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 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 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, " 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. :)

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 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 will be a great day I am sure. 
Much love,
Elder Palmer