Monday, November 5, 2012

Last Letter

This Sunday, November 11th, Spencer will speak and sing at the Carnegie building, next to Bob Miller Middle School at 11:00 a.mAll are welcome to come by Spencer's home and say hello Sunday evening from 6 - 9 p.m. 2149 Mooreview Street. Call or text Susanne at 702-493-0184 with any questions.

Wow. I feel highly odd. This last week was one of the busiest of my entire life. A nearly food less and sleepless week. It was so great. We had a Culiacán and Mazatlan trip. The Day of the Dead activity went really well. We taught a ton of people at the cemetery about the plan of salvation. The branch youth made a large diagram that was pretty attention-getting, and we just contacted like nobody's business. It got the branches pretty excited and we received a large amount of references. We also had a zone junta on Friday, and Alma's baptism on Saturday! Her son, Raul (a recent convert) baptized her. Great experience. I loved serving in Escuinapa and left on a really, really high note.

Now we're just off the map and can visit whatever areas we want. Elder Larkin and I just got back from a Costa Rica tour; I was able to see all but three converts from the two branches there. And the members threw together a carne asada when they knew we were coming. 

I feel completely normal because my mission doesn't end here. I'm receiving transfers again, and they're just as inspired as ever. The Lord trusts me to continue working in his vineyard, and I'm committed to serving Him however He requires me to. It's just beginning to hit me that it's ending. I'll apologize now; I don't remember how Americans do hugs very well. Sorry if I try to throw some handshakes in and around the hug. 
I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I've had to serve here in the Culiacán mission. I've learned a lot. I know I've made a difference here with the Lord's help. I hope to see everyone soon!

- Elder Tingey

Monday, October 22, 2012

President Cantu: Guide to the Elect 10-22-12

Elder Baltich is "studying" diligence
Photo 2: That's Nayarit over there! Not my mission
We started implementing what we refer to as the "Pres. Cantú Guide to the Elect" with great results this week. President Cantú wrote me last week and told me to ask our investigators, "If the Savior walked into your home
right now, what would you ask him?" If they ask "Which is the true church?" they're elect. If they ask "What do You want me to do?" they have desire to act and will progress. If they answer that they wouldn't ask anything, they
will not progress, and we should probably just leave. We had a lesson with a man named José Guadalupe. As we were getting to know him and beginning the lesson, my companion put the "Cantú Guide" in practice for the trial
run. Guadalupe answered, "Well, I would ask him to guide me, tell me which church is true and tell me what He wants me to do." Glory be! That's exactly what we were waiting for! We were able to teach a very powerful
lesson about the restoration of the Gospel. He was very interested in the organization of Christ's church and said that he was "intrigued" by what we had explained about Christ's visit to the American continent after his death and resurrection. He's continued to progress well in our other visits during the week.
 I experienced the adventure of getting to know the *other *limit of the mission, Teacapan. (The other limits are Comondú, where I went last month, and Choix, which I will likely never see). Teacapan is a little paradisiacal pueblo on the very edge of Sinaloa. I took the cliché picture next to the ocean inlet that separates Sinaloa from Nayarit. I worked for the day with Elder Gomez from the Distrito Federal, and we were able to have some really cool experiences. The branch of Teacapan is small, but the members are strong and well-organized, and it was great to work with some of them. The first night, we visited a less active member. He's been out of the church for a good fifteen years, and his kids aren't members. We had a spiritual lesson with him, and he accepted to formally receive the missionary lessons along with his kids and any other family members that accept.
Sometimes I am surprised at how the Lord guides missionary work. The following morning, we went to our first plan, which fell through. I felt impressed to contact a woman who was cleaning in her front yard across the street. She was a Catholic missionary, and fully disinterested in our message. So, I thought: why did I recieve that impression? I  turned around and a young woman was coming down the street carrying her baby and with her toddler following behind. Street contacted! The young woman, Margarita, was decidedly interested in the Gospel. I guess I was held up for a moment with the missionary lady so that I wouldn't miss Margarita. I know that we are instruments in the Lord's hands when we are properly prepared and willing to follow His guidance. We contacted Mario, a friend of a recent convert, while he was at his job in the "Ley" (It's like Mexican Smith's). When we went by his house in the
morning on Sunday, he was already getting ready to go to church. He and Julio - a coworker and another friend of ours - both came to church and stayed for the three hours. Woohoo! We had a cool discussion in the Gospel
Principles class which was about temple work. I'm still stressed about this Day of the Dead activity we've got coming up. Things are going well. The Gospel is true! Bye!

