para mi familia:
I imagine that you were expecting this letter to come late. (I´m sorry, the keyboard doesn´t write the letter C very well, so excuse the typos) Yeah, there were changes, and I got changed to the Molinito....again! You may remember that I was here about 9 months ago, we had just barely divided the ward into two areas. Well, I´m back, but now in the other half of the ward. My new companion´s name is Elder Riches and he is from Grantsville, Utah (yeah, like where we would pass by to go to Lake Tahoe.) It´s kind of an interesting ordeal being two gringos from Utah in Mexico...I had never had that experience before, but now I have two companions in a row that are from Utah, so that´s pretty interesting.
Once again, for General Conference, the president asked us to work in our areas on Saturday, and invite the people to go two sessions on Sunday. I was pretty disappointed, but it seems like they will be sending the Zones disks with the Saturday sessions on them (including Priesthood Session). It was an awesome experience in this week. They had challenged us to do the 140 contacts that Elder Ballard had challenged us to do(or simply they reiterated that same promise.) We hadn´t been doing well with the contacts, but I came to have a testimony that if we do contact at least 10 per day per companion, that the baptisms would increase dramatically. Unfortunately, we fell short of the goal, only doing 118 of the 140 contacts, but we improved drastically the way we worked together, and we began to really notice how we began to notice from the get go who we should teach and whom we should let sprout the seed.
In this last change I have really made great progress in being able to express love for the people...even in the street before knowing them. It´s funny because I was going to say that I learned to express my love for the people. This is probably because I really felt it this week, however I realize that it wasn´t really my love, but His. We as human beings are not able to love everybody on sight. Luckily enough, being a mere Vessel of Charity really is a joyful experience. It is very weird, because you feel a desire for the best of the people, and feel like you have a confidence to talk to them as if you had a long time getting to know them....but it´s really the first time you´ve ever seen them before. It´s amazing the difference it makes in contacting, in teaching, and in doing interviews. The people are much more receptive when you show that you care. Even if they choose to reject the message, you remain feeling like you´ve done your part in planting the seed, and you move on to look for more souls to harvest.
I feel like we were able to plant and nurture several seed this week, which I hope the next week will be harvested. It´s weird speaking of them because they are so far away, and I don´t know how to trace their progress. The first investigator was Luz Chavez, who is a neighbor of ours that is really receptive to the message of the restoration. She was able to read the pamphlet, and understood 3 Nephi 11 to a perfection. My companion and Elder Loya will have to program a baptismal date with her, because her busy work schedule makes it difficult that she can get baptized this week. She was also able to attend the last session of General Conference, and afterwards she looked at us and said..."this was what I was looking for."
Another family, the Caixba Martinez Family was another great tender mercy we found this week. We knocked on their door while looking for a reference which ended up being a bad address. However, the Lord works in mysterious ways, and we were able to find this couple and their young child. Both of them had listened to various religions before, the Jehovah´s Witnesses, the Baptist, Presbyterians, and all of the bunch. They had seen companions of us over by the Metro Rosario, where there is a big Stake Center (it is now my Stake Center in this area), and they wanted to know why we had never been over there. It was really interesting then, that I, after four and half months in that area, and having never before explored that part of the area, decided to take advantage of the spare time to knock doors because nobody was in the street.
The wife, Carmen, opened the door, and immediately invited us to come in and talk to the both of them. We taught them both Lesson one and Lesson Three, but we were not able to commit them to get baptized because they are not legally married. However, they did go to General Conference Sunday morning. My companion Elder Price and I did interchanges with ward missionaries to pass for several investigators. Elder Price tells me that when he got there, the brother was already ready and told them to get in his taxi to go to church.
The last tender mercy we found was a mother and son who have a store in the Center of Tlalnepantla. Her name is Raquel, and he is Cristian. We had a great talk about the restoration, and they both committed to read the pamphlet, we were not able to explain much about or give away a Book of Mormon, but it was a really good lesson. We also invited them to go to Conference. On Sunday another ward missionary and I passed for them at about 10:00, she opened the door and said that she would meet us there, that there was no gas and hadn´t been able to shower nor get ready. She also explained that the son was not going to be able to attend with us.
So I got back to the church, meeting my companion and his temporary companion, and I was not completely sure how things were going to end up from my end. She seemed sincere enough, but a missionary well knows that that doesn´t mean anything really. I did pray that she would show up during the conference. Then at the end, I was approached by a well groomed lady. I recognized her to be Raquel, she thanked us for inviting her, and told us that she had been thoroughly impressed by the spirit of the conference. She then asked "Do you have the book of mormon that it mentions in the pamphlet, and that gentleman mentioned in his talk?" We were obliged to give her one, set an appointment for the next day to talk once again....she thanked us again graciously and asked how much she owed us, we assured her that it was simply a gift that we give to all that are interested in this message.
There is not much time. I know this is the true Church. I know that this work is the Lord´s work. There is no other explanation. Human hands cannot do what we are doing...we are nothing in comparison to the work the Lord will do if we do not impede him by our own actions and worldly desires. I wish I had been working this whole change, this whole mission like I´m doing right now. But I can´t afford to look back to regret... There is no time.