My Visa came through today and I leave for Mexico on Monday morning.
This past week I went with 20 other elders to the Mexican Consulate near the Bees (or buzz or whatever they are called now) stadium. On the way out there all the missionaries were giddy with eagerness to talk to someone outside the MTC. I have had so much time around my district it felt a little off to be around a group of strangers. At one point though I was with 2 other elders and we struck up a conversation with two members. One was a girl my age that goes to UVU and she was asking for my advice on how to read scriptures. She said she really struggled to make time for reading them among all of her school work. I was able to tell her with confidence that if she set aside time for the Lord then her mind would be cleared and her motivation for other aspects of her life would be increased. I have felt this in the MTC and Spanish comes easier when I have properly studied the Book of Mormon. After that we started talking to a man that looked pretty grungy; overweight, gold teeth, and ragged clothing. We found out he was baptized but that he had never read the book of Mormon and wasn’t active. I told him to read the first 3 chapters in Mosiah and to pray about it. The Elder next to me had a book and we outlined the section for him with parts to pay attention to most. The crazy part of this was that in the middle of talking to him he started to have a minor seizer. I had never seen this before and didn't know what was happening. I thought for a second that maybe he was having an Alma like experience Or something crazy like that. But after it was over he just kept talking like it was nothing. My face was probably stark white and my mouth wide open.
I was quite flattered that Henry used my email in his talk – tell him hey. I have been looking very diligently for Adelide (partly because I hear that she has a box for me) but I am excited to see her. She will thoroughly enjoy the MTC. I know I have.
A highlight has been reading the family history that Steve sent. I read it before I go to bed. I was pretty stoked to read about a relative that had served alongside General Washington. It is also impressive to read about those that lived humble lives, not noticed by others, who just wanted to fear God and be good folks.My advice to my younger siblings (especially Cate, who has a record of being a bully :) is to be kind. This kindness is especially needed by those who may not have good social skills. I have been thinking about a time in my ninth grade math class when an individual there was the butt of many jokes. This guy wasn't easy to be around and he hit quite a few branches on the way down the quirky tree. One day I told his tormentors to lay-off and I tried to get to know the guy. At times the math was more fun than some of our conversations but the jokes at his expense ended and that made me feel good. I have also been at the other end of this ride. There have been times when I have delivered the jokes in attempted good humor, but took it too far. I have also had times when I was intentionally harassing someone. I always ended up regretting this and have thought about it many times afterwards. I have also been on the receiving end and it wasn't fun. So, I am learning never to put people down, especially those that weren’t given as much. You never know what people have been through. We can all hope to be the individual that people think of as always kind.
In the MTC there are all kinds of people. One kid has been all sorts of sick for the past 6 weeks; much of it due to his lack of of hygiene. He puts deodorant on at night saying that it lasts 24 hours. Well, he doesn’t smell pleasant the next day. When I tried to just laugh all that off and be buddies with him I found him to be a real good guy.I love ya’all at home and can't wait to talk to you on Monday.
We hope Spence will start taking some pictures when he gets to Mexico