"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

Monday, February 25, 2013

Is It Any Surprise?

Dear friends and family,

A lot has happened, and if you don't look carefully, well, you'd say it was just another week.

So, to clear a few things up from last week. About two hours after I told you that I would soon be training Elder Sanchez we got a call. Special Transfers. Elder Sanchez was getting sent to Palenque. So, we got him the the Mission Offices early Tuesday morning and then we were off. Elder Deem and I alone. And it's weird just having one companion now. But this all means that here in Las Mercedes, well, its all mine come this next week when Elder Deem goes home. Who knonws what will happen when the time comes, but when it does, I've got to be ready.

So, we've been working really hard this last week. Working hard to cover our area and working hard to really know where we are, who we are with, what is going on, along with a lot of other random fun facts. But, I'll just tell a few of our adventures this week.

To start out, our area is the largest in the mission. Which means travel is difficult. But, when things are difficult, you tend to learn to count your blessings. Since we don't have much money to travel, we find ourselves walking. With that, we find ourselves getting free rides from random people. Whether it is the Pochi driver (kinda like a gold-cart) who wants to practice his English, or some random inactive member from who knows where, they tend to find us. That, or the Bishop just happens to drive by. This last week we went to Teapa. It's really not ridiculously far away, but it does take an hour in one of those ghetto Nacho Libre school buses. Yes, they do exist, and they go to Teapa. (It's amazing how real Nacho Libre is. Everything is real.) So, we got to Teapa, where there haven't been missionaries for over a year. Elder Deem had only been there once in the last 4 months. So, we didn't have much to go on. But, we found some people and had a productive time there. But, the test comes when you try to get home. Don't push your luck too late, or you may just find yourself sleeping somewhere in Teapa. Because how do you find these Nacho Libre buses to take you back? Well, you wait on the street and signal you want on when one passes by. Supposedly one leaves every hour. But, what time in that hour? Who knows. So, we found ourselves waiting in Teapa for a Nacho Libre bus to pass by and pick us up. Thankfully one of the member kids decided to hang out with us while we waited. That consisted of him telling us to just speak in English and he would sit in the dirt and listen to how cool it was. That was fun. But, after a half hour of waiting, there was still no bus in sight. But, we were waiting right on the bridge, so if you were leaving Teapa, well, you'd pass right by us. All of a sudden, a large charter bus stopped right in front of us, right in front of the bridge. The doors opened and the conductor yelled at us to hop on in. It was odd because these buses never stopped. They were known for their reputation of never stopping--always direct. So, I hopped on up and Elder Deem followed me (he kind of had to). Upon getting on the bus I looked back to try and find a seat in the darkness. But to my surprise, the bus was empty. We were dead for sure. Maybe. But, it turned out that the conductor was a member who had been ordered to take the bus back to Villa to help with who knows what. He figured he'd help us out and get a little company. I have never gone faster on a two lane highway. It was awesome. And it even came with air conditioning. There are some perks to missionary work.

We also had a baptism this week of a teenager, Julio, 19, who found the church through his somewhat less-active brother. We haven't really been preparing Julio for his baptism, but to serve a mission since that is what he has told us already that he wants to do. He said from the beginning that he wanted to make these changes in his life so that others might be able to see that it is possilbe, and do the same for themselves. He even has been praying for the last three weeks that his mother might be able to feel what he has felt. Needless to say, God answers prayers. God touches hearts. And for that, Julio's mother practically begged us to begin teaching her.

This family has problems. But like any family with problems, they have potential. I'll add my witness to that of President Monson. That people can change. I've seen it many times. It's not something new, and it's not something that is going to stop.

Here in Mercedes the work is going great. There is a lot to be done. And we are going on a good path. I really am blessed to be here. Maybe having Colitis is worth it--even though I wouldn't recommend it. There are miracles coming, and I hope you can see the ones that have already passed.

Until next week, take care,
Elder Andrews
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