Elder San Diego's Address

Explanation on Sending Packages and Letters

If you would like to send a letter:
Elder Eric San Diego
Apartado Postal 118-184
Gustavo A. Madero
Mexico, D.F. C.P 07051

If you want to send a package:

You write this exactly, including Elder Jose Luis Escobar Maya (They don't like more than one name coming to the same PO Box when dealing with packages).

Elder Jose Luis Escobar Maya
Apartado Postal 118-184
Gustavo A. Madero
Mexico, D.F. C.P 07051

To make sure Elder San Diego gets the package just make sure his last name is in the return address (or next to the return address).

August 24, 2013

Elder San Diego's Homecoming Talk!

In my mission, I had a motto. It was very simple and very brief, but for me, one of the most powerful statements I could imagine and one of eternal magnitude and importance. My motto was “Have faith and be obedient.” For you see, it is upon these two principles of faith and obedience that we must anchor ourselves and our lives in order to receive all the promised blessings of the Lord unto the faithful. Faith is defined as “Trust and confidence of a person in Jesus Christ which leads the person to obey Him.” “Miracles do not produce faith, rather, strong and lasting faith is developed through obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Faith is the essence of our existence. Without faith, we are not. Without faith, we achieve no progress. Without faith, everything is impossible unto us. With faith, we breathe, live, and interact. With faith, one can obtain the job or college degree he is seeking. Faith is a hope in things which are not seen, which are true. To obey signifies to do the will of God. In revelation and instruction through the Prophet Joseph Smith recorded in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, we read:

“There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundation of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated – and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”

Simple! When we obey, we receive all the blessings. When we choose not to obey, we deny ourselves the opportunity to enjoy the blessings of the Lord in our lives. Without faith, there cannot be obedience. Without obedience, there is no faith. These two eternal elements must be linked and joined together at all times if we wish to fulfill our true divine potentials. As we show forth faith and demonstrate our love for the Lord through our obedience we receive the promises He has extended towards us.

I have always felt that in order to effectively do missionary work, we must first qualify ourselves for the blessings through our faith, diligence, and obedience. One of my favorite promises is also found in the Doctrine and Covenants. It reads:

“And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”

As I exercised faith and obedience throughout my mission, I felt the accomplishment of this promise day after day. I remember one experience we had with a young man named Chris. When planning for our day the night before, my companion Elder Jay and I prayed to the Lord asking Him to guide us to someone who was in need of the gospel. We planned a certain time during the day in which we would follow the whisperings of the Spirit and trust in Him to guide us. As we were walking, I felt the impression to knock on a certain door. We knocked and a lady came out and answered and said she didn’t have time at the moment but that she would be able to receive us the next day in the evening. So, we passed by the next day at the appointed time and we found that there wasn’t anybody home. We decided to wait for a few minutes to see if she would arrive soon. As we waited, a young man approached us. He was drunk at the time and it was interesting what happened. He came up and told my companion that he knew him and that he had seen him somewhere before which was weird because my companion was just starting his mission. It was also strange because this young man spoke perfect English. He introduced himself as Chris and said that he saw us and that he was out walking around in hopes of finding someone who could help him. He told us of how he was feeling alone and abandoned and how he really needed help and guidance to know what to do. We walked around with him for a little bit and talked about what we do as missionaries and how we could help him. We scheduled an appointment with him for the next day. We taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how through having faith in Him, repenting of our sins, and being baptized we can find and receive the peace and guidance in our lives that we desire. The lessons we taught him were some of the most powerful I had ever been a part of in my mission. I remember when we taught him about the Word of Wisdom, he was determined to quit drinking and gathered all the bottles he had in his house together and asked us to accompany him to throw it all away. As I watched him throw away his bottles of alcohol, I felt a deep appreciation for the Lord and His promises to the faithful and the obedient that He would bless them, the way He did us.

In a different area my companion and I taught a girl named Judith. She was an atheist. She had stopped believing in God because of the tragic death of her husband. She had many questions such as “Why him?” “If God really does love us, why would he allow such things to happen?” My companion and I decided to teach her about the Plan of Salvation of God. As we were teaching her I remember thinking, “What’s the point? She’s an atheist and she won’t accept what we’re saying anyway.” Then, I remembered what President Thomas S. Monson said in a recent General Conference when he said that we must see people not as they are, but as they can become. I started to change my attitude in that moment and started to feel the presence of the Holy Ghost in the lesson. As we identified the Spirit with her, I started to see a change in her and how the Spirit was touching her heart and testifying of the truths we were teaching. As she exercised her faith in Christ and obedience to His commandments, she experienced a powerful change of heart and decided to be baptized.

