their words just mush together, plus I only know church vocabulary and basic other stuff. I'm interested to see if I get a native speaking companion or an American. My teacher who went to Tuxtla had only one white companion and that was his trainer so we will see. We are flying with about 10 other elders to Mexico City but they are all serving in one of the Mexico City missions.

Thanks everyone for all the letters. I am sorry I am horrible at writing back. I have a huge list of people to write back to and I never seem to have time but I will try to do that before I leave for Mexico. I love you.

Week of July 12, 2012

The last week has been great but super busy. I'll start with the bad news. I dont have my visa yet and the travel office said I will find out by next wednesday. If I dont get it, I will be taken up to Salt Lake to the consolate but they do that on their schedule so they have no idea how long I could be here if I dont get my visa. I'd rather just get a reassignment if that happens. Its frustrating though because all the Veracruz Mexico missionaries went up to the consolate two days ago and got their visas and they have been here the same amount of time as me. The travel office said Mexico is always up in the air and visas are random almost. That was pretty frustrating because everyone else will be getting their travel plans soon and Elder Kjar and I have no clue if we will or not.

That was the only bad thing that happened in the last week but I cant control that so whatever happens happens and I know it will be for a reason. As zone leaders we have completely different jobs than if we were in the field. We have meetings all Sunday. We have to do orientation for the new elders on Wednesday nights and meet with them and the Branch Presidency on Thursday night. Every night we have to check up on each district and report to the Branch President. Basically, we babysit when missionaries dont know how to handle a situation or have a problem with a companion. Last night the orientation was crazy though. We have two new districts this week so Elder Kjar and Elder Bunker went with one and I went on a split with my district leader (Elder Winitana) to the other district. The new district I had the orientation with had another Elder Lythgoe. Crazy right? We tried figuring out how we were related and he recognized Grandpa's name and said his grandpa was Dale. His dad is Todd Lythgoe so him and dad are cousins right? Which would make us second cousins? Apparently, there is also an Elder Watt here in the MTC right now who we are related to so the other Elder Lythgoe and I are going to try to find him to get a picture because I'm sure grandpa would think that is great. His name is Taylor Lythgoe. How weird is that to have such close names too? He said he is from Vegas but his family just moved to San Diego before he left.

I think I have learned more the last week than I have my entire life. I remember the first week here be so happy and excited and ever since then I would have up and down days and it finally hit me. I was so happy at the beginning because I was truly focused on serving the Lord and I didnt know anything so I was constantly turning to the Savior for help. I realized that since than I had been too worried about improving myself rather than serving the Lord. And I know for a fact than we are focused on ourselves it only leads to unhappiness. I have been feeling all my desires completely change here on the mission. Doing what is right has always been important to me but I have never had a stronger desire to watch every single little action I take so I can always have the Holy Ghost with me. Before the mission, I kind of thought missionaries were exempt from temptations from the devil. But I have felt more pressure from Satan in the last seven weeks than ever before. Satan will do anything to discourage us as missionaries and distract us from bringing souls unto our Heavenly Father. Something else I have come to realize after watching an MTC address by Elder Holland. As a missionary, I have to be willing to put in a couple minutes in the Garden of Gethsemane and take my cross the first few steps on the way to calvary. When I heard this, I pondered and imagined myself kneeling and suffering in the Garden for maybe two minutes and my pains were gone because I looked over and my older brother and Savior was kneeling next to me saying "its ok. just give me all your sins and pains" and then he bled for me. Then I imagined myself carrying my cross to calvary and after I had made it probably three steps, my Savior put me and my cross on His back and carried me the rest of the way and I know He has done the same for EVERYONE. I cannot wait for the day when I get to worship at the feet of my Savior.

As I shared that experience with my district during a district meeting, I realized something else. There are so many people in the world cheering for and praying for the missionaries but I often fail to remember my biggest fan, Jesus Christ. Better yet, Christ says "You run your hardest for the first ten yards and then I'll help you score a touchdown." There are a lot of things we have to do on our own and I know I cant expect the Savior to do all my work for me, but I do know that if I just turn to Him, He will help me.

