Monday, August 30, 2010

August 16, 2010

Baptism of Jose.
TACOS! Those are real tacos, and they are sooooooooooooooooooooo good. About 3-4 inches in diameter and *Homer sound*. They are called tacos al pastor. They are tortilla, meat, celantro, and onion. You put a salsa and salsa de guacamole, which is NOT guacamole, pico de gallo salsa, and if you want, lemon and pineapple. Amazing.

Cars get wierd here.

Familia Gaona. This couple is going to get married, and baptized this saturday. I am so happy their daughter will now have a secure place to be raised in, a place where she can find true refuge, and an example.


Haha, no, the knee is doing great, and I`m very careful to not do anything that would hurt it, after all, I can`t invite others to come unto Christ if I can`t walk :). Ya, that was one of the exercises that she gave that I have been doing. The problem is I have to give a call in report every morning during exercise time, but I can at least do that one while I`m in the chair giving the report. Thanks for the reminder, I have forgotten about that today.

I`m happy to hear that all is well at home. Especially Merlin, I honestly expected to hear that you had put him down this week. Ya, that sounds like a movie that Ben would like. Definitely have to watch when I return. That`s awesome that the Facebook thing is finally oging to leave! CONGRATULATIONS! Other thing on the list....this thing is going to be huge really quick. But, I completed 7 months this week. Can you believe 7 months have gone by!? It`s intense.

Ya, there is a very odd culture here that is beautiful and...something else at the same time. They have their traditions of the indians, but then it is mixed with spain and catholicism, and EVERYBODY here is catholic. Honestly, it`s like the entire republic is Utah for catholics. So you`ll see elements of native indians mixed with crosses or bloody Jesuses. They even crucify people here. No, seriously. For certain holidays there are people that are paid to be crucified. Ya.

Well, this week was super interesting. We have an assistant to the president with us until he finishes his mission in 2 weeks, and he is training us all basically. President is putting a toooon of emphasis on Uruapan. In our District Meeting last week, to end Elder Burciaga, the asistant, said we are all going to give each other blessings. So we all gave blessings to the person on our left, one by one, all participating in the same blessing. By the third, everyone`s arms were really tired. By the 11th we had to rest every time. On the last one, I noticed that I was a little less tired than everyone else, I will hold my hands up a little so that the others can rest on my hands, and the person recieving the blessing doesn`t snap his neck. I decided also that this would be a symbol of how I would work in the week, and resolved to not let up. About 5 seconds in, my arm started hurting. I thought, Uh oh. I started praying for strength to keep my arm steady. By the end I was just pleading in my mind, please, please, move your arms. I can`t do this, please, just stop being so heavy! But I endured, the blessing ended, and we were able to rest. I realized afterwards, that is a symbol of the sacrifice of Christ. He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, suffering for us all, pleading, stop! Stop sinning! Please stop, but I will suffer it all. In an infinitely small way, I have understood the Atonement a little more.

Afterwards we worked super hard. Nos negreamos. (We negroed ourselves. Yes, they really say that here. It`s really weird.) But we have seen some amazing miracles.

We had a baptism this week, a teenager of 14. He is the first of his family to be baptized, and his sister and brother in law will join him this saturday. They needed to be at church one more time to be able to do that though, and they told us there would be no problem arriving solos. But they weren`t there when we arrived. After the sacraments, they still hadn`t arrived. I had been praying, God, I`ve done all I can this week. Me and Elder Rojas have worked hard. It is out of our hands now though, help them to arrive. But they didn`t. I honestly faltered in my faith. I started to wonder, I have done everything the leaders have asked of me, I have been obedient, and they told us that if we do it, we will have success, but we have none! I started to think, maybe I could have done more, I don`t know. Elder Rojas came to me asking, what do we do? I said, I want to go for them. I then thought, Seriously? I want to do that? Whatever, let`s role. We jumped in a taxi and went to their house. They weren`t there. We returned to the capilla, had a meeting with the ward and Zone Leaders. Afterwards I told the situation to Elder Barnes, our Leader, asking for suggestions about how we can improve. He just said, I`m sorry. And then, a split second after that, I saw the family leaving from one of the rooms! We ushered them into the next wards sacrament meeting, and baptized Jose an hour later. It was truly after I had given all, that God blessed us to be able to participate succesfully in His work. It was an honestly amazing experience, and lesson on what truly is faith.

And now it`s time for my, MICELANIOUS THINGS OF THE WEEK!
I can`t really think of a category for these two things, so they started this new segment.

1. We contacted this lady in the week, and she responded, Oh, no thank you, I believe in God. I explained that we too believe in God, and Christ. She asked, Wait, you`re not atheists? No...Oh, OK, I thought you were athiests. Well, when can we share this message? Oh, no, I`m Catholic...fantastic...thanks...

2. People marry young here. Like, super young. Like, 17. That seems to be the average, 17-18. We have one investigator that is 14 and wants to get married with this 24 year old creep. Think Utah`s bad? Try Mexico. Honestly, these people are so amazing, but they just...lose focus really easily.

Well, I know this Church is true, I know that God wants to give us blessings according to our faith, and that he is very involved in the lives of His children.

And I think that`s all this week family.


Elder Joseph Neil Newell

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