¡Hola Hola Hola!
This week was a great last week in Citrus Heights. I had to go to the Mexican Consulate three times! Which was kind of frustrating but we finally got my visa finalized and taken care of. Even though I was only in California for like three weeks, I grew to love the people and the ward so much.
One experience I had this week, which was big for me-- for the last couple weeks, we have been teaching this older man, but he hasn’t been very accepting of our message, and sadly last time, he told us that he does not think the Book of Mormon is the word of God and he doesn’t think that our message is true. He was baptized in the church a few years ago, but he said he never believed it was true. So we went to his house on Thursday to discuss the situation, and he was standing outside all alone. He has been fairly rude to us at times, but I saw him out there and I just felt so much love for him! I felt so sad that he was rejecting this message. During our visit with him, I was overcome with this feeling of sadness, which I am sure that Jesus Christ feels, when people refuse to come to Him. This man ultimately accepted that we would no longer visit him, but we were there to help if he ever needed service. I was able to testify of the truthfulness of this Gospel, and I don’t think I have ever realized how strongly I know this Church is true, until this time. I think to some degree, I began to feel charity for this man, who I so greatly desired to see accept our message. Our message is a message of hope, of eternal happiness, and especially of love--the love of God. I know that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today.
We also had three great lessons with a familia where we got to discuss the Plan of Salvation in greater detail, because they had lots of questions! They have been keeping their commitments to read, and we are hoping that they will be able to come to Church (even though I am already gone), and eventually be accept an invitation to baptism! They are such a wonderful family and I already miss them so much.
I said goodbye to my companions, Elders Soto y Escalante on Sunday night, and slept at the mission home! President Marston took me to the Sacramento airport Monday morning early, early, early. Monday was a long day. I met two other Elders in Salt Lake, who are in the Culiacan mission! Elders Erickson and Finkner. We flew from Salt Lake to Mexico City to Culiacan. My first meal in Mexico was great...Subway haha! It’s so weird seeing a sub cost $87...but it’s in pesos. So weird. ALSO! I sat next to the sweetest lady from Canada on the plane from Salt Lake. We talked for like two hours! We talked a bit throughout the flight, then about the church, but very little, and as we were beginning to descend, I told myself, ¨I have to talk to her about the Church,¨ but I got nervous! I finally got the courage to bring it up, and I was able to bear my testimony to her about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, and she accepted my invitation to accept the Book of Mormon and learn more about the Church! I’ve been out for a few weeks already, but it can still be tough to open up. But the Gospel should be preached to everyone. And we should want to share the happiness we feel, with everyone!
Culiacan is so incredibly beautiful! It is so great to see how green it is, it reminds me of home! And it is right on the ocean. AND there are mountains. It’s perfect. It has everything.
So funny story, I arrived at the Mission Office where we meet the Mission President, and I found out that they didn’t know that I was coming today! Apparently they thought I was coming on the 14th of September (when I was originally supposed to leave the MTC), then the 23rd, and then they had no idea! So I didn’t have an assigned companion or anything, so I will be in a trio again for a couple weeks until I get my more permanent companion.
It is so hot and humid here in Culiacán, one of the first things they gave us at the Mission Office was a hand towel to wipe off sweat! It will take getting used to, but if other people can live here just fine, so can I! I already saw a scorpion, it was right next to my foot and I didn’t even freak out. And I’m eating tomatoes.
I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be serving here in the Culiacan mission; I know that it is where God wants me to be. I cannot wait to begin sharing my beliefs with the people here in Culiacan. I know that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ. I know that everyone can come closer to God by reading the Book of Mormon. It truly is the word of God. I have received answers to my prayers each day I read, no matter where I read. It truly is Another Testament of Christ, as it claims to be.
¡Les amo y les extraño mucho!
"I'm in heaven!"
"My first real meal in Mexico."
"The Master Chef! Homemade tortillas!"