Thursday, December 29, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY. Whoever reads this...I hope Sunday is a wonderful Christmas day for all of ya´ll.
 
Ok, well, this week was pretty good in some ways, and not great with health for Elder Sanchez. He had Denge a couple of months ago, and has been a little bad this week in his health. We went to the doctor, because he has red eyes, and can´t focus on things very well, among other symptoms. There, we found out, that in these months he has already lost 20 pounds. And he already was a skinny guy...So that has been a little rough for him, but we are still leaving out to work.
 
Random note: we have a hammock in our house, and I slept in it every night this week...very comfortable.
 
We had our activity Triple A- animo, amor, y activación on Saturday. Unfortunately, many people had other activities, so we were only like 12-15 people from the Ward. However, it was great...we made plates of goodies, and finished the cards. We divided in groups, and did visits to about 21 different less-actives or investigators. It was a special moment, and those that went became much more excited about missionary work. We truly are gaining the trust of the Ward members, and hope to work on their side this week.
 
Carlos Hernandez is a funny old man that has 2 grandchildren kidnapped more or less right now. He came to church on Sunday, and later told us that if he comes to know that the Book of Mormon is true, that he will be baptized. Karen is the cousin of an investigator from earlier in the transfer-Fernando. She came to church, loved it, and said she will come next week. Also, we had the pleasant surprise of giving a talk on sunday...and I was grateful for the numerous occasions that we had that in Yajalon to almost make it normal for me.
 
Spiritual Experience of the week:
We went to the house of a lady in the ward, shared a hymn, and asked for references. She gave us two good references. One of them is named Maria José, and as we began to talk with her she told us that 15 days beforehand, her best friend died. She was angry beforehand with God, and wouldn´t listen to people talk about Him. However, she listened to us...and as we testified of the reality of a life after death, the spirit was so present. I felt a certainty about what we told her. While we walked away from her house, I remembered of many prayers that I had made to God about 7 or 8 months ago pleading Him to help me know with a surety that the plan of Salvation is real. That experience was an answer to my prayer, and I hope that she will progress in the Gospel.
 
Merry Christmas and a happy new year,
 
ELDER PALMER

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dec. 14th, 2011


Ok. Well, the biggest even of this past week was such an inspiring Zone Conference. I believe it was one of the most motivating and spiritual reunion that I have had. Beforehand, frankly, I think that most of the elders felt a distance between them and our new President. Some had lost trust in him as he made some surprising calls of leadership in the mission. For me, I just didn`t feel like I knew him beforehand very well...however, I think every one left that conference feeling a deep respect for him, a certainty of the inspiration in his actions, and excitement to work. Many of the principles he talked about apply to more than just missionary work.

I don`t have time to share everything, but maybe one or two thoughts. He talked about "telarañas". Literally, it translates as spider webs.  However, in Spanish (in Mexico...I don`t know about other parts) it refers to mental barriers, believing generalizations, excuses, and/or really a lack of faith. He talked about how in the mission, unfortunately, "telarañas" were prevailing. Examples such as: my companion doesn`t work hard, the members don`t help us, there are sooo many inactives, this area never baptizes, I`ve talked to everyone in this neighborhood, they are all Catholic and won`t change, and the list goes on and on. Truly, I was able to recognize the "telarañas" that I had, and the barrier that that is creating between me and success. I felt the inspiring feeling that we are the people God needs, we are in the right place at the right time, and that we can work miracles...if our unbelief doesn`t hinder it.

Also, in the conference, apart from many other things, we played a few Christmas games, sang a few Christmas songs (mom...you’d be proud, I tried doing harmony in small groups haha)...and ate the best i have eaten in the mission. However, for me, the greatest of all was that Elder Hercules came, visiting, from the offices, and Elder Peterson (roommate from MTC too) is now in Tapachula...what a joyful reunion those type of moments can be. I repeat...Elder Hercules is my hero (literally ha!)--he is such a fine missionary. Elder Peterson, too...he was so humble, and has truly worked some grand miracles in his mission!

With the work here, we are trying to apply new principles. We recognize that the obstacle, more than anything, is helping people come to church. Sometimes, I feel like it was easier in Yajalon inviting people to travel 2 hours and pay 100 pesos to go to church than here when it is around the corner. However, we are thinking of new things that we can do to help them.

We are excited for our ward activity we are planning... Triple A (AAA) animo, amor, y activation. We chose 18 families (6 in three neighborhoods) that we will make plates of cookies and go visit this Saturday.

I send my love and testimony, and deep thanks for the prayers on my behalf. I feel the support from them, and pray that the work keeps upward and onward here.

ELDER PALMER

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5th, 2011

                                                The photo is of a small part of Xochimilco
Hola! This week has been good. I will try once again to give details. OK...well in the mornings Elder Sanchez and I continue running and doing exercise outside...sometimes we run to the church building and play futbol on their field, and then we eat a little breakfast. It is so hot here, even at like 8 in the morning...so we are always drinking waters like a camel in a sauna. I love my three study hours...it is like a gift from God: 3 hours to study with no interruptions. It could be the only time in my life with that sweet deal. Our mission president has advised us in our personal study of the scriptures to divide it into three parts of 20 minutes. 1st- read and study the Book of Mormón, 2nd- study the doctrine that we teach people (using the Book of Mormon, Bible, Preach my Gospel, and other books), and 3rd- to study 1 of 8 topics that are part of the simplified curriculum for missionary work. In our companionship study, we do a number of things that I won´t list here, but also we practice for what we are going to teach people in the day. One time this week, we practiced contacting people, but it didn´t work because we ended up laughing a bunch. In the night, we plan the next day, fill out paperwork, write in our journal, and if there is time (rarely, but every once in a while) I hop into our hammock and enjoy that comfort. I love hammocks...and I must confess that one night I accidentally fell asleep in the hammock all night.

The work is going well. The Ward is brightening up, giving us people (family members or friends) to teach, and we are planning a number of activities. We are pending on our Open House activity, but next week we will do a "tarde de reactivación". This idea came to me as i thought about how in the states, we often bake cookies and take them to people, so we are going to talk to the sisters in Relief Society to make tomales or whatever, and then as a ward in divided groups we will take them to less actives and investigators to tell them hi, merry christmas, and we hope to see them strong in church. So we will see how that goes. We hope to see Jorge Osorio, piano player and brother of a member in the ward, get baptized on Christmas eve. 