In my last area, my companion and I were working hard and being as obedient as we could, yet we were not seeing the kind of success that we wanted. As we continued in faith, we received a reference from a lady leading us to two people, Angelica and Paulina. I was blessed to see and witness first-hand how the application of these two principles of faith and obedience blessed their lives and changed everything for them. When we met them, we taught of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about just how the Gospel of Jesus Christ was taught to bless our lives. They felt the Spirit, had faith, accepted the truthfulness of the message, decided to obey God’s commands, and were soon baptized. The real blessing for me came afterwards when they had some trials and difficulties and how I saw them exercise faith unto obedience and how they overcame their challenges. Soon after being baptized, Angelica lost her job and was finding difficulties at all turns. She felt abandoned and rejected. As she was reaching what she thought to be her breaking point, we encouraged her to keep applying the principles of faith and obedience in her life and how she would very soon see the calm after the storm and the tremendous blessings of the Lord upon her. She persevered and continued in righteousness and was soon blessed to find an amazing job that paid much more than her previous job with a schedule that was perfect for her and allowed her to attend church on Sundays. I know that it was because of her faith and action in obedience that she was blessed as she was.
I know and testify that the Spirit of the Lord is present with us, testifying of the truth of all these things. I know it is here because I can feel it, and because I can feel it, I know that each one of you feel it too. The feelings that the Spirit brings to us are different. They can be peace, joy, love, a feeling of strength, but it is always something uplifting and good that encourages us to be better. For me it comes as a burning in my chest which fills me and gives me assurance. Whatever you feel right now, that is the Spirit. God sends us the Spirit to testify especially to us individually the truthfulness of things and to encourage us to follow Jesus Christ. It is only through obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we are saved. His gospel teaches us that first, we must have faith in Him. We must trust Him and obey with exactness all His counsels. Second, we must repent of our sins. We must forsake that which is evil in the sight of God, ask for forgiveness for our transgressions, and obey His will for us. True repentance is a change of heart from desiring what is wrong, to desiring that which the Lord desires. Then, we must be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end. In the scriptures, we read the following account of the baptism of Jesus Christ.

                “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.” Jesus went to John to be baptized by him because he was the only one who had authority from God to do it. “But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, ‘Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he suffered him.” Christ was baptized when he was conscious of his acts and comprehended the difference between good and evil. It was His decision to be baptized, and so it is with us. We are to be baptized when we have committed sins and are responsible for our actions. It is precisely for that reason that we are baptized, to wash away our own sins and errors that we have committed. Jesus, when he was baptized, came straightway up out of the water, showing that baptism is to be done by immersion which symbolizes the death of our sins, and the resurrection of a new person. As a Book of Mormon prophet said while pondering the baptism of Christ, “And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfill all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water.” I testify that if we follow the example of Jesus Christ, with faith and obedience, we shall receive all of His blessings. I invite all of you, no matter where you are on the path, to come unto Christ, to follow Him, and be perfected by Him.

Hermanos y hermanas, yo sé que Jesucristo vive. Sé que Él nos ama y que ha dado su vida para nosotros.  Sé y testifico que Él es el Salvador del mundo. Sé que Dios es nuestro amoroso Padre Celestial y que Él conoce a cada uno de nosotros y está al pendiente de nosotros. Sé que es por medio de Jesucristo que somos salvos, después de hacer todo en cuanto podamos. Sé que si confiamos en Jesucristo, Él nos guiará y enderezará nuestro camino delante de nosotros. Sé que por medio de la fe en El y obediencia a Sus mandamientos, podemos superar cualquier desafío en nuestras vidas y calificarnos para la vida eterna. Sé que José Smith fue un profeta de Dios y que fue escogido para restaurar la verdad a la tierra en nuestros días. Sé que El Libro de Mormón es la palabra de Dios y que es evidencia de la veracidad de la restauración. Sé que ese libro es verdadero y no cabe duda en mí de que lo es. Sé que esta es la iglesia verdadera y que todo esto es verdadero y testifico de esto en el nombre de Jesucristo. Amén.

The Elder San Diego welcoming committee!!

L to R: Dad, Me, Mom, Michael, Grandma Ching, Grandpa Ching


August 5, 2013

2 years!!

