Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hola everybody!

Sorry that I have been slacking with the emails. I just keep forgetting... But this past few weeks have been great! I know I say that every week, but it is kind of hard to not have a good day when you are a missionary. I have found that no matter what kinds of challenging things happen, I find that I am happy again within about 5 minutes. Being a missionary is one of the happiest and hardest things I have ever done. I love it.

Last week we went to a foot doctor to see if she could fix my blisters on my feet. I have had those blisters for my entire time here and I figured I should probably get them checked. Apparently they were infected and therefore unable to heal. Because of all of the walking we do, the callouses on my feet were too thick to sand down with her filer thing, so she used what was basically a power drill with a sanding bit to get them down and be able to thoroughly clean my foot. It was pretty gnarly. I think she did a good job though because I haven't had any pain since. It has been great.

The bus drivers are basically super-human. One of the bus drivers we had this week on the way to church had a laptop on his dashboard and was watching a movie while driving the bus (which is stick-shift), watching for people who wave for the bus to stop, counting money and giving change to the people on the bus, and all of this while driving in Mexico City traffic which is like nothing any of you have ever seen. I was pretty impressed. The drivers here are all crazy but I haven't seen one accident. I guess they know what they are doing.

Anyways, our investigators are still doing pretty well. We had to change Akane's baptismal date because she hasn't been coming to church. Turns out that her boyfriend doesn't like us and doesn't want her coming anymore and it is causing problems in their relationship. It is too bad because we were able to be there when Akane received her answer that the church was true and it was one of the most spiritual experiences I have had on my mission. Nobody that witnessed it could deny the spirit that was there.

We also have another investigator named Enrique who is still super solid. He has a date to be baptized on may 6 and is super excited. He said he wants to learn enough to be able to teach the youth of the church. He has had some tough trials due to some mistakes he has made and wants to be able to help the youth not make those same mistakes. He is awesome. He is already inviting people to his baptism and everything. He loves the temple as well. He is excited to be able to enter one day, and has even set a goal to enter the salt lake temple. I really hope he keeps up with his excitement.

Teaching Enrique has been very humbling. He is 58 years old. While teaching him it has really hit me that I am a 19 year old American kid in Mexico City who speaks hardly any spanish, and I am teaching a 58 year old man how to find peace in his life. It doesn't really seem to make sense that anyone should listen to me. But people do. There is hope in this gospel that brings peace like nothing else. It has been amazing to see people make changes in their lives such as to quit smoking or drinking, or to commit to live the law of chastity, or any other commitments that we leave with people. I can't think of any reason that people would listen to what we have to say, and keep the commitments we leave with them except that they have felt the love of Christ and it has given them hope. It has been an amazing experience to see people feel that love for maybe the first time in their life. I have realized how much I have taken Christ's love for granted and I am so grateful to be a member of this church and know the things I know. I love you all, have a great week!

Elder May

A motorcycle. We aren't allowed to ride them so I just sat on it for picture purposes.

Where we teach Enrique

My area

Monday, April 10, 2017

This week has been one of the most eventful weeks of my mission. Many milestones were made, and new investigators were found.

For starters, we fixed our shower, so we are no longer bathing out of buckets. That was a happy day for our house. Our next project will be to get rid of the bugs.

The food this week has been a good experience. On Thursday we ate with a member who is a really good cook. She gave us some enchiladas that were super good. She was very kind and told me that she took into consideration that I am a gringo and didn't make the enchiladas spicy. I thanked her and then took my first bite. She was mistaken. They were some of the hottest food that I have ever eaten. They were so delicious though so I ate 7. She felt bad when she saw how bad I was sweating, and I felt bad that she felt bad. I really did enjoy them. It just was kind of painful. The next day we ate with another lady and she also gave us the exact same type of enchiladas and told me the exact same thing, that she made sure to make them mild for me. They were just as hot. I think the relief society is trying to strengthen my spicy tolerence. It is very kind of them. On Saturday I was prepared for another round of spicy enchiladas but what she gave us was something new. She said "Espero que les gusta la pata de rez" which means "I hope you both like cow feet" and gave us each a plate with some good looking cow feet. She was even kind enough to leave some little hairs on them to give us some extra nutrients. I'm not sure what was easier to eat between the fiery enchiladas or the hairy cow feet, but either way, I think I walked away from that dinner appointment manlier than when I entered.

