It is warming up here! I got a littleburned even with the sunblock! But it is all good, because I am a missionary, and the Lord wont let me get cancer ;) Let me start off by saying thanks for the deaelders my various fans have sent me! Shout out to Shelley, d´Art and Kay Newbold, Rick and Judi Perry, and, my biggest fan, CLAUDIA! (Mom, you should start a budget with her. Dearelders are only free to the MTC!) The way mail works here is everything gets sent to the mission home. From there, anytime anyone from there comes to the zone, or anyone goes there from the zone, mail gets passed on. Then to me, the farthest outreach of the mission! So it is a bit slow. Snail mail for sure! But nevertheless, thank you everyone who has written me. Much love, I´ll eat a few tacos for you all ;)
No suprise baptisms this week! Quite the opposite. Things are going slow for us down here, but we cant figure it out! We work. We teach. We knock the doors. But the pool of investigators drains pretty fast. What happens is people let us in. We teach a great lesson. They accept at least one of the 4 commitments (church, book of mormon, pray, baptism), we leave, and NEVER see them again. But we dont know why! But it is okay, because I am enjoying it here. That is something I am learning. Just be happy! Im alive. Im an Elder of Isreal. What could be better??
So mom, you asked about festivities for the Easter holiday. It is called Pascua. I dont really know if we do much on the day itself, but all of the happenings with the Fariseos is for this time of the year. The crazy guys who run around in womens clothing, masks, drums, and go house to house with a Cross and a figure of Jesus asking for money. The end of it is on easter, so I guess the go all crazy or something. More on that later! It isnt like USA where a sweet bunny goes around leaving chocolate for people. On, and this week leading up to easter is called Semana Santa. Holy Week. Being interpreted as "Go to the nearest beach and hand over your agency with every beer" week. Bleh.
So something cool happened with Elder Rea and I. It isnt amazingly groundshakingly suprise baptism fantastic, but it was a good spiritual experience. We were out contacting in an area we hadnt been to before. One house here, not there. One house there, not interested. We dont do a lot of house to house, more of looking for someone a specific house, as guided by the Spirit. As we were walking, I saw a nice looking house, nice car, and a lady sitting inside, probably chatting on Facebook, like my own dear mother on any given friday night ;) So, I said, "that one, Elder. Lets go." Called for her to come out (as is custom with houses that hacve fences) she came out, and we bore quick testimony as with all contacts. She let us in, and we presented the Restauration to her! Her name is Adelina and has a good heart. Except for the fact that when we invited her to be baptized, she just straight up went with a "no". Followed by a "I feel safe in the Catholic church. It is very comfortable." So, after a few second of, "Oh. My. Goodness. COMFORTABLE??" A thought both Elder Rea and I had, I calmly explained that we covenent with God only. We dont commit time to the church, but only to Him. She still wasnt completely sure, but then something else caught her attention. The Spirit told me that she simply doesnt understand, but when she does, she will be baptized. But what caught her attention was the Book of Mormon. With conviction and sincerity, she told me she was going to read it. She has travelplans all this week, so we cant see her. So, I invited her to read the entire week. She agreed, very sincerely. After the lesson, Elder Rea told me that the Spirit told him ALSO that she simply just doesnt understand, but when she does, she will be baptized! I was so amazing to feel and HEAR the Spirit working through us both. Not just me feeling the Spirit, and him feeling the Spirit . But it really felt like us and the Spirit were all together. I LOVE teaching people! When I feel the Spirit, not me, testifying! There is nothing like this work! Baptisms or no, I am completing my purpose.
A Quick word about Elder Rea. He has been the District Leader since before I arrived. But for the past few weeks, the other missionaries havent been here. Come to find out that they stayed back a bit in their other area, because the SENIOR MISSIONARIES can choose to stay a bit longer! Yup, the other Missionaries in our district are a senior couple! It is way cool! Elder y Hermana Garcia.VERY nice and hard working.But the cool thing, the seniors here work exactly the same way! The dont help out with President or run errands for anyone. They knock doors and teach lessons JUST like us! What is even more cool, Elder Rea helped train them when they arrived in the mission last year! So, our entire district is a family! As the lingo goes, whoever you train is your hijo. your trainer is your papà. Your trainers trainer is your abuelo. There are tios y hermanos and all of that, jsut like a family. So, Elder Rea´s district is all the poeple he has trained. His hijos! Pretty funny.
BTW, I MISS CAMPING WITH ALL OF YOU! Even the crazy Lesley´s and Fonseca´s. And Mike, I havent found your family yet ;)
This past week, we bought soccer jerseys and had them customized! Elder Rea and I have Mexico ones that have our names, Huatabampo, and Zona Navojoa on them. They are so cool! And a jersey with the personalizations for about 13 bucks!
Last cool thing! When I was in the MTC, I had the opportunity to listen to Elder Holland, LIVE and (basically) IN CONCERT! Last week at Zone Conference, we watched a talk from Elder Holland. The same one I was in the MTC for! The exact same one. It was amazing. President gave us the talk and permission to have a portable dvd player for training purposes, so we are going to watch the talk a million times over one of these prep days.;)
We are heading into the last few weeks of the transfer, and all the missionaries think I am going to get transfered. But I dont really want to go because we are going to start get the branch kick started here! This area needs a lot more work! So keep praying for me, and I will keep searching for the Lord´s prepared.
I love you all back at home, thank you for the contact. Keep writing me!