So many cool things happening out here in Mixquiahuala. First things first:
The Portillo Family got baptized! The day wasn't as crazy as we thought it would be--we were thinking about helping them get married, have their interviews and be baptized all in the same day, but we had a change of plans--so everything came out super smoothly. We went to their "wedding" on Wednesday (it was just a bunch of people crowded into a room while they signed some papers), had their baptismal interviews a few hours later, and then the baptismal service on Thursday. Still slightly hectic, but not too much so.
We also had some more investigators come to church this week, but they both need to get married to their current living partners; darn "free union". Actually one of them told us that she has absolutely no plans/desire to get married, so she just wants to separate from him. You can imagine our reactions of "ummm... I guess that's fine... It's not necessarily the best of the two options, but if that's what you want, then go for it.
In other news, I've decided I'm going to learn French. They had a few extra copies in the offices for a family in Molango, so they let Elder Morales and I snag a couple. It's gonna be awesome.
I also found this really sweet Rubik's cube in the Tianguis a few weeks ago; I never got around to taking a picture until now. Here's what it looks like solved:
...And then you mix it up...
Yeah, pretty loco.
I've also been amping up my photo-bombing abilities.
And last but certainly not least, I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish once again this morning. I can honestly say and testify that that book contains the words of God. I am incredibly grateful that I was able to finish it before General Conference this weekend; I've been doing a lot to prepare myself spiritually to learn from the words of President Monson and the apostles, and reading the Book of Mormon was one of my goals. Now I get to start in French :D
But seriously, get ready everyone. They're going to announce something big in General Conference. I can feel it in my bones...
Iré y haré,
I haven't much time to write this week, so I apologize for the incredibly brief email. We ate lunch with President and Sister Egbert this afternoon in Pachuca (a two-hour bus ride away), so we're pretty pressed for time. We finally got some good American food at Chile's, though, so it was totally worth it. I was finally able to confidently tell the waiter "Bring me your favorite thing on the menu and surprise me." You just can't do that in any old Mexican restaurant here. It just doesn't ever work out the way you want it to.
News for this week: we had our ward missionary activity based on Lehi's dream of the Tree of Life. It didn't go at all as planned. I don't think the members understand that the purpose of a ward MISSIONARY activity is to invite investigators, but we were still able to have some fun with it. Here's Sister Davis putting up the Tree of Life (made of lights).
We also had stake conference, so I got to see some of my great converts from back in Presas and help them along. They're doing well in most aspects, but I'll have to talk to the Elders there to give them a little more pushing in terms of their family scripture reading and prayers.
Other than that, we have only a few investigators that seem to be progressing nicely; most of them need to get married of stop drinking coffee, but we'll see what we can do in this next week. Our plans with the Portillo family have changed a bit so that they won't have the craziest day of their lives this Saturday; they'll be getting married on Wednesday, have their baptismal interviews a few hours later, and then be baptized Thursday morning. It's all coming together.
God is great, His work is amazing, and He's always right there helping us along the way. Don't forget to pray and read your scriptures always. You'll need it.
Iré y haré,
To be honest, we didn't have a whole lot happen this week; we're planning some pretty crazy stuff for the weeks to come, but this week was pretty... tranquilo. Calm, that's the word in english. Satan's working pretty hard, but we ain't letting that get us down. We keep working harder. The Portillo family is one prime example of this. They've been needing to get married for quite some time now so that the wife and children can be baptized. Every plan we've tried has fallen pretty flat recently for one reason or another; economic problems (it's like 1000 pesos to get married down here), matters of where they live, etc. Tuesday night we swung by to see what we could do to learn that Oliverio was going to leave for... some distant place (the name escapes me) to work for two weeks. He's been out of work for a while, so he needed the opportunity. It seems that it will be a constant job that will only permit him to come home every two weeks on the weekends, and then he'll ship off again. We were pretty much between the sword and the wall on this one... So we did something crazy...
