Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dear Family,

I loved hearing that about Casey, he will make an awesome trainer and District leader. I am so grateful to have known such awesome guys. Not that you have to train and be a district leader to be awesome. It really does not matter where you serve or what assignment you have, or even how many baptisms you have. What matters is that you thrust in your sickle with all your heart might mind and strength. The interesting thing is that DL ZL trainer and assistant are all assignments...not callings. Our calling is to be missionaries, representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ. Here in Mexico it is a really big deal what assignment you had on your mission. All he RM´s say "o yeah I was a zone leader." Like it means they were a better missionary. I don´t like telling people that I am an assistant, because it doesn´t matter. What I do know is that Casey is giving everything he has to his mission, and it is changing him. That is the point of the mission, and that is what makes me soo happy.

This week went well for us and bad for the mission. We baptized Juana and Jose Luis. The last visit with Jose Luis before his baptism we were teaching about the temple to elevate their vision. Jose Luis started bearing his testimony about the Book of Mormon, about how there should be a copy of this book in every home and if so it would change the world. I loved it so much. It is so true that the Book of Mormon is the most powerful converting tool that we have. Juana wasn´t so sure she was ready to be baptized on Monday...but we visited her every day and had her read a chapter from the Book of Mormon everyday, and after a week she was just so excited to be baptized!! It is so awesome!!

As for Efra, we are still working of the drinking problem and the sleeping past church problem. We have basically dropped him until he is ready to really take the initiative to stop drinking. It´s not that he is an alcoholic, but he just likes it and doesn´t want to stop. Hector and Reyna had a family emergency this week and couldn´t go to church. We still need to find them to find out what is going on, but we will reschedule their baptism for the 14th. That is just kind of how the obra misional works...we find a lot of people...about a third go to church...and about 3/4th of those that go to church get baptized. The answer is just keep finding a ton of people every week...just keep teaching like crazy and using the Book of Mormon every time...and at the end of the week there should always be someone ready to make the baptismal covenant with their Heavenly Father. Everything is a process, God always works though processes.

Juana and Jose Luis
The third American on the baptismal picture is Kyle. He is the grandson of President Hicken and stayed with us for a couple days to work. He doesn´t speak any Spanish at all....which makes life a little difficult here in Mexico. We had him memorize sentences so that he could testify. He told us that we have funny accents in English. Like almost Mexican, but not quite...kind of like a mix between a Southern accent and a Mexican accent. I had no idea, I guess you guys will get to make fun of me a lot when I get home and have to speak English all day. I tried to speak in English to Kyle...but I would always have to correct myself from slipping into Spanish.

Today I was studying the 10 commandments. I was studying the first one. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. It talks about graven images...there are a lot of those here. But I was trying to figure out exactly what a graven image was. In Leviticus 26:1 it says that they are simply any object made with the end of worshipping it. Then the commandment goes off to talk about how God is a jealous God...which doesn´t make much sense since jealousy is bad and God is perfect. In the footnotes it says that the jealousy part comes from a Greek word that means sentimental, [or that want to say] that God has His feelings hurt when we worship other gods. That struck me...that God loves us so much, and has given us so much that His feelings are hurt when we reject Him. He loves us so much. Satan tries so hard to give us other gods so that through us he can hurt God. So, as John says...if we really love Him we will keep His commandments.

One last cool experience. I went on divisions with a young district leader this week who was really struggling. I wanted to have an awesomne day and teach a bunch of lessons and find a couple families...but we worked really hard all day...really really hard and had one lesson. That´s bad because we usually teach 6 or 7. I felt really dejected and we were walking back to the apartment when a woman contacted us at 8:57. (From Peggy: Missionaries are supposed to be in their apartments by 9:00) She said that she was going to be baptized in another city...but they had to move before they could be married and baptized. She asked us to come teach her family the next day. Just another miracle...never lose faith in the Lord. Love you all soo much, I think and pray for you.


Elder Nelson

Melissa thank you so much for the muddy buddies, they are soo good. Elder Bringhurst thinks so too. Mom, that popcorn was soo good. We buy popcorn from the corner store but it´s just not the same.

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