Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Maira was baptized! But, I don't have any pictures, because I wasn't there, because I was picking up my new companion! It's been a complicated week. Maira is really cool, her neighbors are members and we've been teaching her family during this month. We'll keep working with the rest of the family, but for now Maira is the newest addition to the ward. I'm now training again.

Elder Lopez got sent off to the southernmost part of Sinaloa, and Elder Smalley arrived! He's from Levan, UT, and sometimes has a pretty wicked accent when he speaks English. He was telling me about his house, and said, "Over here we have forkrails."

"Wait, what are forkrails?"
"... four corrals. They're right next to the crick."
He served for three weeks in Fresno while waiting for his visa, so he's pretty much arrived pre-trained.

I think I sometimes try to hide it when my mission is more difficult. I don't really know why. I want all of my letters to be positive, so when it's rough, I feel like I don't have a lot to say. The mission has been like a roller coaster, there are really, really great times, but sometimes it's really hard too.

One of the more spiritual times during the week was the new missionary orientation for Elder Smalley's group. I translated for the assistants, and as a side effect got really pumped up too. The new missionaries are just contagiously faithful.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hospital in Culiacan

Luìs was baptized! He's from a part-member family. We've been teaching everyone from the non-Mormon part. Our whole district came to the baptismal service with investigators, and there was a quiceaños party at the church right afterwards, so we just kind of ushered the investigators out to mingle.

I ended up at a hospital in downtown Culiacàn in divisions during the week to give a blessing to a member who was in pretty bad shape. Honestly, it was pretty rough. It was a pretty sad place. But, as we were walking around, loads of people were like, "Elders! I'm a member!" "Hermanos! I'm a member too!" or "Mormones! I'm from Cuba but was baptized in Utah and moved to Mexico!" Just all sorts of stories. It was an experience.

We're continuing to work with some good families and should be able to continue baptizing during this change. We've been trying to utilize lots of ward activities in order to fellowship the investigators really well (I feel like I've forgotten how to speak without mission vocabularly). Elder Lopez and I refer to the street where Luìs lives as the "magic street" because the majority of our progressing investigators live there. It makes it easy to get everyone to church on Sunday. We're planning on having a combined baptismal service next weekend for all of the companionships in our district to finish off the month well.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Unmarked white van

Biggest news of the week: Tania was baptized. It was a miracle. Her conversion process has been really cool. On Saturday, she just came with us all day and went to all of our appointments.
She was super stressed out, until we went to Bishop Gonsalez's house. He told her about when he had been baptized. She finally decided that she wanted to do it, has just been super happy and unstressed since then. Also, free of sins. A load of investigators made it to the baptismal service, and most of them went to church the next day as well.

We're working with a good-sized pool of progressing investigators. And we were able to find a really good new family during the week. A member had lended them his copy of the Joseph Smith movie, and we arrived right after they had watched it.

We had to go to the immigration offices during the week because our... something... expired, so they could take our thumb prints again and make us take pictures while we're frowning. Elder Schwab and I were walking there when the office van with the rest of the missionaries stopped in the middle of the street so we could get in. I just want to know what everyone thought when they saw two gringos walking in downtown Culiacán who suddenly got pulled into a big, unmarked, white van.