Wow. A lot has changed. So, when they told me i was going to independencia in the Tuxtla Gutierrez Zone I was thinking that I would be in the city...I was way wrong. In autubus, I am four hours from Tuxtla Gutierrez...four hours from the other elders in our district. So, the area is very different...it has more of a rugged beauty with a few mountains and less of the jungly feeling. We have various cities and towns that we cover...including Independencia, Ambar, Concordia, Benito Juarez, Revolución, Jaltenango, etc. They are all rather spread apart.
Right now we live in Independencia, where the building where we meet for church (a rented house--but the Sacrament meeting is in the open air). However, we are going to change houses to Concordia (about 30 minutes away) because we feel like we should go there, and there is a possibility of opening up a Family Group there and having Church services there as well in a near future.
As I passed through the Mission Office, President Cardenas took time to interview me. He started off telling me that my new assignment would be in an area where many have lost their excitement and that has had a lot of difficulties progressing, and then told me that I shouldn´t worry because I am not being sent their as a punishment. He shared how it has 20 years being a little Branch. I thought that that was kind of an interesting way to tell me about the area, and it would have seemed negative if he hadn´t have continued on with what he said. He then told me to stay very excited about the work, told me about the potential there and the possibility of a future Family Group in Concordia, etc. I was way excited. I also am now getting to know the President more, and he is truly an exemplary man full of faith and excitement for missionary work.
So we are back to bucket showers, bucket flushed toilets, dirt roads, and a lot of traveling, etc. And the funny thing is...I love all of those things and kind of missed them in Tapachula. Also, I am way happy to be back in a little branch. In some ways I feel like I am in an area similar to Yajalón. Truly...I am very happy to be here. Also, my companion--Elder Ríos--is one of the finest missionaries I have been with. He is from Chihuahua (Ciudad Juarez) and has been in the mission field almost a year. He is one of those people that I would have chosen as a good friend even if we weren´t forced to be together (haha).
Church was good yesterday (43 in attendance), and one of the young men got his mission call to Puebla! Also, it was funny, because without giving notice I was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting, teach sunday school for the adults, and to teach the third hour to all of the members combined (the third hour I was together with Elder Ríos). So, that was a good way to get to know the majority of the members.
There are two couples that are not members of the church that are attending, and just need to get married in order to be baptized (we are working on that...its a little difficult when some people were never registered as babies...so the government knows nothing of them). Also, a young 12 year old, Joel, is a relative of them and we found him on Sunday, he came to church, and will be preparing for Baptism.
But ya, that is about it. Hmmm, anything else? oh, there is a Zone Conference this week that is coming...and it is now the season of Mangos here so I am eating a lot of Mangos and Watermelon.
ELDER GEOFFREY PALMER1 Nefi 3:7--"iré y haré..."