Also, we had the Christmas devotional. That was so good. On our way there, we went with a family who owns a Combe (a huge van for public transport)...and we went to pick up some investigators. There were four kids noisier that an elephant in a firestorm right next to me, however, I still managed to feel very uplifted by the Christmas message. The poor mom looked like she wanted to throw the towel in and give up at the end of that devotional.

Margarita is a woman who got baptized when she was a child, and inactivated the same year. Now, 30 years later, her son Michell just got baptized a month ago with Elder Sanchez. Her son is a handful, and pretty funny. She had attended a christian church for years beforehand, and yesterday at church shared how she feels something special...and familiar to her that draws her to come to church with us. It is a wonderful thing seeing the conversion process take form in many different people.

Sometimes I just get so excited I think I weird my companion out. Other times, I am more calm. However, its all good, and we get along well and are trying to improve. I have realized in the mission that my Christlike attribute that I lack the most of is patience. I used to joke with my companions that I would try to develop patience, but I don´t have time. Haha. However, I am trying to develop that with Elder Sanchez. 

It is an interesting quest, as a missionary, to try and become the best missionary...but still be your self. I will always remember the phrase my mom always says, "Be your best self", and how true it is! God doesn´t want me to be someone else, but He wants me to be the best me, finding a balance and funneling my "best me" to being the best missionary I can. Sometimes, I have found it difficult to remember that. Before the mission, I felt happy soo often so easily. Now, I sometimes have to work hard to be happy, and to remember who I am. But ya, I´m going to cut these abstract conclusions and finish my letter.

To finish, I want to testify of the life of Jesus Christ. It is December, and almost Christmas, and we get to remember His life in so many aspects. His love; His sacrifice. And what all of that means to us now. Honestly, I believe that He came to this world, was our Savior, and in that made possible eternal life. In the Christmas Devotional, they mentioned eternal life a number of times. It is true, through Christ we can obtain that. 

Ánimo de Tapachula, Chiapas,

Elder Palmer

Sunday, December 4, 2011

November 28th, 2011

O.K. I don´t have quite as many details to say this week like last week, but I will try for you, Mom. That photo is about the baptism on Saturday of Flor de Maria. She is the lady in my past area (Jardines) that had been waiting to get baptized for four years...and finally got married. We got permission to go to the baptism. Her family is incredible, her and her daughter (who is a member), have such strong testimonies, and I am so grateful for their example to me. The Baptismal service was very very special. She has back problems, and so we were praying that she would be able to submerge 100% without too much pain in the Baptism, and too our great satisfaction it went perfectly without much pain. Afterwards, she had a large meeting with a group of people celebrating her marriage.
In my new area, Xochimilco, we are still having difficulties in finding new investigators. We have been studying, thinking, and trying new ideas to find people. Sometimes, just knocking on a bunch of doors doesn´t seem very effective (even though it is sometimes necessary). So, we are looking for a better way. Our ¨ward¨ has between 55 and 60 people in church on sundays...and we are trying to plan some activities to get them excited. I really admire many of the members here. They are such simple, faithful people. Many of them were pioneers here in Tapachula, and they have stuck to it through thick and thin...truly clinging to the iron rod. However, the numerous inactive members in our area are those lost sheep that we hope to help the members rescue.
Love,
Elder Palmer

November 21st, 2011

O.k...well a little birdie seems to tell me that my family wants more details about my life and mission. So, I will do my best to write details and little nitpicky things to sound like me and not a weekly reporter. This first photo is with my new companion. And yes, those are two snakes that are my little buddies. This is in the house of a family in the ward; the mom used to be the Mamita for many years for the Elders...but they just abolished that. However, we eat there on Mondays, and I like playing with their pet snakes. One is named Taquito.

The next photo is from a baptism a few weeks ago with Elder Dìaz. (Arlette and Yuleimi are being baptized).

Now with Elder Sanchez, we get along really well. He is really funny, speaks the best english out of all of the mexican missionaries I know, and maybe will go to BYU afterwards. We enjoy being companions, and it has been the smoothest transition going to being his companion: in teaching, talking, contacting, etc.

Um...honestly...we did get to this area with very few investigators (none with baptismal date). Im kind of used to it...getting to a new area, asking who do we have, and hearing about few people. It isn`t bad about Elder Sanchez...because they just baptized the investigators they had, but we are going to have to do lots of contacting. We tried all sorts of creative contacting ways (even to singing hymns on the doorstep...that was fun). We found one young man-Fernando-who has a family member who is a Mormon and Elder Sanchez knows him from Mexico D.F. He accepted a baptismal date, and we will see where that goes.

Our house is pretty good actually. It is the first time I have drawers or a closet to put my clothes in while in Mexico...score! Xochimilco is in the same District as Jardines, so I still am stomping on the ground of my last area a lot (district meetings, etc.). My companion is a district leader for the first time, and his first baptismal interview was Marcelo (the young man that I taught). Marcelo still isn`t ready for baptism. However, if yall remember Flor de Maria (the awesome lady who has attended church for 4 years and not been baptized), she will be baptized this saturday, and the President gave permission so that I can baptize her in the baptismal service this Saturday.

Chapter nine of Preach My Gospel is about how we can find people that are prepared. I am studying, and I think I will be restudying that Chapter this whole transfer.

The Church is good...the ward is small and a little too calm. We will do what we can to get the members excited and increase the attendance. It is really sad to see how many less actives there are in these areas. Some wards have like 60 people active, and like 400 inactive. However, there are a number of families here that were part of the pioneering in Tapachula, and they are very strong.

How else can I be detailed? Oh, there is a Chedraui in our area! It is the mexican walmart. So, that is crazy. Um...what else. Oh ya...in that third photo is a picture of the milk and water here. We have to drink water from a Garrafon (20 liter jug) because we can`t drink from the tap, and the milk comes in a box. I will miss a lot of Mexican food when I return one day, but I will not miss the boxed milk. It tastes funny.

Muy bien. La vida es buena,
Elder Palmer
                           Bum bum...du da bum bum...da du--da du dooooo da du doooo dò dò.
                                              Mission impossible. code: tapachula over.

It always makes my laugh when I see a pig randomly in the road

                                                        Making pan a couple of weeks ago

 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Two very short letters

November 14th

I literally have like five minutes to write. I got transferred within
Tapachula...the same zone to an area called Xochimilco with Elder
Sanchez. I am alive and will tell more details later. I love you.
Elder Palmer


November 7th

(This letter of Geoffrey's came with a great need for editing...capital
letters all in the wrong places..strange spaces etc.  So I edited it,
but just can't change the funny grammar and odd sentence structure he
sometimes uses because of his immersion in the Spanish language.  I
love it.)