I am loving the mission. Temple is still closed today and we had to do laundry yesterday so I have all day to write letters today. I had a lot to say this week so tell McKell I will email her next week or write her a letter today. Thank you everyone for all the letters. I love you.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Half Way through the MTC

Dear Family,

Thanks for the package this week. I always love getting sweets and notes. Thanks to everyone who sent notes and letters. I'm still in the process of writing back but I will try to do that quickly if I can find the time. And mom I have taken pictures but I havent sent any yet and I will do the map picture before Jake leaves.
The last couple days have been hard and its hard not to compare yourself to other missionaries. I had been pretty frustrated and discouraged and the only time where I would forget about that stuff and be happy was when I was teaching and sharing my testimony. I love sharing the gospel and there is no greater feeling. I love the MTC but I cant wait to be in Mexico.

I am learning so much here and my spanish has improved a lot. Yesterday when we taught a volunteer, he said my spanish was better than his when he left the MTC after 9 weeks so that was encouraging. Basically I have the slow spanish down but whenever I hear a native speaker I probably only understand about 10% but I know it will come. Hermano Davis always makes fun of me for my gringo accent though because I cant do the accented "o" sound for some reason so a lot of people in Mexico might be laughing when I get there.
The volunteer we taught yesterday in TRC is the convert from the movie The Best Two Years and the bishop in the Singles Ward movie so that was pretty cool and he gave us a lot of feedback that was really helpful.
For some reason I cant think of much to say this week other than I cant believe how much the MTC and mission is changing me. I have never felt this strong of a desire to just be better. Elder Robbins spoke in our devotional Tuesday night and at the end he made the point that revelation does not come when we are on our knees but it comes when we get up and go to work. I really liked that and I find it to be true. Another speaker we had a couple weeks ago made the statement to "Never drag main street again" and I see his point so clearly in that the mission is changing my life forever with the habits I am forming and the increased desire to always have the spirit with me. I wish I could have done a couple weeks in the MTC before freshman year of college because if you do what you are supposed to then you really learn how to manage time and study effectively.

Sorry I dont have much to say this week but I will make it better next week. I love you!


Elder Lythgoe

Friday, June 15, 2012

Estoy Feliz

Dear Family and Friends,

First off, thank you for the package. I love all the treats and the luggage tags look great. And yes mom I got my hair cut the day after Jake arrived and i would have sooner except I had to wait until P-Day. Also, Elder Kjar and I have moved rooms. 4 missionaries in our district left for Peru on Tuesday but Elder Bunker did not get his Visa. Elder Kjar and I are now in a trio with him so we moved into his room but its right next door to the room we used to have so it wasn't a big deal. Also, thank you to everyone who has been sending me DearElders. I am in the process of writing everyone back but I dont have a lot of time so it might take a while. I can't believe it has been three weeks already because the days go by like weeks but the weeks go by like days. I love it here but I am ready to be in Mexico. Estoy hablando espaƱol perfectamente ahora y no puedo esperar a servir el pueblo de Mexico. Thats a joke because obviously I am still a gringo and I cant say and understand much unless I talk with white people.

Yesterday, my companions and I made a goal to only speak spanish which I did for most of the day. At lunch I saw Elder Bramwell and was talking to him in Spanglish about the temple and a Latino missionary approached me because I was speaking spanish and he asked where I was serving and I said Mexico and he is serving in northern Mexico. He is from Columbia. After that short conversation, he started speaking in the spanish that I havent learned meaning way fast and I told him I dont understand anything. He laughed and just said hasta luego but at least I have the basics down already.

