Monday, April 9, 2012

My own Passover Feast

My excellent bowling form from bowling last week

Some pretty classy bowling shoes from bowling last week
Well Easter has come and gone, and nobody sent me emails this week. We had a pretty slow week, being Semana Santa (the biggest excuse for vacations in Mexico). That meant that everyone who lives in Tequis was out of town, but Tequis was packed with out-of-towners. Probably 80% of the people we contacted this week were just visiting. Anyway, it means we didn't get a whole lot done this week. We did have a really good Sunday, though. The stake president invited an area 70 to come to our branch, which was interesting. He was from a different area presidency, but nobody knows where. It was pretty cool, though. That's probably the first time that I've seen a general authority in a sacrament meeting. I played the piano really well and bore my testimony about the resurrection (like the 1st presidency asked us to, not that anyone else did...), and it was just a good meeting. We also had the first baby blessing that I've seen in Mexico, as well as a couple priesthood ordinations: one who received the Aaronic Priesthood (and thus ordained to the office of Deacon), one ordained to the office of Teacher, and one ordained to the office of High Priest and called to the high council. All in all, it was a good Sunday.

On Friday, we visited Cornelio and his family and showed up right after they had killed a sheep and were peeling and cleaning it to make barbacoa. I didn't make the connection until later that night, but I realized that Friday is the day that the Paschal lamb was killed according to Jewish tradition and was the actual night of the Passover feast, and we just happened to be killing a sheep on that same day. To me, that was just hilarious, and even though we didn't stay to eat (barbacoa is an overnight cooking thing), it was still fun to be part of my own little Passover feast. We certainly didn't meet the Mosaic requirements, though. The sheep was female, most likely had some kind of blemish, was pregnant, and we didn't spread the blood on the doorposts. There was also no unleavened bread or bitter herbs. We're kind of like the selectively obedient Jews, opposite to the Pharisees. That was also my first time seeing a sheep fetus (can you believe it took me almost 20 years?).

I've just been informed that the Sunday missionary writing tradition has been abolished, and that my emails are on the way. Thank goodness. That will, however, throw a wrench in my 45 minutes of approved writing time. Anyway, I got a package from Brigham today, which was cool. When I started opening it, all I saw was the box of Choco-krispis and thought "well, I guess I should've seen that coming", then I found out that it wasn't really cereal. Thanks, Brig. Lys, thanks for getting me an email. Short is better than nothing, and I'm glad Andrew had a happy one-candy-Easter. He looks like a natural in his little car. I bet Manuel practices with him. As far as Mexican/Catholic celebrations, there are a lot of quirky things. It begins at the end of February with the Cuaresma, a 40 day preparation for the crucifixion in which they do parades almost every day including chants and making giant paper-machete (?) Jesus figures and don't eat meat besides fish on Fridays. On Friday, we saw a bunch of people at the bottom of a hill where they had put some giant crosses up top, and they may have later held a mock-crucifixion (I'm not sure, we didn't stick around). There are also all kinds of migrations where people walk from one part of Mexico to another for no reason but to go to the services at a different church, then get wasted. Sounds like fun, right? Thank goodness we're LDS.

I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. 1982 years ago, on Thursday, he suffered for our sins and was betrayed into the hands of sinners, on Friday, he was tried and crucified, on Saturday, he established the preaching of the gospel to the dead, and on Sunday, the greatest day in the history of this earth, He resurrected, breaking the bands of death that came upon all men through the fall. I know that only through Christ's merits, mercy, and grace can we be saved. He made possible Heavenly Father's perfect plan of salvation, allowing us all to return to live with Him and our families for eternity. I know that Christ truly knows us and loves us. He has suffered every pain, sorrow, affliction, and disease that we will ever have, and he overcame it all. He suffered all things so that we don't have to suffer. The Atonement is the only way that we can ever find true, lasting peace and happiness. He did it all willingly, "he opened not his mouth", and, in that supreme act of love and humility, saved all who would turn to Him. I know that this is true. I know that we will live again after this life. I know that the family can be eternal, and God's greatest desire is to bring that to pass. Heavenly Father and His Son love us. And, thanks to the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ, we all have the opportunity to become even as they are.

Elder Joseph Facer


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