Monday, September 22, 2014

Moving along

Crazy how quickly time can go, and yet it seems like it has been forever.  Right after winter officially ends, I'll be back at home with you guys! Only 7 more months to go... these will be the fastest months of my mission. I know it.

Correct, transfers are coming up next week!  I likely won’t be with Elder V after that, but I look forward to whatever adventure lies ahead.

Not a whole lot of exciting news to share with you this week... lots and lots of people contacted and not a lot of people who are interested. M is the strongest convert I've had on the mission. After reading and praying about several talks from last general conference about a month ago he received a strong confirmation of the gospel's truthfulness. He recognizes the Holy Ghost, reads several chapters from the Book of Mormon every day, and looks forward to going to the temple soon. He is experiencing eternal blessings from the 30 seconds we spent saying hi to him in the street one day.

It's been raining hard recently. (Is it proper to contract ''it has'' in that manner?) I know it rains a lot in Oregon, but the rain that pours down here almost daily astounds me. Today when we went to play soccer the field had a giant puddle in the middle. That made it even more fun.

With Elder V things are going well. We still keep talking about soccer and everything else that keeps him happy. He seems to be getting over his dad's death, but he still gets very tired frequently.  He is so strong to have handled this burden.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fiesta time

 I'm so glad everything went well for Zac's baptism!

I love when the Lord performs tender mercies for us like that without us knowing. How fun to have Betsy at the office!

I love hearing the news about all of the kids.  It helps me remember that my family back home is real and not just some crazy memory or imaginary thing to me.  I miss so many things about home, but I am so happy I am in Mexico.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day... I miss singing hymns in English. Hymns are definitely not at all the same translated.

This week was kind of rough for us workwise. Now that Milton and Julia are members we're kind of left without people to teach. There's not a lot of people who are ready in this moment to accept the gospel. Thankfully Dad gives wonderful advice about what to do in this type of situation!

Friday was the Noche Mexicana and it was a blast. I think more than 1,200 people showed up. That's greater than the number of active members in Xalapa! Zazil-Ha and Abril along with their entire dance group danced all the traditional Mexican songs and I was almost tearing up because after every dance tiny little Abril would always look right at me and give me the most darling smile. Because their mom was busy changing their outfits after every dance she couldn't take pictures. I took lots of pictures and gave them all to Sister Isis, who probably sent them to you yesterday. Today is going to be my last Mexican Independence Day in Mexico ever... well, the 16th is technically the actual holiday, but everybody parties the day before. Our curfew is at 7 o'clock tonight so we will be safely back home before the real party starts in the city tonight.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Missionary mannequins

Happy Birthday, Mom. 

 I haven't seen Elder D since our first day in Mexico. I wonder what's become of him! I know he's still in the mission, but we've never been in the same zone.

Yes, Elder V is doing better.  We had an easy week because I didn’t want to stress him out with the burden he is carrying.  But he is doing great and is ready to work hard again.  I still can’t imagine having a parent die while I was on a mission.  But I am proud of him for staying on his mission.  The spirit truly can comfort us in ways we can never imagine until it happens.  We had some fun this week and took some silly pictures like the one above to keep his mind off of the sadness.

To answer your question, in Mexico it's more common to say manejar. In Spain they say conducir.  I was thinking about those verbs the other day. ''How weird would it sound to say 'I'm managing a car?' '' Then I thought about the etymology of 'drive' and I'm pretty sure it comes from driving a horse team, which has an even funnier application to the concept of moving a vehicle.

I can't wait to eat cookies again. The Bimbo company equivalent (Marinela) are nowhere as good. Although I love Bimbo bread, chocolate chip cookies can't be compared to homemade treats. Thanks for taking such good care of me. 

We really are such a blessed family. That was the first thing I learned on the mission. Even the basic blessings I never really considered as rare before the mission. None of my companions have been born in the church nor have two active parents. Not a single one of them.

And Elder V says hi to everybody, happy birthday to you, and thank you so much for everything.

Thank you dearly for sending me so many packages. I keep all the boxes I can because they represent how much you love me and miss me. I just hope that being a good missionary make it worth it for you!

 A chihuahua in my mochilla.  How did that happen?
Trying on glasses.  I liked these ones as well.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Pray for my companion

Elder V's dad died and President Greer just told Elder V today in the morning. We took a taxi down to the offices where President talked with Elder V and gave him a blessing and everything. He is going to be staying in the mission with me and relying on the Savior to help him get through his trial. It's basically the worst thing that can happen to a missionary. So I'm just going to send a lot of fun pictures today.  We don't have much time for email.  Just please pray for Elder V that he will be comforted and be able to bear this burden.

I can't possibly imagine anything worse that could happen to a missionary. It's a good thing everything is going so well for us and he's so happy and stress free or I think it would be unbearable for him. He says on the mission is the best place for him to be for something like this to happen to him.

I'm so glad we were left together for this transfer.  We are truly brothers and I am glad I can be with him during this difficult time.