Hello Family and Friends!
Greetings all from Yautepec, Mexico! Wow. What a week. We worked so hard. We basically started from scratch. Getting to know the members, the area, trying to find investigators, etc. It has been really amazing though! The members here are so excited to work with us. We would meet them for the first time and they would just mention in passing "Elders, I have this family of 5 (another said 7) that said they are interested in the gospel, do you think we could plan something to meet with them together?" **Cue Elder Nielsen jaw drop. Ummm...yeah...I think that would be okay. This comes after months of begging and pleading other members in other areas for references. Also, we have a ward mission leader that is older than 18 and is active in the church (which is more than I can say for my past two areas). The church here is super strong. Lots of priesthood. Lots of returned missionaries. And about 80 to 100 in the chapel every week. I am so happy! The only down side to all of this is that things are starting to heat up in Mexico. Like...really heating up. We are entering the hot months. Uh oh.
Impression of Mexico!
1) I think that I have mentioned this before, but I have met probably 50 people that know Yorba Linda and its surrounding cities. This week we picked up an investigator....that went to Valencia High School and played Esperanza in soccer. We talked about Camelot, Del Taco, and Kraemer Boulevard.
Sorry guys. Only one. I was not to focused on the culture this week. Just working. And working hard. But I had one really powerful spiritual experience that I want to share.
We received a reference to go visit two sisters that are more in their elderly years named Hilda and Carolina. Well, we arrived (after being lost for 30 minutes), we were excited, and then we sat down and began to talk. Carolina, had recently lost her youngest son. She did not say how, or where, but he had been killed....on her birthday. She just kept repeating over and over again that he promised that he would call her and that the call never came. She burst into tears and said that she did not know what to do or what to think anymore. I was sitting there and just felt this overwhelming empathy for her. I actually started to tear up a little myself. I will never be able to imagine the grief and the pain that she must be feeling. But, I do know someone that does. We started to talk about Christ and the Atonement. I love the quote in Preach My Gospel that says that everything that is unfair in this life can be made right through the Atonement of Christ. I felt the Spirit very powerfully as I was testifying of these things to her. We also talked about the Plan of Salvation, that one day she will see her son again. And what a glorious reunion that will be for them. This is when she started shaking her head. She looked up at me and said. "All of that is pure lies. You are lying. You do not know that there is life after death. You cannot prove it. And you never will be able to. I will never see my son again. You are lying." She had to leave and did not express any more interest in listening to us anymore. All I could do is testify and tell her that I knew what I was saying was true. In this moment, I just started praying in my mind. I wanted so badly to give her the peace, knowledge, and comfort that I have concerning life after death. But I could not. It was so sad because I saw how much people suffer when they think that this life is the end. That when we die, the lights go out and we are no more. It was painful to watch. But, as he always does, a loving Heavenly Father, during the closing prayer, whispered to my soul, once again, that this life is not the end.
I know that the Plan of Salvation is real. Because Christ lived for us, atoned for us, died for us, and then was resurrected for us, that we will live again. No matter how unfair. No matter the size of the burden. No matter how dark things get in this world. Everything can and will be made right through the Atonement of Christ. This life is like a flicker in time. But we will have the same relationships we had here on earth through the eternities to come if we remain faithful. If we trust in our Heavenly Father and our Savior with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, then the pain of death and the grave is swallowed up in Christ and the victory of the resurrection. It is my testimony that he lives. That he loves us. That he cares for us so much. It is my hope and prayer that I can always live worthy of his love. I love you all.
"And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."