Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Viva Mexico

Hello Family and Friends!
This has been the most exhilerating and exhausting week of my life! It is still weird to think that I'm in Mexico. It's been a hard but extrememly gratifying week. I have two companions Hermana Baumgart from Atlanta, Georgia and Hermana Pineda from Anaheim, California. We live in a cute litte orange casa with some other companionships. Thanks to my four years of spanish in high school we were put in a intermediete class, with six other elders. We're all fairly good at spanish so we tend to get more accomplished then the other begginer classses. This place is beautiful! It is so tropical and lush (probably from all the rain) and there's parrots and birds everywhere. Although, that's really only how it is in the CCM. The city itself is a different story. It's just concrete building stacked on top of each other. But I really do love it. It's usually cloudy and foggy and usually always raining but when the sun shines it is beautiful. The food here is amazing! I love mexican food anyway so this place is like heaven. It's pretty authentic and I resolved to try everything the give us and try a different kind of juice and pastry every day. I love it. Like crazy. A lot of elders and sisters here I see just eat frosted flakes or fruit for every meal. They're crazy. Crazy Americans. But you should all be jealous of the delicious empanadas, tacos, sopas, pan, pollo, y muchas más. Oh and by the way john, best watermelon ever. Mexican melons are the best melons.
This sunday was mexican national independence day which was the coolest. All week the catholic church has been shooting of canons in celebration which is pretty loud. However, some of the sisters have told me that loud gun shots are not uncommon here, and they usually hear them a few times a day. We had a Noche Méxicano where we sang the national anthem of México, watched history and videos of México, watched a traditional dance troupe and a singer. It was amazing. And the best part was at the end all the performers sang the medley We are as the Army of Helaman and As Sisters in Zion. I had no Idea they were members so it made the show that much more powerful. The CCM president thanked them at the end and told them they were a shining example to the youth of México. Then on sundaynight we got to participate in the Grita de México. We got special persmission to stay up past 10:30 (crazy!) and watched it live from the plaza. The presidente would say things like Libertad! and all the natives would cry Viva! Justicia! Viva! It was a great culutural experience. I'm really starting to fall in love with México even after just one week.
I really do love it here. The first week went be sluggishly slow, but i've heard it flies by. Every day is packed with learning and studying and everything else involved with missionary work. You'd think it would be like a prison here but surprisingly most of the time is up to us to study what we want to. we mostly study for our lessons with our investigator, Rogelio. Our lessons with him have been amazing. The first one we taught about the restoration and about the gosple of Jesus Chirst. It went so well. But the second one was even better. We talked about the plan of salvation. The spirit was so strong throughout the whole lesson because we had tailored it exactly to what he needed to hear. I brought up the end of the lesson with mortal death, the spirit world, the judgment, and being with god and our families forever. When I said that he perked up. He asked how and I told him through sacred covenatns in the temple (in my awkward spanish). He asked if he could go there now and I told him he had to be baptised. He asked how to do that and my companions told him the correct way to be baptized. There was a slight pause and the spirit told me to speak up so I asked " Quiere estar bautizado?" My spanish was so bad but he replied, yes! I couldn't handle the rush of joy I recieved from what happened. We continued on and he closed the lesson with his first ever prayer, which was so heartfelt and sincere. Yes, this investigator isn't exactly real, but he is a real person, and the spirit is real. The spirit was there and that was not fake. Afterwards we hugged and prayed as a companionship and I started to cry. Up to that point I had successfully not cried all week, but this was a happy cry, so I was okay. All I could think about was my testimony that I bore to him about eternal families and I realized that I get to be with my family forever, and that is one of the greatest blessings in the entire universe. Well I really don´t have much time because I have much else to do today, but next week I'll try to give more details of how it is at this wonderful place! I love México! I love Missionary work! I love the spirit! I love this church! And I love God! ¡Viva!
con amor,
Hermana Richardson

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