Hey everyone!! This week was really good and I have a lot to tell you so this email might be a little long, but here goes nothing: First off to answer some questions from my mom, who paid for all the weddings? Well the bishop told us to go tell everyone to fast for them this past fast Sunday and took the fast offerings from that week and used them to pay for the marriages. Second as for my packages I got grandmas package but not yours yet mom. Just a heads up Sister Whitehead said to always use US mail not fed ex or anything like that, and if you do send them, print off a picture of the Virgin Guadalupe and put it on the box. Everyone here is very superstitious and religious and wont open it and steal all of the stuff.
Secondly, this is the last week for a lot of things, this is Elder Herds last week as my companion and as a missionary. Im going to be getting a new companion next week and President told me that I was going to stay in Constituyentes for sure, so I will have a new companion sent here and I will have to show and teach him the area which is a daunting... haha. I am getting acustumed to being out here on a mission but the one thing that is still really hard is Mexicans listen to a lot of American music and when I hear songs like wrecking ball, roar and other popular songs that came out before I came out... that makes it really hard.
I don’t have many crazy stories but just a few that I wanted to share with you.
1: We went to Taquezicac to marry another couple (which is about 3 hours away) and on the bus ride back we had the craziest driver ever. He actually started racing another bus and every speed bump (which there are tons here....) sent us flying about 3 feet in the air, my butt hurt so bad after. Then to get around another car he went off the road, took out some huge branches that snaped on the door and flew in the bus. The ride is really hard to describe but just take my word that it was CRAZY!!
2. This really isn’t crazy at all but something I wanted to include. This week we had the best Chile Reno of my whole life, and the day following had the best Mole I have ever had in my life!! I thought of Dad and Ben and how jealous they would be. I am going to upload all my pictures on dropbox and there is one of the Chile Reno so dad and Ben can drool a little bit haha ;)
Alright, enough with the stories and updates the rest of this email is going to be spiritual. First off there are 2 things that I learned this week that I really wanted to share:
1. We had a priesthood lesson that was so good! It was about the sacrament and talking about Christ said take the sacrament in my name, to remember me. The teacher then gave this example: Each one of you imagine that your whole city go sick. That everyone had a rare blood disease and would die except for your son. The doctor said that if we use the blood of your son he will die, but he can save the whole city with all of your friends and family, so you and your son decide to sacrifice his life for the better good. Then about a week later you hold a banquet in his honor, you have pictures of him and everything to remember his sacrifice and you invite the whole city, but no one shows up. How would you feel? Angry? Sad? Frustrated? Like the people of the city are so ungrateful for the sacrifice you and your son made to save their lives? Well this is the same with the Sacrament. Heavenly Father sacrificed his only begotten son so that all of us can live forever, and holds a banquet in his remembrance every Sunday, and if we don’t go, we are the ungrateful citizens.... This really kind of hit me hard.
2. During our weekly training with our zone we had a special practice. Our zone leader had me and a few other people come and do the practice. We had to pretended and act like the elder we were teaching was our mom, and we all wanted to be baptized except for her and this was our only chance to convince her. The moral of the lesson was to treat everyone with love and affection and to imagine how it would feel it you were sitting across from your mom trying to live with her forever. Even though I took this away from the lesson also I thought about something that I wrote in my journal. I said: Think about how much you miss your family for only two years. Now think about how much others will miss their families forever if you dont help them. This really helped me a lot and when I get homesick at all I look at this and it gives me strength to push on.
Lastly, the greatest part of this week. This week my companion and I baptized the Mondragon family. We baptized 15 people in the same service from this family and it was so amazing. These were my first baptisms from this mission and it was so amazing helping these families change their lives and really it made all the pain and hard work so worth it. The best part of the baptisim was when Odilon (the dad) offered the most humble prayer I have ever heard and tears still come to my eyes every time I think about it. All the nights of hard work, all the sore muscles, all the morning where I thought I was to tired to get out of bed, but I did it anyway. All the blisters I have on my feet and the diseases I got from baptizing bare foot where all so worth it when I heard this man that I love so much start crying, thanking his Heavenly Father "For the missionaries who came and changed the life of him and his family. For the amazing opportunity to be baptized with his whole family and for the chance to live with them forever." This really hit me hard, this is the first time I really felt how much of a difference I made in the lives of this family that I love so much, a love that I cant even describe. Everything, and I mean everything was worth it and 1000 more times when I heard how truly grateful Odilon was for the influence and impact that we made on his life. This is something I will never ever ever forget and I am so glad I got the chance to be apart of the change this family made.
This week was amazing and I am so happy I got the chance to teach and baptize this amazing family. I am going to attach the picture of the baptism and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. I love and miss you all!!