Monday, December 22, 2014

Feliz Navidad

Hola Todos,

So there was not a whole lot that went on this week. We had a lot of really good first lessons with people at the beginning of the week, but then everyone left for Christmas. 

The rest of the week has been pretty blah. We had a baptism to go to in my comps old area on Saturday, so we got to go on a little bit of an adventure. We went to Chimalhuacan for the baptism. This was a little scary because this is a much more dangerous area than La Paz. There are Santa Muerte´s everywhere, and that is what makes the crime go up. The belief of the Santa Muerte is that if you do something to someone and they get injured or killed, it is because it was there time to die. If they live then the Santa Muerte was not ready to take them.

So that was a little interesting being there. There were a lot of cool members, and my comp had a wonderful time visiting his old area. This was the area that he got shocked in and I was able to visit and meet the family at the house he was zapped.

Other than this, the only other exciting thing this week was the new investigator that we got yesterday. Her name is Fatima, and wow is she prepared. She was a referral from a friend and we met here at the church last week when she attended for her first time. We met with her this Sunday and taught her her first lesson. The crazy thing though is that she already had all of the folletos and has started El Libro de Mormon. She set her own baptismal date for the 31 of January, and says that she has already prayed and knows that it is true. She is awesome and I can't wait to teach her more!!!!

Other than that, the week has been pretty normal. We ate some good food and talked with lots of people. And on the metro I found Reese´s and bought 10 of them because they are very rare to find here. 

All is well, and the Spanish is continuing to progress. 

I love and miss all of you and can't wait to hear and talk to you on Thursday and next Monday. 

Con Mucho Amor,
Elder Mason Millar

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Wow, was this week an eventful one!!!!

So starting last Monday after I had to leave, the 4 missionaries in my area went out and got pizza from Pizza Hut. It was wonderful, but not the same as in America. After this we had a district meeting and then went out and worked. 

Starting Tuesday is where the craziness begins. Driving in a combi (small taxi/van) to a zone meeting at about 9 in the morning, we are rear ended by a car. This car was doing about 60 mph and we were doing about 25. It was a pretty solid impact, and of course we were in Mexico and none of the cars have seat belts. Both my companion and I smacked out heads pretty good and were really sore the next day, but we were in a pretty big combi and nothing happened to it. The car that his us though was completely totalled and the two passengers in the front seats hit and broke the windshield. It was pretty nuts. 

Then on Wednesday we had the mission Christmas party. This was a lot of fun. We started out with a devotional and then had a talent show. The talent show kind of turned into a joke though. There were a bunch of elders, (The ones from the Dominican Republic) that were just being dumb and ruining it for the rest of the missionaries. But whatever. After this we had lunch and then played sports or watched Frozen. I decided that I would watch the movie, because you don't get to do that on a mission. It was so funny when Elsa changed when she was singing Let It Go. All of the elders went nuts!!!! It was really funny. 

Thursday was a normal day of work and nothing really exciting happened. But Friday we weren´t allowed to work. It was the Day of the Virgin for the Catholics, and it was not safe. So I bought Monopoly and the four of us played it 6 times. 6 times is was to many times to play Monopoly in one day. But is was fun. Friday was really hard though, because we all got homesick because we weren´t allowed to do work. It was nice to have the break though. 

Saturday was also another very interesting day. We didn't have anything planned because we didn´t work of Friday, but we had a ton of lessons. We didn't have a lunch appointment because the sister wasn't home. So we had an hour and a half that we just walked around. We went and sat on these stairs that were like super tall, and were sitting there for about 15 minutes and then four guys came and started to smoke weed in front of us. They started talking to us and then they had more friends show up. By the end (about 45 minutes later) there were seven of them, and they all had a lot of question about the church. It was so crazy. They were there blazing up on the fattest joints that I have ever seen, and asking us question about the church.
Later that night we were walking home, and someone yelled at us, so we stopped. At first we thought that he was going to come and rob us, but then there was a girl that was following him. He came and was talking to us about how his friend didn't believe that there was a god, and asked us a bunch of questions to help her understand that there is one. About this time I watched both of them put their hands up to their noses and sniff. Yup, they were huffing. (sniffing glue to get high) But he then looked at us a asked us to give her a blessing. It was kind of weird because it was just on the edge of the street, but Jesus gave blessing in the street, so why can't we! 

