Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hace mucho frio!

For starters - I had a wonderful interview with President this week. He had to send two Elders home last week so he went around the whole mission to do interviews with everybody. Fortunately, I was able to clear up a lot of misunderstandings and I finally heard what I have longed to hear for 7 months. ''Well, as Preach My Gospel says, missionaries who are learning a new language need to memorize words and phrases to be able to teach, which is why I have all missionaries memorize the lesson plans in Preach My Gospel." (At this point I get really worried.) However, I love your Spanish. Your Spanish is very good. You also know the scriptures very well. So you can teach however you want.'' (At this point I jump out of my chair in joy.)

It made me feel a lot better about being here in the mission. Every day after that interview all I could think was ''thank goodness I learned Spanish before the mission. Above all the other blessings it has brought me, the blessing of freedom is the sweetest.''

This week was extremely cold. And I mean - extremely cold. It felt like I was in a snow cave 24/7 and it was almost unbearable! After several people in the village died of hypothermia, our thoughts were confirmed that it really is colder than normal. The newspapers have pictures of farmers just lying dead by their sheep. So yeah. It was cold. It got down to 0 degrees Celsius here and it's likely it will snow this month! How cool is that? If I stay here this next transfer I'll put out the money to buy an abrigo, but if I get sent somewhere else I won't need it and it's not worth all that money for just one week. Therefore, I'm hoping I will get through this week alright! So far with my chamarra, hat, gloves, scarf, boots, sweatpants underneath and double socks I'm fine, but when in a few weeks a heavy coat will definitely be needed.

Another note: one of my police friends got kidnapped! Turns out he had a debt to some people he was working with to get over to the United States and he couldn't pay the debt, so... they kidnapped him last Monday and nobody has heard from him since, not even his police friends. In this county that means he's in pieces in a river somewhere. Elder S and I received the report when we showed up to teach him a lesson and he wasn't there. We went to the police station and they told us what happened. They've been looking for him hard all this week but they can't find him and his phone is turned off. We talked to the mission president about it and he says that we will be alright. The weirdest thing was in October we taught another man named with the same name who was going to come to Church but he died of a heart attack the Friday before. ''¡No más vamos a enseñar a ningún hombre que se llama L....! ¡Mala onda!'' Don't worry, we are totally fine. Mexico is a scary place but missionaries have special protection.

Our first week here, we got to know a family who hadn't been to church in a while, and they have come every week since. I feel very special about this family because now the dad is a counselor in the Elder's Quorum presidency, his wife is now straightening out her life, their daughter of 19 years is going on a mission, and their 8-year-old daughter is going to get baptized. In an FHE we did with them this week, they committed to get sealed in the temple. How cool is that? Another family in the Celestial kingdom. All because one day we stopped by and shared the love of Christ with them. Eternal blessings from small actions. Truly by small and simple means are great things brought to pass.

Quote of the week, a Mexican Elder attempting to speak English: ''I like food Mexican.'' (Much laughter.) ''What, what I say?''  It was so cute and so funny at the same time.  It's what the gringos sound like to the Mexican missionaries.

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