Dear Mom

This computer is very slow. You don`t even know. It just can`t go. Oh no! My beard is beginning to grow. Just kidding around, but seriously!   It has taken 24 minutes just to copy and paste your and dad`s letter onto a word document! What a pain! And right now I am typing without seeing the letters (as they appear about ten seconds afterwards). So thats my excuse for no photos this week...I dont want to take up that challenge right now. Next week Ill look for a better computer. But really, I have a lot of good fotos to send.
Thank you a bunch for the package. You scored well...especially with the lemonade powder.
  Ugh I quit this computer! Sorry this letter is going to be short, and I will leave and go study about patience in PMG or something .. ha.

  However, we had a very special baptismal service with Arlett and Yuleimi...29 members came! There was a sweet spirit there, and we look forward to using that moment to animate many of their family members to return to full activity in the church.

  We have found a number of really great people through talking with people. We put the goal that every family that we saw we would always contact. Through that we found Rosa and Javier Gonzalez, whom have wonderful desires and accepted a baptismal date on the first visit.
 
I had exchanges twice this week. One with Elder Martinez, who is hilarious. Another, with Elder Gabbitas from Utah who is a stud missionary really.  Also, I was really impressed as one of the missionaries who I know is always so happy and an example for us, I found out, had his mom pass away six months ago. I know that these comrades in the work here really have testimonies and are good examples for me.

  Bueno. Ya voy a retirarme, porque no lo soporto. Love you bunches.

  Elder Palmer

Monday, October 31, 2011

October 31st, 2011

Well, a summit point of this week was the arousing visit of Elder Tenorio, from the Quorum of the seventy. It was an inspirational visit. Actually, it has changed the way I view many aspects of life, and especially mission life. He talked about a few important keys to finding success. More or less, what I took out of it was three factors of finding success in the mission and really in life:
     1.Effort (work ethic, diligence, and just the amount of effort we are willing to render in search of whatever success we seek)
     2.Concentration (our ability to prioritize; determination; and focus)
     3.Joy (joy in the journey, joy in our successes)
 
How true these three points are. One could take it as an abstract outline for a motivational speech, or short list of a truth that guides us to finding success. I hope to apply these points in my missionary labors. In place of one day working my tail off, the next day not so much, and so on...in sporadic splurges of hard work, I hope to apply steady amounts of effort in the work, concentrated in my purpose, and finding joy in the process. It was an amazing visit, and the Spirit testified to me that this work is true and that we need to work hard.
 
Marcelo has an amazing ability to feel and recognize the spirit. He has recognized that for sure these things are true, and feels the desire to get baptized. However, he is facing opposition from his parents. We are going to go to his house tomorrow to try and gain their trust and invite them to learn about the Gospel too.
 
We are excited to start seeing people that we are teaching take the important step of baptism in their lives, and we hope to continue finding prepared people.
 
While we were knocking doors the other day, we found a young family that the lord has prepared. The parents are married legally (that is not so common with many young families); the dad has been to the church in Tamaulipas a number of times; they have been talking about attending the very church that we represent. I know that God has prepared them so that they can become faithful members of his church.
 
Also, we followed up with a guy we had taught on his doorstep, and we found out that his wife is a member from many years ago...and this kind, wise, and thoughtful man (he is a teacher) is beginning to be taught by us, and we look forward to teaching all of his family together.
 
Happy Halloween. :) Trick or treat. Ha.
 
Much love from Tapachula...
Elder Palmer

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Oct. 17th and 24th, 2011

Well things are going well in the work. Cool experience: We contacted a lady and began to present the book of mormon. The spirit was way strong, and then she told us how she had flipped through a book of mormon in a Mariott hotel in Tuxtla Gutierrez. She said that a couple on months ago, God didn´t matter to her, but that recently her life has flipped upside down...she has lost evrything, and that just 2 days ago she was praying for guidance. She is Cristina.
 
Martin and his family are a family that we found while he was selling bread on the street, and I was hungry. We taught his family, and they seem interested. We also went one morning and helped them make bread. That was cool...it is way different than I imagined. I´ll send a picture later.
 
Quick rundown of the people that we are teacing that are close to baptism:
-Martha, Arlett, and Yuleimi: Martha is a Grandma and an ex-member of the church... we hope that she will be able to get baptized.  It has been a long time without the blessings of being a active member  in the church.  Arett and Yuleimi are her grandchildren, and they are preparing for baptism for the 5th of November.
-Marcelo--He is that young man I wrote about last week that had already read a bunch of the Book of Mormon...he is preparing for the 5th of November, and is a special young man. We hope to get to know his family this week.
-Flor de Maria- She is incredible. She has been attending church for 3 years, and has a flaming testimony. She will be getting married with her husband in November, and afterwards will be baptized. Her daughter is a super active young adult. We had a Family Home Evening with them last night, and the spirit was super strong as we watched the movie of the restoration. What a special family.
-Ana-she has come to church 12 times...has a small testimony, and is a 30 year old single lady. She just still doesn´t feel excited or ready enough to get baptized; we will see what happens with her.
 
Much love from Tapachula,
Elder Palmer

ps   Oh mom...I am the pianist for the ward too. Just thought you would want to know.


October 17th

Quick update of the work. We have been knocking many doors, and talking to lots of people in order to find more investigators. It has proved successful, as we have found many people to teach now and invite to baptism.
 
Cool experience. We went up to this neighborhood a little bit isolated to look for a referral that the church had given to us. As we were looking for it we pretty much got ourselves into a small dirt road...lots of green (palm trees, brush, etc.) around us. We knocked the pink house there (the referral told us it was a pink house). And no one came out. Bad luck. But, my companion pointed to a very isolated house to go and knock. We went and found a young man. As we got to know him, we started talking about the Restoration. We asked him if he knew what a prophet is. He responded, " yeah...like Nephi, or Moses right?" My companion and I were way startled by hearing that he knew about Nephi. Come to find out, some missionaries a year ago gave him a Book of Mormon, and he had read more than 500 pages of it. He was very humble and interested. He came to church on Sunday, and we invited him afterward to prepare for baptism on November 5. He is Marcelo. I know that the Lord guided us to find him.
 
