Friday, March 16, 2012

March 12th, 2012

First I will answer Mom's questions...
Yes...we have money to travel...and we use it. We only hitchhike when we run out and don´t have money  in cash (there is no ATM within 2 hours of our area). But...we will try to hitchhike less, because I don´t thing it is really great as missionaries, but everyone does it here. Elder Hercules is still the financial guy...he deals with all of the finances of the mission.  Our zone is huge...but I imagine that our area is bigger than most of the zone combined. I think that our area is one of the biggest in the mission. If you look at google maps, all of the county of La Concordia and part of the Villacorzo county are just us. Its big. Our district leader is four hours away from us (oh and it is Elder Días, my ex-compa)
Brief summary of following for those who don´t have time to read my letter....:
1. Eneyda was baptized
2. We had a stake conference four hours away, where 46 attended (15 non members)
3. Independencia is officially under the direction of President Cardenas and not the stake president.
I would like to give you all a rundown of yesterday. We woke up at 3 AM and got ready. At 4 AM we passed by investigators houses to help them come to one of the meeting spots. At 5 AM we parted Independencia in 3 vehicles with 49 people (one combe, and two pick up trucks) At 9 AM we arrived at the stake center. From 10 AM to 12 AM we had the stake conference, with a visiting authority from one of the quorums of the seventy. At 12-2 we had the longest baptismal service I have ever been too, but it was really good with a lot of people (various Wards and Branches baptized). We left at 3 PM from Tuxtla Gutierrez, and arrived at 7PM.
Erick, one investigator ready for baptism but who can´t decide when he will do it, said that he felt a deep happiness as he saw the people being baptized there. Cristofer, a 20 year old that we found on Saturday, and accepted to come all the way to Tuxtla the next day with us, was really happy because he took 6 pamphlets, 4 Ensigns, a video, and a Book of Mormon from the material stand in Tuxtla and wants to read them all haha. He took notes in the conference. Mauricio and Claudia (and their niece and nephew Yadira and Aris) were able to be with their grandma (is a member less active) and finally all be in church together! I believe firmly that from that trip, the sacrifices that the investigators made, the baptisms that they saw, and more, that many of them will feel the spirit and fulfill their baptismal goals in the near future.
In the road to Tuxtla, Eneyda began feeling really bad. We stopped, gave her a priesthood blessing, and she felt better. Right before her baptism her right arm just like stopped working...but she went ahead and got baptized. We are praying for her, and hope that she will get better.
We bought two hammocks this week, so thats a bonus.
Mucho amor y saludos,

Monday, March 5, 2012

March 5th, 2012

Well, here I am in Tuxtla! We just had an activity of 3 zones here in Tuxtla going to some pretty cool canyons and afterwards playing soccer until we dropped. It was way fun...and like always, I just love being around my buddy Elder Hercules. It is a special feeling in the mission as we progress personally and get to see ex-companions or just friends in the mission progress as well and become really good missionaries. Oh, and I heard that Elder Walker is doing great and having a lot of success in San Cristobal as district leader right now.

In February, at the end, we ran out of money to travel, so we hitchhiked a lot...which is way fast, economical, and easy here. Our record so far is 5 rides in one day. (Each ride generally is in a pick up truck for like 20 or 30 minutes between various towns--"pueblitos"). 

I also got a little sick this week...sniffle sniffle...but I am already getting better. Yay!

Church was a little bit lower in attendance, 31, however we have a stake conference next week, and that should help the work. The Branch will be changed in the Conference to be under the mission, not the stake. Also, the meetinghouse is being changed to a colony on the other side of Independencia called Ambar...there are more members registered there, so that should help.

We are happy because Eneida should get baptized after the stake conference, and because a new family came to church. Oh ya, and this week an elderly man in the branch passed away, so we went to his funeral. I have been to very few funerals in my life...however, I felt the spirit there, and I feel a greater testimony of the plan of salvation, along with a greater appreciation for the gift of life in general. 

That is something that i have learned from the people be truly grateful for blessings. Thanking God for the food we have, the place we have to live, or the gift of life, etc...has taken on a whole new meaning. I´m rambling, but Mom likes it when i ramble, so I let it go for a bit. 

Oh, and last thing...I promise...we changed houses this week, and I like our new house. There is a mango tree. The only thing it doesn´t have that I hope to add is a hammock. Oh, and mom we don´t have an oven. To cook, we have a "parrilla" or in English...a little portable electric stove. 

Much love,
Elder Palmer