There will never be enough time to type everything you should know about what has happened in the last week of transfers. So many stories with so many twists I could never get them all in. But we'll start somewhere as to give my mother an explanation of why in the world I would have taken out so much money from the ATM at 2 AM. I'm actually surprised she didn't ask.
So, Tuesday morning Elder Rangel and I get up early at 5 to head out early to Villahermosa and pick up our brand-new companions and make a few packing adjustments to put away the clothes that were still drying. It rained the previous day and so they never got the chance even with our fans blowing on them all day. Sadly, not much changed with out fans blowing on them all night either due to the continuing rain. But, it was time to go so I packed all my clothes wet. And so we make our way outside our second story apartment to find a taxi to get to the bus station. Still raining harder than ever I thought little of it all because, well, the inside of my suitcase was already wet from the suitcase, no? So we made our way down and set all my stuff under a rooftop out front. When to our surprise the streets were flooded. Our new Zone Leader called us to inform us that everyone could stay home until the rain passed, except for us two because we had to be in Villahermosa for a special meeting. How nice, right? So we crossed the river of water to our knees in search of some car that might take us to the bus station. All to no avail. Long story short, we were hopeless with abandoned cars with flooded-engines all around us. So, we decided to ask a huge favor from a member. We ended up waking him up to get him to take us to the bus station (commonly known here as ADO). But when he finally arrived with his brand new truck he had a surprised expression to see that we were wet. Haha. He had just bought his truck so he is still babying it a bit--not too hard to understand. So, we bought some garbage bags to cover the luggage and stuffed two other missionaries in the house across from us in his truck and Elder Rangel and I rode in the back making sure the luggage didn't fall out into the flooded streets. 30 minutes later we arrive to catch what happens the be one of the last buses that ever made it out of Mina that day.
So we made it to the meeting and that is a whole other story that I don't have time to share, so maybe we'll share it later. My new companion is Elder Rime from Huntingdon Beach, California. He is having a pretty rough time, but doing a lot better than I did. He gets down on himself a bit, but not without cause with what we would go through next. My eagerness towards Psycology has come in handy a lot.
Fast forward and President Morales told me to take my companion to Emiliano Zapata and stay there for the night and continue my journey to Candelaria the next day. Because we were opening a new area and there were so many missionaries they just didn't have more cell phones to give out. So we made our way there, and in Villahermosa before I left I made sure that multiple people called ahead to let them know we were coming and to make sure they would wait for us there. But, after the 3 hour bus ride to Zapata, we arrived around 10:30 and found no one. I asked one of the workers and they said the Mormons had just left not even thirty minutes earlier. So, not knowing where were were or telefphone numbers of any missionaries there, we were stuck. After trying to use the phone in the bus station that didn't get to Villahermosa for long-distance reasons we got kicked out because they were going to close. And thus, you see our picture below. What made it worse, it started to rain again and my shoes were already still wet. So, we found ourselves outside, alone, lost, and wet. But, we are in Mexico so at least I wasn't cold.
Finding myself with a missionary on his first day who clearly didn't speak Spanish, I told him to wait near the building with the bags and to scream if someone tried to come near him as I crossed the street to the hotel to see what help we could get. I felt like Joseph looking for the Inn, except for the Inn was empty and no one really wanted to even tell me that they weren't going to help. Finally I convinced some guy to let me send a message from his phone. I sent a message to Elder Rangel saying, "We need help. We are stuck. Don't respond. Call President. E. Andrews" Given the hour, he had gone to bed and the ringtones for messages are almost silent. So, we were left to ourselves until the morning. I went to the ATM at 2 AM because I realized I was out of money to even buy a drink of water, even less for our tickets for the next half of the journey. Eventually Elder Rangel saw the message when he woke up in the morning and was able to send some other missionaries to come get us at around 7 AM. They said no one ever called.
There is much more to say in this story, but these are the parts you need to know to really see the point I wish to make. I had been pondering much about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, how do you explain something that supposedly someone can feel and that they can't see? I have seen and lived through this experience that the Gift of the Holy Ghost is like when someone gives you a cell phone. It's yours and you see people tend to use theirs all day long. Have you ever seen what happens when you take away a cell phone from a teenager? They can't handle themselves, they go insane, they can't stay still. Take it away and they will act exactly how you would expect someone who once had the Spirit and then had it taken away from them. When I did not have a cell phone I was abandoned and left to sleep outside, alone, in the rain. The same happens when you do not have the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Just as sometimes you can borrow a cell phone and see how it is and use it sometimes, it is NOT the same as having the security and assurance that brings when you always have one with you.
I share not these things to complain, but to show that I am learning. I am happy. I am growing.
My prayer is that each person will be willing and worthy to have the Gift of the Holy Ghost with them constantly. Do whatever it takes to have that assurance with you always. You never know when you might need it most.
My love to you all,
P.S. After all the bumps here and there we made it to "El Tigre" some ruins here in my area. Enjoy some more photos from there.
Translation: El Tigre = The Tiger