Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April 1, 2013

It has been very, very hot.  I haven't seen a cloud in about a week now, and apparently this is nothing compared to what it will be like in May.  Perfect time to get transferred to the coast where it's hotter and super humid.  I'd love it if they left me here for one more transfer but I don't think it's very likely.  Two more weeks in S, where has the time gone?  

It was an awesome week!  Here in Mexico the kids all had last week off and this week as well, so we are taking advantage of that to teach lots of lessons with members present--like there's one of the youth with us at every hour every day!  They're so awesome.  They don't just come to the lessons and listen, they share their testimonies, whip out scriptures they've been reading on their own that totally help the people we are teaching, and really are just making a big difference.  We were able to teach 21 lessons with a member present this week (the S all time record, set by Elder A and I, is 23, and the mission record is 31) which was really good.  We found a bunch of new investigators too, and I think a lot of them could be really good.  The problem is that nobody was home this weekend, so we've only been able to teach about 1 lesson to most of them and nobody could come to church.  

Let me just explain a few of the Easter traditions around here.  The last 40 days have been what they call "Cuaresma" (Lent) which is supposed to represent the 40 days that Christ fasted before his ministry.  And to celebrate it, every Friday during Cuaresma they don't eat meat.  Fortunately, it's a Catholic thing, so the members still eat meat those days, but unfortunately, all the butchers here are Catholic and don't open.    The week before Easter is called the "Holy Week" and everything got super crazy around here.  The Centro turned into a Flea market/amusement park and there were events every day leading up to Friday (which is the day they celebrate the most).  Friday they did a live representation of Christ's crucifixion--everyone gathered in the center and they played out the whole thing with Pilate washing his hands, Christ being whipped and beaten, etc.  Then they all brought him up a hill by one of the Catholic Cathedrals where there was a big cross for him to be crucified on.  No, they didn't actually nail him to it, but they did tie him there for a few minutes.  Or so I'm told.  Luckily, we were able to avoid all that and still teach lessons while it was going on.  We just saw the big group of people walking toward the hill and it really did look like the multitude that killed Christ. 

I did not baptize his daughter this week, but either this week or the next it'll happen, and it's going to be awesome.  

It's pretty certain that J will get baptized on the 13th.  His mom is now fully active in the church, now we just need to work on his dad and older sister so that they can get baptized someday also.  It's been fun to teach him.  We are also teaching his mom's cousin, who has been listening to the missionaries in S but just barely moved here.  He reads the Bible every day, has received an answer that the church is true, and knows he needs to get baptized, he just doesn't feel ready yet.  In the lesson when he told us this, I felt like he just needed to know the commandments (law of chastity, sabbath day, word of wisdom, etc.) and keep them and he'll feel more ready.  He said he was willing to do repent and change his life, so we're not too worried about him.  BTW his name is R.  

We found another awesome investigator contacting in the plaza during all the mayhem this week.  Her name is D, she's 19, and super ready for the gospel.  From the moment we walked in her house there was just a good feeling there.  We connected really well with her from the beginning and the Spirit was way strong.  She accepted a baptismal date super easy, and the next visit she told us that she had prayed and received an answer that it was all true!  But then her stinking boyfriend showed up and ruined everything.  The first thing he said was "Are you guys Catholic? Oh, well we don't want to listen to you."  And then he pretty much pressured her into not listening anymore, so we're praying for another opportunity to find her and that her boyfriend changes his ways.  

We played soccer, volleyball, and basketball almost all day today and I am redder than the Mexican flag.  (see photo attached)

I haven't read all your letters, but it sounds like Grandpa's funeral was a good experience.  And the only friend that I've been writing is Austin, but man has it been good!  Love that guy.  They sell chocolates here, but I haven't actually ever bought them.  I should, right?

Well, that's it for this week.  Prepare yourselves for Conference, it's going to be awesome!  I love you all!

Elder Pew