Monday, February 23, 2015

2015-2-23 Conozca a los Mormones. En serio, hágalo.‏ (Meet the Mormons. Seriously, do it.)

**Note from Kathy.  I have been sending his titles through the translator at spanishdict.com.  So, I thought I'd put the translation in parentheses.  So, there we are!

Finally saw Meet the Mormons! I guess I can't really say "finally," because it still doesn't officially come out in México until this Friday, but hearing about how good it was really had gotten me interested before! I honestly thought I'd have to wait until after the mission. But no, on Wednesday night I got a call from our leaders telling us that we'd be meeting the following morning in the chapel next to the temple to watch a movie! So, all in the same day I got to see the temple in Veracruz (sorry, they told us not to bring cameras), see a few missionary friends that I hadn't seen in a while, and watch my first movie that wasn't directly based on the Book of Mormon or the early Church for almost six months. No big deal.

I really liked Meet the Mormons, actually. It's going to supplement (maybe even surpass, I don't know) the "I'm a Mormon" campaign, and keep on helping to dispel myths and help people really see that we're actually pretty normal. But it's a fun movie, and I'd really recommend it to all. All proceeds are going to be donated--it's really purely for the purpose of "meeting the Mormons."

I'm going to cut this short here to have time to put photos, because this p-day we took some pictures! This is the first time I've been close to the ocean on my mission, and so even though we can't enjoy the beach in the way I might have liked, we can enjoy the statuery! (I need to admit at this time that I'm not 100% certain of the validity of that word. Ah well. I'll plead the "I've been speaking Spanish for six months" card.)

First, we have a comp photo of me and Élder Dawson from Phoenix, Arizona! 5 de Mayo in action! Kind of!
 




Next, we have a picture of me and Élder Carbine from Utah, a friendly face that arrived in the district recently from my old zone, Orizaba!
 
 

And lastly, well, me. With a diver. 
 
 

Ok. Final news... there's stake conference this weekend, which is good. A little less good, because it's made scheduling our baptism a little difficult. But I'm ok with that, because we actually have a baptism that we're able to schedule for this Saturday. Pray for Erwín! He's so close!

Con mucho amor,

Élder Rob Weatherford  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2015-2-16 Another week in the sun...

Let's start off with the street names here. They're super tough! We live close to a street called Revillagigedo, which is a mouthful in and of itself, but there's another one called Netzahualcoyotl. When you practice it a bit it's not so bad, like Baxcaxbaltépec or Cuahtémoc, but it took me about a week to get it down solid. At first, I'm sure I sounded like the gentleman I contacted last week. He spoke Spanish fluently, but he also happened to have no teeth, as I found out. That made it a little hard to understand him. Very nice, though.

Another full week in the port! I have tried a few new and interesting foods, including (wait for it...) meat al pastor! Still not tacos, but after a long day of divisions with an élder in Tecnológico we grabbed some "gringas al pastor" on the way back to the apartment. Kind of like quesadillas? Tortillas, meat, cheese, lettuce, habanero sauce, pineapple, lime... They were good. I also was invited to try orange slices with Valentina hot sauce. Interesting... I still haven't decided if I like it or not.

And, speaking of hot sauces, my companion and I both bought small bottles of habanero sauce that we're going to try and finish as soon as possible. I'm not going to use the word race, but that's pretty much what it is. It SAYS with drawings that it's "five out of five peppers spicy," but after trying it we were both disappointed. It's good, but not the heart-wrenchingly, tear-wringingly, soul-searingly spicy we were hoping for. Ah well. 