Hey everybody,

Wow!  And just like that, the mission has come to an end.  It seems as though it was but a little time ago that I started the mission.  Time surely has passed by fast.  I look back on myself two years ago now and I am really impressed by who and what I am today.  There has been so much spiritual growth and progress on my part.  I think the two greatest things I have learned on the mission are:
  1. How to love the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength.
  2. How to identify and follow the Spirit in my life.
Honestly, serving a mission is the best decision I have ever made and the thing from which I have received the most blessings.  As we took off from the airport, I reflected on the grand and vast size of the city and all of the people and thought to myself about if I really made a difference.  Then I thought of all the people I have helped be converted to the gospel and the loving testimonies they have born to me and it makes me feel the spirit and an overwhelming joy burn inside of me to know that I, in a very small and simple way, have been an instrument in God's hands to help Him bring about the immortality, eternal life, and eternal happiness of His children.  I cannot express even a part of the happiness I feel for having been a full-time missionary for two years and having had all of the spiritual experiences that I've had. I truly will miss this beautiful time in my life to dedicate every minute of every hour to the work of the Lord.  There is no greater work that we can do.  I testify that Jesus is the Christ, the very Son of our loving Heavenly Father.  I know that Christ suffered for us and that He is our Savior and Redeemer.  I know that it is through obedience to His gospel that we are forgiven of all of our sins and brought back to the presence of God. I testify that Christ lives and that He restored His church and gospel in these days through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true.  And last of all, I know that as we participate with the Lord in the work of salvation, we become one with Him.  In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

¡Ten fe y se obediente!

Todo mi amor,
Elder Eric Scott Kanemokuheali'i San Diego

Teresita's baptism!

July 29, 2013

"Memories Are Summer Flowers For The Winters Of Our Lives."

Hey everybody!

This past week was great and Elder Durrant and I are kicking it into high gear to finish strong.  We had lots of good lessons and have been blessed to find and receive success from our Heavenly Father.  This week we have a goal of three baptisms that we hope to have so we are excited and excited again to also be preparing some people and families who will be baptized after I leave.  I love these people and really wish I could stay a little longer to bless the lives of a few more people.

Somehow, two years go by in the blink of an eye.  It's hard to comprehend that my time as a full-time missionary has come to a close.  The funniest part is that even though I had many difficult and hard, rough times in the mission, all I remember are the good times; the times I was happy, the times I have felt the Spirit bear testimony, the times when me and my companion would run through rain, dust, mud, hail, cold, heat and be laughing as we were and fully loving what we were doing.  Truly we do remember the good times more that the bad. I love a quote I saw the other day that says:

 "God gives us memories, because memories are summer flowers for the winters of our lives."

I have cherished and hold dear every memory I have had here in the mission and all the lessons I have learned and all the growing I have done spiritually.   I love my mission.  I have loved it and I will forever love it.  There has not been any moment in my life to compare with it and if I had the chance, I would gladly do it again.  My favorite scripture says:

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

I testify that if we trust Him and love Him, He shall indeed direct our paths.  I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father.  He knows each and every one of us.  He wants us to be happy and thus provides the means by which we may have happiness if we will but only follow Jesus Christ.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer and our Friend and Advocate with the Father.  He lives!  He loves us!  He can and will heal even the deepest of wounds that we have if we will let His loving sacrifice take effect in our lives.  I know that the scriptures testify of that.  I know that all scripture invites us to come unto Him and be perfected in Him.  I testify and know with all my soul that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  He did see the Father and the Son that early spring morning in 1820, an occurrence of which he so persistently and unwearingly testified of to his death.  He was the instrument in God's hands in bringing forth His truth and His restored work in these last days.  The Book of Mormon is true.  I know it is.  I am convinced that this is the true and only church of Christ upon the face of the Earth.  It is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I know that all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel of Christ which are faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, receiving the gift of the holy ghost by the laying on of hands, and enduring to the end.  I know that all of this is true.  I know it because I have felt the Spirit of God confirm the truth of it to me personally.  I bear my special witness as an authorized representative of Jesus Christ  that these things are true and I do so in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

¡Ten fe y se obediente!

Todo mi amor,
Elder San Diego

July 22, 2013

Enduring To The End!!

Howdy doody!

Elder Durrant and I had a good week.  Actually, we had a terrible week. 

Every single one of the appointments we had fell through during the week.  We fought hard to keep our spirits up the whole week with everything and the additional rain storms that came all of a sudden.  But!  We actually did have a good week.  We remembered to forget ourselves and go to work.  We were happily working in the rain and such and we learned a really important lesson about enduring to the end. 

On Sunday in our very last appointment of the day we went to visit with an inactive member of our ward, Edgar, and his non-member wife, Karina.  We taught them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the spirit was very strong and present.  We identified the spirit and invited Karina to be baptized and she accepted and we will have her baptismal service August 3!  We also strengthened Edgar's recent desire that he has had to return to activity in the church and he is making plans to come back with us and enjoy the fullness of the blessings his Heavenly Father has to offer him.  

It was a great experience for us to work hard all week and finally see the fruits of our labor in the last minutes of the last day of the week all because we decided to endure.  We are going to have a great week and finish these last few weeks I have left with a bang!  

I love you all!  Have a great week!

¡Ten fe y se obediente!