Plans A, B, C, D and Jose Luis 10-15-12

Hey! We had a great week last week. Lots of miracles. I'm feeling great. I have a strong sense of my purpose and how to fulfill it, and I've just felt pumped about sharing the Gospel. Elder Baltich and I were blessed to find a lot of new people this week that are progressing. 
We had a visit from our cool traveling assistants: Elder Frias and Elder Sanders. They spend four days in a different zone each week. My companion and I worked with them in our area, and it was awesome. It's kind of like opening a new area in the middle of our area. We have a system in our mission where we should put Plans A, B, C, and D for every hour of the day. It made nightly planning kind of rough because we had a to double all of those plans (that's eighty specific households of plans, whether they be investigators or less active members or whatever), but it turned out well. We ended up looking through the long lists of less actives, and a couple times when I couldn't think of anything, I would just put José Luís. If I run out of plans, I just ask the nearest guy were José Luís lives, and there are usually three or four on that block. Then we contact the guy that we asked, then we contact all of the José Luís houses. It was good working with them and we ate a lot of PB&Js.

We're teaching a cool family. We met Hermano Jorge on the bus ride back from Culiacán a few weeks ago. He's been inactive for a good amount of time, but he has a testimony and is super excited that we've started teaching the family. His wife, Magdalena, has gone to church a few times a while back with a ward member she's friends with. Their kids are way smart. We read and explained Ephesians 2:20 while teaching the message of the Restoration. About twenty minutes later, Jorge Jr. still remembered the verse and said, "Apostles and prophets!" when we asked what two of the foundations of Christ's church are. Everyone was impressed. 

So, we worked really hard to get everyone to church on Sunday. We had committed all of the investigators during the week, we had committed their member fellowshippers to pass by for them, we reminded them with texts the night before, woke them up in the morning, fasted, said specific prayers, etc. And... no one came. We just took the sacrament and went off on our bikes to go by for more people, and... nothing. Saturday night we had a list of over twenty possible investigators that seemed pretty sure. But, nope. I guess we're learning an important lesson about everyone's free agency. Nonetheless, we're pumped and have high hopes for next week. 
Also, New Fruit of the Week: carámbolo! I think it's called starfruit. 9/10. It's awesome. It's like a giant grape.  


Shrimp Season 10-8-12

Apple + tamarind coating + half kilo of Tajin

Hello! We've had sort of a complicated week. I felt like we didn't get a
whole lot of time to work in our area, and the time we did have didn't turn
out to be very effective. However, we have high sights for this coming week
and the rest of the transfer. We have a nice chapel here in Escuinapa (the
only one in the district, actually) so we had the general conference
broadcast right here in a our area. We spent a lot of time on Saturday and
Sunday trying to get all of the investigators to go. In the end I hardly
got to see much of it at all. And the part I did see was mostly spent
battling with some *really* rambunctious kids to keep the door of the
chapel closed. But I still love conference. Carmen and a friend came. Alma
did not come, and apparently hasn't been able to change her work schedule
around yet.

On the way back down from Culiacán last week, we stopped in Mazatlán for an
eye exam, so I finally got to know Mazatlán a bit. We took one of the
well-known "pulmonías" to get around. It's like a golf cart/taxi. I always
secretly wanted to work in Mazatlán.

So Alma and Carmen are still our strongest investigators. Elder Baltich is
still cool. We're really just focused on finding now to build a stronger
investigator pool.

It's shrimp season here in Escuinapa. I've eaten shrimp soup, shrimp tacos,
shrimp tortas, shrimp burritos, fried shrimp, breaded shrimp, and even
shrimp tamales (with the whole shrimp in there, feelers and head and
shell). I love it. Bye!

Zona Escuinapa: the littlest zone
Mazatlan's famous pulmonías.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Sorry. It's spelled Escuinapa, not Esquinapa.

We had a pretty good week. This is a very funny place. It's certainly got the Sinaloa mission feel to it. We have had some fun floods that led the walking around in fun wet shoes and socks. The branch is really small, but there are some really strong branch members that help keep everything move forward. The branch president was a missionary here a few years ago. 

