Monday, August 8, 2011

My First Mexican Baptism

the zone at Tula
Josefina after baptism
me wrangling a sheep

Well this week has been a pretty busy one with lots of finding, rejection, baptismal commitments, problems with baptismal commitments, troubles with investigators, and also miracles... oh, but it ended in a fairly disappointing way. We found three new investigators who are super solid: Alejandra, Gabriela, and Edwin. Alejandra is the grandma, Gabriela is her daughter and Edwin's mom (which makes Edwin the son/grandson). They accepted the baptismal commitment without hesitation after we taught the restoration, and are on date for the 21. They were totally ready when we went to pick them up for church on sunday, and all went well. Unfortunately, our other investigators decided we were too late (even though it was quarter to 9) and left to a birthday party. We also had some troubles with Josefina, who was baptized on Sunday. Somehow, she thought that the service would be at 8, so she invited her daughter who had to leave for DF at 10, and one of the members suggested moving the baptism to next week (never ever do that), but we convinced her to do it today and her daughter can come to the confirmation next Sunday, so it all worked out good in the end.

Today, we went to Tula for our p day activity as a zone, which is basically a few temples (in ruins, of course), and then out to pizza. The stake president paid for it all because our zone was the highest baptizing zone in the mission and we completed a goal that he had set for us. The ruins were pretty cool, and there's a lot of things there that relate to temples (like our temples, not temples in general), including the statues there wearing temple clothes. It was really interesting, and the stake president gave us a tour and explained everything because he's an archaeologist (are you surprised I can still spell that?). Unfortunately, that left us totally desperate for time to do the rest of the things we need to do on p day.

Brigham's story was pretty interesting, and strange, because as far as I can tell, things like that would never happen here in Apaxco. Aside from people always yelling "huero!" (blonde person) when they see me, everyone is pretty much kept to themselves, not wanting any trouble. My blisters have turned to callouses, thank goodness, and the pain in my legs is mostly gone, but my back has started to hurt this week, so I'm trying to focus on having good posture all the time (you knew it had to happen one day).

To answer your questions, my stomach has been bothering me a lot this week, and after a week solid of diarrhea, I had my first solid bowel movement for the week on Sunday, but then half and half today. I'm sleeping ok, but I probably wake up three or four times each night, which is rough. I have really vivid dreams, which I didn't have before the mission or even in the MTC, and something always happens in them that wakes me up. I don't know if there's one single most important thing that I've learned since being here, but some very important things are to always be happy and smile and follow the Spirit. Without the Spirit, our work literally can't happen, and we have to always do our best to follow Him. President Call told everyone that we have to always remember Christ (as per the sacrament/baptismal covenant) and pray always. If we do those things, we'll be good. I did figure out the umbrella. It turns out there is a button that opens it (I felt pretty stupid...), and thanks goodness I figured that out, because we got caught in a really bad rain/thunderstorm on Sunday night that almost stranded us about an hour from home. Thankfully, a random family let us in until it let up and could find a taxi and comvi.

The branch is fairly small, about 70 active members, and I have been helping out with the music, and even playing for the ward choir (which is in serious need of help), and I'm enjoying being able to play. They have the same piano in the chapel that we do at home. The meetings are good, and the members that are there are pretty solid. I'm getting to the point that I can understand Spanish much better, even in the echoey room where we have sacrament meeting. The members feed us every day, and you wouldn't believe how many different things I've eaten. Even the things I didn't like, I still finished (you never thought I could do that, did you?)

To Alyssa Shirley, we haven't been able to find a post office in Apaxco, so I haven't been able to send letters, but I promise I'm writing them weekly. I hope you are, too, every week, even though I'll only get them every 6 (possibly more often, because my companion sometimes has meetings in Cuatitlan, where the offices are). I hope all is well, and look forward to hearing from you!

I'm glad everyone's keeping busy and enjoying their activities. Happy birthday to Manuel, Betsy and John (sorry I forgot last week), and I hope Manuel and Andrew feel better (that must be an unhappy house right now). This church is true, and we are led by a living prophet. The Book of Mormon is true, and I'm glad to say, like Mormon, that which he says in a scripture I don't remember that I will verify for next week. It's really good.

Elder Joseph Facer

Now my companion will write to you as per President Call's wishes:

Hello I am Elder Irigoyen, well I can say that Elder Facer is fantastic, he sorprended me with his spanish and I am very glad to be his companion, and more for be his first companion here en mexico; he is a great missionary and he will do great things on his mission, he loves the people he teachs and thats all in this 2 years; I thanks you, because like parents and family you did a marvelous job with Elder Facer and he will recompense you with his work and his future; well I say goodbye, hope to one day write again or met, bye bye


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