Last night we had a really special lesson with an investigator. He had some awkward experiences with missionaries in the past that kept pressuring him to get baptized, so in the beginning he really didn't want anything to do with us. He lives with his aunt and uncle and their family, who are less-active (in the process of reactivation :)) in the church, and so in visiting them, with time he started to listen to us, too. He accepted a baptismal date for very soon, and we're going to work hard with him to prepare him well. What changed was when he finally understood the necessity of reading the Book of Mormon and praying. He went to church on his own last week, and yesterday with his aunt. He's older, around 22, and told us yesterday that he'd received an answer. Last night we talked a little more about that, and he was telling us about his experiences, the problems that had started when he accepted his baptismal date. The challenges had started that very night, actually. But he said that he had been thinking a lot about Joseph Smith, and how he knew why the difficulties was happening, and what he needed to do. He told me, actually, almost out of the blue, "About my baptism... I've actually been thinking about it a lot, and..." That's when my breath caught for a second. Nothing good could finish that sentence, I was thinking. "...and, I don't know if it's possible, but if it is, could you be the one to do it?" He still has a way to go, and Satan's not going to give up, but I'll freely admit that my light was really light that night.

The Book of Mormon is the word of God, the Spirit is real, and it freely testifies of the truth to all who look for it.

With much love from Veracruz,

Élder Rob Weatherford

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

2015-2-3 ¡Cambios! (Changes!)‏

Yep, I'm no longer where I was. And where I was is no longer where I am. However, where I am is now currently where I am, and where I was is still where I left it. This morning. At five thirty this morning, to be precise. So I'm a little tired. But that's ok. It's not like I need to be able to concentrate this week, or anything. It's not like there's anyone important coming this Saturday to talk with the missionaries, or anything like that.

So, we had transfers! And I was, well, transferred! I now currently reside in the port city of Veracruz, Veracruz, México, in the area known as 5 de Mayo (after a street). It's actually a really small area, which is really odd after having a city practically to myself. Before, in a street contact, we just had to ask what city the person lived in to know if they were in the area. Now... I have to get them to point out the street/block. My new comp's name is Elder Dawson. Surprise! He's not a native Spanish speaker. He's from Phoenix, AZ, and he's been in the field for three months (that means he just finished his training). That means I'm what they call his "stepdad." Your "dad" is your trainer, and your next companion that follows is your "stepdad." I'm excited, and a little nervous, because that means that now I'm the one that's expected to be able to speak Spanish. I don't have pictures yet, but I'll try to send some next week. This area, I'm going to stress again, is VERY different from my old one. It's so tiny! And from the parts that I've seen, at least, it's pure neighborhood. We had to leave our zone (by crossing a couple of streets, actually), with permission from the ZLs, of course, just to buy groceries this morning. It's going to be different, and difficult to work. But, we'll find a way. Or, more precisely, the Spirit's going to tell us what we need to do and we're going to do it.

This past week, that I spent in Ciudad Mendoza, actually went really well. We found people to teach, and a few of them actually went to church! It was tough leaving investigators, but it was even harder leaving converts and the other members there. They tell me your first area's the hardest, and I believe it. However, I'm here now, so whatever comes should be easier, I hope.

This week, this week, let's see...

A few days ago, we were eating with a part-member family. The spouse of the husband, a devout atheist, was joking around with his family. We talked a little bit about the Gospel, but he didn't want anything to do with it. When we stood up to leave after the meal, however, he told us, "Que Alá los proteja" (May Allah protect you), so I feel like we made some progress there. 

Also, we had the fun experience of changing a baptismal date. We invited someone to be baptized on February 29th, and she accepted it really well. However, we had to go back the next day and make a small modification. The conversation went something like this: "Hey, Xenia, remember your baptismal date?" "Yeah, sure, the 29th of February, right?" "Yeah, here's the thing... We discovered that that day doesn't exist. How does the first of March sound?" However, not to fear, the date was accepted, and there was much rejoicing among the angels in heaven, albeit combined with a fair amount of facepalming. 

So that's what I have time for today. I'm sorry, I'll try to send pictures next week, and hopefully I'll be able to talk more about the work here. Stay strong, drink milk, and read your scriptures!

Love,

Élder Rob Weatherford