News and updates... Well, Elder's Gamboa's finished his six months here in the offices and he's trained his replacement, Elder Rocha. On Monday he'll be leaving to his new area (who-knows-where). Included is the knighting photo, and of course the ritual binder-passing-off.
Because of Carnaval (wild crazy carnival parade/festival/drunken riot party), we spent last weekend with our zone leaders in Volcanes. It was pretty fun, and nice to just get out and work in the streets for more time. Also, I ate a pig's foot. Just in case you wanted to know. And no, it was not attached to the pig. In case you were worried... You know, "eat the pig before it eats you"--no, it wasn't that kind of situation. It was in a soup. I'm 80% sure it was meant to be in there, so it's ok.
Jokes aside, I also found this very serious warning on the wall of the friendly neighborhood Christian church. You decide...
Cesar and Lupe got married, which was a huge miracle. Now, they just have to get baptized... and confirmed... and sealed... but one step at a time. Let's start with going to church tomorrow. They were really happy, though. I could tell, in spite of Cesar's jokes about cold feet and "there's-still-time-to-back-out." Ha ha. Ha ha.
I heard a story today, about a conversion story of a member who was one of the first (according to them, he was the first... maybe it's true, I don't know) members baptized in Xalapa. In those days, when the Church first arrived in Mexico, all of the missionaries were "gringos." And they got a lot of flak. Many people believed they were sons of Satan, that kind of thing (well, maybe things haven't completely changed). Anyway, the point is, there was one lady who was so offended when she saw the missionaries pass by, that she would heat water when she knew they would be passing by so she could toss boiling water on them. Thanks goodness that doesn't happen anymore, right? I hope my fellow missionaries are laughing with me... If this is a sore point (ok, maybe I'm not quite ready to set aside the jokes... hehe) for anyone out there, I'm sorry. But the member told us that he was just a kid when one day, two Americans come running in through their house's open door and, in their broken Spanish, apologize but insist that they couldn't leave just then because there was a crazy lady outside who'd been chasing them gleefully with a pot of boiling water. Of course that gets the family's attention, they decide to listen to the missionaries' message, and they all end up deciding to get baptized. At risk of sounding cliche, the Lord works in mysterious ways.
Scripture for this week:
And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto you that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him, that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received.
And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.
Do we also need to be awakened to a sense of our duty to God? I do. Often. And part of fulfilling that duty to God, part of what he asks of us, is in verse 23. I see a clear parallel with Moroni 7:45-48, which tells us that the way to do/accomplish all of those things is to develop and receive the gift of charity, and in Galatians 5:22-23 it clearly tells us that the Spirit is the way by which we will be able to receive it. "Asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive." We ask God and we show Him with our actions that we desire it, and he sends us His Spirit to help us be able to do it, and we recognize His hand in it and give Him thanks, and all the credit, because it's rightly His.
For a good part of that chapter, Alma talks about the Savior. It's Him our Heavenly Father has held up as the perfect example of this. When we study His life and try to be more like Him, when we rely on His help and His grace, we really can make progress. I'm feeling it here, and I don't want it to ever stop.
With all my love,
Elder Rob Weatherford