Yup. Elder Díaz is great, and we are working hard. :)
ELDER PALMER

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 10th 2011

                                                     Elder Diaz and I (I just took that photo)
                                      Elder Walker as he got breakfast in bed in the mornin.
                                      Statue of an indigenoous lady. I will miss those people!
                                                         Elder Walker and I when we parted


I am in Tapachula right now. Did I mention that it is hot? ´Cause it is hot. I sweat during my studies in the house with a fan on. It is humid, and it rains a deluge every day. However, we have a ward...we have a real church building (2 blocks from our house)...we have members! It is a whole new world from the mission I have known up to this point. I must say the first couple of days I was very nostalgic for Yajalon. I miss those people, and I love them and worry about them a lot. Also, I have realized...after 6 months together...how good of friends Elder Walker and I were. I miss him a lot too.
 
However, I am with Elder Diaz right now. Really, there are not very many investigators right now. There are a number of people who are still going to church, but aren´t ready to move on (maybe because they are not married, or don´t want to get baptized yet, etc.) However, there is a very intelligent 12 year-old  that we are preparing for baptism, and we found a family Saturday night that came to church the next day. And come to find out, the dad is actually a member and the kids all want to get baptized. So we are excited...we have a lot of work to do, and people to find....but excited.
 
Funny story (happened in Spanish...but I will tell it is English) we were knocking a door, and this like 3 year old opened up. He asked what we want, and Elder Díaz asked if his mom or dad were there. He said no. Then, Elder Díaz asked if there was anyone one "bigger" there, and the kid paused...thought for a second...and then smartly retorted, "Hey! I´m growing!" That gave me a good smile.
 
Also, our ward mission leader is an ex-missionary and he is hilarious. We share the ward boundaries with the zone leaders, and eat lunch with them and a member every day. One of the Zone Leaders, also, is just one of those people that is very funny...he always makes me laugh. So, apart from the success that I believe we will have in this area, we should be happy too :)
 
But ya, I´ll update more next time.
 
Much love,
Elder Palmer
 
P.S. Thank you for all the happy birthdays. It was a good day. I ate a really yummy quesadilla, too...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 3rd, 2011

Wow. So, I dont have much time to write...and I am really tired right now. But next week, I will fill in the blanks, and I have a poem i write that Ill send. Ha.
 
But...yes. I got transferred. ELder Walker stayed training a new missionary, and I am here in Tapachula. The last couple of days were incredible in Yajalon, and they will be baptizing the next couple of weeks some real special people (sister of Anilu and Jordi, another girl, and the mom of Josue).
We had so many problems traveling. I left yesterday at 530 AM and just arrived today in my area. I have been in a bus, taxi, truck, or bus station all of the time. (27 hours in vehicle, and 7 hours waiting in a station all added up). Three ATMs didn´t work, so I had to use american dollars for a part too. We had a blockeo late last night, and waited five hours until midnight and then had to return to tuxtla (even though we almost made it here in Tapachula). And right when we arrived in Tuxtla they sent us back to Tapachula. It is all crazy. But I am here. Safe and sound. After 34 hours... I will send details later.
 
My new companion is Elder Diaz, and he is a District Leader. Every person that knows him just says great things about him, so I am pretty excited. But I wont go with him until friday, because he is recovering right now from being sick with Denge (spelling?). Pretty intense, I know.
 
I am excited, exhausted and really hot right now. This city is on the coast and is very hot.
 
I will respond to other things and stuff next week...and I cant wait to hear about how it went with Hermano Silverio. 
 
Also, what is Neils Hazen´s address? ALso, I wil be sending a few letters to you asking the favor that you send them to people that I lost their address.
 
Again, I will write more next week...I cant think right now very well. Oh ya, and thanks for all the Happy Birthdays...it will be a great day I am sure. 
 
Much love,
Elder Palmer

Thursday, September 29, 2011

September 27th, 2011

Ok. I am so used to hearing people say with a mexican accent, "what is your name?" haha. A few other random notes: I find that clothes I leave and dont use for a while, or even bags, my belt, and even american money start like growing moldy stuff in it...I assume for the humidity. Kind of gross, I say. Also, we don´t have water again. But, we have a way better apartment than most people here that has a tank, that normally lasts while water doesn´t come. But right now its empty. We are always talking about the novelty it would be to bring the whole daily water thing of faucets to yajalon.
 
Not much else to report. When we went to Ocosingo for District Meeting, there were 2 "blockeos" from Zapatistas and one from Construction. So we arrived an hour late, after going in one truck, and three taxis, and walking a bit. The Zapatistas do some unviolent rebellious stuff right now. They had a wooden stick with nails on it, and would move it for all the cars that paid 50 pesos. Sometimes they just don´t move it. It was backed up for miles, and some people just stick there feet up and go to sleep as they are used to Blockeos. I think it is pretty much normal for a couple to happen every month.
 
The people we are teaching are wonderful, and we are trying to help them progress and also find more people who are prepared for the gospel. Our mission got the news to start focusing on www.mormon.org, so we got excited about that and made flyers linked to that with our phone numbers and put them in a bunch of Cybercafés that let us.
 
Church yesterday was a little sad...due to members traveling and such, we had very few people there (us, 4 members, 2 recent converts, and 3 investigators). However, the spirit was there, and we all felt strengthened. Also, it is special to bless the Sacrament alongside Jordi.
 
Much love,
ELDER PALMER

Monday, September 19, 2011


September 19th, 2011

Wow, a long week. First off, Josué did get baptized this Saturday. He has made so many changes. Did I comment that we met him as a reference from someone saying that he was such a problem child...and here he is changing so much. I remember the first lesson in his little wooden house, and seeing catholic saints on their only table--wondering if they would ever change their beliefs. Well, they have, and God is helping them out a bunch. He is very shy in front of people, but after he got baptized when he said that he knows that Jesus Christ is his Savior...I was deeply touched.

Anilu and Jordi gave talks in church yesterday...it was awesome to see them! Also, Jordi blessed the Sacrament. Two of their siblings are preparing for baptism, and their dad...that we have only met practically when he is drunk (grabbing our hand and rubbing it on his face and other funny stuff), well, we talked to him when he wasn´t drunk and we are going to try to start and teach him too.

Monica and Romeo are a couple that are actually married legally (that is a rare find here), and they are looking for a way that their family can start over. She has been through soo much...seeing her dad commit suicide, etc...just a HARD life. He was telling us his pains that he feels from having killed people as a member of the special forces for Mexico. I believe that they are going to feel the truth of what we share and progress well.