Yesterday I had another neat experience. We were teaching Alberto about the Word of Wisdom and I had a thought to talk about something else. I thought that it was just an idea and not the spirit so I didnt change our lesson plan. Right after that I basically forgot all my parts and how to speak Spanish. I talked with Hermano Peck (Alberto) after the lesson about this experience and he told me that those thoughts are the spirit. He shared a similar experience of being in Mexico and not following a prompting which resulted in him forgetting spanish as well. I learned a few things from this. First, don't ignore promptings of the spirit even if you don't know they are from the spirit. Second, the gift of tongues is real but I have to put in my part by working hard and teaching by the spirit. Later, we went to TRC which is where we practice our spanish with member volunteers and we share a short message. Our message was on prayer. As we were talking with our first volunteer, I felt i should share the story of Enos so I did as best I could and as I bore testimony that will faith in Christ God will answer our prayers, the spirit poured into my heart and into the room. Then in our second visit with another volunteer we talked with a man about his mission and then shared a short message. As I shared my testimony of prayer, I felt the same spirit again. My whole chest felt warm and tingly and I know without a doubt that the spirit confirmed to me that I will be blessed when I follow the promptings of the spirit and that Heavenly Father will help us if we just pray to him with faith.

Last week, I worked with one of the teachers during "coaching missionary study." During it, he told me to look ahead two years and see the missionary I want to be at the end of my mission and the man I want to become for the rest of my life. I realized I want to return home where the gospel is by far the most important thing in my life with Jesus Christ at the center of my life. I want my greatest desire to be to serve others always and bring people the happiness of the gospel. I don't want to look back and share stories about how great my mission was but I want to keep doing missionary work when I get home. God loves everyone on this earth equally and I want to bring people back to Him. I picture the smile on Christ's face when someone repents and is baptized into this church. There is no greater feeling than making my Savior happy since I have already caused Him so much pain. Christ sees my potential and I know the mission will help put me on the path to reach that potential because it has already started to.

If you have not watched the Mormon Message titled "A Father Indeed" please do. That is a humble priesthood man. I hope someday I can be like Bill.

The first week or so I never really saw much messing around here, but now I have seen what Elder Remmington was talking about. He is right that I should not judge others but it is sad to see people waste the Lord's time. Furthermore, I am not doing anything for myself here in the MTC. Sure I am learning a lot and my testimony has grown a ton, but I am studying and learning for the people in Mexico. I want to enter the field ready so that I don't miss out on any oppportunity to bring a child of God back into his fold. I don't want any Mexican family to approach me after the resurrection and say, "Elder Lythgoe, why didnt you try harder in the MTC. We were ready to hear your message but you werent ready to share it" That would be awful, so I am working hard every day so I can bless the lives of people in Mexico. I love this gospel and I love this work. I want to share my testimony in spanish. If I make mistakes I'm sorry but hopefully that doesnt matter and you feel the spirit behind its message.

Yo se que Dios nos ama mucho y quiere ayudar nosotros. Dios quiere oir de nosotros y podemose recibir revalacion por medio oriacione y el Espiritu Santo. JesuCrist ha sufrido mucho por nuestros pecados y amo my Salvador. Este evangelio es verdadero y estoy agredecido por la oportunidad a servir la iglesia de JesuCristo. Siento fortaleza caundo pienso sobre mi Redentor.

I love you. Thank you for all the support and love.


Elder Lythgoe

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Elder Lythgoe and Elder Bramwell are Reunited!

 A great reunion between best buds at the MTC! Elder Lythgoe and Elder Bramwell!
Elder Lythgoe had lunch the same time as Elder Bramwell was to arrive.  Elder Lythgoe and his companion, Elder Kjar decided to see if they could find Elder Bramwell.  As they walked out of the building the first car they saw driving into the MTC was Elder Bramwell!!!  Tender Mercies!

Week 2 - in the MTC!

Dear Family,
     First off, yes I am getting all the dear elders and thank you. I love getting them! Sorry if I forget to answer any questions but I feel like every letter has 50 questions in it.
     So last Friday one of the teachers Hermano Fosset told Elder Kjar and I that a teacher here served in Tuxtla. He wouldn´t tell us who it was though. Then on Saturday, we met Hermano Peck who has been acting as Alberto. He served in Tuxtla and got home last May. Alberto is someone he taught while on his mission so essentially we have been practicing on someone from our mission. Amazing! I love teaching Alberto and the Mexican people just sound amazing. I love hearing about the people there and I am already beginning to love the people I dont even know yet. Hermano Peck hasn´t told us too much yet because he wants to bring pictures but I had to ask about food and he said its a lot of beans, rice, chicken enchiladas with spicy mole, and chicken tacos. He said the worst thing he ate was mushrooms so that made me feel a lot better. He had one white companion and that was his trainer. Every other companion didnt speak a word of english.

