All of the little seeds we've planted here have suddenly sprouted up and are growing way fast! Just might be due to the crazy amount of AGUA the heavens have been dumping on us... gaping holes in the "durable" shoes I bought a whole 4 weeks ago wouldn't bug me if every street we had to cross wasn't a rushing river, haha. It's really funn, though...to suddenly realize, "Hey, here I am in the cold pouring rain with about three miles left to walk in 15 minutes. How come I'm so happy?" Hahaha. Our recent convert Domingo told us yesterday, between comments about discovering that bugs have faces too and Obama is the greatest there is, that in the rain the other day he saw a guy with no coat and decided to give his coat to him, and when he walked away he felt such a great warmth and satisfaction that he didn't even feel the rain, even when it started coming down harder. I testify that any physical discomfort of the mission fades away if we're lost in the work. In a more general sense, really our circumstances should never have any affect on our happiness if we're doing all in our power to follow Jesus Christ. There is just no amount of pouring rain, no temperature too freezing, no sun too blazing, no hail too big, no amount of pain in your feet or head, no backpack too heavy, that can't be overcome or ignored completely through what the Holy Ghost brings us as we serve. The Holy Ghost is stronger than ALL that. In a similar way, the evidence that the Holy Ghost gives us is infinitely stronger than anything we could ever see with our eyes. We could be standing in front of Jesus Christ himself, looking right at the marks in His hands, and still not be any closer to knowing that He exists and died for us if we don't allow the Spirit to enter our hearts. It's a matter of being humble. The "happiness" matter aside, my body definitely has taken quite the hit in the almost-year I've been in Mexico, jeje. It's super sweet though because I feel kinda like I have robot legs or something. I can be walking or I can be sitting and it's almost the same feeling! Even though we walk probably 7 or 8 hours per day, I end up more exhausted in my mind than in my body usually. Fun fact for ya: somewhere along the road I think I permanently lost some of my toenails to the Mexico streets...they just kinda faded away and aren't really growing back... #WhatILeftinMexico. I also think it's time to finally come clean about what happened to me 4 months ago: I accidentally burnt off my eyelashes and eyebrows and hairline turning on the water heater. More on the "Parable of the Burnt Eyelashes" will come later (in 4 months), but until then, there's at least one more addition to my new favorite hashtag, #WhatILeftinMexico. But don't worry mom. The rainy Toluca weather has also provided the perfect environment for fast hair-growth...water, sun, the nourishment of the word of God have all handed me a hefty little hair-garden.
So 13 months have come and gone and I have some new additions to my list of "Mexico Is" (please excuse me if there are repeats)
doors without knobs. Tapping on windows. Candles, always lit, in front of the virgin. Long braids. Nylons and black leather shoes. Hand-juice-squeezers. 2-pocket aprons. Street-herb-vendors. The guy that walks around yelling "GAAAAAAAAAS" at 8 in the morning. Brutally honest people. Calling your kids slash family members "fatty" as an affectionate and very common nickname. House numbers that make no sense at all (#5 followed by #3006 would be normal). The honk/stare tactic of every taxi driver. Calling KFC "Kentoooooky." Pemex jumpsuits. Tipping every grocery store bagger. People adding "ation" to the end of every word and then laughing hysterically because apparently that makes everything sound like English. Meat that's green, on purpose. "Fue Asi." Julion Alvarez. Bonafont. Big men on little girl bikes. Mopping your porch and the street in front of your house, always. Random fireworks all throughout the day. The sound of a million dogs fighting at night.
I love Mexico.
In other news, my bishop is still probably the funniest person I've ever met. He either answers the phone every time saying "Kentucky Fried Chicken," "Hello Kitty," or "HOW ARE YOUUU" and when I didn't recognize his voice one time and asked who it was and he said "Batman." The best.
In other other news, my companion is suuuper funny and her favorite place in the world is Korea. At home she only watches Korean soap operas, listens to "K-Pop" Korean music (like in that episode of the Bach where they went to Korea with Juan Pablo), and wants to marry a Korean guy more than anything. Sometimes when she thinks I'm not listening she sings her K-Pop songs really quietly, which means she's singing in English with a Korean accent. The best.
As far as the work here in Morelos, IT WAS SUCH A GOOD GOOD WEEK. We have seen like three straight miracles in these last few weeks, and in the weeks that come we have 3 for-sure baptisms planned and 5 hopefuls. We contacted a reference named Rosie who had been listening to some missionaries in Arizona, accepted baptism in two seconds, and came to church with her son and her parents, Rosillo and Gregorio, who are also interested. Rosie will be getting baptized on the 27th. Also, our investigator Ada woke up at five with her husband on Saturday to go to the temple open-house and came yesterday with him. She's supposed to get baptized on the 19th, but if her husband wants to get baptized with her she'll have to wait fo the 27th as well. Vanessa also came and we had an awesome lesson with her, her baptismal date is officially the 27th but we'll see where we're at when the 20th comes around, that's a strong possibility. Also, an old investigator Alicia randomly texted me that she had gone to the temple with her family and loved it and so she'll be progressing again soon! Also, we've been teaching the husband of a member who told us "I've never told my wife or any other missionaries that have come teaching me this before, but I think I'm going to join the church. Not right now, in this moment, but soon." So that's some major progress because he's super closed. He came to church too. We found lots of new families as well this week, like Carmen's family and Magdelena's family and people that really have some potential to progress fast. I'm so happy. I'm so happy that Hermana Travassos is so happy. I love this church, and I feel as if this week my testimony progressed a lot. I just know without a single doubt that this IS the church of Jesus Christ, and THIS is the way to happiness. Us four missionaries in the ward bore our testimonies yesterday and it was such a good meeting, I loved hearing the testimony of a new missionary (Hermana Travassos) and a missionary about to bo home (Elder Evelyn). I'm so excited for all these new people and I KNOW that there are lots more out there waiting. I have at least three weeks left in Morelos, gotta make the most of it. I love you guys. So muuuch. t
Beeeeeeg Keeeeees Leeeeeetle Keeeees