Neyder was going to get baptized, but he is going to move to Cancún soon and wants to get baptized after moving. His sister wants to get baptized, but her mom didn´t give her permission...we are still working on that one. Victor and his family will get baptized as soon as they get married, and they are talking to the members about doing that in these weeks upcoming.

Things are hard in a lot of ways, but one blessing is that I have felt my testimony truly become strengthened. I am now certain that this church is true...as working through the doubts of others has strengthened my personal convictions. I know that the scriptures are true with much more sincerity, because I have put it to the test many times here in Yajalon. And I am certain that God lives. I believe that He loves us, and will bring us salvation through Jesus Christ as we put our faith into action.

Much love,
ELDER PALMER

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sept 5th and 12th, 2011

We went to the tonina ruins (pyramids) again with our district. It was way fun, and to answer your question (mom) we only come to Ocosingo or San Cristobal for district or zone activities, apart from that we are always in Yajalon.
 
I don`t have a ton to report....but a good week. Yesterday, we also had to come to Ocosingo, and a few investigators arrived--also Jordi to be confirmed. Leyver and Jordi had a priesthood interview, and will be receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood in 15 days. It is kind of fast, but they are both ready and it is what the local leaders want.
 
Also, another cool service experience. So there is a program called "opportunidades" and it is to help people get governmental support for schooling and living through having the members do service and attend meetings. I think like 90% of the town does it, and most of our investigators. So we went the other day to go and help Jordi weed out and clean up (machete, etc.) his portion of the field to make a park. And we helped a widow do her section. All of the people (especially the indigenous people) were really surprised...some at first were telling us sarcastically that we would stain our white shirts, others that we don`t know how to work, and after a while they saw our work.  We had some fun digging in the dirt alongside the people we serve spiritually as well. We felt a greater love for them, understanding and seeing some of the things they are required to do.
 
We have a Stake Conference in 15 days. It is in San Cristobal...more than 4 hours away. Not sure how we are going to work that one out--but we will!
 
Much Love,
Elder Palmer 
 
 
Well, this has been a rather long week, but good. First off, there are three people preparing for baptism this Saturday, and if all goes well we will go to Ocosingo for that. Josué is one. He is 17, and we found him as a referral from Jordi and Anilu's mom. She told us about him being a problem and really hard on his mom. We see changes in him every time we go.  At first I never imagined he could have gotten to where he is now. He lives in such humble circumstances too. The other 2 are siblings Neyder and Yaharí, who are very intelligent (one speaks perfect english), and should be ready for Saturday.

We are trying to help the members become more and more firm, although it is very difficult sometimes. We arrived at church with Josué, Jordi, Neyder, and Yahari in one of the transporting trucks. A member didn´t arrive for about 30 minutes, and yesterday the church attendance was very low. However, the leader from Ocosingo said we will be talking with the area presidency about the organization of our branch next week, and that the callings should be extended very shortly. This area is yearning for a Branch. When we are, I am certain it will flourish.

Side note: Have I said that there are soo many drunks? Yesterday, more than ten contacted us throughout the day (excluding the people we talked to). We are already on names basis with a number of them, and seeing them daily while walking around.

To anyone who is reading this and has question about the church or about God existing: I testify that if we humbly go to God in prayer with our worries, question, doubts and concerns, He will testify through the Spirit the truthfulness of all things. He will make us feel sure about truths, while dispelling and resolving in an indescribable manner our worries that weigh us down.

Much love,
Elder Palmer

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29th, 2011

I do not have many items I wish to share for this blog entry. But, I am happy :)
First, Saturday was such a special day. Anilu and Jordi were baptized in Ocosingo. They are both incredible, and are real converts...setting the stage so that their family members also join the church soon. They have read, prayed, and know the church is true. They have gone to church, had family home evenings, have learned so much, and are such special people. I am so grateful for the opportunity to teach them. Anilu (19 years old) said in the baptismal service that she felt clean, she felt so happy, she felt like she was born again, and that she wanted to follow this path for the rest of her life. Jordi too shared that he felt like as he was baptized he turned his will over to God`s, and felt so happy. There was a very tangible spirit there. Very few people...but all of us were moved. I know that Baptism truly is the door that we enter to follow our Savior.
Once again, the stake presidency called us on a Saturday night and told us the next day we would have to go to Ocosingo. The unexpected is now the expected, as I am used to difficult last minute moments like that...I cannot count the times they have asked us to do that. But hey, all of the members here are growing for it. We had a beautiful church service, and afterwords...talking with the stake president, he told us that he has talked to the Area President about our situation. And says that when Leyver and Luis receive the Priesthood de Melchizedek (sp in english?) we will be able to be a Branch.
We are so happy. Oh, but Elder Walker has a sinus infection. But he is a trooper. Working hard. I cannot express the gratitude I feel for this area, and for these people.
Love,
Elder Palmer
     Last week this river started flooding..imagine how much rain that would take, and that is how much rain we get. Oh, and so you know, it is still way hot here even though it rains. And it is way humid. Really.
  This was just a random truck passing that I thought I would take a picture of to give you an idea. I have seen them way more full than that, don't worry haha. When I go, I hold on safer than they are, don't worry.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 22, 2011

Well, the moment has come...transfers...after 6 months in Yajalon I....stay here with Elder Walker another transfer! Woohoo. Haha. I am not going to lie, I was expecting a little change, but hey...Gods ways are better than mine. However, Elder Hercules is leaving! He is going to the offices as the financial secretary, and others in our district are changing. Now, Elder Walker and I will be practically the only gringos in our Zone.

This morning Elder Walker and I had a wonderful talk. Truthfully, after 4 and a half months, we have gotten tired of each other every now and then. But we shared the little things we wanted to change, we shared our worries and every thing. I was so touched by how much we felt a love for each other. Sometimes, little things had made me forget how special he is. We are going to try really hard! 

Also, it is raining a ton! A year ago here the city flooded, killing a couple of people and knocking some buildings down, because a river runs through the middle of it. 
Two nights ago as we are planning, we looked out and saw a Red Cross Ambulance driving around anouncing on the megaphone that we should stand alert and have our important papers on hand. That was intense...but luckily our house is up high, so we werent worried. There was a bunch of water, but I didn`t get any good photos of it. Bad luck. 

Leyver, who got baptized recently, and Luis (whose wife Yadira got baptized recently) are preparing for the Melchizedek Priesthood in 15 days. They both struggly eliminating the last one percent of Coffee. But we are working hard on that. 

Anilu is the most converted investigator that I have taught. She loves it, and so believes the church is true. And is way smart. She is going to college in  San Cristobal, and went to church on sunday there...and loved it. If all goes well, she will get baptized with her brother (and maybe sister) this saturday. 