And yesterday was just a normal Sunday. It was busy and we had 5 lessons, but is was just a normal day. 

The Spanish is coming along well, and my companion is so much better that my old one. 

Thank you all for the letters and have a wonderful week. 

Love you all so much,
Elder Mason Millar

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Vaca Santo,

Where has the last month gone? There has been so much that has gone on it just seems like a bit blur!!!! 

So this last week has been a good and crazy week. I love my new area, and love my new trainer!!! (Most of the time) He is an increadible missionary, and knows exactly why he is here. He likes to push buttons though. That is for sure!!! He is a great guy though!!!! 

So this last week was very eventful. We had 35 lessons this week, and contacted like a bazillion people. I am not very good at it. As most of you know I talk to lots of people, but I don't like to preach, so it is a little bit of a stretch of my comfort zone. 

Also this week we had a pet dog for a night. She was what looked to be a golden retriever, and we named her Sage. She came up to us one night freezing and hungry, so we bought some food and gave her a warm place to sleep. (I will attach a picture or her)

We also had a pretty crazy lesson last night. We were knocking doors and came across this pastor and his wife, and they invited us in. It was a wonderful lesson, but I didn't understand anything, because it was mostly deeper doctrine. But at the end of the lesson he asked if he could give us a blessing, and he put his hands on our shoulders and asked God to convert us to his religion, or make it known to him that the Book of Mormon is true. If he actually reads the Book of Mormon, then man he is going to be strong in the church, But we will see. We have another appt on Thursday 

So later tonight I am going to a sister's house who is a chiropractor to have her fix my ankle from the MTC when I rolled it. She looked at it the other day and said that it is out of alignment and if it is not put back I will end up tearing my tendon. So that will be nice to have my ankle feeling and looking better. 

The spanish is coming along great for all that are wondering. Everyone I talk to says that I am way ahead of where they were when they were llearning so that is good. I just don't talk much, because I haven't had the opportunity to get to know and open up to the investigators and members yet. But it is progressing, and the Lord is helping me to learn it quickly. 

Other that that, all is well, and the work down here is crazy!!! It is Hot as all get out during the day, and Cold as ice during the night. Dressing for the day is really difficult!!! 

I miss all of you, and love you all so much!!!

You are in my prayers,

Con Amor,
Elder Mason Millar

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Hola todos,

Wow, So I can't even believe that I have been gone for two months. How is that even possible? 

So we will start off with the big news for the week. I had my first transfer. I was transferred on Saturday to the area of La Paz. It is increadible!!! It is like a completely different country. 

So many of you are probably wondering why I was transferred. So last week on Tuesday I was at the mission offices with all of the other non-native elders to go to immigration. After we got back President came and asked me how I was doing, and then asked me to come into his office after I responded with ´´fine´´. He is a truly inspired man. After talking to him about what my trainer was not doing he asked to speak with both of us. He asked us to do a couple different things, and then said he would call in a few days to see how things were going. 

So on Friday, he called me and asked how everything was going so I told him. Later that day we received a call from the Zone Leaders telling us that we were going to be having changes and that I was going to be leaving. So that night I had to go and pack my bags and left the lext day. 

So my new trainer is probably one of the most increadible missionaries in the mission .So about my new trainer, His name is Elder Robertson, and he is from Las Vegas. He has been out for 10 months, and absolutely loves to work. He is very very kind and is one of the most increadible missionaries in the mission. About 6 months ago, he was electrocuted by 23,000 volts. That ammount of electricity should have killed him, but all that happened was he got third degree burns on his hands and when he fell he busted his hand open. He was in the hospital for 5 days and was not able to work for 3 weeks after because he had to let the skin on his hands grow back after the plastic sugery. He had more of a reason than anyone of the entire mission to go home, and he felt that he needed and could stay out. He is out here for the right reason!!!

I have not been happier on my mission than I have been for the last 2 days with Elder Robertson. He is truly an answer to my prayers, and I feel like I am going to be able to learn so so much from him. We do not share a house with any other missionaries, but they live in the same building. Their names are Elder Sorenson from California, and Elder Escalante from El Salvador. They are awesome missionaries, and Elder Escalente got into the mission the same day as me and is also in training. 