We're teaching the Belmonte family. The two oldest of the kids are recent converts from last week and the week before that. On Sunday, one was called as Young Men's President! They're way cool. The most progressing investigator is the mom, Alma. She has a growing testimony of the Gospel and should be baptized soon as well.

We had a good experience with reactivation. We visited and fellow shipped a woman who was the Primary president years back. On Sunday, she came on her own and brought her two kids! Everyone received her well, and we were happy that she came. I was asked to speak, which was fun. We were also in charge of the third hour class at church, which was fifth Sunday. We ended up explaining our Day of the Dead activity that we're going to have in the graveyard in November to start to get all the members involved, and get them started on their genealogy. 

Elder Baltich in my first Escuinapa rain storm!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I'm now in a little place called Esquinapa. It's as far away as possible as
I could have moved from la Paz, all the way down at the southernmost part
of Sinaloa. We had a good final week in Pioneros. Veronica wasn't baptized,
but she will be soon. We had a Family Home Evening with Bishop Irigoyen and
had a really good lesson with her. Sunday, in the Gospel Principles class,
the discussion was about baptism, and it basically turned into a testimony
meeting of all of the recent converts trying to resolve all of the concerns
that Veronica had. It was really cool. But now I'm here with Elder Baltich!
He's from Florida and went to BYU as well. I'm really excited to work in

Monday, September 17, 2012

New motto: Let us not be weary in well-doing.

New motto: Let us not be weary in well-doing.

Calafia-Pioneers district sunrise dock photo shoot
I had an interview with President Cantú towards the beginning of the week that was really great. No, we didn't watch Brumby videos. But he did tell me some really cool stories from his mission. At the time, it seemed kind of odd. However, during the week, I was able to apply lessons that I learned from each story, and miracles happened. He basically told me: Elder Tingey, you're standing at the edge of a river with a strong current. The Lord has asked you to cross. You're looking up river, waiting for the current to settle down. It's never going to settle down, so cross now! the Lord doesn't care if you swim, scuba dive, pole vault, build a bridge. Just don't end your mission without crossing.

We also discussed the importance of teaching in order to discover the doubts of the investigators, and not really going on with teaching until we find them. We passed by briefly with Angélica on Sunday. She and her family still haven't gone to church. We were teaching, and I just said what we had talked about in the interview. It was like magic, she was really upfront and frank about the doubts she had. Turns out some cool neighbors came by and told her that the young, blue-eyed guys with backpacks were going to make her go to church, and then afterwards, they wouldn't be able to play sports, go to parties, etc. So we resolved her doubts one by one. We just need to help her have more member friends and her family will be set.

Esteban was baptized! It was awesome. I told his dad that we'll get the font ready for him for next week. The challenge is that his dad is so busy that we've only taught him half of the Plan of Salvation the whole time that we've been teaching the family. Esteban's baptism was a result of a lot of faith and good works, and it was a growing experience to be a part of his conversion.

For next week, we're working with Veronica to help her be prepared for baptism. We know and she knows and the Lord knows that she can be ready, it's just going to take some work. One of her biggest motivations is being able to teach her family once she's made the changes necessary to live the Gospel. She's awesome.

Back in the day, Elder Allen took my place in Angostura with Elder  Monroy.

Hitching a ride, just like old times

David and Esteban!  Future Elders.

Esteban's baptism

Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy Birthday

Cool sunset on top of a neighborhood called "Ciudad de Cielo" (it's like climbing Olympus to get there)


Thank you all for the well-wished birthday. Once again, we had a crazy week, and we've been highly blessed. Elder Allen and I ended up going down to los Cabos on Tuesday! It was an effective trip, but it was a good chunk of time away from our area for the week. We came back real quick-like on Wednesday. I had the chance to stay the night with my MTC-district buddy Elder Mortensen, which was great. Los Cabos is a cool place. 

We found a teaching record in our area book of an old lady name Macelina and felt like we should go with her a few weeks ago. We taught her once, and she was nice and said that she had gone to church twice a while back when the missionaries had passed by for her in a ride. Since then, she hadn't gone at all. We felt like we should go back with her during the week, and we managed to arrive when her son, Lino, was there as well. He told us that he had recently had some marital difficulties and that he also had trouble giving up an alcohol addiction. We had a simple, powerful lesson with them. We discussed the concept of faith and works. If you pray for something and then don't act, or give God a medium through which he can help you, how can you expect a blessing? 