     Yesterday we started TRC which is where we go teach volunteers to help us practice spanish. We taught Wendy who is from Mexico and barely speaks English. She has been to Tuxtla and thats about all I understood. She talks so fast its ridiculuos. The spirit was so strong though when we bore testimony. I love teaching. I dont even understand that much and I cant say everything I would like to I feel so happy and filled with the spirit when I testify of my Savior, Jesu Christ. My purpose the next two years is simple. I am inviting others to come unto Christ. There is no greater message out there. I look forward to seeing people CHANGE through Jesus Christ. He is our older brother and Redeemer. I can feel him put his arm around me whenever I am struggling with something here in the MTC.

     On Tuesday, Elder Marlin K Jenson spoke at the devotional and it was amazing. His message was amazing and powerful. He encourage us to open our mouths. He tied that into the Law of Consecration and I am excited to open my mouth, share the gospel, and serve others not just now but for the rest of my life. I always wanted to be a doctor because i find it interesting and I liked the idea of the status of a doctor. I realized who cares about status. We are all the same in God´s eyes and I just wanted to help people. If I can just change one persons life on my mission I will be happy, likewise serving others on my mission has helped me realize that I want to be a doctor to improve people´s lives.

     Now the good story. Yesterday was crazy. I couldnt focus because I was so stoked for Elder Bramwell to get here. At 1225 I told Elder Kjar we should walk out front to wait or see if he was there. The Bramwells pulled in just as i walked out. It was so exciting to see B and everyone else. Then I waited with his Host while he got his stuff to see which dorm he was in. He comes out and says he is in 13m which was my dorm then room 325 and I am room 341. We are right down the hall!!!! Crazy! We were so stoked. His meal times are about the same as mine so we see each other a bunch. His companion and roommates all seem like great guys and he is loving it here. Seriously! What are the odds he would be staying right down the hall from me. It will be an awesome three weeks.

     I cant believe I have seven weeks left here because I just want to teach people already. I don´´t know if Ill want to come home in two years. I´´m happier than I have ever been because my life only focuses on the gospel. Something to think about... Jesus Christ has done everything for us. The scriptures, our baptismal covenant, and Moroni´´s promise tell us to only remember Him. How long do we go before we arent thinking about Him. I know for me before my mision that other things would weigh on my mind as soon as church ended. I encourage everyone to remember our Savior. His sufferings were so exquisite we know not. He BLED from every pore so we wouldnt have to. We are weak and need Jesus Christ so turn to him, love Him, and REMEMBER Him.

     I love you and thanks for your letters and support.
Elder Lythgoe

Friday, June 1, 2012

Week Numero Uno

Dear Family,

     I cant believe my first week is already over because the days here are incredibly long but that was a fast week.

     There are 11 missionaries in my district and 4 are going to Portland (including Elder Heap y Elder Winitana), 3 to Peru, 1 to Ecuador Guayaquil South, 1 to Mexico City East and then me and Elder Kjar to Tuxtla. Our teacher Hermano Davis is absolutely amazing. I am in the beginning spanish class but the only difference is that we have more teacher interaction rather than personal language study so I am in the right class. My spanish after a week is WAY better than it was after four years. I can hold simple conversations and teach simple lessons and my comprehension is improving rapidly.  I love spanish. Nephi taught that everyone would learn the gospel in their own language and I know the gift of tongues is real. The spirit here is amazing.

      My district leader is Elder Bunker. He is the most patient and loving missionary in our district. The other day we were talking about families and I mentioned Brooke has Down syndrome and Elder Bunker had a little brother with Downs who passed away. I almost broke down and cried when he told me that. We are so blessed that Brooke has been healthy and she truly is a special spirit.

