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 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.