So other than that there is not much more that went on this week, other than the fact that in our church building we have a real piano, and I am playing in the Mission talent show at the mission Christmas party. 

I love you all, and Love hearing from all of you!!!

Con Amor,
Elder Mason Millar

So this is my new companion, and just a part in my mission. The whole area doesn´t look like this. Just a small part in the mountain. It is the coolest thing, because it feels like I am walking through a video game!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Hola Todos,

So Not much has changed from last week to this week. All I know is that everything is going by really really fast. I can't even believe I have already been here for two weeks. The time just flies by, and at the same time everything feels like I am going to be here for an eternity!!! 

I was informed this week by one of the local Hermanas that I don't sound like a gringo! So for the few words that I know I sound like I know what I am talking about. 

This week I had to eat the worst food since I arrived in Mexico. I had to eat broccoli and an over easy egg :P  It was absolutely disgusting!!! And I almost died!!! Trees are not supposed to be eaten ever! But I survived the two plates of broccoli that I had to eat. So all is well, no worries!

The food here is for the most part good. Occasionally you get a questionable meat, but you just put it in a tortilla and hope for the best! 

Last Friday I finally got my first free shower. It was pouring rain for about 45 minutes and I happened to forget my jacket at the house because it looked like it was going to be a nice day. You can't trust the weather here. But is was fun. After we got soaked, we went and stood in the font because it is the only place with warm water in this crazy city. So we held our freezing hands under the warm water in the font. That was fun!!!

Tonight after I am done writing I get to go to the mission office and spend the night so that I can go and do visa paperwork tomorrow morning. That will be a journey!!! 

All is well, and I love all of you!!!

Con Amor,
Elder Mason Millar

I love the weather in Mexico. But I can't even express how much I do and am going to miss the snow for the next two years!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

11-17-2014 First Letter From Mexico City!

Hola Todos de mis amigos,l

So, Mexico is probably the craziest place that I have ever been in my entire life. The people are soo nice and willing to help with everything from learning Spanish to buying us some pan de dulce. I love the people. Even though I can't understand what they are saying most of the time. 
I am to the point that I can pick out words and somewhat figure out what they are trying to say to me, but I am still unable to respond. 

I can't believe how blessed I have been in my life. The people are so happy here and seem to have so little. It has definitely been an eye opening week, and I am not even in the poorest area in the mission. 

At the moment I am living in Texcoco. This area covers about 3/4 of the entire mission and is covered by only 8 elders. We take a lot of buses and combi's. Combi's are these vans that have all of the seats taken out of them and just have benches around the end. I feel like I am going to die every time that I have to get into one. The driving here is absolutely insane, but surprisingly there are not many accidents. Just a lot of honking and yelling at all hours of the day and night!!! 
Other than the driving, Texcoco is a very safe place and our house probably couldn't be any safer. We live above a gated kindergarten that has video cameras and everything. I am very safe! 

So My companion is a local, he speaks half decent english,so we are able to communicate most of the time. But him being a local is forcing me into the culture even faster. It is somewhat of a sensory overload. People here have no sense of a schedule. Everything is always late and I don't think we have yet to be to an appointment on time yet. It is kind of hard to adjust to not having a schedule.

I have had my first tacos. They didn't sit very well with me, but I figured that they would take getting used to. I have yet to eat anything really crazy. The craziest thing I have probably eaten was the chicken that I had yesterday night. It was killed several hours before we ate it. That was kind of weird. The food is different, but is good. I do miss the MTC food though. It was a little nicer to my body. Same with the bed. The bed that I am sleeping on has like zero pad left on it so I am pretty much sleeping on springs. Take advantage and realize how nice the beds at the MTC are while you are still there, because you can only get a new mattress if it gets infested by bugs or the springs start to break through the fabric. 

The language seems to be coming very fast and my companion said that I am learning it too fast. Is that possible? Who knows, but I know that the Lord is on my side and is helping me every single day!!! 

I hope to hear from all of you soon,

Con Amor,
Elder Mason Millar

Sorry for the spelling, all of the computers are in spanish and there is no spell check for english.

Elder Millar's first picture from Mexico.  His companion and fellow missionaries

The wall painting outside of their apartment

Monday, November 10, 2014


Hey all,

So I made it to Mexico safe and sound. 

