"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, April 8, 2013

Letter #30 from Mexico

Friends and Family,

This week we went back to Tacotalpa for the Hernandez family. There they were waiting for us. Still with many questions but still eager to hear us. We found ourselves going to Tacotalpa with a differecnt crew than the one we had originally planned. Last second we rounded up what turned out to be the perfect team. This week we went with Hna. Selva (her name literally translated is "jungle"), her 19-year-old daughter, and an 18-year-old who leaves for his mission this week. Now, you need to know a little background. The Hernandez family is very Catholic. The Hna. Selva was very Catholic. Hna Milili, Elder Hernandez's mother is divorced. Hna. Selva is divorced. Hna. Milili works hard to provide the best she can for her kids and put them through school. Hna. Selva does the same. I hope you are starting to see the "coincidences". Long story short, we unded up walking into this lesson with the Dream Team.

While there they were amazed at what we taught in the second lesson, which is the Plan of Salvation. They were even more amazed when we showed them that it was in the Bible. Better yet, it was in their Bible. It wasn't all just a nice, big, "wouldn't it be cool if..." of some Mormon invention. They were amazed that there was so much knowledge in the Bible that they had simply managed to thumb over somehow. We taught the best lesson on the Plan of Salvation that I ever had. Same for Elder Cabral. We came down to the three degrees of glory at the end of the plan. We read about them in 1 Corinthians 15:40-42. Not only were they amazed that the Bible even mentioned the three degrees of glory, we used this opportunity in a manner that we never had before. We began to explain that in this scripture we could see that the Bible is incomplete. And how is that? We drew special attention to the fact that it talks about two degrees of bodies, but in the next verse likens these two bodies to three different symbols. We took the time to make another symbolical example about the truth and light that the Bible had and reaffirmed that there were certain truths that had been changed during the time of the Great Apostasy.This was one of them. Clear for any seeker of truth or second grade mathmetician, 2 does not equal three. They needed an answer. We once again affirmed that by using both the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and modern-day revelation they too could have the answers. We explained the types of people that would go to each degree of glory and likened that too in a way we had never done before. That those who attain the highest glory, the glory of the sun, the celestial kingdom, accepted and applied all truth, while those of the lesser glories either did not accept or did not apply the truth. Would you enjoy a life walking solely by the light of the stars? Sure, it may be romantic, but every day, all day? Accept what is right in front of you was our plea. And it was a plea well received. So well received in fact, that they tracked down a neighbor that was walking down the street so that she too could know that the Mormons believed in the Bible and that the Mormons actually knew something that they didn't. Seekers of truth will find, if they use their tools. Imagine building something. Anything. Without tools. There is a difference our day looks different than the stone age. Don't let your religious life look the same. After all, a man cannot be saved in ignorance.

Conference was good. Everything went well. I had to watch it all in Spanish. I can understand it all, but didn't get as much out of it as I would have liked. You lose a lot when it is not their orignal voice. Also, we were preparing for a baptism Saturday. Two actually. We got there early to drain, clean, and refill the baptismal font. As Elder Cabral and I were working on draining the font, water started to rush out. Quickly the font was filling even when we told it to stop. The font had never been so full, how nice. But if we did not act soon, the chapel would have never been so full of water. So, we threw off our suit coats, our ties, everything we had in our pockets and got to work with the buckets to dispose of the ever-rising water. After 30 minutes of running with full buckets of water in and out of the chapel, the other missionaries showed up and helped us to clean up some of the water on the floor. Then, we tried again. We got the font down to about a foot of water, rather than about 4. And the water started gushing out again. And again we went with the buckets. In the meantime we were frantically calling the Bishop to figure out what had possessed these pipes. So, as one of the sessions were about to start, along came some aid and we got it all figured out. The baptism went well and no one ever knew that the chapel almost flooded. Twice.

We are working with Hno. Leonardo as well. But he informed us that he is thinking about separating from his wife, who is a member. He loves the Church but is lost, confused, and just feeling terrible. But we have a plan. :)

May God always bless you through your diligence to seek Him,
Elder Andrews

P.S. Next week Elder Cabral and I are headed to Palenque. I kinda used my birthday as an excuse. So, if you want to take part in something awesome, in your studies of the scriptures, you should start to think about trees and seeds. Why are they always used in symbolism? Jesus used the mustard seed for faith. Other prophets in whatever scriptures you are reading often use trees in their teachings as well.
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