First of all, Happy Birthday Dad! You´re the best and I love you so much.
Another great week down in La Gran Misión México Cuernavaca! It´s been starting to rain pretty often now and I´m loving it. Yesterday, I completed 8 months as a missionary and 3 of mine and Elder Silva´s investigators were baptized and confirmed this weekend!
Marlen, 28, is a single mother of 4 that lives in a town in our area called Tierra Colorado (Colored Earth). It´s only about a 20 minute taxi ride from our house, but it always feels like it´s about 15 degrees hotter over there. Anyway, Marlen has known about the Church for a while, but has had a bunch of family, financial, and spiritual difficulties that have impeded her from progressing. She has a long story. Her four kids come from 4 different fathers. Elder Silva and I have worked to help Marlen understand and achieve true repentance. Through many commitments and perseverence on both ends, Marlen passed her baptismal interview with President Ávila. Only in certain cases do investigators have to interview with the mission president. She is now one of the most sincerely repentant women that I´ve had the privilege of knowing. Last week, after attending stake conference, she shared with us that she felt more peace, comfort, and joy that she had felt in a long time and that she knows the Church is true.
Jazmin, 11, is Marlen's second daughter, and she´s so awesome. She´s a bit shy and hides her face when she prays or reads scriptures in front of us, but she completes all the commitments we leave with her and has a strong testimony. I was shocked to see her walk up to the pulpit in front of the whole branch this Sunday to bear her testimony during sacrament meeting, the same sacrament meeting that she had been confirmed a member of the Church. But then she roasted me after Church when she said, Elder Tucker, why didn't you bear your testimony? hahaha
The only other child of Marlen that is old enough to be baptized is Rosa, 13. Rosa is really great too, but she´s had some very hard situations in the past that have lead her to have some psychological problems. It´s hard for her to trust men, especially new ones that come into her live like me, so she wasn't baptized this weekend, but we´ll keep working to help her. She attended the baptisms and confirmations of her mom and sister this weekend and was sad because she realized she wanted to be baptized too. I´ll keep you posted on the progress. I´m not giving up because part of our purpose as missionaries is to unite families.
Nora, 58, is a street contact of Elder Silva and his last companion. She´s a widow. She has the best personality and the best laugh. Reminds me a lot of Margie Aslett. She´s a golden investigator. Gives great prayers which almost always lead to tears.
Great, great week. I am learning so much from Elder Silva. My testimony is stronger than ever. The work moves on! Excited for what´s ahead.
3- Perfect Companions
Letter Number Two:
Hi Mom! Sounds like fun at the new house! Sweet that you made Al Pastor, it´s my favorite. Yes, sometimes we have guacamole! Sweet that Alcatraz is coming up! You´re thoughts about the temple are so true. Keep going!
Sometimes as members, we think, that there are two parts to the Church- Missions and Local. This isn´t true at all, missionaries and members are part of the same Church. In order to have the most success en building God´s Kingdom, we must work together and have the same purpose. Sometimes it can be scary or hard to share the Gospel with someone because we fear that we could risk losing someone as a friend. Our friends are sons and daughters of the same Father in Heaven and they need what we have.
Other times, we think, this person could never repent or accept the Gospel. When we say or think those things it is a lack of faith. Not only that, but its as if we said to Jesus Christ himself, your atonement wasn't enough for that person, you should've have suffered more in the Garden of Gethsemane. He already paid for the sins of the world. Have the faith that all can accept and be redeemed of Him.
I've meet a lot of really humble people on the mission her in Mexico. Through all their trials, they find strength in the Gospel. Also, I´ve realized that Heavenly Father is always helping and serving us, especially when we serve others. The times where I have felt like I´ve been doing the most to serve others on my mission are the times when I´ve received the most support from my Father in Heaven.
One of my zone leaders is named Elder Carter from Independence Missouri, and his grandpa served a mission with Grandpa Funk in Brazil in 1956! Heres a pic of us.
Love you Mom