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Monday, September 17, 2012

September 17, 2012--Week 29

Dear family,

So, a lot happened this week.  It was kind of hectic.  A couple of good things that happened:  Dionila (mother with two sons whose husband passed away about 5 years ago) and her two sons both came to church this week.  We got there a little late because we went to their house to pick them up, and when we did, the branch president informed us that the assigned speaker (the high councilor was speaking too so there was only one other talk assigned) didn´t show up for the week.  So, guess who´s first in line to speak when the speaker doesn´t show up?  So, for the first time in my life I gave a talk in sacrament meeting that I prepared in about 5 minutes using just my scriptures.  And I think it lasted about 12 minutes and I felt pretty good about it, so that was fun.  I focused my talk on the Atonement and how if we understand the Atonement and the Gospel well as members of the restored church of Jesus Christ, we will understand that people cannot receive the fullness of the blessings of the Atonement without receiving the ordinance of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by one holding the Priesthood Authority of God.  So, our desires and efforts to share the Gospel are literally a direct measurement of our gratitude for the Savior and the sacrifice that He carried out on our behalf.  I hope I helped a little bit some of the members of the branch to understand why they should be motivated to share the Gospel :)

Also, cool and kind of funny side note is that the high council speaker that came this Sunday is named "el Hermano Kevin".  He´s very American and from Northern California, served his mission here 5 years ago, went home for a year, came back, got married here, now works as an English teacher (English teachers here that speak it well make BANK--like they have AC in there entire house :O), and just went back to visit his family for the first time since he moved down here.  So, that´s kind of funny.  But, it was cool talking to him (all in Spanish, by the way, he didn´t say a word in English, and his Spanish accent is killer, he seriously sounds like he was born and raised in Chiapas).  But yeah... kind of weird and funny story all at the same time. 

Some not so good things that happened this week:  Marisol, who was going to be baptized this coming Saturday, had to go to Guatemala for an undetermined amount of time.  So, her baptism is now very much postponed until she comes back :( Also, another really fun thing that happened this week.  Friday, I got sicker than I have been since my first week, and I actually threw up in the house of one of our investigators.  Eso me dio un buen de pena.  But, it happens (if you´re a gringo missionary in Mexico).  So, I called the Doctor that they have for us in the mission (thankfully they have one who speaks English and one who speaks Spanish, because I have no idea how to speak medically in Spanish), and I was kind of freaking out trying to remember how we start phone calls in English, and I was really relieved that he answered in Spanish.  But anyway, he told me to buy some pills, I bought them, I took them, we had to stay in the house Friday and Saturday, but now, I´m better!  And we´re really glad to not be in the house and sick anymore.

I’m so glad you got the package I sent.  Adam wanted to know how much all the stuff in the package cost in dollars.  I don´t remember really, but the only thing in there that was expensive was the big hammock (700 pesos, around 55 bucks), which I bought like my second week here (the little one Albertina actually sold me when I was in San José for really cheap).  Aside from the big hammock, all of the rest together would have cost me less than 25 bucks.  The expensive part was just sending it, so it´ll be awhile before I send another package. 

You asked about the hammock:  The big red one is the one I used in Tapachula.  I actually have yet another one, which I bought because it´s as big as the red and green one but it´s what they call "doble-tejida" which means "double woven", so it´s pretty sweet.  And it´s also like 10 colors and beautiful, and I am hoping to have the chance to use it again in a future area.  Oh, and I bought it because I found a place in Tapachula where they sell them super cheap right before I left San José. 

Anna asked about the spinning tops toys:  To answer the questions about the trompos, I'm ok with them.  I can do a few cool tricks and stuff (flip it onto my hand with the string then let it run down the string and such), but we don´t really have a ton of time to mess around with them.  But, toys here have seasons.  Which is kind of weird.  When I got here it was trompo season, and there were always a ton of kids in the street playing with trompos in Tapachula.  Now it´s the season of canicas (marbles), so we see more of that in the street now.  They actually use "toys" here way more than in the States, because there aren´t too many electronics around here.

Keep up the good work with you´re Spanish, Mom!!  I know it´s tough, but you´re doing great :)

Also, I just wanted to comment super fast that you´re the best mission mom ever!  All the other missionaries are going to hate me for getting 2 packages (maybe even 3 if interviews aren´t until late in this change) packages at once.  Thanks a ton :) I love you!

Basically, that´s all that´s going on here right now, we´re working hard to find the people that the Lord has prepared for us, because right now we´ve had to leave a lot of investigators because they don´t keep their commitments and won´t progress.  I´m kind of starting to understand why everyone was kind of "aww sorry you´ve got to go to Huixtla", because there hasn´t been much success here for a long time.  But, Presidente Cárdenas has promised every area in the mission that as we stive to become "perfect missionaries", the Lord will give us baptisms every week.  We´re holding on to that promise, and we´re going to find the people who are here waiting, and "kept from the truth only because they know not where to find it".

I love and miss you all so much!  Have an awesome week :)

Con amor,
Elder Nickerl

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