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!
The 16th of September is Mexican Independence Day. On the 14th, Rama 3 had they`re branch activity. I was fortunate enough to be able to go on exchanges that day with E. Herron (he`s the grandson of the man that baptized Pte. Hernández a long time ago, by the way), becuase I had to conduct a few interviews. The activity was great, but the interviews were even better--true converts. I love being with people that are willing to take that step. Both of the investigators finished the interview with a prayer, and each thanked the Lord for sending angels to guide them back to the Lord. I`m no angel, but the work that missionaries do is definitely angelic. E. Carver, the new missionary I talked about last week, was able to baptize for the first time on Saturday. I loved seeing the look on his face when he did so. Mexi-stache. Boo yah.
This is a massive statue called the "Mono Bichy." "Mono" literally means monkey, but it also means any kind of figure/statue type thing. "Bichy" is a purely Sonoran word that means naked. Hence, the "Mono Bichy." I don`t remember if that`s how you use the word "hence," but I tried. The meaning of this statue is pretty cool. Benito Juarez is the man standing and pointing in front. He was the president of Mexico that seperated Church and State--and is very respected for that. The massive statue represents the Mexican people, pure of any kind of outside influence. He has a spear, and is splitting a monster in half. One half is an eagle--the Mexican government. The other half is a bat--the Catholic Church.
Yeah, Nogales is dirty, but it`s about the same as every other city I´ve been in. Well, except for Hermosillo and Obregón. There was a lot more pavement there. The branch activity was cool, but honestly, this week was not one of our best. People weren`t home, they were busy, or things just didn`t work out. But we`re going to keep working hard in the week--holiday times aren`t the best for missionaries, but whatever. I`ve had much worse weeks. Plus, we got somebody to go to church this week, so we`re doing a bit better. Tomorrow we`re heading out to go to Hermosillo. It`s going to be special meeting with Elder Alonso of the 70--all the northern zones are heading down to the stake center in Hermosillo for the meeting. We`ll be getting back on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, we`ll be losing half the week, but it`s alright. We`ll pick it up later. Love you all Elder Humbert
Well, I´ll be honest. I really don´t know how to respond to the news about Kelly. News from home is kind of hard for me to grasp sometimes, but I do know one thing--something good has to come out of this. And, like you said, Mom, it´s going to be a life changing experience, but the Neweys have all the spiritual and temporal back up necessary to make the best out of all of this.
Physical afflictions can be healed, or not, but in the end, our physical destiny is already fixed. But spiritual afflictions can be healed, and if tended, will stay healthy forever.
D&C 122: 7-8
The work is going alright here. There´s a new missionary here in the zone, and 4 weeks ago when he got here I got a flashback to when I was in his position. He´s asking the same questions (When will Spanish really click? What the heck is going on with Mexico? Will I ever stop having stomach pain because of the food?). Okay, I didn´t ask all the same questions, but he has the same look on his face. Time goes by so fast. He´s going to do great.
If you wonder about what the border looks like, this is it. I see it about every day, since our area is right next it.
We found A&W in a store here. Crazy.
We also had concilio last week, and I got to see 2 of my very good friends in the mission. E. Rivas has been a great example since the beginning, and I´m sure he taught me much more than I think I taught him. He´s in Guaymas right now. E. McKenna is also one of the best people I´ve ever known and a great missionary. He´s in Hermosillo. I would have sent the "good" version of the photo, but this was taken right after E. Rivas started jabbing us in the kidneys. It´s more accurate as to how things really are when we´re able to hang out.
Pte. Hernandez is focusing a lot more on conversion rather than baptism. He´s teaching the mission from a different point of view, and things will be looking up.
We went to a lesson this week with a youth (well, he´s in his mid-20s, I don´t that if that´s a "youth" or not, I dunno) that we contacted in the street. We gave him a pamphlet, and he read it all. We gave him a Book of Mormon before the weekend and went back on Wednesday morning. When we knocked on the door, he peeked out the window and motioned us to wait for a little bit. I jokingly said to E. Campos, "This´ll be one of those times when we come in and he tells us that he read past Jacob." We went in, sat down, and he told us that he had read past 2 Nephi 2.
