"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." 2 Nephi 31:20

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Letter #9

Family and Friends,

Sorry I forgot to mention that my preparation day would be changed to Saturday. I am still alive, although rather anxious/nervous about getting to Mexico. It feels like I am leaving home again. Also, it is rough to realize that here at the MTC everything is really nothing like what it will be in Mexico. I guess I'm experiencing a pre-shock to the culture shock I know will be coming. So, I suppose the best thing to do is pretend to enjoy it. We've been rushing around a lot lately, which just makes you more stressed. But, our district seems to be doing well nonetheless. This week there are 4 districts in our zone leaving (roughly half our zone if not more). So it's a big time.
On Tuesday I got to go to the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City to sign my visa. What we had thought would be an awesome trip to the outside world turned out to be a little odd. You forget while in the MTC that things still exist outside, so it was interesting to drive past all the places that I would go to during my time at BYU. While we were getting processed at the consulate I was standing in line with two Elders from our zone (Elders Rodriguez and Vargas) and was just talking to them. Nothing special, right? Apparently while Elder Cox was sitting in the back of the room (he was already done) he turned to the Elder next to him and asked, "Do you see those three Mexicans in line?" The Elder then said yes and thought I was Mexican for the rest of the trip. I guess its a compliment since I'm headed there, but Elder Cox couldn't stop laughing.
Injury struck two Elders in our zone as one dislocated his shoulder and another one got a concussion. It was both of their first weeks, so they still have some time to recover, but sad nonetheless. Elder Cox was one of the Elder's hosts and so he checked up on him often. During gym time Elder Cox went to sit next to him (the concussed Elder) and visit with him. Elder Cox mentioned that he was leaving on Monday and since the Elder was still so emotional from his concussion he could not stop crying. Any time someone asked what was wrong he just whined, "Elder Cox is leaving on Monday!" After that he went around the gym telling everyone how great a missionary Elder Cox is going to be. But what makes it funnier is that night when he was off his pain-killers, he couldn't remember a thing. He still doesn't believe that he did it.
Anyway, this is my last email from the United States and it is odd how Monday is approaching so fast. Hopefully Derek (my brother) will send out instructions to mail things to Mexico if you so choose or even just using the Church pouch system (he'll explain it somehow, eventually). I'll write anyone back who writes me and so far I think I am keeping that promise. Let me know if I'm not and I'll try to get my act together.
But now, I want to share something that has helped me get through nine weeks of difficulty here, and will hopefully help me and you throughout the rest of our lives. It all traces back to Luke 17:32 "Remember Lot's Wife". So just keep that scripture in the back of your mind. But then it also has traces back to my favorite scripture of Christ in John 15:13 that says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that layeth his life down for his friends." (That was a paraphrase). So with that, going back to Luke. Read the next verse, Luke 17:33.

--Continued from previously sent e-mail, which he thought he had deleted--

Family and Friends,

Well, I just deleted the large email I wrote to you. It's pretty depressing. Don't even know how I did it. But, here is the nine minute version of what I said (since that is all the time I have left)
Elder Cox got another Elder to believe I was Mexican while we were at the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City last Tuesday.
I forgot to mention to you that my preparation day was changed, so, I hope no one freaked out cause they didn't get an email yesterday. I'm alive.
I'm pretty anxious and nervous about finally heading to Mexico. It's like I am leaving home again.
Now, I was describing something that I found helpful to make it through hard times. First of all, yes, I am a missionary. But I am still just the average Caleb I was before I left. No different than anyone who will read this email. Human. We make mistakes. And something I mentioned earlier in my mission was Luke 17:32 "Remember Lot's Wife". Basically saying, never look back. But really never look back longingly. But now it is important to know my favorite scripture about Christ: "Greater love hath no man than this, that layeth his life down for his friends" (John 15:13 more or less). Then read the verse after the original in Luke 17:33. While there are so many other things I could be doing with my life, I ask myself, is that what I want? Think about that for your life, is what you are doing getting you to where you want to be?
I hope to spend the next two years of my life in Mexico doing the best I can for my future friends there, laying down my life for them.
Keep love in your hearts through service.
I'm sorry it's so short.
I wish you all well,
Elder Caleb Andrews
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