That's right folks, the changes are in! Elder Espinoza and I anxiously signed into my email to get the changes list, hoping the entire time that President Egbert was very merciful in allowing me to remain in Mixquiahuala for another cycle. Upon opening said changes list, I found that no, he wasn't so merciful, and I have been changed. I'm back in Tecamac! The difference is that this time I'm in Tecamac 2, but it still has all the same elements. Simply going grocery shopping today made me want to cry due to the shear size of the store; back in Mixquiahuala, there was pretty much nothing out there. Tecamac is the big city part of our mission, and it certainly isn't for the faint of heart. It was back in Tecamac where I got assaulted and learned to ride a bike like a Mexican. We'll see what adventures hold for me this time around. My new companion is Elder Mena, and he has the same amount of time as Elder Espinoza. Thus far he seems like a really good missionary. He says the zone got scared when they learned I was coming because they said that I'm really crazy, and Elder Mena is as well. I think this'll be a fun cycle with the zone.
Sunday night, Elder Espinoza and I planned a big ward Family Home Evening; seriously, we planned everything in about a week and were pretty darn proud of said plan. The theme was based on a story/song called "Te Hallaré mi querido amigo" (I will find you, my dear friend). It's an incredibly touching story about two friends in the pre-existence and how one promises the other that she'll find her friend to share the gospel with her. We based the activity on said story in the hopes that everyone would invite a friend to the activity. There were some that did, but the majority came with just their families. Exactly what we expected... and somewhat hoped for in order to bring the hammer down.
In the activity, we had various testimonies from some of the recent converts that had been found through referrals or efforts of the members. Karla and Melani shared about how Karla had been baptized 6 years ago but never confirmed and how Melani found her. President Lozano shared about how he gave Emanuel as a referral to us when he had been working side by side with him for some time. Even the Aguilar Benitez family (the purple door) shared the story of Lalo finding their house and their testimonies. In that moment, they shared with everyone how completely sure they felt about their baptism this Saturday (a tear was shed for not being able to be there). The Spirit was actually very strong in that meeting, but then we hit them with the video...
We worked with the bishop's daughter to create an amazing video filled with a mixture of powerful clips from general apostles (Elder Holland mainly) and photos of the members, either their baptisms, their missions, church activities, and whatever other photos we could collect from them. When the video finished, a rather large portion of the members were crying from the grand mixtuers of memories, music, and exhortations of the apostles. Elder Espinoza and I then stepped down to the center of the room, all eyes on us. It was then that I told the ward that the changes were in and that I was leaving the following morning. Gasps of a mixture of shock and depression echoed through the room, and as I began to express my appreciation for the members of Mixquiahuala, tears filled my eyes. For the first time in some 18 months, I cried in front of other people. And cried a lot... It took all my energy to keep it together to simply finish with my testimony.
Then it was Elder Espinoza's turn to talk. Tears filled his eyes as well as he testified of the things we had both learned in our cycle together and the miracles we had seen. After we finished with a prayer, they told the members that there were some refreshments in the kitchen, but not a single member left the room. Instead, they all stormed around me, congratulating me, saying goodbye, begging me to take photos with them. It was absolutely beautiful.
Then Adriana (purple door) made my heart melt. She came up and said, "at first, when you told us that in these next weeks you might be changed, I decided that I wouldn't accept it. I now realize that you're being changed because there are more people like us that need you in another place. Go find them. We'll be here, but you have to come back to see us." I promised I would (they made me pinky promise as we had done to them for a variety of their commitments) and we all took pictures together.
Unfortunately I was so caught up in the moment that I completely forgot to take out my camera so I could take photos... Sorry... I think I have some from this past week here...
Here's Elder Espinoza when he gets bored of the Elders' rambling as we take reports.
We went to help the Aguilar Benitez family cut some grass, and the family they work for has this huge dog. The ironic part is that it's name is Pequeño. For those who are so white they don't recognize that word, it means small... All of the children were extremely afraid of him, but we helped them gain some trust. He's rather comfortable, so I took a nap on him... for like 5 seconds. Then I realized that he's also very dirty...
And that's the big news for now. We'll see what sorts of cool stuff happens here in Tecamac this next week. I think I'll start carrying Veronica (my flashlight tazer) with me more in case I get assaulted again... Yay, self defense! :D
Iré y haré,
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This blog is edited by Elder Groesbeck's amazing, beautiful, younger sister Aubrie. I will post any update I get. Enjoy :)