Hello Family and Friends!
This has been a very special week for me. I was able to baptize someone that I love very much. As we were leaving the water, I leaned over to Luz María and said, smiling and with joy, "You're clean now. Completely clean." Since there is no baptismal font here in Altamirano (because there is no chapel) we had her baptism in a pool. It was quiet. Peaceful. And just to let you know what type of a person Luz María is, as we were leaving the place where the pool was she invited the owner to go to church with us on Sunday. During her confirmation, she was blessed that through her mouth many would come to a knowledge of the restored gospel. That made me emotional. I know that men and women change when they come to know their Savior, their Heavenly Father, and the restored gospel. It was a very special moment for me.
Impressions of México!
1) There are a surprisingly large number of Mexicans that have a large fear of water. Like, there are tons that don't know how to swim. Just an observation.
2) When people give you fish to eat, a lot of the time it is not cut and prepared. Like they will literally just fry the fish, scales and all in oil and put on your plate. Your job is to pick it apart with your fingers. That still grosses me out a bit.
3) Oh. I ate barbequed goat today. As I was eating I noticed that I could see his skull sitting in a pot with the rest of his intestines on top of the counter. It's a wonder that I haven't gotten sick very often during my mission. I think I have a stomach of iron now.
4) It is SUPER hot here. So it is not uncommon to see little babies or toddlers escape from their houses and start running in the streets, butt-naked, and bare-foot. As their mothers frantickly chase them down. That has happened on more than one occasion.
There is a scripture that I have thought a lot about in Isaiah this week. "And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever." I love that scripture. I love it because it is so true. I have seen it. When people do what is right, they feel peace. They live quiet, wonderful, service-filled lives. They don't look for the accolades, support, or the good opinion of this world and its morals that are spiraling out of control. And they have assurance, that if they continue on, that they will receive all that our Father has. They will gain eternal life.
I love you all very much. I know that this church is true. I know that it is true because it has the power to lift up our gaze to the eternal. I know that God knows us. He knows our hearts. Our minds. Our thoughts. And our actions. He loves you, even if you have made mistakes. His plan is perfect. When we repent and change we feel peace. I love my Savior a lot. I know that we are all in need of healing. We are each given our own trials and weaknesses. Sometimes we just need to be there for others. Listen to them. Be with them. And love them. I have come to know that love is so much stronger than fear. And actions are so much stronger than words. God is speeding up his work, for both the people that have come to know the gospel and those who haven't. I love the Mexican people. And I love being a missionary.
I hope that you all have an amazing week!