I need to say that more often.
We´re also teaching the sister of a convert that was baptized about a year and a half ago--he´s the seminary teacher for our branch now, and is serving great in the Church. Every time we teach with him there, he always has a sincere testimony and always invites the Spirit. His sister has been listening to the missionaries off and on since her brother got baptized and is finally starting to really understand and live the Gospel. I really enjoy our lessons with them.
Actually, the first time we taught her, I was sitting there on their couch and listening to E. Campos explain a little bit about how Jesus Christ came to the Americas. He finished, I taught a bit, asked a question, and listened. In that moment, I felt like someone had just whispered in my ear, "You won´t be able to do this often for much longer." I feel little impressions every day to keep making me want to work. I want to be able the Spirit like this every day.
We´re doing alright, we just need to get more people to go to Church.
Oh, and as for my birthday, I woke up, started my workout, and didn´t remember that it was my birthday until Pte. and Hna. Hernández called me to wish me a happy birthday. A few minutes later, E. Barker called me and as soon as I answered the phone, I could hear his guitar and him singing "Las Mañanitas" (Mexican happy birthday song). As soon as he finished, he promptly hung up and left me laughing.
I had a good birthday. Or at least, I liked it--we worked all day and were able to teach.
Well, we didn´t have much time on Monday to write but we´re waiting for the bus to get here to go back to Nogales, so E. Campos and I wanted to take advantage of the time to write.
A few experiences.
These past few weeks I´ve been studying a bit more about humility. Once you start focusing on a certain subject in your studies, you start seeing it everywhere in the scriptures. Haha, E. Campos even told me one day, "Yeah, I get it, you´re working on that, you tell me about it every single time we have companionship study." E. Campos is awesome, by the way.
So, I started thinking about the need to repent when it comes to pride. I asked in a prayer for the Lord to humble me, without taking away the blessings of others. He obliged. A ton of things started happening every day to remind me that I honestly know nothing and I have no right to start thinking that I´m better than anyone else, or any other missionary.
That´s what I miss about being a newbie. When I didn´t speak Spanish, I had to rely completely on the Spirit. The most powerful spiritual experiences that I´ve had happened near the beginning of the mission. Maybe because I wasn´t as used to feeling the Spirit as I am now, but I know that it also has something to do with my awareness of my own nothingness. In the GEE (Guía para el Estudio de las Escrituras, like the Bible Dictionary in Spanish), you can read that humility is the power to be changed and guided by God. If you are prideful, your eternal progression comes grinding to a halt. "Condemnation" can also be understood as the inability to change. Because if you are condemned, whether to outer darkness or whatever place, you can no longer spiritually progress.
An example of what God has been doing to me are the lessons in English. I am not used to teaching in English. I´ve gotten to the point with my Spanish that I can talk and teach without thinking. That´s a good ability (and is very useful when preparing last minute talks), but when you do not focus, with your mind or with your heart, the Spirit is offended, and recedes. But when you have to teach a lesson in a language that you thought you knew but have not spoken for almost 2 years, you cannot teach without striving to do so. But when that happens, your words may not be as eloquent, but the Spirit is stronger and the people are converted.
For example, we taught a lady from Ohio a few weeks ago. She said that she had heard the missionaries around 10 years ago. When we began teaching (E. Campos says the prayer and testifies, but that´s about it for his English), she told us, "This is different. They didn´t teach like this before." I told her about the way teaching has changed. We don´t recite lessons anymore, we teach them according to the Spirit. She said that she had never felt the way she had felt when we explained about the Restoration.
I have a testimony of Preach My Gospel. I know that people are converted by the Spirit, not by pretty words. I know that humility is the key to eternal progress. I know that this is true. Not because anyone else has told me, but because the Spirit has testified to me. I know it.