Well, I officially passed the 6 month mark on Friday. It is kind of weird that 6 months has really gone by because I feel like I left you all on the curb at the MTC yesterday. A quarter of my mission has gone by...that is a lot, and I don´t know whether to feel excited or sad. I burnt a tie to celebrate the 6 month mark in keeping with tradition, I would send photos but this computer doesn´t have a port to connect my SD card. I can´t find any of the other SD cards that I had, I don´t know if I sent them home and didn´t get them back or what...but I´m going to buy one this week so that I can send my SD card home this week. There are about 420 pictures so that should keep you busy for a while.
In response to the questions about the bike, well we don´t use them any more. We only had permission to use them for one week when we didn´t have any money and still had to travel to appointments. My bike was borrowed from the dueño, and Elder Garcia borrowed his from some members. I took a picture, so you can see it. O yeah, and you can put my pictures on facebook if you want.
Ok, now for the big news of the week...cambios! (that is the word we use for transfers) I don´t have cambios, but Elder Garcia does. We have a district of 4, the other 2 elders finished their missions this cycle, and Elder Garcia has cambios, so I will be the only one left in the district. I have been assigned to be the District Leader, and I am going to train a new missionary. I don´t really know what to think. I am way way excited to train and it makes me feel good that Presidente has enough confidence in me to make me District Leader....but I have never even been senior companion so I really don´t know how I´m going to do it. I guess the answer is just to trust that God knew what He was doing when He assigned me to these two responsibilities, and that He will help me to fulfill them in the way He wants them fulfilled. I´m feeling excited but overwhelmed at the same time. It was weird to hear the cambios because I thought I was going to be transferred to another area, but God wants me to stay in Teotihuacan for a while. E Garcia and I will go to Aragon tomorrow to the cambios meeting and I will receive my "hijo." I still feel like I am learning how to do all this missionary stuff, so it will be an adventure to be a papa, but I am just going to be obedient, work as hard as I know how, and trust that everything will turn out ok.
On Saturday we took the family that we baptized last Sunday (Pedro and Concepción and their hijos Daphne and Caleb) to the Centro para Visitantes at the the Temple. (By the way I found out that Daphne has epilepsy, not autism) It was soo awesome to watch people, that up until 3 weeks ago had never even thought it possible to live with their family after this life, see the Temple for the first time, and make goals for a forever family in a year. The video they were showing Saturday was The Testaments, and it was so powerful. There is a scene towards the end when Christ comes to the Nephites that I love so much., There is a prophet named Helam who, in the search for his wayward son during the catastrophes that preceded the coming of Christ, lost his vision by a tree falling on his head. His wayward son brings him to where Christ is blessing the little children. Helam says "I have waited all my life to see Him, and I can wait a little longer....tell me about Him, tell me every detail, what He is doing..." At which point Christ walks up to Helam and says "Helam..." and puts His hands over Helam´s eyes and heals him. That part when He says his name, I just imagined Christ saying my name and such an incredible and poignant feeling of joy and happiness hit me. I have waited all my life to see Him, but I can wait a little longer. I can learn of Him, and strive to become like Him, so that when the day comes that I see Him, I will recognize Him and I will have His countenance engraven on mine. How incredible will that day be? I can´t even imagine how joyful and marvelous that day will be. I know that He lives and loves each of us. I know that He is my King, and I want to be able to do anything for Him. I know that He will come again, and we as missionaries are preparing the way before Him...how fantastic a calling is that?! Preparing the way before the Lord.
I also had an experience that strengthened my testimony that God loves and watches out for His missionaries. We were in Nopaltepec this week on Thursday visiting one of my conversos that is struggling a little bit and checking some old investigators. Nopaltepec is about an hour away from San Juan (where we live) in bus. The last bus apparently leaves at 6...but we didn´t finish until 6 15, and we were trying to figure out how in the world we were going to get back to San Juan. We asked an older man when the last combi passed for Otumba, because from Otumba we can take a combi to San Juan, but instead of telling us he offered us a ride. He happened to be in Nopaltepec and happened to be going to the exact spot where we needed to go and happened to have a car, and happened to be nice enough to give us a ride. So we got in his old rusty red Datsun and he took us back to San Sebastian where we had an appointment and where we could walk home in less than 20 minutes. It was a show of God´s loves for us. I was a little nervous about getting in a strangers car in the middle of nowhere in Mexico, but I didn´t feel anything bad, and the Spirit will warn us of dangers if we are willing to listen. That was my cool experience for the week
Also, to answer Mom´s question about keeping the commandments versus enduring to the end...there is a huge difference. Our journey to the Celestial Kingdom is like climbing a mountain, there are checkpoints a long the way such as baptism and the temple. If we keep all the commandments and make all the covenants we will reach a certain point on the mountain, but we will not reach the top. Enduring to the end means that we must "seguir adelante con firmeza en Cristo, teniendo un amor perfecto de Dios y de todos los hombres..." (2 Nefi 31:20 i think...it is towards the end of the chapter) I can keep all the commandments and maintain my spiritual standing, but to reach the summit we have to keep pushing and "improve until the end." We cannot be satisfied with simply keeping the commandments because we have to, but develop a love for Christ so that we keep them out of love and so that we can always be "abounding in good works." Keeping the commandments implies complacency and stymied progress, persevering to the end implies action and a relentless search for ways to improve and do better. But those are just my thoughts...take them or leave them.
Jason Mills I got the letters from your family and I loved them. It sounds like everything is going well for you and that makes me happy. I am happy that you are enjoying Chamber Choir...be sure to keep Cameron in line. I appreciated and use dthe advice from your parents...it is always nice to get advice from former missionaries. I don´t think Jason would like Mexico very much because there are a lot of bugs...and everything is very dirty. Keep choosing the right Jason!
Well, my time is short. I love you all soo much and I learn a lot from your letters. I had an awesome experience this week with one of Darci´s letters, but I will have to tell you about it next week. I love you all soooo much, keep choosing the right and keep reading your scriptures, praying and practicing your piano.