I don't know how much you know about the influenza epidemic in Mexico City (I hardly know anything) but President Mendoza has talked to us about precautions we should take, and he wants you to know (as do I) that we are all healthy and protected.
This past weekend was our stake conference (the Andalucia Monterrey Mexico Stake of Zion). The Sunday session was organized according to the three-fold mission of the Church. First, the temple president (President Tenorio, brother of Elder Tenorio of the 70) and his wife spoke. Then several recently-returned missionaries and President and Sister Mendoza. The stake President finished the conference. Redeem the dead, proclaim the gospel, perfect the saints.
My favorite talks were those of President Mendoza and his wife. Sister Mendoza told a story of missionaries who went to eat at a member's house. As the missionaries were leaving, one of the little girls in the family asked her mom who were the men dressed in white who were accompanying the missionaries. President Mendoza talked about a lot of things, but I especially loved what he said about priesthood. He said that the priesthood means responsibility and service -- responsibility to live worthily and service blessing the lives of others.
After the conference we had a baptism. Officially, it wasn't our baptism. But it was my companion and I who started to teach her, and when they divided our area she went to the other missionaries. Her name is Carmen. Her husband Juan Carlos will also be baptized soon, once he takes care of a few things. Her baptism was a great experience.
After the baptism, my companion and I congratulated her. Through her tears, she thanked us for teaching her. She said it was because of us that she had made it to that day. She said that in the first visit, if we hadn't used the words we did, she might not have been interested, but we talked about things in just the right way to interest her. (I don't remember much about our first lesson, except that we talked a lot about the eternal family.) But it wasn't my companion and I who said the right words, it was the Spirit who inspiried us and who spoke to her heart.
Yesterday I had another experience that demonstrates the importance of following the Spirit. We were with Hermano Zavala, and were going to visit a family. He wanted to go one way, but I felt that we should take the longer way, so we did. As we walked, we ran into another investigator, whom we have been trying to visit for a long time, but never have found at home. We walked home with her and taught a great lesson. The Spirit really is the most important thing for a missionary.
Our mission has been greatly blessed with lots of visits from general authorities. This week we will be visited by Elder Walter F. Gonzalez, one of the Presidents of the Seventy. I'm excited.
I was trying to think of a cultural moment for you, but none came to mind. I'm getting so used to things in Mexico that I can't remember what is the same and what is different.