Todo mi amor,
Elder San Diego

 Me getting wet in the rain.
 The both of us getting wet in the rain
  Elder Durrant getting wet in the rain.

July 15, 2013

We Are Going To Turn This Mission Around!

Hey guys,

We had a pretty good week. It was uneventful for the most part, just mainly a finding week, but we had some success and will see a lot more in these next few days. 

We made some contacts and met some really great families who we are going to visit today and tomorrow and we hope to see lots of grand success and more baptisms.  I went of divisions with some elders in my zone and helped them out a bit and the fun thing right now is that everyone in the zone has a goal to baptize this week and we can see that the excitement and work is increasing which is a super great thing to see right now. 

We also had a zone leader conference with President Hall this week and it was great and we learned a lot and got work done and planned how we are going to turn this mission around.  I love this work and know that we will have some huge successes in these up and coming weeks. 

Take care and love you all!

¡Ten fe y se obediente!

Todo mi amor,
Elder San Diego

 What can I say, we're goons!
Mexico City Temple

July 9, 2013

"Stay Put And Wait A Little More For An Answer!!"

Hey family!

So, we had an alright week here in Arbolillo. 

We started the week having interviews and Zone Conference with President and Sister Hall and the assistants.  President Hall is a great guy and in my interview with him we talked about my desires to finish the mission strong and about the miracles I can accomplish here in my area.  Be prepared all of you to hear some great stories because I ain't finished just yet!  

One cool experience I had during the week was when we left our house one day, we were wondering what we could do since some appointments fell through when all of a sudden I started feeling the spirit super strong trying to tell me something.  So I listened more but the funny thing was I wasn't guided to go anywhere but to just stay put and wait a little more for an answer.  All of a sudden, the car we were standing next to blinked its lights to signify that it was unlocked. I looked at the car for a bit and turning back around saw a family pass by us and get into the car.  That's when I realized that that was why I was prompted to stay put.  I contacted the dad and it turns out he is an inactive member but his wife and kids aren't, so I got his address and we are going to visit him.  We also have an investigator named Ruben who has the most sincere heart to know what is true than any other person I have met in the mission.  It has been great teaching him and answering his questions this week and we keep seeing him progressing which is fantastic.

We also had a stake primary mission activity where the kids got assigned to missions and did fun stuff.  We  taught them all a little bit about why missionary work is such a blessing.  It was really fun and cool to see all the little kids excited about missionary work. 

Also, today I went to the Mexico MTC and helped the security guards with a power point presentation.  A brother in my ward is a security guard at the MTC and they had to translate into English a power point they made for the missionaries to know what to do in certain situations.  Since none of their English is very good yet and Google translate is horrendous in translating, they asked me to help.  So, I basically redid the whole presentation and helped them pronounce the words, it was fun.  So Michael, when you are in the Mexico MTC and see that power point, you can tell everyone that yours truly helped make it!

Cool, well, take care everyone and have a great week!

¡Ten fe y se obediente!

Todo mi amor,
Elder San Diego

I found Heather's twin!
Mexico MTC

July 1, 2013

¡Bienvenidos President & Sister Hall!

Hey guys!

Elder Durrant and I had a great week.  We had the blessing of baptizing Maria Elena this week and seeing her joy and enthusiasm as she followed the steps of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This week we didn't have as much success as other weeks as far as people accepting baptism but we are still working hard and seeing huge blessings, especially through the members of the ward who are coming together to help us out even more in the work of salvation.

We now have a new mission president who is President Hall from Idaho Falls, Idaho.  He is a really great, sincere, and spiritual man and will truly continue to press missionary work forward here in our mission. (I also asked him and Sister Hall if they have been to Da Pineapple Grill and they said they have and that they love the food there.)  He and Sister Hall visited us on Friday with the assistants to get to know us and to visit some of the other companionships here in Arbolillo.  We will have interviews and zone conference with him tomorrow morning.

In other news, I was in Walmart the other day to take money out and to buy some stuff when we saw a bunch of Mormon-looking white people.  When we got closer we found out that they were indeed Mormon white people!  They were the MTC teachers at the new and recently functioning Mexico MTC!  And suprise!  One of my MTC teachers, Brother Arnold was in the group!  Strange.  We talked for a bit and it was exciting to see him and hear what he's done in these past few years.

Also, the Sister missionaries had another baptism of another couple that was in that baptismal service when I spoke!  It has been a really neat experience being there in each and every one of their baptisms during this past month and see how the family has progressed and come closer and see the joy that they have experienced recently and will continue to experience.  Well that's all!  Take care and have a great week! 
I love you all!

¡Ten fe y se obediente!

Todo mi amor,
Elder San Diego

Maribel's baptism! 
Maria Elena's baptism!