|On his way to his new area he met up with these missionaries in the office. Handsome group!|
|View of the town from their apartment|
Answers to questions: It's Nahuatl (nawattle) and no, I'm not learning any other words in that language. The only other one I know is Quetzalcóatl, which means feathered serpent or something like that. Our Elders Quorum president is a high school history teacher, so he knows the whole history of the town and told me what C meant.
I email from a normal cyber cafe .
I have taken pictures of all kinds of nutsy things but my camera never wants to connect itself to any of the computers here. What I have to do to send pictures is ask for them to lend me an adapter for my memory card to connect it to the USB port, and so far I haven't found a cyber café that has one yet.
There's a Bodega Aurrerá here, which is basically like Kholers (grocery store), so they probably sell baby powder there. We'll see.
There's a military base in M so lots of people work there. A lot of people work in the coconut farms and the processing factories also. All the coconut trees are an amazing sight here. Miles and miles and miles of coconut trees are all that can be seen from some of the tallest hills here.
I'm going to skype, but I don´t know with who or from where. This Sunday were transfers, you see, so we didn't plan anything yet. But let me know if there's a certain time that would be easier for you and I'll let you know.
Things I forgot to mention last week: I bought new shoes. My old ones are completely dead. Ripped holes in the sides where the sole connects with the rest of the shoe, and the shoelaces are also completely destroyed. Thank you C. The new ones were like 600 pesos, so about 50 dollars and they are way comfortable and I'm 90% sure they'll last till I finish my mission. But if they leave me here for a long time, who knows. Also, they were totally playing "Dominic the Donkey" in the store where I bought them. A nice, hilarious surprise. I was a little embarrassed to be the only person in the store who knew the song.
This was a great week. Monday night we went to visit the D family. They have about a year in the church and have been inactive the last few months. We taught them the Restoration and at the end the Dad started telling us about all the doubts he had. The Jehovah´s witnesses had been coming over, so he was pretty dang confused, but instead of answering his questions, we just kneeled down and told him to ask God if the Book of Mormon is true. He did and EVERYONE felt the answer come. Even his daughter's non-member husband, M. He thanked us and told us that they would go to church on Sunday, but then Sunday came and they didn't. So we went over that night, not really having any idea of what we could teach them. We decided to start reading in the Book of Mormon with them, but they told us that they had been reading, so we were clueless as to what to teach. They didn't really have a specific reason for not going to church, so we just started asking questions and let the Spirit do its work. I asked them how they felt about their testimonies. The dad said he felt good, he knew the church is true and he didn't doubt. The daughter, D, said she was confused and a little sad because of the trials she is going through right now. I shared 1 Corinthianswith her and explained that God will never let her be tried or tempted more than what she can resist. Elder M then shared Alma 7:11-12 and explained that Christ had suffered for her sins, afflictions, pains, and sorrows so that he could help her. I then explained that we receive help from Christ through the Holy Ghost, and we read 3 Nephi 18:1-7, 12 to show them that they can receive the Holy Ghost by taking the sacrament and renewing their baptismal covenant. It all just clicked in their minds-totally guided by the Spirit. They understood this time why they should be going to church and committed to do it this week. Also, we were smart and put another appointment this Thursday to check up on them. It was a great experience.
Tuesday we had zone class, and we talked about the Book of Mormon. It was awesome. It's a small little zone, there's only 23 missionaries here, compared to the 28 that there were in Union. Afterwards, we had a lesson with V and M. We read 3 Nephi 11 with them, and their daughter, C was there. When we read the part where Christ explains to the Nephites how they should be baptized, she was impacted. I think the Spirit taught her in that moment that she should be baptized in that way, and ever since she's been golden. We went back Saturday and she looked more excited. She brought her husband and her three kids to church on Sunday and surprisingly her husband seems pretty open too. His name is V and he invited us over Tuesday to start teaching the whole family. They'll have to get married before they can get baptized, but anything's possible.
Wednesday we visited a less active member named Y. She's about 32, she grew up in the church but is now an active member of some other church and is sure that it's true. We tried to teach her the Restoration, but she wouldn't let us. Instead of trying to fight, we just pulled out the Book of Mormon and said something like this. "Y, this is the proof that the Church of Jesus Christ was restored through Joseph Smith. On this page, there's the testimony of three people who saw an angel who showed them the plates. They heard the voice of God declaring that the book is true. Here is the testimony of 8 other people who saw the plates and testify that Joseph Smith was the person called of God to translate them. This is the testimony of Joseph Smith, who gave his life for this work. The first prophet that wrote this book also gave us his testimony..." we then opened up to 2 Nephi 33:10-11, where Nephi tells us that what he wrote were the words of Christ, and that we will see him face to face before the judgment seat of God and will know that he was commanded to write these words. After that, we gave our own personal testimonies that the Book of Mormon is true. Then we kneeled down and she asked God if it was true, and stayed silent for 5 minutes afterwards crying.
Thursday was Virgin Day. Lots of parties, nobody to teach. (they aren't allowed to go out around large crowds).
Friday I turned 18 months in the mission, and it was kind of a slow day also.
|Pinatas from the Christmas Party|
Saturday we had our branch Christmas party. M, C, another one of M's daughters, some non-member friends that different members brought, and another investigator named G all went. It was great. Our branch president started out with a talk about Christmas, then the Elders Quorum president read the story of Christ's birth from the Bible, then the Branch President's first counselor sang a few Christmas carols and played his guitar. Yes, we were already best friends, so he invited me to sing a few songs with him since he was a little sick. It was fun. Afterwards, the childrens broke open some piñatas and we ate carne asada. Delicious. It was a great chance for me to get to know some of the members a little better, and it was a really good spiritual experience for the investigators that went. As mentioned, C brought her husband and kids the next day to church and G also came. Sunday were transfers, and we weren't too worried but you never know these days. We'll be staying together another transfer, but this time I'm going to be district leader again. It was a nice two week break. It should be a great transfer, we should hopefully have some baptisms and help the branch grow a little more.
Thank you everyone for all the love and support; the letters, packages, and prayers. I couldn't do it without you. This work is God's work and this is His church. It's been an absolute pleasure to be on the front lines seeing how He does business these last 18 months, and I'm sure the next 6 will be full of miracles as well. Have a great Christmas break, enjoy the weather (haha), and we'll talk next week! Love you all!
|Iguana in the tree|