I said lesson on Tuesday, I fervently looked for the Spirit to see what we could do, and Elder Morales and I came up with the craziest plan we could think of. In the words of Master of Disguise, "it's so crazy, it just might work!" Oliverio will come back really late on the 25th, a Friday. Saturday in the morning, they're going to go to the Presidency (they'll have their appointment and everything) and sign all of the papers to get married. Later that afternoon, Yanet, Joseph, and Naxalí are all going to have their baptismal interviews. As soon as they pass them, we'll have their baptismal service, and the following day in sacrament meeting, they'll be confirmed and Oliverio will ship off again that afternoon. "It's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant I tell you!" - Eezma.
We told them that it'll be the craziest day of their entire lives, but one to remember always. It'll be even crazier for us because we'll also be taking reports in the morning and signing the papers as their witnesses. We have two weeks to prep EVERYTHING so that it goes smoothly. We've got quite a bit of work cut out for us, but I think we can do it.
In other news, the new easter initiative is out. It's all the rage amongst the missionary community, and it should be all the rage amongst any community. #Aleluya is sweeping the nation! Share it with EVERYONE! Seriously, it's pretty great.
Here's the link to make it even easier:
You can also enjoy this picture my companion took of me playing with some rubber bands. I feel like it really brings out my jaw, but that could be just me.
That's all for this week. Share the video and the love with everyone!
Iré y haré,
This week has been quite special. Elder Morales and I hit the ground running when changes happened last Monday. We jumped into action and don't plan on stopping. We found quite a few new investigators, some of which accepted baptismal dates, and two of which came to church! One is Martín, a carpenter who is a reference from the sister missionaries here in Mixquiahuala. Supposedly they contacted him and explained that where he lives is part of our area, and he ran into them like 3 times afterwards asking them when we were going to come by. We finally found him in his house, started teaching him and his friend/coworker Iván, and got him to come to church. We're not sure why Iván didn't come, but we have an appointment for this afternoon to interrogate--I mean--find out why.
The other investigator who came was Blanca. Elder Barrios and I found her a few weeks ago and she has changed drastically since our first visit. It was cordial and incredibly formal which an "Oh, how interesting" sort of vibe. Now she has a sincere desire to change her life. She's super addicted to coffee (booo!) even though she knows it's bad for her, so we're trying to get her to stop. Like, I think she's starting to get annoyed, but if that's what it takes, I'm okay with that. She said she felt good at church, so we just have to get her to keep coming and see how it goes.
Investigator number 3 was Cesar, the son of Carmen (the investigator baptized 2 weeks ago), and the brother of this guy right here!
That's right! Fernando got baptized! And Carmen told us that on Sunday, she didn't have to drag him out of bed (like we had to do last week -_-). He's getting a lot more excited about the church, and his attitude is already changing; he's known by pretty much everyone as Carmen's rebellious child, but not for long. In about 3 weeks, we'll chuck him in the waters of baptism as well, and in a year, they'll enter the temple and be sealed for time and all eternity. Yay, eternal families! :D
Having seen the grand changes in Carmen's family over the course of the past 2 months, it has really strengthened my testimony in the grand power that the restored gospel has to strengthen and bless families. When we teach about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it's one of the points we talk about. Normally, however, we only very briefly touch upon it; we don't go really in-depth with very many people. I've realized what a grand mistake that is (yes, even us missionaries make mistakes... quite a few of them, actually). The gospel of Jesus Christ, especially the fulness of the restored gospel, blesses our families so immensely but so subtly that we hardly even notice it until we're so united it hurts!... In a good way... There's a quote that I've taken to heart here in the mission field that says, "A missionary is someone who leaves their family for a while so that others can be with their families for the eternities." I've really come to know that that is true, and that only through the restored fulness of the gospel do we have that promise. Jesus Christ lives, He loves us, and He wants us to have an eternal family. To do so, we have to do things exactly the way HE has commanded us to do them; by no other means can we achieve salvation. Achieve your salvation and then help others to do the same. Don't wait. Today is the day.
Iré y haré,
LOCATE ELDER GROESBECK!
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE LOCATION ON MAP WHERE ELDER GROESBECK IS CURRENTLY SERVING IN MEXICO.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ELDER GROESBECK'S FAITH
This blog is edited by Elder Groesbeck's amazing, beautiful, younger sister Aubrie. I will post any update I get. Enjoy :)