(Excerpts from his email)
so i am in Montes. its kinda cool here. close to Mexico city and a lot more city than i have ever been but its cool. working hard and walking a lot. i get home super tired every day but its been good. its hard to think that this is my last cycle. i don’t think its really hit me yet but there’s still work to do and look forward to doing it.
M: Montes, close to the volcano that is erupting? Who is your companion, from where, how long out, how is the ward, you need to give me a little more than that.
EP: : there’s a volcano erupting haha???? no i don’t think its close. my companion is from Peru. his name is elder Perez and he’s only got a month and a half in the mission. the ward seems good. i don’t know most of them yet but there are some members that are super cool. there’s a lot of work to be done. hopefully we will have like 3 baptisms this month and we are working on September. I’m his trainer but just to finish his training. and i am also district leader here. it will be interesting haha.
M: Why will it be interesting?
EP: i am district leader of just my companion and 2 other elders but i feel super weird haha. my comp has like 2 months in the mission. and the other two have 3 months and 8 months so they are like all just starting. but its good. they are all cool so it should be fun.
M: What a great opportunity for you to mold and to teach these young ones, kind of like padawans! What you teach them will be the foundation of their mission and how they will serve, you have the opportunity and responsibility to make sure they serve with perfect obedience and to work hard, more especially when the work is hard. I think it is a perfect way to end the mission, you have to work hard till they very end so that your district will do the same. Nice.
EP: haha like padawans. when i first started the mission my district leader told me we are like Jedi haha. the force is the priesthood and we also go 2 by 2 like the Jedi haha. ya i know gotta keep working.
M: Yes, as you think about it, Jedi travel in twos and there is always a senior companion. The force can totally be the priesthood and these are young jedis (aren't padawans young jedi in training? would that be primary and youth kids not missionaries?) I like the analogy, it works. There is definitely a dark side and we are trying to bring as many as we can over to the light. Temptations, even for Jedi, can be overwhelming if we are not careful, but we can always figure ourselves out and return, through the process of repentance like Anikan did eventually. Funny where you can find the concepts of the gospel. The next Star wars movie is coming out in December I think.
EP: so that means i can watch star wars in the mission right casue its like straight up doctrine hahahaha. ill ask president haha. um i think what i loved about this week was just getting to know a bunch of new people really being able to see the gospel in action. one recent convert shared how she became converted to the gospel. it was literally a 180 degree turn. she smoked like 2 packs of cigarettes in a day and when the missionaries taught word of wisdom she dropped it totally. things that shouldn’t happen that are ¨impossible¨ happen with the gospel. when we understand the gospel and are willing to do anything to follow the gospel principles than we can do anything. something else i have come to recognize in the mission is actually kinda funny. a lot of times we stress out about trying to teach everything we need to. or just focusing so much on what we are saying but it really doesn’t matter. usually investigators and even a lot of members when they are new in the church don’t understand anything at all. It doesn’t matter if we teach perfectly they usually don’t understand anything but they can feel something very very different. they can feel a peace and a happiness that only comes from the gospel. that is the most important part of helping people receive the gospel. helping them feel good. like in contacts we make in the street or first lessons with people. if we can help them feel the sprit and feel good than they will change and they will want more even if they don’t understand why.
M: So who are you baptizing?
EP: we got two for the 22nd. Lorena and Guillermina. mom and daughter. they are super cool and just super chosen to receive the gospel right now. Lorena told us the day before the missionaries came she asked god for guidance and she said whatever you tell me to do i will do it i just want to know what i need to do. she said she felt like she is a good person but she just wasn’t getting where she needed to get and so she prayed. the next day the missionaries knocked on her door. so its pretty crazy how the lord works. we also have Graciela. her daughter is the recent convert who stopped smoking.
M: That's awesome son. We love you so much and are so proud of you. Exciting times. We will continue to pray for you and all that you work with.
EP: ya exciting times. were working on finding more and more and just doing everything we can. I’ll talk to you guys next week. love you. have a great week.