But, as you can see, we had a baptism! His name's Idris, and his mother (Laura) and sister (Laura also) are recent converts of a little over a year. He hadn't showed a whole lot of interest before, but we kept on with him and something changed. He prepared himself extremely rapidly and he was baptized yesterday. That something that changed was that he received an answer about the Book of Mormon. Before, it was curiousity, then real interest, but it wasn't until he told us that he had received an answer to his prayer that his progress bloomed. And he was so ready to be baptized. I love that family.
Today, we hung out with the zone leaders again (I think I've mentioned, but I'm not sure--the other companionship of elders in our district are the ZLs, which is really nice) and went hiking in the mountains with the mission leader in Nogales and his son. We hitched a ride up to near the top, then took the trail to a place called "El Pico del Águila." There's an overhang of rock, with a tree at the end, and just beyond the tree is a drop. A large drop. And you can see for miles. Then we hiked down to the river, spent time down there, and then hiked back out. Along the way, we passed horses, donkeys, a couple herding their goats, turkeys, and a pig. And a lot of mud. We had a really good time :)
This week's going to be tough, but we're going to work hard and help those we're teaching however we can. In this fight, I'm beginning to really understand that we as missionaries are the front line in the Lord's army. I've actually felt that quite strongly in the last couple of weeks, that I'm fighting in a war. There are a lot of sorrows, but there are also a lot of joys. "Hope of Israel" just came into my mind, and that sums up pretty well how I've been feeling.
Stay tuned for more news about what's happening in Ciudad Mendoza, Veracruz, México, and whether or not I'm transferred at the end of this transfer! (I'm not saying I want to, but I've almost been here for three and a half months, so it's getting more and more likely... Tranfers are coming at the end of this month, so... we'll see, I guess.)
Élder Rob Weatherford
P.S. Sorry, I realized that I actually hadn't explained what a viejo was, because I had the cut a photo and the explanation to be able to send it. Viejos are scarecrow-like mannikins that a lot of people here make around New Year's and leave outside their homes in various poses, almost always (that I've seen) with bottles (either full or empty) of alcohol. On New Year's Eve, they're stuffed full of fireworks and burned, often in the street, when the clock strikes midnight.