The work here in Espartaco has been progressing a lot more. On Tuesday, we were walking to our appointment when a 19 year old girl named Akane, and her mom, Gladys, ran up to us and asked if we would teach them. That like never happens so we were pretty excited. We told them we could teach them later that night if they wanted, and they accepted. We return to their house and taught them the restoration. We asked Akane if she would take Moroni's challenge and pray  about our message and about the book of mormon. She started the prayer and when she was about to ask if it was true, she paused for a little bit. After a few seconds I realized that shew as crying and then began to thank our Father in Heaven for putting us in their path and that she knows that out message was true. It was one of the most spiritual lessons I have had on my mission. There is something very humbling and very happy to hear and see somebody pray for the first time. We were able to teach them 3 more times last week and even read every chapter and pamphlet that we left them. They are so great and they even came to church yesterday too. They both are preparing to be baptized as well.

There is another investigator whom we found yesterday named Enrique. He just decided on his own that he wanted to come to church, so he came all by himself and didn't know anybody. We were able to meet with him later and taught him the first lesson as well. He also has agreed to be baptized.

There have been so many more miracles that have been happening lately but I don't have time to write all of them. I can definitely see and feel the Lord working here in this area. There is no way that my companion and I alone could be accomplishing what has been going on. I have loved being a missionary and feeling so close to the Savior. This week I will have completed 6 months. The time is really going by fast. I love you all and enjoy hearing from you every week!

Elder May

Monday, April 3, 2017

Hola everybody,

A lot has happened in these past two weeks. We had transfers and Elder Cruz left and I got a new companion named Elder Sanchez. I am going to miss Elder Cruz, we got to be pretty good friends. Elder Sanchez is awesome too. He served in this area about a year ago so he knows all of the tricks. He knows all of the good restaurants. The restaurants here are awesome. You get a soup, spaghetti, a main course, and a dessert for about 60 pesos. Which is about $3.00. The desserts here are usually jello. I don't know why but jello and cheese are like delicaces. They are super expensive in the stores, it is kind of frustrating.

Elder Sanchez also remembers where all of his old investigators live, so it has kept us busy to re-contact them. A lot of them have accepted to start taking the discussions again and it has kept us very busy. We are teaching a guy named Jose and his son, Edwin. Edwin is only 10 years old, but when we taught them, he asked just about every deep question you can think of. He likes to learn and is very accepting to the gospel, the same goes for his dad. They have a date to be baptized on the 6 of May and we are super excited about them.

Conference was absolutely amazing and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. Luckily for me, they had a room for the gringos where they played the sessions in english. There were just 3 of us, and the rest of the stake was in the chapel/gym. I was able to all of my questions answered that I had as I began watching. there were times when I felt like the speaker was talking directly to me. Being a missionary has made me appreciate General Conference so much more, and I already can't wait for the next session.

During conference, there was a lot of mentioning about Patience. I have been studying patience really closely this week and I have learned a lot. I learned that patience and humility go together. Being here in Mexico has taught me a lot about these two christ-like attributes. I see people everyday in the streets who are struggling just to get by and support themselves, and their families. There is one family in our ward who I think is the perfect example of patience and humility. They are the Lopez family. they are a family of 6 and live in a 3 room house. The dad, Javierre, works as a door-to-door salesman for some product (I don't really know what it is), and the wife and kids help out by making cups of jello and walk around every day trying to sell it. This family are some of the happiest people I have ever met. They are some of the most faithful members in the ward and are always happy and smiling. I found a scripture while studying patience and humility that I think accurately describe this family, and many others that I have met here. in 2 Cor. 6:10 "As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things". There is no better scripture to describe some of the church members down here. They are all such amazing examples to me of patience and humility in this hard world we live in. I hope I can be like the members here some day. I am loving my time here in Mexico City. I learn new things every day about myself, the gospel, and which street food tents I should and shouldn't eat from.

I love you all. Have a great week!

Elder May
Over-priced hamburger

Me and Elder Sanchez

Contaminated water that I thought was a field of grass