Has Lino asked God to help him stop drinking? Yes. But then if he goes and hangs out with the same bad group of friends that conduces his drinking habits, where's the blessing going to come from? Has Lino asked God to help him have more family unity? Yes. So would going to church be a good way for God to instruct him and help him apply the Gospel better at home? Certainly. That was basically the lesson, which ended on a really strong commitment to go to church the next day. We walked really quite far to pass by for them in the morning, and both Lino and Macelina were all ready to go, in their best Sunday wear. It was awesome! So the lesson applied and worked because they felt the Spirit and that motivated them to make a change. We took a bus with them to show them that they are capable of making to church on their own in the future.
It ended up being a really good day of church. All of my converts were there, which is a good sight to see. The Ríos family walked over a mile to get there and showed up  a little tanner at the end of the sacrament meeting. Esteban and Esteban went too. Another cool new investigator who went is named Veronica. She's a very young grandma, and her mom is a convert as of two years ago. One morning, she decided to flip the Bible open to a random page and read something in Proverbs about Jehovah instructing us in wisdom or something that she really took to heart. And then we knocked on the door! In the Gospels principle class, she was taking notes and asking cool questions and generally participating a lot. I'm happy with the people we've been able to find this week. We're really trying to baptize, and I know that we'll be blessed to be able to soon if we work with the right motives.


Zone meeting (Elder Arellano looks like a dead guy because it's his final change. Sorry the picture looks like we're being transfigured)
This is how we stop the bugs

Elder Allen made me a birthday sign (he's going to treat me to some American-style barbeque today at a good-looking restaurant we saw in Centro).

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lots of traveling.

Hello! We're doing pretty good. We've had quite a bit of traveling that's
complicated things, but it's been fun. We've tried to seek opportunities to
share the gospel on the go! We flew to Culiacán again during the week, and
we're going to go down to los Cabos tomorrow night.

We were really blessed to find two new families during the week! We went to
the house of an investigator and there was a woman there named Angélica.
She accepted a visit, and when we went to her house we had a really
powerful lesson. Turns out, she had been taught by the missionaries in the
Forjadores ward a few weeks ago, but moved and lost contact. She said that
she had seen *us* (Elder Allen and I) in downtown la Paz and wanted to talk
to us, but was scared that we would think she was weird.  So she was happy
to re-establish contact. She hasn't been to church yet, so we started
simply explaining what we do each Sunday, and she stopped me and said,
"What do you have to do to be prepared to be baptized?" We ended up setting
baptismal dates with her and her sons. She's way cool and really

However, our challenge of the week was getting everyone to church. We had
set up rides and everything, but the morning of, it didn't work out as well
as we had hoped. On Saturday, we had about 14 investigators that we
expected to go, but the only ones that made it were two kids, Jesús and
Juan Carlos "el Güero," who were all ready when we came by in the morning.
They were *really* rambunctious in Primary. So were now kind of recovering
and trying to focus on getting all of the progressing investigators to
church next week.

I'm loving my time with Elder Allen. He's awesome. For some reason, the
work has been pretty difficult, but we're working through the challenges.
My goal is just to help others to feel the influence of the Spirit more,
whether it be a stranger in a street contact, a member whom we ask for
referrals, or the other missionaries that we're working with. We're able to
have many spiritual experiences each day. Hope everyone is well, and
seeking their own experiences too. Hurrah for Israel!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Frogs and Clogs

This was a nutty week. Crazy, unheard of things kept coming out of nowhere to stress us out and make us lose precious time. Then, there was a cool turning point and things started looking up. And now the process is starting over again.
La Paz has been in a drought for some amount of years, but ever since Elder Allen got here, it has rained almost every day, and a lot. The day that it rained the most, we were walking home, and we found a frog on the street! So we caught him, named him Slammy, and had a pet frog for a while. We would catch him flies for dinner, but it looks like he may have now been eaten by one of the vagabond cats around our apartments. But, when we arrived home that night, our house was flooded. A bunch of our materials got destroyed. It was awesome.

