How was your week? I hope it was great. The title of my email comes from the craziest taxi driver I have ever had here in Mexico. His name is Javier and he lived in Georgia for 10 years but got deported and had to return to Mexico. He pulled over and was like 'WHAT'S UP GIRLS!' because obviously we speak English. He was so excited to talk to us in English and we were busting up because he was talking about all the fast food places he misses in the US. He was like... Those french fries from Checkers!!!! Ohhh man! I need to go back! I need to get married to a white girl and go back to the US. Um...I think we'll get out here. Hahaha...not really. He also confessed that he is the crazy taxi driver that always honks at us when we are waiting at the bus stop! When we reached our destination, he was like 'What's your beautiful name?' and I started laughing so hard! I told him Hermana Durham and he kept asking for my first name and I said Lupita! And thanked him for the ride and got out. Haha.
I completed 10 months on the mission!! WHAT WHAT! Double digits. I can't believe how fast time is flying.
This week was good and hard at the same time. Good because we really have some great investigators who are progressing and hard because we couldn't find ANYONE new this week. And trust me, we tried hard.
Every day we had plans for lessons with people and no one was home. El dia de la virgen is coming up on the 12th (all the catholic people celebrate the birthday of the Virgen Maria) and so they are all doing their rosarios every night...when they go to a huge image/statue of the virgen and light candles and bring flowers and recite their rosario or prayer. Everyone we try to make appointments with is like 'Oh...maybe after the 12th...it's my turn to have the virgen in my house tomorrow!' What. News flash: the virgen isn't going to save you! Yes, she was the mother of Jesus and we respect her with the highest respects...but the statue that you are praying to doesn't work. Whatever.
Let me tell you about the good parts of the week:
Our investigator Rosario is so wonderful and she and her son are going to be baptized on January 3. She told us that Dante is telling everyone he can about his baptism and she is also super excited. She told us that she will do anything to be baptized. She loves going to church and she is reading the Book of Mormon with Dante and saying family prayers. It makes me so happy to see how willing she is to keep her commitments. She really understands that she will have a better life because of this and she wants it really bad for her kids.
David is also doing really well. Because we loved the pie so much, his sister made us cupcakes the last time we went! haha. He is also doing really well at keeping his commitments and came to church again yesterday! He also came to Cesar's baptism on Saturday and really liked it! He always reads his assignments and has really good questions. We also discovered that he loves to sing and so we always sing Joy To The World when we visit him because he likes singing it really loud. Also...cool story. The first time we went to visit him, his mom and dad were there watching TV. They go to another Christian Church. We actually contacted his dad in the street a few days before we went to visit David and he was one of those contacts that starts preaching to you and you have to be like 'OK! HAVE A NICE DAY!' really loud so that they can hear you and stick your hand out so they understand that it's time to go. His name is Pedro and he is super old and SUPER short and he always tells us Bible jokes that I don't understand. Anyway, back to the story. The first time we came, they were on the couch watching TV and they didn't turn down the volume until we said the prayer. Ok. The second time...the volume was a little softer and they turned it off for the prayers. The third time, the TV was on but once we started the discussion, they turned it totally off. The fourth time, the TV wasn't even on when we came!! They are super active in their church, but they listen to the discussion from the couch and his mom, Phoebe, even asked for a reference of a scripture that we used in the Bible! It might take a while for them, but they'll totally be baptized one day. They are super nice to us. David is really great. He still hasn't received his answer if the church is true, but I am confident that he will if he keeps doing what he is doing...reading, praying, and attending church.
Like I mentioned…CESAR GOT BAPTIZED!!!! He is so cool. I am sad because he shaved his head this last week (he lost a bet) and so he kind of looks like a criminal in the picture haha but he is so nice. His mom, Yola, was SOOOO happy. She was on top of the world, to be exact. She has waited and prayed for this day for almost 18 years and it finally came. His brother (who is an inactive returned missionary) was at the baptism with his wife and kids and I was so happy to see them! Cesar gave his testimony at the end of the baptism and shared something really cool. The district leader that did the baptismal interview is named Elder Ramirez. Cesar is also Ramirez. Anyway, we asked him who he wanted to baptize him and since his brother couldn't, he told us that he would like Elder Ramirez to do it. In his testimony, he said the 3 dreams were completed that day and that it was another testimony that what he was doing was the right thing. He said that his mom's dream of seeing him be baptized was one. He also said that he wanted his brother to baptize him but that because he is inactive, he couldn't do it. He said that when the Elder did the interview a week ago, he realized that his name was Ramirez...and that is why he wanted him to do it...so 'his brother' baptized him. Then, he said that Elder Ramirez shared with him that he really wanted to baptize his dad, but he wasn't 16 when his dad got baptized (they are converts) so he couldn't. He said that he made a promise to himself that on the mission, he would baptize a 'Ramirez' and Saturday he was able to. Everyone was crying. It was super great. Cesar is going to be a great member of the church. He even got up and bore his testimony yesterday and I felt like a proud little missionary mom! haha.
I got to watch the devotional and I loved it. I wanted to cry a little when I saw temple square. It made me a little home sick. But I'm fine now. I loved the music. And the talks...although I don't like listening to them in Spanish. Even though I understand, it is not the same as hearing their real voice.
Also, no need to fear, we have food plans for my birthday and there will be cake. I am so excited because we always eat really good food with this family and they invited the other 4 sisters in our ward so we are going to have a party! Not really, but kind of.
I am so grateful to be here in Mexico as a missionary. I am soooo grateful for the people that we have been able to baptize in this ward. I love each of them and I love the investigators that we have right now. They are truly prepared to understand and accept the gospel at this time. Sometimes I am walking in the street and I think, 'I'm in Mexico. What the heck? I've been here for 9 months. I can speak Spanish. WHAT THE HECK!' It is seriously so weird but I love it. I will never regret my decision to serve a mission. I know that I am here for a reason. I know that I have so much to change and do as a person and that Heavenly Father is helping me every step of the way. I love the gospel. The church is perfect and the gospel, if lived the right way, helps us become perfected in Christ. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us. I know that He knows us and that we are special to Him. I know that Christ lives. I love this time of year that we have to really think about His humble birth and sacrifice that made it possible for us to be clean and live again. He is the Christ and He is the ONLY way to salvation.
I love you all. I hope you all have had the chance to watch HE IS THE GIFT. It is super beautiful. IF not, go to mormon.org or Youtube and search it, and then share it with all your friends.
I love you all sooooo much!
I was walking down the street and all of a sudden I saw Eder running from his house across to his aunt house with this hat on. I had to take a picture with it! haha
Yummy cupcakes...I need to go back to Iguala so I can lose the weight I am gaining here! haha...just kidding, but seriously.
CESAR!!! Happy Baptism Day!!
The stick of Judah and the stick of Ephraim!
We ate with a menos activo, Hno. Pepe. He is awesome and cooks really well. He actually doesn't have any kidneys so he doesn't come to church a lot for his health. His sister in law is an active member and super awesome, Toña. He cooked for us and put lime on our cups for our drinks but he didn't put it on the cup of Toña! haha...we are special guests!