All is well and I have realized that I really don't speak any spanish at all!!!

Hope to hear from you all on my P-day, whenever it may be. 

Love you all!!!

Con Mucho Amor,
Elder Mason Millar

Sunday, November 9, 2014

11-09-14 (Last email from USA)

Hey all,

So I figured I would send out one last email before I leave for Mexico. I don't know when my next P-Day will be. 

I have grown so much and learned even more. The MTC has been hard, but at the same time has been one of the greatest things that I have ever done in my life. 

I know the the mission will be even better. I am nervous to go to Mexico, but at the same time am excited beyond belief!!!!!

I love you all and can't wait to hear from you all on my first P-Day in Mexico!!!

Con Amor,
Elder Mason Millar


Hello all,

Wow, did the MTC go by fast or what? Six weeks gone like that. The days felt like weeks, and the weeks felt like days. It is weird how much I have grown looking back on the last five and a half weeks. The MTC is an absolutely incredible place, that I can't wait to get out of!!! There are so many good things about it, and I am just glad that they outweigh the bad!
I have learned so much while being here, and have been told that I will learn even more when I get out into the field. I know that it is going to be hard, but it is exactly what I need to do, and it is what the Lord wants me to do.
So this week there was not a whole lot that went on. We taught all of our "investigators" for the last time and started to wrap up with everything else that we have to do. It is kind of surreal to think that we are actually going to leave. When we first got here it felt like it was going to be an eternity spent in the MTC, but nope. We were wrong.
My companion was finally able to get his crown finished after four visits to one of the worst dentists I have ever visited. Over the last three weeks I had to sit in the waiting room of a dentist while my companion had his mouth destroyed for probably about ten hours. I am grateful for the time that I had though. I was able to read a lot in the Book of Mormon and write a lot of letters. I am glad that he was able to get it all fixed before we had to leave for Mexico.
I have already started packing and can't believe how little it looks like I have, but it has to last me for two whole years. All of the other districts are sad that we have started packing and I know exactly how they feel, because we have all had to go through the exact same thing when the other elders left two and four weeks ago.
The gospel is true and the Lord works in simple ways, but his simple ways can and will make huge changes to the lives of people just like us. I can't wait to get down to Mexico on Monday, but am also so nervous because I feel like I don't know any spanish. 

The Lord will help me and everyone else because he loves us. 

The Gospel is true, and God wants the best for us all.

Con Mucho Amor, 
Elder Mason Millar

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Hola Mis Amigos,

How is everyone? Is the world still continuing on? Here in the MTC it seems like every day is the same and that I am stuck in a weird gospel twisted version of Groundhog Day!!!

So there has not been much that went on this week. We had to say goodbye to the two older districts that left on Monday. That was really hard. I had grown very very close to them and it was really hard to see them go. Elder Scott Stout was probably one of the most incredible men that I have ever met in my life. He was one of the old zone leaders and I believe was in one of the pictures from last week.  I can't believe that that will be me in just ten more days!!! WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE??? The MTC has a weird way of making the weeks go by really fast. I think it is due to the fact that you do the exact thing every single day and they all seem to mush together into one large mass. I can't wait to get to Mexico even though the elders that just left have said that it is harder than you can even imagine. I know that the lord knows that we can do hard things, and through him we will be able to get through anything. 

This week we also had eleven new elders and sisters join the zone. I don't really know them yet because I have had a whole like 25 minutes to talk to them. They seem to be pretty cool missionaries, and I can't wait to get to know them. 

The adventure that we had this week was actually a two day expedition. So on Monday my companion and I had to go back to the dentist to have his permanent crown put on. The only problem was the quality of the impression that the dentist okayed. Having been in dental offices I can say that this one is not of the greatest quality. They somewhat jimmy rigged the crown so that they could send in to have a new one made. So that means that we get to go back again next week. The only problem with the first crown was that it did not get set very well and popped off Tuesday morning. So low and behold, back to the dental office again. I am really hoping that this time the temporary will actually hold until next Wednesday so we don't have to go back again!!!

The only announcement that I have is that I will be receiving my flight plans tomorrow. I will inform you tomorrow night with all the information I receive.   

I love the Lord and love this Gospel. 
And most of all, I love being a representative of both and being able to serve.