I love Jesus Christ and know that he can help us make it, even when we feel like we can`t. I think about what he wants from us...who he wants us to become...and I know that he won`t leave us hanging. He will help us, lift us, and wipe away our tears.

Okay. Love yall
ELDER PALMER

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 15th 2011

I have been with Elder Walker for over 3000 hours now (we calculated it just a bit ago, while laughing). So, we are realizing that we are repeating so many conversations, haha. But, we have learned so much together--in the great and the hard times. And we do appreciate each other.

Well, we had a couple of "family home evenings" with members and with nonmembers there. We did one yesterday with three young people of 18, 19, and 22 (Brianda, Anilu, and Gordi) They are so stoked, have gone to church a couple of times...and are about ready for baptism. They all are studying at the university, some in different places. Anilu left today for San Cristobal to study, but says she will come back on the 27th of August for her baptism (with Gordi, and Brianda). They are reading so much, and have all received answers from God that it is what he wants them to do. Anilu is actually friends with another investigator (Neydr, another young man...they both speak English) and she told him that she is already Mormon. Haha, that made us smile. We are working with their family members, and see potential there.

Church yesterday was awesome. We had 39 people in our little chicken coop...a new record for Yajalon. (19 members, 2 visitors from Mexico D. F., and 16 non members, and us two elders). Us and about ten nonmembers went together in one of those trucks to church, and the men had to hang on back because it was so full. They aren`t afraid of hurting their bumpers in the back of trucks here, if they let 6 guys stand on it while traveling, ha. But it was very special.

After a questionable ground beef meal, we began to feel sick the other day. In the middle of the night, I was vomiting, and my companion. We didn`t really sleep. The next morning was so hard! We were contacting people, and I am pretty sure we did not look very happy. Oops. But what can you do...we feel better now. We eat Pepto bismol like candy.

Also, we went to try and find this one reference. She told us were it was, and we had no idea, so we went with a member. We drove out about 20 minutes, and then started asking around and walked. We went all through thick jungle, coffee trees, and corn rows, and mango tree, under barbed wire. It was kind of an adventure, and we got a little lost. We finally found a little wooden house. It was so far away (and we were sick so it felt even farther). But, she told us she didn`t think we would have come, and doesn`t really speak Spanish. But hey, we tried. Oh, and you know (according to my theory) when someone speaks Tseltal or Chol and almost no Spanish because they interrupt you every five seconds to say, "oh, bueno" to pretend like they are listening, but we can tell that they don`t understand a word we are saying.

Thats all for right now. Our mission president told all of his missionaries to expect to be in every area 9 months, so I am expecting to stick around even longer in my lovely home of Yajalon.

Mucho amor y animo,
Elder Palmer

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 8th, 2011

Bueno! Well, I think I have gray hairs from some of this week, but nevertheless, it was a wonderful week. We have been cleaning up some area (very jungly) near our little gazebo thing to make a space and perhaps a little later build a small gazebo for a place to teach the kids when we have church. We will be meeting in that area until we are an official branch, so we want to make it nice.


Imagine that you are a missionary. It is saturday, and on sunday you have more than 15  people that are not members committed to go and help pay a little bit (50 pesos each) for a rented truck to go to Ocosingo for church. You organize the activities, like eating food while returning. You lie down to go to sleep, and the driver (which you have reminded and checked in with daily during the week before) calls you at 1 in the morning to tell you that he is in another city and has to cancel. Well, that happened. I don´t know if my little scenario made sense, but that was kind of a let down. However, God helped us out, and we were able to call all of the members and tell all the investigators to squish more people into their cars, one that wasn´t going to go to give a ride to some of us, etc. Elder Walker and I were in the back storage part of one car...We got way car sick. However, 10 people that aren´t members were able to get there. We had a beautiful church service, and ate afterwards between all of us at the building.

Funny story. Elder Walker is better than me at doing that little kid trick (really common in the US) pretending like you are taking part of your index finger off, when you use your thumb. So, to one group of people we are teaching...very smart, nice, and many over the age of 18 people...right as we were leaving, we showed that trick and they flipped out! The adults and kids alike. It was hilarious. But one girl got scared and started to cry, so we had to apologize. I never had thought that trick was that believeable.

A quick update on three kids of a family we are teaching. Jordi (18 years old, awesome guy), Anilu (19 years old, speaks english, and is way intelligent), and Brianda (22 years old, pretty funny). They are all studying in different cities for school, but are here for the vacations. They are reading the book of mormon, and have all received firm sweet answers from God that it is true. They had been praying to be able to find the money to go to Ocosingo with us, and it all worked out great! They loved church, and want to get baptized. So we will see if they end up getting baptized here or in their different areas for school (they all study where the church is way more established). With Jordi, we are already telling him about what it is like being a missionary, and that after he is baptized he should go on one. Also, we are teaching their family.

They are a great example of how the Book of Mormon is a foundation to know if our message is true. A foundation for a testimony. That is my message today, I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true. It has brought me such peace and comfort and excitement in my life. As I have prayed to know if it is true, my doubts have been diminished and my happiness and peace increased. I trust that whoever asks God if it is true with faith will receive an answer.

*To my buddies who are reading this and have not read the Book of Mormon...I invite you to find one, read it (or part of it), to think about what your reading, and ask God if it is true. I promise you it will help you in whatever situation you find yourself in.

Much love,
Elder Palmer

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1st, 2011

         The baptism of Yadira. We went in transport for a couple of hours to have the baptism in Ocosingo.
       Here we are with Yadira, Luis, and the parents of Luis...who are now all active members of the
                                            church, and a couple of months ago none of them were.
This is a photo of normal occasions. We often take group rides to places like this. 16 people in a rickety old truck. But everyone (with the exception of Elder Walker and I) are way used to it.

This week was fantastic. I was burnt to a crisp playing soccer, and shed my outer layer on my face. Ha. But now I dont have that problem. Also, we traveled a bunch this week (more than 25 hours in different times). We had Zone Conference with the new mission president, and he is so excited to work hard.

Also, we have found a number of people who are preparing for baptism. A lot, so we are excited about that. And we had a wonderful church service in our upgraded chicken coop with 31 people (2 of the 3 active families were out of town too!).

