(Excerpts from his email)
Today we had a zone activity and two sisters shared something really similar. They shared how bamboo takes 7 years and 6 weeks to fully grow. The first 7 years the roots are growing strong under the ground but nothing at all happens above ground. You don’t see any progress for 7 years but it really is growing. After the 7 years in 6 weeks the whole top part of the plant grows tall. They said at times we don’t see the progress but we really are making a difference in investigators, members, and ourselves even if we don’t see results immediately. After they shared Alma 31:31
31 O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfortmy soul ain Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me, because of the iniquity of this people.
32 O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success, and also my fellow laborers who are with me—yea, Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and also Amulek and Zeezrom, and also my two sons—yea, even all these wilt thou comfort, O Lord. Yea, wilt thou comfort their souls in Christ.
They shared how Alma prayed for comfort and patience in his afflictions not that god would change his situation. It was really good.
Also i got some stuff for this week. So we have a new investigator and he might get baptized this week or the next. When we first met him he knew some about the church cuz his girlfriend is a member and her family was talking to him about it. He said what he noticed is that this is a church of work. Every one works. Right now the young men and women are having like bake sales to raise money so they can go to the temple. The Mexico City temple is closed so they have to go to Oaxaca. It’s pretty far and it’s not super cheap, but it’s important so they are selling pizzas and pastes and that kind of stuff so that more of them can go its pretty cool.
M: That's super cool about your investigator. I am excited for you and more so for him. It will be an amazing feeling for you to be the harvester, but for his girlfriend and her family too. But, like dad, my hope is that he has found his own testimony cause that is when you get members that are strong and committed. Exciting times.
I wish we could help with the bake sale or something; we take for granted that the temple is so near and that we can go whenever. These people need to work and save and work and save to be able to participate in saving ordinances. We need to take advantage of our closeness and go. We will keep them in our prayers.
EP: The ward they have almost 30 young men and women going i think so that’s super good. The last time the ward went to the temple like 5 went from the whole ward.
This week was interesting. Here Easter is called semana santa or holy week and they celebrate a lot Friday Saturday and Sunday. No one has school these two weeks and almost no one works. Friday is crazy, they do like a bunch of reenactments of the crucifixion of Christ. In the morning a bunch of dudes dressed up as romans on horses walked past our house with a bunch of other people in purple. In the afternoon they were all in a big field and they had three huge crosses set up and they were like acting out the whole story with microphones and everything. Here they don’t whip and hurt people i don’t think but in other parts of Mexico they do. They said sometimes they even nail people to the cross. It’s a little crazy. Saturday is sabado de gloria and everyone like has pool parties haha its weird. They like fill water balloons and just whatever they have and try to get everyone wet. The members were saying before they would stand in the streets and just throw water on everyone cars, people, anything that passed by but now they turn off the water all day so it’s a little mellower. It was an interesting week.
M: That is very interesting. I would not like to see them nailing a person to the cross; you have to wonder what they are getting out of it! So there is no Easter bunny huh!?!?!? Is there a lot of food? What kind of food? What is the symbolism of water, renewal?
EP: No not a lot of food well not for us. I don’t know about the catholic traditions and all that. We asked about the water and no one knows. It’s just something they do they don’t know why. It’s just called sabado de gloria and they all get wet its weird.
Also i was talking to a member and he shared the history of Mexico i don’t know why but it was super interesting. So apparently the ancient people (i don’t know who Mayans Aztecs whoever) who were here when the Spanish came believed in a great white god. And they believed he was going to come back and visit them again. With the book of Mormon we assume it’s Jesus Christ but they always had that belief and so when Hernan Cortez came they thought it was him because he was a white man in huge boats and all that stuff. So they gave him everything riches, food, everything they had and that’s why they were conquered so easily. I was just thinking about how similar it is to captain cook and what happened in Hawaii its interesting.
M: Wow, did you know all of that before or do you guys do history lessons there too? That's cool. Is there a place called the Book of Mormon, stone or something like that, someone asked me if you had heard about it. Well it's an interesting time to learn and observe, but i would guess that is part of why they are stuck in their traditions and have a hard time excepting the gospel, it's just what they do. It will be very interesting when they finally realized that all of their history is recorded in the Book of Mormon.
What else happened this week?
How is Chris, we ran into his sister at youth conference and she was saying that they were gonna go to Mexico soon.
EP: Haha no the guy was talking to us about all the history of what happened and stuff i don’t know why. We were talking about the movie the testaments and he started talking about all that stuff.
No i haven’t heard of that but my comp was in Teotihuacan before he came here. That’s the area with the pyramids and he said the members there give tours based in the book of Mormon like they use the book of Mormon to explain some stuff, it sounds pretty interesting.
I talk to Chris every week now he sounds really good. He said this week in Guatemala was crazy and they had to stay in the chapel at times and be super careful cause people kill missionaries at this time. Ya they go to Mexico a lot Chris said.
Transfers are in a week. I kind of want to change but i really don’t haha. this month of may president promised elder oaks i think that every companionship in the mission is going to baptize two people so I want to be here to make sure this area i have been in for the past 4 months does that but we will see.