Through a strange of turn events, we also became involved in the most intense clogging and unclogging of a toilet I've even been a part of. I'll spare the details, but it ended up with rat poison, stuffing hoses into all of the different drains in the house, and Elder Allen putting his whole arm into the toilet, through the... water. In the end the solution was just buying a new, slick plunger.

We also did some proselyting! During most of the week, we were feeling pretty pressured about ending with low numbers. Worrying about the numbers only makes you work worse and have even worse numbers. One night, we decided to contact some referrals of a member who owns a group of apartments. She had essentially told us to knock the whole complex, so we decided to do that. When we got there, nearly all of the lights were off the place looked empty. However, beside the apartments, there's a little shack kind of room that she rents as well, and we saw a young guy sitting inside, playing guitar. We went over and asked him about his guitar, and he let me play it. We ended up sitting down with him and teaching him. He's way cool. His name is Leovardo. The member that was renting to him and already given him some of our missionary pamphlets and he was reading them. We had a great talk, he was really interested, and accepted to go to stake conference with us on Sunday. As we were leaving, we were pretty pumped. My companion told me that during the lesson, he was holding back tears. On the way there, he had said a prayer. He asked to find an "escogido." And we did! He came with us to the conference, along with four other investigators for their first time. We were finally able to get Esteban and Esteban to come after two weeks of Esteban sleeping through his alarm. The conference was really powerful, and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Things are going well. Out here, I often feel like my perception of the mission, of myself, and of life get turned on their head and back again. But I'm learning a lot and doing what I can to help others have spiritual experiences that help them recogninze the true Gospel and accept it. Oh, tell Ammon that I wrote him a letter. But, this morning it fell out of my pack at some point between the laundromat and our house. It's already addressed, so who knows. Bye!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Come closer to God.

Hello! I wrote a cool list of things to write about and then left it at
home. Maybe next week I'll send some anachromatic stories. Today was nuts.
We had a ton of changes in the zone, so I woke up at 4 and have been riding
around in a van all day getting everyone to their new areas or with their
new companions. And now my companion is Elder Allen! I'm so pumped. I've
known him for pretty much the whole mission, and we're already really good
friends. So things should go really well.

We had David's baptism on Saturday. It was awesome, and investigators
Estevan, father, and Estevan, son, came. The bishop baptized David and it
he was confirmed in sacrament meeting on Sunday. We had a lesson with David
on Friday. We taught him about the priesthood and about missionary work.
Towards the end of the lesson, as Elder Ovando challenged him to prepare to
serve a mission, I flipped to a picture of missionaries in my gospel art
book that I hardly ever get to use. And then I started just flipping to
other pictures and Elder Ovando kept the theme of the lesson going
according to whatever picture I pulled out.
Picture of missionaries: "Through missionary work, you can help other
people recieve blessings from the gospel..."
Kids weeding a garden with an old lady: "...and they'll continue to serve
other people and help them as well..."
Picture of a temple: "...which will help them prepare to recieve temple
Flip to the disciple Steven seeing God and Jesus "...which will allow them
to have testimony-strengthening spiritual manifestations..."
Flip to Elijah praying a tower of fire down from heaven, and then Jesus
holding a lamb. ...I'm worried that this makes no sense, but it's probably
because I only slept for three hours.

We had a really powerful and spiritual lesson with a cool investigator
named Thalía. Her son, David (different David), is one of the neighbor kids
that Alma brought to church last week. When we first met Thalía, we had a
conversation with her through her curtain trying to convince her to just
come out to greet us, and she eventually did. We brought Alma over to her
apartment, and sat down, and essentially the first thing Thalía said was
that she follows common cultural beliefs of the area, and therefore
worships idols. I asked her what she thought about David going to church,
how she had seen him that week since he had gone. She said it was all
great, but when we invited her, she basically said she lives a sinful life
and can't go to church. I started teaching her about free agency, and her
divine nature. God wants her to choose the right and gives her the means to
do it. My companion lovingly chewed her out and told her she was putting a
terrible example for her kids. And then I explained how the Atonement
allows her to repent, and the importance of truly repenting. I asked her,
"What do you think you have to do?"
She said, quietly, "Come closer to God."
"How do you think you can do it?"
"Going to mass."
"How about you join us at church on Sunday?"
"I'm going to go." (As in, to church.) It was simple, but the Spirit was
very strong in that moment, and Thalía made a large and important step in
the right direction.

I'm out of time. Love you guys.