Another week of hard work and happiness. It sure has
been hot though. We break 100 degrees easy every day. One night this
week, as we were riding back to our apartment, we passed a sign with the
temperature on it. It was 9:00 at night and 101 degrees. Pretty crazy.
I'm certainly getting darker!
This week has been great, with a few "classic missionary moments" mixed in.
has been a couple we have been meeting with and teaching for quite a
while now. It has been great to see them grow closer as they learn more
about the gospel of Jesus Christ and prepare themselves to be baptized.
They are getting married at the end of this month, which is wonderful.
Each lesson with them has been strong as they have opened up and shared
with us their thoughts and concerns. We are really able to share with
them the blessings that come of following the example of Christ. So that
has been very rewarding this week.
We are now in a trio, Elder Green, Elder Miller, and I. Being with
two other Elders presents unique challenges and opportunities. It is
hard to be as open and communicate well with two other people, but we
are doing well. Elder Miller and I get along especially well. He played
lacrosse in high school and was also in the band. So we have a lot in
common. It is also interesting to know that I will be leaving so soon.
Knowing that I will have to leave and the work will have to go on with
Elder Green and Elder Miller. So I am doing my best to make sure it will
be a smooth transition when I have to go off for Mexico.
So as far as a classic moment goes, Saturday morning we rode our
bikes to a train station and took the train down to a baptismal service
that was taking place. It was great to see someone take that step in
their life and very encouraging. We were able to find a ride back and
had them drop us off at the DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) station to
get our bikes. As we walked up to where we had left our bikes locked up,
we realized something was wrong... they were gone. So sure enough, our
bikes had been stolen. The stations are always pretty deserted on
weekends, so someone must have just come by, snipped the lock and made
off with three bikes. Elder Miller and I had both been borrowing ours
from other missionaries or missionaries that had already gone home, but
Elder Green had his own bike. It was a pretty nice one too. So he was
pretty upset. We stayed and filed a report with the police, but chances
of getting them back are pretty slim. Hopefully they caught something on
camera, but we're not holding our breath.
So that made the past couple days interesting. The police officer
was nice enough to give us a ride back to our apartment. We made some
adjustments to our schedule, and then headed out the door. Walking does
take quite a bit longer, but I guess I may as well get used to it now
for Mexico. We walked down to our appointments for the evening and did
Then yesterday after church (we found a ride from a member like
usual) we were off again. One appointment, pretty far south, went well.
Partly because we had walked there. When the family saw how important it
was to us to meet with them, that we were willing to walk down there in
the heat I think they recognized how important we think this work is.
They were talking to one of their friends that was there with them and
said something like, "see, these young men are serious about what they
do. Their bikes were stolen and what did they do. They began on foot."
Their friend had been joking and wondering how it was that three very
young men like us could have anything worthwhile to teach about God. The
family really stuck up for us. It was inspiring to see.
And in regards to that point. The friend is very right. We are in
fact very young and inexperienced. It is in our weakness that we are
sent out to spread this message of Christ. And so as people are able to
learn, progress, and change, it truly manifests the power of God. Of
ourselves, three fresh gringos, there is no hope that we could ever
convince anyone that what we are saying is true. At times we can't even
express our thoughts and feelings through this new language. And yet,
our work is not in vain. People change. They feel peace and joy when we
visit. I know this because this is what they tell us. After a long day
of walking in the heat, recognizing our weakness and inadequacy, to hear
someone tell you that really puts things in perspective. And so, I know
the work I am a part of is true and that it is blessing the lives of
all who will humble themselves and listen with real intent.
So the problem is not resolved yet. Still no bikes or means of
transport. But that's all right. We were able to get a ride to email
today from some missionaries nearby who have been given a car. The area
they cover is larger, and so they need one to get around. We'll see what
I probably should put this note at the top, but just as a heads up. I
wouldn't send any mail towards Dallas after Wednesday. That might even
be pushing it. So if you were planning on it, take a few minutes today
(Monday) or tomorrow. I sure would love to hear from you. The letters I
have received so far have been awesome and really put some wind in my
I love you all and hope that you are able to find the happiness that
is always available. I'm praying for you, and I know you are praying
for me. I'll be needing it surely as I walk off an airplane Monday and
enter an airport where the announcements are made in Spanish. I can't
wait!!! Can't wait to immerse myself in the language. Won't it be fun
for all of you to watch as my English begins to worsen gradually. Be
looking out for phrases that don't make sense. I love it when my
companions that have been out longer say something that makes no sense
in English but works perfectly in Spanish. It happens all the time, but
one example is when Elder Green and I were talking about how to help our
families make it out to church on Sundays and help them understand the
importance of attending. He kept saying, "we've got to get them to
assist church". Finally I told him that doesn't make any sense. The verb
in Spanish is of course asistir which means to attend. It took him a
good 90 seconds to believe me that in English we don't assist church.
Once he remember attend, he just started laughing. Classic moment.
Well I can't wait to hear from you.
Lots of Love (the true meaning of lol),
you have been keeping up with this, this week find another one of my
friends who you think might not be and let them know about it. Sound
good? You're the best!