Con Mucho Amor,
Elder Mason Millar

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Hola Everyone,

So this last week was not a very eventful week. Didn't have much of anything out of the ordinary. As of this next Monday my district will officially be the oldest district in the zone. How weird is that? 

It was already been almost four weeks. I can't believe how fast it is going. I will be receiving my travel plans for Mexico this next week. It is really happening. I really hope that my whole mission doesn't go by this fast. 

I have already fallen so far into the lords work that I don't think I will every want to come home. And I know when I get down to Mexico I am going to fall even more in love with the people and the work. 

Last week we got a new district and have so far had two different sets of elders move into our room. Having 6 elders in one room with only 4 closets and 4 desks in not very easy. The amount of suitcases and clothing that 6 missionaries have is amazing!!!

Sorry for the short letter, but I don't have much to say for this week. 

I love you all, and love the lord.

Con Amor,
Elder Mason Millar

Friday, October 17, 2014


Hola Amigos,

So this last week has gone by so fast. I can't believe how easy it is to get lost in the work! 

The last week was a very eventful week full of uplifting events that greatly increased my testimony. 

The major thing that happened in the last week was the trip that I made to the Mexican Consulate. This was on Saturday for most of the day. It started out as a normal day with going to the class in the morning and then getting on a shuttle over to the Front Runner. The looks that people give you when there are 37 missionaries all together riding the front runner are quite funny. 

After getting off of the Front Runner this is where it started to get very weird and didn't feel real. The Trax station that we transferred at was the Murray Central station off of Vine St. and 5200 South across from the hospital. The same Trax station that I got off everyday after school for 3 years. We then as a group got onto the trax and rode it down to 1300 South where the Mexican Consulate is. We went and got our visa information finished so that we can get our visas on time. 

On the way back walking back to Trax we were followed and scolded by a lady who didn't have many nice things to say about the church. After this event I didn't think that the day was going to go very well. But it was a good thing the Lord was there to prove me wrong. 

After my temporary companion and I got onto the train we sat and met a special needs man named Glen. He was so wonderful to talk to. He was so valiant about following the spirit and following the teachings of the prophets. We rode with him until we got back to the Murray station. 

When we got the the station we found out that we had 50 minutes until the Front Runner was supposed to come, so a group of us walked over to Costco and got some lunch. Ya, can I even tell you how weird it was to eat lunch at the store that I was raised going to. It was super weird and the whole time I was worried I was going to run into my family or someone that I knew. 

After we were done with lunch we got onto the train and made our way back to the MTC. While we were on the train one of the other elders stood up and asked any of us if we had a Book of Mormon. I was the only elder that had one to give away. After we got off the train we returned to the MTC and had normal saturday night activities. 

This is where the testimony builder comes in. I was the only missionary that brought a paperback Book of Mormon with me on the train. Earlier that morning I had put the paperback Book of Mormon into my bag because I had a feeling that I was going to need it. The Lord works in mysterious ways and it can be so easily missed. We need to constantly be looking for and be worthy to hear and feel what the Lord needs us to hear and do. It is by small and simple actions that the Lord brings to pass great and marvelous works. 

 The rest of the week was normal other that the visit that my companion and I had to make to the dentist on Monday. He had a filling fall out and had decay into the pulp of his tooth and had to have an endodontic treatment. I sat in the dentist office for three and a half hours with nothing to do but read and look at the ceiling. But, while I was there there was a young Mexican family that came in with four little kids and I successfully had a conversation with a four year old that knew more spanish than I do. That was humbling!

Hope all is well with everyone back home. Hope to hear from you all soon and thank you for all of the support. 

And Thanks to the Beene family for the treats, I don't know how else to thank you other than through this email. 

Love you all so much!!!!

Con Amor,
Elder Mason Millar

More Pictures:

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Hola Ustedes,

So my first week in the CCM has been quite eventful. 

The first day was probably the craziest 9 hours of my life. So I show up and am immediately introduced to my host and hug goodbye and walk toward the main building. In the main building I am directed to a room where I received my name badge and some miscellaneous items. I am then taken to another building (the bookstore) and am given like 4000 pounds of books in this bag that I am supposed to carry around. After i get my books I go and drop off my luggage in my and am immediately taken to my class. 

