Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September 2, 2008 -- The Great Disappointment Overcome

Greetings from the recently rainy land of Kearns, Utah.
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You are probably wondering what I meant by my subject line today. Let me explain. Last Friday, I got a call from Elder Williams, who is the senior missionary in charge of mission finances. He called to tell me that I would not be getting any more money because Salt Lake said that I should be in Mexico by the end of the week. I was excited. But Friday, Saturday, and Monday passed and I didn't get the call to go to the consolate, although 20 other Visa-waiters did, which means that I will be here for at least another week. Yesterday when I found out that I wasn't going, I was really disappointed. It's not that I don't like it here or that I want to leave, but that I have been getting super-excited about going to Mexico. Recently I have talked to lots of people from Monterrey, and every time I get more and more excited (for example, in a few months there will be the "civil war" when the two soccer teams from Monterrey play each other and every thing in the city shuts down.) In fact, I already have my first person to teach in Monterrey. Beto, who we have been trying to work with, is going back to Monterrey and he gave me his phone number so that I can call him when I get down there. It took me a while to get over my disappointment, but in the temple this morning I felt strongly that there is a reason that I need to stay here for now. Besides, being here next week means I will be here for Mission Conference, when Elder Marlyn K. Jensen of the 70 is coming to speak to us for 6 hours!

Yesterday and the day before we had a huge storm pass through here. On Sunday night, it was raining incredibliy hard, and we had run out of miles for the month (as well as gas) so we had to walk. The family that we wanted to see lives about three miles from our house, but we set out to walk in the pouring rain. Luckily, people stopped to give us a ride on the way there as well as on the way back, but we still ended up walking a good 2 miles in total. It was wonderful! I love the feeling that no matter what obstructions lie in the way, we will always do our best to bring the gospel to God's children.

In the past three weeks, we have been incredible blessed with golden investigators. The first one, Sergio from Uraguay, showed up at church and asked us if we can baptize him. His girlfriend is LDS and he wants to be able to get married in the temple. He is addicted to smoking and coffee, but in the two weeks we have been working with him he has gone from two packs a day to 6 cigarettes a week. This week he hasn't smoked at all, so we are planning his baptism for Sunday.

The second's name is Javier. He was nearly baptzied a few months ago, but was offended by the missionaries. Last Sunday, however, he came back to church and said he is ready. He should get baptized soon.

The third we found yesterday when I was trackting with Elder Dudley. His name is Gustavo, and he has attended the church in Mexico and wants his children to grow up in the church. What a blessing all of these investigators have been!

Lately we have been trying a wide variety of new finding tools (putting in practice what President Laney taught us at our last Zone Conference). This week we have put up posters for free English lessons, as well as two study classes we are starting at the church. One is a "questions of the soul" class, where we answer many of life's deepest questions with the Book of Mormon (see Preach My Gospel chapter 5). The other is more of a scripture study class where we use all scripture to support each other. The first class starts tomorrow and I am excited to see how it will work out.

One thing I will miss in Mexico is being able to experience different cultures from all of Latin America. I have talked to people from Mexico, Guatamala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Uraguay, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, and Bolivia! I love learning about their similarities and differences, and experiencing their culture, especially their food. This past week, Angelica, who was baptized two weeks ago, made us traditional Columbian Arepas, which were delicious (I got the recipe so I can make them when I get home.) Still, I am excited to be immersed in the Mexican culture too.

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