2 really cool stories this week:
 1) Baptism of Yadira- Yadira has had a lot of opposition from her family, but now has finally taken the step of making a promise to follow God through Baptism. We had a very small service with her, her husband, and her parents in law, with us and some of the other missionaries (have I mentioned that Elder Hercules is STILL in my District...what a blessing in my whole mission, I have only spent 4 weeks away from him). We traveled all the way to Ocosingo with them for the baptism. After the ordinance, while I was changing, I felt the spirit strongly as I heard "the spirit of god" faintly being sung in the background. Yadira bore her testimony afterwards saying that she can´t express how she feels, she just knows that she took a beautiful step closer to her Heavenly Father. Her husband shared how much this meant for him and his family, and how to him he feels like it is a restart...rebirth for him too.

 2) Coolest experience I´ve had with doing service: While traveling to a lesson, we walked by one of our investigators who is preparing for baptism. He was carrying big rocks from a huge pile to the other side of his little house. We decided to help even though he said he didnt need any, knowing that there was absolutely no way we would be able to finish the pile anytime soon. Before we knew it, a couple of other people we had taught (that didn´t even really know the guy we were helping) started to carry rocks with us. After a while, I counted and about 10 people over the age of 18 helping us, and another 10 little kids helping (carrying the little rocks). We finished the huge pile in about 20 minutes. It was awesome! And Victor (the guy we helped who actually has back problems) was quite overwhelmed and grateful. A bunch of people from the neighborhood came out of their houses and started just watching us work.

God lives, Jesus Christ is our Savior, and this church is their´s. I know that is true because I can feel it and see how it just makes sense.

Elder Palmer

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 25th, 2011

Ok, I am not going to write much cause I don`t have much time. I am here in San Cristobal for an activity of the zone. We played soccer for hours and hours. I loved it. But I am redder than red. Hello aloe vera in these upcoming days. But we got to know the new president of the mission. He seems like a wonderful man.

A couple of interesting things from the week. We have been finding a lot of new people, which is great, and additionally, we have found luck in finding one or two more people that speak really good English.

Church was very different. Due to vacations, and a couple of other little problems, we had to conduct the church meeting. Our group leader was traveling and called us Sunday morning to tell us to direct church. So we did. There were ten non members there, ten members, and five people visiting from a nearby city that are members. Funny side note...I was talking to a investigator that speaks perfect English before the meeting started, and as I welcomed everybody and announced the first hymn, I realized they were looking at me funny. I was talking in English. So, I laughed and switched back into Spanish mode. Then, (as the members that came were recent converts and a few others that we thought were out of town) Elder Walker and I were the speakers. In our little chicken coop converted into a church building, we have felt a sweet spirit.

Yadira is preparing to get baptized this Friday, if all goes well. Further updates the next week.

I love the work. It is work. But it is wonderful. And wonderfully hard. But, I know that through small and simple things, God can bring great things to pass. I know God lives. That there is not one child of His that has gone forgotten.

Much love,
Elder Palmer

Weñàch añoñ--("I`m good" in Chol...a dialect that in my opinion sounds kind of like Chinese)

July 17th, 2011

The view from our rooftop
My district that has stayed the same for 3 transfers. The far left two are our zone leaders and aren't in our district. The far right is Elder Hercules. There are 5 out of 6 missionaries in our district who are Americans. So we sometimes joke and call ourselves the district "ocogringo" instead of ocosingo.


Well, our "fame" in Yajalon is continually increasing. For the good, and sometimes with things that don´t sound so good. Just the other day, we found out that they have announced about two guerro "Antichrist" missionaries. Just great. Haha, some people jump to conclusions really fast and think we are strange people. But it is working for the good as we are finding more people interested too. This one guy approached us asking for a book of mormon...and it comes to be that he got a pamphlet that we handed out to a drunk guy asking for money from us.

Lots has happened this week. Interesting story...it was 8:30 PM, and we felt after a lesson to start heading towards the house (even though we knew we would stop by one more person real fast, but we didn´t know who) as we were walking down, a car honked behind us and pulled up. We saw an old investigator and got in to talk to him (it was raining like mountain cats and rotweiler dogs). And come to find out, that he had been trying to commit suicide that day. But we talked with him, prayed, and felt the spirit there in his car. He needed special help, so he went to Villahermosa the next day to a big hospital.

Victor, his wife, and his four kids are a family that we are starting to teach. We met him as a drunk guy who told us to come to his house (very insistently). So we went later that same day, taught his family, and they are all preparing for baptism. They went to church yesterday.

Also, we had a group fireside on Wednesday, and we invited a number of people (victor) to go. We had a rickety old pick up truck that fits two people in front. I was a little nervous about how they would react to have to go in the back of a little old pick up, but Victor and his family, Yadira and Luis, and others (we were a number of people) hopped on as if it was normal for like 10 people to be sitting on the bed of a pick up truck in their nice clothes in the rain. I am still not mexican in a lot of ways. Haha.

Also, we were going down a hill to a lesson once, and Elder Walker said that we should knock a certain house, so we did. After entering, teaching, getting to know them we find out that the woman had had a dream the night before of two young people dressed nicely teaching them about God. We felt the spirit strongly.

We are struggling a little bit, as two of our 3 active families are on vacations, but we still made a decent sized group for church-with a number of investigators there.

I know that God lives. I know that we can and should develop stronger faith in Christ, and that as we do that more peace comes into our lives. Also, I know that this church is true. Not for pretty buildings all around the world; not for a good organization that helps people; not even because it has good people setting an example for others (even though it surely has all of those things), but it is true because it has God´s authority and because Jesus Christ is at the head of it.

I believe that there is no greater happiness than feeling the great love from our loving Heavenly Father.

Much love from Yajalon, Chiapas
Elder Palmer

Saturday, July 16, 2011

July 11th, 2011

Some photos for you...the place we had church (of course not with everyone in there...just a few people) and a little machete action.




Guess what? I am in Yajalon with Elder Walker for another transfer! At the end of this transfer I will have been here for 6 months, 4 and a half of them with Elder Walker. We are talking about the goals we have, and the miracles we will try to make happen. I know that our work here in Yajalon is not over.

Well, we changed places for church...instead of our little house without running water or electricity, we went to a little gazebo covering thing that used to be used by one of the members for killing chickens. So...we were wondering how we were going to make that one work, but after a number of "service projects" there, we made it presentable, and filled it with some nice chairs. We had a humble church meeting yesterday that was very special. Leiver (recently baptized) got the priesthood, Rodi (our only young man) got ordained a priest, and Luis (a reactivating member that is preparing to baptize his wife, Yadira) got an interview. Due to special circumstances, Luis and Leiver will get visited by members from the Stake Presidency this week to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. And then we will have 6 Melchizedek Priesthood holders active! There used to be just 3. So we are excited about that.

