Hello Family and Friends!Things are really starting to heat up down here! Literally I have been awaiting the month of May with great anticipation for quite some time now. Everyone has always told me basically, "If you think that it is hot now, just you wait until May roles around." Well. May is coming and literally at 10:00 a.m. the heat is similar to being in the desert in the middle of Summer!
Impressions of Mexico!
1) I think I have become an expert (after 10 months) with the tortilla. I actually am more efficient in eating with the tortilla than I am with utensils now. The members have been teaching me techniques for months now and I have finally mastered them. I can now offically call myself Mexican.
2) Just in case you were wondering, the Virgin of Guadalupe is still alive and well here in Mexico. This week a Sister in the Branch told me that she received her answer that the church was true because she prayed to the spirit of the Virgin. *Elder Nielsen Jaw Drop*
As you can see. Little by little I am becoming more Mexican. The members are actually calling me "Guero" (white boy) less and less and less and are actually calling me "Morenito" now (slightly brown boy) due to the fact that I am starting to tan! I actually prefer tortilla to bread. Food does not have a lot of taste now without at least a little salsa and I am starting to understand almost all the jokes that people say in Spanish now!
This week was actually really good for Elder Lopez and I. We have been teaching a single mother named Malena and her four children for quite some time now. She had been meeting with a ton of different religions before us, and, therefore, had a very distorted impression of the church. Her main doubt (and actually one of the biggest distortations of the church here in Mexico) is that we worship Joseph Smith and pray to him for our Salvation. So we have taught her and worked with her and she is progressing so much. She loves the Book of Mormon. She is coming to church. She is just having a lot of trouble recognizing her answer that the church is true. This week she told us that during one of our lessons, she was listening and just feeling very calm and peaceful. She then looked at my companion and saw a light over his head that filled her with peace. She then said that she looked at me and said that she felt such a strong peace and tranquility fall over her as I was looking at her in the eyes. The Spirit truly works through us if we are in tune with him. He is the key in all of this. I feel empty when he is not with me now.I love this Gospel. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I know I say this every week but it is so true. I rely on them and on the Holy Ghost and through them, I truly find peace on a day to day basis. Sometimes a simple testimony is all that we need to express in order to change the hearts of people. I know that God lives. Jesus is the Christ. Life continues on after death. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that through the Atonement I can return to live with my Father in Heaven again with my family, having overcome every challenge and every difficulty that life presents me because of the foundation on which I choose to build myself. This life is so short, and being seperated from "the world" for 10 months has helped me to know how meaningless a lot of the things of the world really are. Even though serving a mission has been hard, I can truly say that it has brought me the most happiness as well.
I love you all. So very much. And pray for your well-being. I hope you truly feel the love your Savior and Heavenly Father have for you as well.Elder Nielsen