|Baptism of Graciano Garcia Dominguez|
I can't believe I already hit 2 months last Saturday, I'm nearing 10% completion of my mission already!! That's super exciting but also I little nerve racking because I want to be able to grow a heck of a lot more before my time is up, so please slow this train down a little! Ha ha! The Mission life is the hardest thing I've ever experienced, but also the most incredible, rewarding, spiritual, beneficial and purely awesome:D Alright so this week was super busy and crazy. We have been continuing preparing some of our investigators for baptism. The first is a 73 year-old man named Graciano Garcia who I'm pleased to announce was baptized this last Sunday April 19, 2015 by my companion Elder Toledano!!! The actual baptismal service was a little disorganized since my companion and I hardly had any time to plan it, but I really liked the simpleness and humility of it. It was nothing more than a few hymns, a few spiritual thoughts, the actual ordinance and a welcome to the ward, but I felt the Spirit strongly the whole time and could tell that it was a very special experience for Graciano. Also we have him scheduled to be confirmed next Sunday in sacrament meeting and he asked me to perform the confirmation! Wow what a blessing:) I'm pretty terrified in reality because I've never done a confirmation before and it's in Spanish in front of the entire ward, but I know that if I study hard and prepare as best I can, the Spirit will fill my mouth and help me to accomplish this great task.
|The program from Graciano's baptism|
Then the other investigators close to baptism still need to get married and we have been helping them raise money to be able to. We have been working with another member of our ward to make little pastries and also tortillas to sell to other members of the ward. It's been a little harder than we expected, but I've really enjoyed doing this service and I hope we can get them married soon so they can be baptized as a family. Also during one of our lessons with this family, all the kids were together in the house for the first time (they have 6 kids). It was a really spiritual experience teaching them about the importance of family prayer, scripture study, family home evening and also to just plan something fun to do as a family every once in a while. At the end of the lesson my companion and I asked Jorge (the father) if he would like to say the closing prayer. He was a little hesitant at first, but proceeded and during the prayer he expressed his thankfulness for his family and then was silent for a while. He was overwhelmed with emotion and I could tell that the Spirit had touched his heart through our lesson. Finally he gathered himself and finished his humble prayer to his heavenly father and we said our goodbyes for the night. I'm super grateful to be able to see the influence of the Spirit in these people's lives.
We have a lot of other investigators we are teaching right now, but so far none of them have been progressing, meaning they aren't coming to church or following up on commitments, but I keep praying that something will click within them, to spark the desire to truly allow the gospel to change their lives. It's a little hard at times to be patient with this, but it's been really good for me to learn this lesson of patience because I know I'll need a lot of it for the remainder of my mission and life in general.
|My companion Elder Toledano and me at the Monterrey Temple!!|
Today I had the opportunity to attend the Monterrey Temple early in the morning. It was my first time going through in Spanish, so it was a little strange, but for the most part I was able to understand everything which was really cool because there's no way I would have been able to understand as much as I did without the Spirit and the gift of tongues. The Temple isn't actually in my mission; it's just outside, but we still have the opportunity to go there once during every six week period. I feel super blessed to have this opportunity:) The Temple is located in a huge valley without tall mountains on either side covered with green vegetation and trees, and in a very nice part of town. Afterwards we walked to a taco stand for some street tacos which were delicious!
|My District at the Monterrey Temple!!|
Alright so about the language. It's been a crazy ride for sure with times where I feel I'm finally catching on, only to find myself totally confused in the next experience. Overall I know that I'm making progress little by little every day. The important thing I have been trying to keep in mind is that no one is expecting me to be an expert in the language...I mean I have only been out for 2 months. Plus ultimately, as long as I am working hard to improve every day, I will reach the levels I need to reach when I am needed in the process of someone's conversion. There is a path set for me, all I need to do is keep at it, and trust in the Lord.
The weather has been super sporadic lately. One day it's almost 100 degrees, the next it's overcast at 70-75 degrees, and then it's downpouring so hard that the streets are overcome by rivers of water the next day. It's actually kind of nice to have a mixture like this because it keeps things interesting for sure. I've been hearing a lot about the super hot season the locals call the "canicula" :P which lasts from around June-August and where it's constantly above 100 and sometimes reaches as high as 120-125. Yikes! That'll be fun.
Oh and also I had my first Zone Conference last Wednesday which was super cool. President Bird, Hermana Bird and the 2 assistants to the president came and we had a big meeting of learning, sharing and practicing. Also we had some snacks and I got a Milky Way since my birthday is coming up, yummmm!
|My District Leader from the CCM and I, reunited!|
|My study area now that I've started to get settled:)|
|The "boxed milk" that I heard about. It actually lasts way longer than refrigerated milk since it doesn't need to be refrigerated until it's opened. I had a bad experience with the refrigerated milk at the store so I'm sticking with the boxed kind:P|