Luis and Yadira were more or less unstable earlier in the week, but in a lesson during the week Luis bore sweet testimony to Yadira and promised her that he would help her prepare for Baptism on the 30 of June. They skipped the best day of selling grilled chicken (Sunday) to come to church.

One day not too far, we will see a branch form here. I am so excited for that day.

These weeks have been hard. Communicating with someone that you live with 24 hours a day for more than 3 months sometimes becomes hard, as we are very different people. But boy, we are learning a ton. And we sometimes joke to each other that we want an easier area...with a real church building, a real organized church unit, etc...but luckily God steadily reminds us that He wants us here. And we are trying to see the bright side...the beauty of the growth in this area.

Much love,
Elder Palmer

Oh, and did you know that every district meeting we have to go to Ocosingo? I was calculating it, and at the end of this next transfer, I will have traveled for District meetings, church, and zone conferences for more than 150 hours in these 6 months. Whoa. Haha.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 27th, 2011

                       Its not a great shot....doesnt really capture it. But sometimes, we are kind of in the jungle.
 
Hola,
A cool little highlight of the week was teaching English at the university to a class of computer students. We taught some English, while intertwining religion and our beliefs. It was a neat experience to be able to do that, and get to know new people in a different way than just knocking doors or talking to people. I think we will get to do it next week also.
 
Also, we have had a lot of good service opportunities this week. Finally, I feel like I can use a machete and help cut the lawn and terrain instead of just damaging it haha. But I really like using machete, and we found like 3 different opportunities unplanned to help people machete their yard or cut down branches or things like that. Also, moving chicken killing materials was kind of interesting.
 
It has been really hard this week to see the investigators that we have wanted to, but we were able to...last night...split up with all the members and visit a number of them and members of the church who haven´t been members for a long time.
 
I have learned word in Tseltal...Mayuk--which means "no hay" or "there isn´t any"...and so every time I talk to someone who only knows Tseltal, I try to throw that word in there for fun. And then they laugh at me, but we leave on good terms even though we can´t understand each other.
 
I know that this church is true. I know that God lives, and that Jesus Christ really is our Savior. I love the Gospel, and feel it changing every part of who I am and the people here in Yajalon that are applying it in their lives.
 
Mucho amor,
Elder Palmer 

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20th, 2011


Well, it is starting to rain a bunch every day.This picture doesn't really capture it, but it rains hard here! Really hard.

Idon´t have much time to write today, but things are going. This week was pretty difficult with a lot of ups and downs, but to be positive I will share one of the ups.
We were praying and planning to know how to be more effective in contacting people. We had only really been knocking doors and talking to people in the road. We had tried things like to start the conversation in English to grab their attention, and then talk in Spanish...but we didn´t really feel much success with that. We felt impressed to go the University and ask if they have a religion or theology class we could speak with. The Administrator was really excited to meet with us, and he has family members that are members of the church (which is great, because few people here know about the church). In the middle of talking to us he said, "I would like to ask you something...maybe its selfish...but could you teach one of our classes next week and include a little bit of English words?" We were stoked and could see that we were supposed to be where we were. This Wednesday we will teach a class for an hour or two of about 20 students about our beliefs, throwing a bit of "authentic English" here and there.
I don´t know if I have said this, but there are a lot of people here who don´t speak Spanish (haha or English). Many people are Indigenous and natively speak Tseltal or Chol (dialects). We have learned phrases here and there, but not enough to teach a lesson or anything. Oh and the women here that are indigenous have a pretty cool looking dress thing going on with some colorful fabrics. Just thought I would mention that.
We are working hard to become a Branch. We are feeling very unified as companions, and we are trying to stay´positive with the obstacles in our way.
I know that this work is true. God lives. He loves us.
Much love,
Elder Palmer

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 14th, 2011

Well, we had a meeting with the Stake Presidency on Sunday, us and a few of the Yajalon members. They said that if we can have more than 5 of our Priesthood holding members show up for two more Sundays (and we have more than five that will come), then we will be able to b a Branch in no time. So, we are hoping that we can become a Branch here in Yajalon very soon, and that will be our focus in these next weeks to help build the foundation for the investigators that are continuing to learn and progress. It is a fascinating experience to be able to be a small part in the formation of one of the units of the restored church of Jesus Christ! But that is the cause of much of our excitement.
I am slowly learning how to communicate my ideas better with the members, and trying to gain their respect--even though sometimes I feel really really young compared to all of them. Some of the members become discouraged really easily, others are easily distracted, and others (of our 3 active families) get annoyed easily, but they all have the right desires. And they all have plenty of strengths as well. They want the gospel of Jesus Christ to go forward in Yajalon, along with the establishment of the Branch. This Wednesday, we talked with some of the adults from the family, and there was a really sweet spirit there...helping to gain more and more excitement as a group. We are finally starting to work alongside these members, in the place of through them or on the other side.
In just a few weeks, we will get a new mission president, so that will be interesting to see what happens there.
In the photo attached of the truck...well, imagine about ten or more people stuffed in the part under the canvas and about 6 men holding on back with their feet on the bumper. It is pretty intense, but ironically now normal. In total, I once counted more than thirty people in a truck a little bigger than that. We have to take one of those about twice a week for half of the way to Ocosingo.
Teresa this week told us of how much she really wanted to go to Ocosingo, but her husband wouldn´t give her the money to do it and was really opposed. She said, with tears, how much of a difference she has felt in her life in these weeks recently. I feel the spirit very strong, and feel my testimony reconfirmed in moments like that: seeing the seed of the gospel take root in others, and seeing it grow.
Another photo attached is of my companion making some french toast to Luis and Yadira (Luis is a less active member , and yadira has desires to get baptized). My companion is great, I learn a lot from being with him.
I want to share my testimony that even though there are so many things we don´t...can´t...understand in this life, there are some things that I know we can always understand and put in our trust. I know that we can always trust that there is a God and that he loves us. We can trust that we have a Savior. And we can trust in the fact that their gospel is restored in the only true and living church on the earth today. I love being able to tell people that we meet, with all the confidence we can muster, that we don´t want them to believe our words. That God will surely answer in these important truths. I don´t know that these things are true because anyone has told me, but because I have felt simple feelings of such deep joy and peace while I have asked if they are true.
Much love and lots of ganas,
Elder Palmer