As soon as I get into the class my teacher (Who I know know as hermanna C.) Looks at me and starts speaking Spanish to me! What am I supposed to do, I had no idea. the other guys just looked at me and said follow her. So I was guided to a computer to watch some orientation video. I then return to class and we begin our first lesson. I had no idea what she was saying almost the entire time! 

After class my district is led to a big auditorium and we have our welcoming devotional. After the devotional is over we have dinner. (If you can call it food) And then we go back to our rooms and begin to unpack. At about 5:30 we meet in rooms with the other newbies and are supposed to have our first "lesson" with an investigator as a big group.

After we are finished with these lessons we went to meet our Branch President, President D. and his wife. They are so nice! Sister D. reminds me a lot of Mom. She just doesn't seem to care about what others think! 

The rest of the week has been good. Conference was absolutely amazing and I loved every minute of it, other than the fact that the chairs were so uncomfortable. My Favorite talk was by Elder Carlos A. Godoy. He spoke on the process of making good decisions. 

My companion is Elder J., from Murray/Taylorsville. He literally lives like 2 miles away from where I do/did live. He is so much fun and we seem to get along fairly well. He kind of reminds me of Andrew. Very similar attitudes and views on life. It is starting to drive me nuts having to be with someone 24/7. I look forward everyday to the time I have for personal study because it gives me an opportunity to focus on myself and just to clear my head. 

So that is about all for my first week of the mission. Looking back it went by so fast, but seemed so slow all at the same time. 

Love you all, and I am Absolutely loving serving the Lord!!!

Con Mas Amor,
Elder Mason Millar

Sunday, October 5, 2014

First Letter Home

October 2, 2014

Hello Family,

How is everyone doing?  I have been good! I still have absolutely no clue what is going on. It is all kind of a blur!!!

So my first day. I got out of the care and was immediately taken away. Didn't know where I was going or what the heck I was doing. I walked into this building (that is now know as M1) and received a yellow envelope. Then talked to some lady who put my missionary tag on and sent me off aginag. Then I met back up with the Edler that had my bags and walked to another building (now known as the book store or M2) and was given this monstrosity of a plastic bag.  This thing had to weigh like 10 lbs. no joke! After this I walked over to my dorm (or home for 6 weeks) and bring my stuff inside.

I then grab my monster bag and was guided to my classroom.  This is in building M8. I walked into my class an then this lady started talking to me really fast in Spanish.  I just kind of stared and followed here because the other guys said to.  I went and took my orientation test/video and returned to class. She then continued to talk Spanish to us although we barely could figure out what she was saying. It was nuts.

Then we went to our orientation meeting/assembly. It was pretty boring, but whatever.  After this we went to dinner. Dinner was some fried chicken and mashed potato something and then had a small bowl of BYU ice cream. (Just one plate, water, and a bowl of ice cream, Mom)

After dinner we came and unpacked a little and then had to go and meet our Branch President and his wife.  She is way funny. She talked about doing something and then having to drink herself to death. Reminded me of something Mom would say.

After we were done then we came home and met the rest of our district. they are crazy!

So mi companero, he is supper magnifico! His name is Elder Johnson and he went to Murray.  he actually just lives on the other side of the river like 2 miles from our house. Crazy right!  Well he is super chill.  He and one of my other roommates will be going to Mexico Southeast, while the other is going to California.

So that concludes the first day.  It was very eventful.

Today has also been very eventful.  took a shower with a broken shower head and then didn't think about washing my shirts before I came, so all of my collars are super stiff and are driving me nuts.

I found out today that I have to give my first lesson in Spanish tomorrow.  It has to be 20-25 minutes long.  I am going to die!!!  I was really surprised today though, we had class today for like 3 and a half hours and I was able to understand almost everything he was saying by the end of class. It feels pretty awesome!

I need to wrap things up here, I have to get to dinner.  I will send another letter the beginning of next week.

Love you all so much and can't wait to get to Mexico! Let me know how everything is going and I want you to know that I ma where I am suppose to be!

Com mucho amor,  Elder Mason Millar

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Farewell Talk

Mason's Farewell Talk from Sunday September 28, 2014

Friendship: A Valuable “Treasure” in Our Lives & A Pretty Good Way to Share the “Good News” of Jesus Christ

John 15:14 “Ye are my friends. . . .”

