Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Week 2: Our First Baptism

What a week! Mexico is crazy and I still kind of can't believe that I'm actually here! I'm starting to adjust to things pretty well now, but it's still a lot to take in. But I'm loving it and trying my best to learn the language so I can actually talk to people. That's the hardest part about being here is not being able to communicate with anyone but my companions. I want to participate in the lessons and I usually know what they're saying, but I just don't have the words to reply. I'm learning a ton about how to be a good teacher by watching Elder West, he's really good! He has been assistant to the president for the last six months, so he's super excited to be back out teaching. 

We had our first baptism this last weekend! They have been investigators for a while, the rule is that they have to come to church five times before they can get baptized because of how many people were getting baptized and going inactive. It used to be two weeks before they could get baptized, but our ward only has about 30% attendance... So we focus a lot on reactivating. But on Saturday we baptized Christopher and Cindy! They're awesome and have a little son that's about 2 years old. Cindy asked me to baptize her and it was probably one of the most gratifying moments in my life right after she came up out of the water. She was someone that really needed the gospel, she has had an incredibly hard life and it's awesome to see her find peace in the gospel. After we came out of the font she broke down crying, it was one of the most touching things I have ever seen. I'm so grateful to have had the gospel my whole, and I'm so excited to be able to share it with people like Cindy. 

For the baptism Elder West, Elder Huefner and I sang a song and I played the piano. It was really nice being able to sit down at a piano again, I really miss that from back home. We did OK, but I'm sure it seemed great to everyone there, because seriously... everyone here is tone deaf... not even kidding. It's actually pretty funny in sacrament meeting, the first week there wasn't someone to play the piano, so everyone just sang the words with random notes and it sounded horrible. The bishop was up on the stand plugging his ears, it was really hard to hold back the laughing. Anyways, the mission president and his wife came to the baptism and she recorded our song when we practiced it before. She said that you can friend her on Facebook Mom and see it there. She said she also has a blog for our mission! Speaking of the mission president, he's awesome! He really cares about the missionaries and will do everything he can to serve us. After the baptism he took us out for tacos, let me tell you, you haven't had a taco until you've had one off the street in Mexico! I had 9 of them... and they aren't the smallest tacos ever... I bought a scale today to start tracking my weight. 

The other food that I need to be careful about not eating too much of is pan (bread) it's everywhere! and it isn't just plain bread, it's more like pastries. it's super cheap and there are people riding bikes full of pan everywhere selling it. It's super good, but I need to be careful not to eat too much of it or I'll come back a lot heavier than I came here. 

We did find someone in the ward that is a health food specialist! when we visited her I noticed her shelves stocked with different grains. I asked about it and she went off talking about everything. The funny thing is that even though it was in Spanish I knew pretty much exactly what she was talking about. It was all so familiar! I got super excited and convinced my companions to go on a month long diet of grains for breakfast! She's putting it all together for us and we start on Wednesday! I'm super excited! We'll see how my companions handle it. 

So... our bishop here is a bit crazy... Pretty much every single person that we visit who is inactive says they don't come because of the bishop... In church in sacrament meeting he starting chastising the ward for being wicked (these are the most humble people that I've ever met) and then he read D&C 121 16-21, which is where the lord is basically condemning the people that were persecuting Joseph Smith. It was... Interesting. But it just means we have a lot of work to do in helping people recognize why they really should come to church. 

On Sunday when we were walking out of a meal with a member a guy ran into me as I stepped out the door. After I recovered I apologized, it was then that I realized that he was totally drunk. He couldn't walk in a straight line for the life of him, he was trying really hard though. But I really shouldn't have been surprised. There are drunk people everywhere and it's pretty common to see people snorting cocaine. They all like to try speaking to us in English when they're drunk or high, but then we respond in Spanish, they get a confused look, and we keep walking. 

As I've been adjusting to the life of a missionary, and the life in Mexico, there's one major thing that I've started to realize. I can be an obedient missionary, follow all of the rules, study hard, serve, do all the missionary things that a missionary does and serve the Lord with all of my might and strength. But if I choose to serve him with all of my Heart, might, mind and strength, then he can truly make me an effective missionary. After all this is his work not mine, if I put myself in the Lords hands to do his work that's when I'll be able to truly do his work his way. And only when I put myself into his hands will he truly be able to help me progress and grow. In order for the Lord to work on us we must give ourselves up to him. He cannot work with that which he does not have. I see that as we teach people who are not willing to put their trust in God. When they withhold themselves from God, He cannot force his blessings upon them. We must act in faith, for it is after the trial of our faith that we shall know. The Lord isn't going to give us the blessings first to convert us, we must first go to him acting in faith. 

All in all it has been a great week! I'm learning and growing so much every day! This week seemed to fly by! I hope everyone is doing well back home! I can't wait to hear from you! Thank you for all of your support and love. I pray for you often. 

Love Elder Twede
christopher and cindy!

The taco stand! it was amazing!

from my roof

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