Monday, July 31, 2017

Packages, U Libroil Mormon, Calle Morelos, and Yet Another New Companion!

Buenísimas tardes, todos!

This week was full of a bunch of little crazy things. First, President went to Nuevo Laredo this week and brought back packages for all the American missionaries. We ended up getting 48 packages, and he went up there only 3 weeks ago! All the packages go through me to get to their areas, so we had a bit of work to do. There's almost no space in our mail room for all the packages we got. It was crazy.
The three empty shelves are for Nuevo Laredo (President had just taken everything up there, so they were left with nothing) and the Roma and Linares zones, which were having their interviews with the President, so I left those packages out in the main room so that President could take them. They wouldn't have fit, anyway.
Sorry, I normally don't start letters like that. I get overly excited about little random things lately.

I got a shipment of Book of Mormons this week, but they kinda messed up:
We got a BoM in Maya (left) and another in Portuguese (right).

Just kidding, they didn't mess up. A companionship here asked for these Books because they say that they have an investigator who speaks Maya and another who speaks Portuguese, so I got them. It was cool to be able to handle them for a moment, though. Especially with the Maya book, I felt a special spirit with it. The Mayans are probably a huge part of the remnants of the Lamanites, and it's really awesome to see the Gospel being preached to them in their own tongue. I imagine that Maya is related to the languages that were spoken by the Lehites in the Book of Mormon. It's what is super awesome about Mexico, that the Book of Mormon took place here, and that when we preach to the people here, we can say that their ancestors wrote this book and it is directed primarily to them because they are of the House of Israel. It's awesome seeing prophecies being fulfilled. It's also a testimony of the truthfulness of the Church and that God is really behind it, because who strives to translate a work into so many obscure languages like Maya? The fact that the Book of Mormon has been translated into so many languages is a small evidence to me that God is behind this work and that He truly loves all of His children, no matter where they are or what language they speak, and that the message this book contains is really meant for everyone.

So I found out a few days ago that Elder Lopez would be moving this transfer, so his replacement (and my new companion) arrived Saturday to start training. His name is Elder Figueroa, and he's from Cuautla, Morelos, Mexico. We went on divisions with a member (Elder Lopez went with a young elder who just got his mission call to the Puebla South mission, and Elder Figueroa and I went to follow up on some contacts we made over the last couple of days). I have only been here for a few weeks, and I have spent most of that time in the office, so I didn't really get the chance to learn the area very well, so we may have gotten lost a couple of times. We gave out pass along cards to the people who gave us directions, so it wasn't completely lost time. :) Here we are resting at the top of hill we suddenly found ourselves on:
Things got pretty interesting there for a minute. Luckily, we didn't get terribly lost.

The only other interesting thing that happened this week is that the district went to Calle Morelos today as a district activity. Calle Morelos is basically the Monterrey equivalent of City Creek, or basically a great big outdoor mall. The Mexicans ended up buying American shoes and the Americans bought various Mexican things, so it was a productive day.
(L-R, District Leader Elder Hernández, Elder Agla, Elder López, and Elder Figueroa). The sisters showed up late, so they didn't get to be in the picture. ;)

My email is freaking out with all the pictures I'm attaching, so I'll end them now and include them in another email. (FROM CAMILLE: I'LL ADD THEM HERE)
Hermana Baker and I sorting packages.
Only in Mexico will one find little packets of salsa in the bag of apples.
 The Maya book of Mormon speaks Spanish, too!
 Calle Morelos

 I'll end by saying that today was a miraculous week. We found a lot of super interested people, including Norma. She was a reference from the sisters, who met with her a couple of times. She is super awesome! She got cancer a few years ago, and started to feel the need to get baptized. She was going to be baptized in the Catholic Church, but they wouldn't let her because she was only married by the state and not by the church, or something like that, so she kinda became a little cold towards the Catholic Church. A few years later, she felt the need to get baptized again, and she started looking for another church to baptize her, including a Pentecostal church and the Jehovah's Witnesses, and she eventually found the Mormon missionaries. She said that she felt completely different when she was around them, to the point that she told all the other pastors and ministers that she had found the true church and stopped meeting with them. We got about five minutes into our first visit with her, we very briefly mentioned baptism, and she told us about how much she wanted to get baptized. We asked her if she wanted to get baptized on the 26th of August, and she said, "Can I get baptized that soon? Yes!" and she basically invited herself and her entire family to church. She couldn't end up coming because everyone got sick Saturday, but we'll keep visiting her and try again next week. We also got another investigator in church, for the first time in months--the first investigator in the ward that they have seen for months, from what they have told me. Her name is Rosi, and she and her family have been meeting with the missionaries for some time, but have kinda been avoiding progressing. The past few days have given her and her family more incentive to go to church, and I think she finally summoned up enough courage and determination to make it. It was a great meeting!

Also, one last random note. Sunday before yesterday, the ward pianist was out of town, and she was the only person in the ward who plays the piano well enough to play in Sacrament meeting, and so the chapel felt kinda empty and sad without prelude music. I finally asked the bishop if I could play a little bit of prelude (because I didn't know the regular pianist was completely gone from Monterrey), and he said yes, and if I could play the normal hymns, too, they would appreciate it. So I did. After Sacrament meeting, the Primary president came up to me and asked if I could play for the Primary because they haven't had a pianist in a long time. So I did, and it was really awesome getting to sit behind a piano for an hour and play while a bunch of cute Latino kids sang Primary songs at the top of their lungs in the way only a Primary can do.

I guess I didn't mess up badly, because Saturday night, the bishop called and asked if I could play the piano in Sacrament meeting and in Primary again, because the normal pianist was still out of town. That was fun. By the time I stop, I will have relearned all of those Primary songs in Spanish and I will have forgotten all of them in English. Oh, well.

Anyway, this week was crazy, but awesome!

Have fun, wherever you all are! Love you all!

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