Hey-o. Welcome to m' mission blog. If you're interested in keeping in touch with me via mail, check out my address(es) on the right side of the page. If you're too lazy to do that, go ahead and read the posts below.Hoo-rah!
Hey, check it out. I know how to make tortillas by hand.
It was 113 degrees a few days ago. And this is just the start. And yes, we work anyway.
I ate menudo (or cow stomach) for the first time this week. I liked it. Slightly chewy, but really tender.
E. Rivas and I were walking down the street the other day when a man in a van drove by, leaned out of the window, and yelled out, "Hey! I´m reading that book you guys gave me!" and then E. Cancino and I had contacted him months ago. Haha, I felt like laughing and yelling out "Thank you!" at the sky after that. I didn´t. But I sure felt like it.
Quickly--we recieved a member referral this week, and went to go teach the young man who the referral turned out to be. He was super receptive--at the beginning of the visit, he began to talk about change, and repentance, and a ton of other things that have to do with the gospel. E. Rivas and I looked at each other, nodded, and began to go right into baptism. He accepted when I said, "Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" Not only did he accept, but he´s ecstatic. We went back the next day and he had read the two pamphlets we left and is in 1 Nephi 8, after reading the entire introduction and testimony of Joseph Smith. Geez, I felt good after that.
We´re getting into a rhythm now, which is great--although geez, I feel weighed down sometimes. By that, I mean the times that I fully comprehend the importance of the work. Then I pray and keep working. Gah this is hard sometimes. But that´s okay.
Dad would love the architecture here. Everything is stone and concrete. Too bad that all the tile is normally just ceramic.
We have one of the youth as an investigator, and he is AWESOME. In the time we´ve taught him, he´s changed so much he says he´s freaked out his friends. He reads absolutely everything, he loves the "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet, and says all the normal cliché things so common in Mormon convert stories--"I feel like I found something that I didn´t know I was missing, I feel complete, This Church and Gospel has every answer to every question that I´ve ever asked," and so on. He plans on serving a mission in a few years, and is best friends with some of the youth in our ward now. Yeah. Awesome.
E. Rivas continues to be awesome. He´s teaching me how to cook, which is great. Although we have no time to do that.
I have much less time to think now, like I said before, and I like it.
Also, I forgot the cable to my camera, but we had 3 baptisms this last weekend. Yeah. Awesome. They were all men (two in their 40s and one was 18 years old--future missionary, the youth we explained to about recognizing true principles taught in the pre-existence), and unfortunately, they all wanted me to baptize them, instead of E. Rivas. I wanted him to, but the person baptized has the final say.
One of the men, whom I will falsely name Carlos, was a little embarrassed about the baptismal clothing. But I walked into the service behind him, gently pushing him the entire way. He´s the man who read everything we gave him to read, and loves the Gospel Principles book we gave him last week. It won´t be long before he receives the priesthood.
His baptism was great. He entered the font, and he looked at the members watching him. He still seemed kind of nervous, but he was baptized. After he came out of the water, I hugged him (well, I hugged them all), and pretty much told him the Mexican equivalent of "I love you, man." He said the same, and left the font smiling. He´s seen his life change completely in the past few months. He found a job, is on better terms with his family, has stopped doing anything that, well, would be called . . . the only English word I can think of is pompous, but it works:"unsavory." He´s so much happier now--geez, he was smiling even more on Sunday after he was confirmed. Along with the other two. The youth, who reminds me of Kellen since he´s super tall and skinny (taller than Cole, easily), was smiling even more. He brought his cousin to church this week to see him be confirmed, and his cousin says he wants to come back the next week. Awesome. The other man, well, he was already a really good person before he was baptized, but he says that he´s never felt like he does now. He tried to describe how he felt when he came out of the water during his baptism, but couldn´t quite do it. Apparently it couldn´t be described.
Geez, this has been a good week. It´s also nice that I´m more tired this week. Since I have more responsibility now, I don´t have as much time to think, which means I don´t catch myself daydreaming as often. That´s nice. And E. Rivas doesn´t snore, so I sleep really well now.
The first district meeting was nice. More details would be a waste of time.
The woman who we baptized . . . huh, 2 months ago (that was quick), talked in church this last week. She did an amazing job, and she keeps learning more about the gospel. She brought her husband to church as well to see her talk, so she´s even happier right now. Geez, I feel good this week.
We talked to Brok on Mother's Day. He was receiving a new companion to train the next day and being called to district leader. He still sounded upbeat and confident about it. And, he still remembered some English!
So yeah, I met my new companion today. He´s Elder Rivas, from Mexico City, and he´s 24 years old. Haha, yeah. We´re going to learn together, since I don´t really know anything yet. Also, apparently the First Presidency has a new missionary training program--we´re a part of it. A few details is that we´re going to start having at least 2 hours of companionship study, and we´re going to be together for 2 transfers. The program is so that by the end of the 3 months, the new missionaries will know everything they need to in order to do anything in the mission, whether be senior companion, trainer, district or zone leader, or asistant. I´m going to need to lean on the Lord´s arm a lot more now, since I still know absolutely nothing. This is going to be interesting.
By the way, I´m staying in Satélite. Also, E. Roberts is training as well. E. Cancino went to Obregon.
Also, even though the 2 baptisms we had scheduled this past week didn´t work out (the good news is that we have 3 coming up in this next week), I got to baptize an investigator of the sister missionaries. Good stuff. I don´t know her, but I love the look on people´s faces after being baptized. I asked her, "How do you feel?" She just put her face in her hands and shook her head. She mumbled something through her tears, but I couldn´t understand. Yeah. She was happy.
We found some youth last week, like I said, and we´re woking with the Young Men´s program a lot right now. We took the youth to mutual the past week, where a few of them had the opportunity to talk with the Bishop. Not to be interviewed, just to get to know him. I was at the drinking fountain when one of the youth, a young man, left the Bishop´s office with a "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet in his hand and suddenly asked me, "What do I need to do to get baptized?" Yeah, I almost spat water everywhere. I didn´t, but almost. Yeah, I feel good for these next few weeks.
The woman who we baptized a month ago is going to talk in Church this next week. Awesome. She is SMART.
We went to the zoo this week as a district. Good stuff. Yes, Jen, I´m still writing every week, and it´ll add up when I finally send the letter. I feel like watching the Lion King.
We have been incredibly blessed this week. It seems like the dead-ness of the past 2 weeks has resulted in an overflow this week. We have found a TON of people to teach, and they are all progressing. One investigator is already choosing the hymns to sing in his baptism.
We also had an activity with the youth this week. We organized a night where we watched the Joseph Smith movie. Afterwards, every person shared their testimony. The youth here amaze me--every single one has a strong testimony of the Prophet. But let me talk in detail.
A young woman who has been a little inactive lately came to the activity. She didn´t share her testimony at first, but I got up, bore mine, and read D&C135:3. I think that´s the verse. E. Cancino then got up and asked every one to close their eyes. He then began to remind them--"Think of the first time you can remember praying to your Father in Heaven. Remember the first time you asked Him for a testimony. Think of this, think of it." He then continued to cite a scripture in D&C--I need to clarify the reference, but it talks of how if God has answered us once with a testimony, his answer will never change. The youth then opened their eyes.
The young woman slowly raised her hand. She asked if she could bear her testimony. She began to speak of how she´s recently had doubts, about God, about the Church. But she then began to speak of one night when she asked God in prayer if He was really there. He answered. The details are for her to share.
She was in tears by the end, and I felt the Spirit so strongly. It was amazing.