This is the phrase that Jesus uses throughout the scriptures to refer to his disciples, to his followers, and to those he teaches.
Why would he call us his friends? Even more important, what does it mean in our life that Jesus considers himself “our friend?”

Let’s start with the definition of a friend:
Friend (noun)
1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter:
3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile

Another way to look at friendship may be in the form of a poem

The Miracle of Friendship
by Author Unknown
There is a
Miracle called
that dwells within
the heart and you don't
know how it happens
or when it even starts.

But the happiness
it brings you always
gives a special lift
and you realize that
is God's most precious gift.

If we go back to the New Testament to read more of Christ’s teachings about friendship, what we can see is that being a friend is really one of the primary commandments that Jesus taught:
John 15: 9-17:

9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

From these scriptures we learn that being a friend means to “love one another”. That love is unconditional and should be given freely to all, not just to those we like or those that act and believe the same as we do.

I think it is also very important to note that Jesus explains to us the He is our friend and that whatsoever we ask the Father in his name, he will give it to us.

As we strive to be like the Savior, that should be our goal as well. To give all that we can to those around us, especially to give them our friendship, unconditionally.

I truly believe that the best way to share the message of the Gospel and the blessings of participating in Jesus Christ’s church is to first and foremost be a friend.

We cannot just preach and teach the commandments, we must demonstrate by our true friendship and love the same caring and concern for others that we know and feel from Jesus himself.

I would like to read a story about a man who used true friendship and service to reach out to other. And how in the end, the Friendship he offered to others came back around to bless his life in a meaningful and significant way.

From Mzungu to Friend BY DAVID DICKSON

A mzungu in a tree? What was a mzungu doing up in a tree? And what was this tool he was using to cut through branches so quickly?

Such questions ran through the minds of Ugandans watching a foreigner (mzungu) using a battery-powered reciprocating saw to trim dead limbs from a massive shade tree. The tool itself was a marvel to the locals. Many of them had never seen anything like it before.
But even more amazing to them was the mzungu himself. Elder Roland Harris, a senior missionary from Utah, USA, trimmed branch after branch, cutting dead limbs from lofty perches. The people below were amazed that a foreigner would do such a thing for one of their own.
Ultimately, Elder Harris’s simple act of service would mark the beginning of a friendship with someone who had wanted nothing to do with the Church or anyone in it.

Getting to Know Godfrey

Elder Roland Harris and Sister Janet Harris were serving a 23-month mission in the Uganda Kampala Mission. Sister Harris, a registered nurse, was called as medical adviser to the missionaries. Elder Harris, a retired construction superintendent who can fix almost anything in the universe, cared for Church facilities and mission vehicles.

Shortly after arriving in Uganda, Elder and Sister Harris hired a local Church member, Mary, to assist in cleaning their home.
Mary had been baptized three years earlier. “We just grew to love her,” says Sister Harris. “She helped teach us the ways of Uganda.”
The more they got to know Mary, the more their friendship deepened. They learned quickly about her husband, Godfrey—a good man who nevertheless kept his distance from members of the Church, especially missionaries. “He wouldn’t let missionaries in his home,” explains Sister Harris. However, Mary still wanted Godfrey to meet them.

She invited the Harrises over for a brief visit. “We had no expectations,” Sister Harris explains. “We told Godfrey that Mary is our dear friend now, and we want to know her family.” Godfrey chatted with them but didn’t really warm up to the idea of getting to know them more than as acquaintances.
That all changed the day Elder Harris showed up with power tools, a ladder, and an offer to serve.

The Turning Point

Godfrey and Mary’s home was surrounded by towering shade trees full of dead branches and overgrown limbs that stretched precariously above their roof.
Elder Harris set to work straightaway. He spent four hours in the treetops lopping off limbs up to 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. The task was definitely overdue. “I was at least 20 feet (6 m) off the ground,” Elder Harris says. As people walked by, they could hardly believe their eyes.
For his part, Godfrey was astounded. “He thanked us profusely,” says Sister Harris. Even relatively simple activities like tree trimming can carry serious risk. “They have no money for medical attention,” Sister Harris explains. If someone fell out of a tree and broke an arm or leg, for example, they would likely have to heal on their own.