     So my first lesson in Spanish was AWFUL. I didn't understand more than 5 words and it was frustrating but I felt the spirit so i guess that means it was good. The fake investigator "Alberto" told us about his problems but I dont know what he said so I responded with que bueno. However, the second lesson the spirit was so strong as the gift of tongues was manifested to me. I understood probably 90% and I was able to say everything I wanted to. Since then the lessons have been up and down but when I bear my simple testimony in spanish I feel the spirit strongly.

     On Sunday we watched a video of an Elder Bednar devotional about Recognizing the Spirit. It was amazing and I learned to not worry about it and to try my hardest, be obedient and go to work. Then today when we were waiting in the chapel at the temple for our session I read in the words of Mormon verse 7 about aligning my will with the will of the Lord. In the temple, I felt the spirit so strongly and had an increased desire to serve my Savior. I would sacrifice ANYTHING for this work. There is no greater work out there and I love my Redeemer Jesus Christ. I can already tell that I won't want to come home in two years. I love sharing the Gospel. I am striving to be like Alma and Amulek who literally sacrificed all they had for missionary work. My faith has increased so much. We watched a video in class about missionaries who converted a hispanic family in San Diego and got to go to their sealing a year later at the end of their mission. I want nothing more than to see families sealed for eternity and partake in the blessings of the gospel.

     Gracias por su amor. Yo se que este evangelio es verdadero y la iglesia de JesuCristo les trae bendiciones a nuestra vidas. I love you.


Elder Lythgoe

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Elder Lythgoe wants letters!

If you would like to write Elder Lythgoe, here are two ways you can do it--

Letters to Mexico
Elder Tyler Scott Lythgoe
Mexico Tuxtla Gutierrez Mission
Apartado Postal 278
29000 Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas

Package Mailing Instruction
Elder Tyler Scott Lythgoe
Mexico Tuxtla Gutierrez Mission
Calle Jazmines #210
Fracc. Los Laureles
29020 Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas

Pouch Delivery

Pouch mail instructions: The Church provides pouch mail service to Tyler's mission. The best way to send pouch is to use:
Choose Mexico Tuxtla Gutierrez Mission and postage is free

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 24 - First Letter

I don't have P-day until next Thursday but Presidente Brown is letting us write a letter.  The Spirit in the MTC is great.  My companero is Elder Kjar.  Our roommates are Elder Heap and Elder Winitana.

I had an amazing experience the first night.  In a group of about 30 elders, we witnessed a 'fake' discussion.  We were asked to find a scripture for the situation.  I opened the Book of Mormon, without a scripture in mind, and I came across 2 Nephi 4:20-21 (Click here to read scripture) which was perfect for the investigator.  Another Elder was asked to share his scripture and he used the SAME one.  Since this is not a scripture mastery, I know that this was not a coincidence but the power of the Holy Ghost being manifest to me.  I feel inadequate compared to many of the elders, but I know the Lord is on my side and I am ready to work hard to catch up.

Also, we jumped right into Spanish which is very hard and I am constantly praying for help.  We teach our first lesson in Spanish tomorrow.  Dios es nuestro Padere celestial.  La expacion de jesus Cristo es veradero.  Yo se que Jesu Cristo vive.  Te Amo!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Elder Lythgoe arrived at the MTC!

Elder Lythgoe with mom and dad the night before entering the MTC.  We were able to do an endowment session in the Provo Temple with BYU friend Connor King.
 Elder Lythgoe and his luggage...ready to get to the MTC!
Greeted by two host missionaries....Elder Lythgoe is off and running!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

It's Official! Elder Tyler Lythgoe

Tyler was set apart as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tonight by President Kurt L. Blickenstaff.  For the next two years he is ELDER LYTHGOE.

In addition to our family, Grandpa and Grandma Lythgoe, Grandma Nielsen, Jake, Saucha and Jim Bramwell, Hayden Woolf were here at the house.  Each person was able to give Tyler some advice.  What a wonderful and spiritual experience.  We are so excited for him!