That large pile of tree clippings on the ground laid the foundation for a cherished friendship. “Godfrey would come out and greet us from then on,” Elder Harris says. Godfrey and Mary also began welcoming other Church members into their home.

Crossing the Nile

Elder and Sister Harris grew closer to Godfrey and Mary as the months rolled by. Ultimately, this friendship became a strength and support for the Harrises when an unexpected tragedy struck halfway through their mission. They received word that their son Brad had been killed in a freeway accident.
As soon as Mary and Godfrey learned about this, they both put on their best clothes and headed out on a treacherous journey to be at the side of their dear friends.

In Uganda, few people own a vehicle. They either walk or hire a taxi. By far, the most common taxi is a boda boda, a motorcycle that can often be seen carrying as many as six people at once.

“In the dark, riding a boda boda is dangerous,” Sister Harris explains. “They crossed the Nile on a boda boda in the dark.”
After traveling dangerous roads in the dead of night at significant personal expense, Godfrey and Mary showed up to “mourn with those that mourn” and “comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:9).
That evening, compassion and love truly came full circle. Mary and Godfrey were the ones providing service. “It was quite remarkable,” says Sister Harris. Mary suggested that they all kneel together in prayer. Godfrey joined without hesitation.
Service is a key that can unlock doors otherwise barred to us. As President Thomas S. Monson teaches, “When selfless service eliminates selfish striving, the power of God brings to pass His purposes” (“Willing and Worthy to Serve,” Ensign, May 2012, 68).

I would like to finish today by telling all of you about a very dear friend in my life, a man who accepted me for who I was and took the time to teach me valuable lessons about life and friendship.

Val and I did not have your typical friendship. Val was a 68 year old man when he came into my life and I was just a 15 year old teenager. He was retired and looking for someone to do some work around his yard and I had been out looking for work.

At first Val was just someone that I worked for. I would show up when he would ask me to work, I did what he had asked and then I would leave and go home. This was how it was for about six months, but during this time we began to gain each other’s trust and to enjoy the new friendship that was beginning to grow.

I started to realize that Val trusted me to be able to do what he had asked, even if it took some figuring out or took him working side by side with me to help me learn how to do the job. This was one of my favorite things about Val, he wanted me to be able to learn right beside him. This was such an incredible opportunity to learn not only skills, but to learn more about Val as a person and through this process we became very good friends.

Val and I were at completely different stages in our lives. He was retired and I had just started working. He was truly like a grandfather to me and I enjoyed every minute that I got to work with him. Although some of the time it was tedious, every minute was time that was spent building an unbreakable friendship.
I loved Val like he was family and I was willing to do anything for him and his sweet wife. I greatly enjoyed seeing the friendship that they had built and the caring and trustworthy manner that they lived and treated each other with. They were an example to me of what the perfect friendship should be.

Our working relationship and friendship went on this way for nearly a year and a half, and then Val started to get very sick. He had a triple bypass surgery and was recovering well until he became even more ill and was diagnosed with cancer. It was a very hard thing to see my close friend get so ill.

Val was someone who believed in me and because he believed in me, I was able to learn many new and useful things. Not only did he teach me new skills, he helped me learn about myself. Val has passed away, but the lessons that he taught me will live forever. These principles are something that I will always remember about Val. They are examples that I will be able to live by and pass on to others throughout the rest of my life.

After all is said and done, what I truly believe it means to be a friend is not just to spend time with and have the same interests as someone else, but to be able to meet people and learn new and different things.

Although it is important to have the same interests and hobbies, that is not what makes a friend a friend. A friend is someone who is willing to help you to learn and progress, try new things, and to experience things that you yourself would not try on your own.

I know that without all the friends that I have made and learned from, that I would not be anywhere close to the man that I am today.

I would like to share my testimony that I know that this church is the true church of God and that he loves and cares for every single one of us; regardless of our faults and trials.

I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Joseph Smith restored this gospel to the earth.

I know without a doubt in my mind that Mexico is exactly where I am supposed to be going and that I will have the opportunity to make many new friends and learn so much.

I cannot wait to see what lies ahead in my life, but I know that if I take the opportunity to befriend others that they will be able to help make sure that whatever lies ahead will be a great and wonderful journey.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.