Monday, June 23, 2014

2nd Week in Mexico (Week 4)

Here is Kevin's Letter for week 3 in Mexico.  I have also included some pictures from when he was in the MTC...I am still waiting for pictures from Mexico.
Thank you for all your support this week!!! Charlene

Well, there are baptisms here in Veracruz. If you know me, well then you know that I love the show How I met Your Mother, well this week we got to baptize a man who was basically a 60 year old version of Barney Stinson in how he had lived his life. He had been taught by different missionaries, and he shrugged them off, saying that he shouldn't`t have to obey the law of chastity because Jesus did not and stuff like that (that is not true btw). Anyways, he was fascinated by the fact that I was from the US and wanted to know all the immigration laws (which I am fully unaware of as a whole), but because he kept wanting to know more about me, and would listen to me, we were able to teach him and show him how it would change his life. When he went in for the baptismal interview, he completely cried his eyes out, and repented of everything that he had done in front of our zone leaders, it was amazing to get to see. His baptism had a couple funny and scary moments, but he was baptized, and that`s what matters. 

So lets see, by the way, my area is called Nueva Era 2 in Reforma section of Veracruz city. It stays right around the upper 80`s all day, which with this humidity basically means that I have gradually become used to the feeling of being in a swimming pool. This week was much better that last, and I have really started to see my purpose here. The people of Veracruz that I have taught so far are very childlike. They have humble, believing, open hearts, but if you try and use any form of logic as opposed to emotional appeals, it simply does not work and they get confused. So what you have to do is speak very simply and use powerful simple statements, which my companion is a master at doing, and I simply am not. What I noticed however is that certain investigators have been investigators for a long time, but no one reaches them because these ones are very intellectually oriented. So there are certain investigators that I am able to help and reach in a way that like m trainer has difficulty with. The food here is great, and members feed us these gigantic lunches, but until July, I have basically no money so I am living on honey and peanut butter with some cheap bread in the mornings and evenings. My companion and I get along about as well as two people from such different backgrounds could. We both want to get along, and sometimes there is a bit of a language and a cultural barrier, but with that exception we are here to work together. He has taught me a very different method for finding people than what I would expect. We basically visit members (hang out and chat in their houses) until we get references, then contact the references, then teach who we can, but there is absolutely no street contacting and knocking on doors (which here you do by yelling buenos tardes) is against the rules. 

In case you all did not hear (I think my mom told most everyone) I had an incredibly hard time the first week of my mission (I didn`t want to share it). In all honesty,the poverty the culture, everything was just so hard for me, and the mission is so different from how we live our lives. I always tried to live my life in a world of black and white, where I would not be forced to choose any form of grey, but here there are miles and miles of grey, and you have to do the best you can. If everyone (including your companion) is trying to watch the mundial, and they refuse to turn the TV off or down, what do you do? If your companion doesn`t want to do something that`s in the rules, what do you do? When it`s pday and you've spent all day prepping the President`s farewell party, and you haven`t emailed your parents or done laundry yet, and it`s 6 o'clock, what do you do? You have to make a decision, trying to do what`s right, and what the savior would do, but it is never easy. Anyways, it was so hard on me, the first week, and I had such severe depression, I set up an interview with the mission president to talk, and started packing my bags a little. Right before my interview, I went to zone conference, and as I sat there, I realized that I did not know why in the world I was on a mission, and I finally realized it. I have said I came on a mission because it is what is right, while I logically know this, it really doesn`t capture my emotions. In all honesty I came on a mission because if you want to get married in provo you have to. That is the emotional reason that I never wanted to admit. When I realized that, (and I think the emotional reason is the same for a lot of us) I knew I needed to find a better reason because it simply would not do for the next two years. It finally hit me like a brick wall, if I believed everything that I preached, if I honestly believed, wouldn`t I be happier here than any other place in the world. Wouldn`t heavenly Father bless me for being here. Also, wouldn`t returning home be denying the different covenants that I have made before God, given what I know. Yes, yes it would be a complete violation. How could I possibly even think of going home when Jesus Christ gave everything for me and suffered everything, and all he asks is that I live slightly below my usual standard for two years. No, to go home when it`s hard or when I don`t like the living conditions would be simply to deny the truths that I know, and nothing short of that. I want you all to know that I will never do that, no matter what happens. Because I know this Gospel is true with everything that I am, and that is why I didn`t buy an airplane ticket back home. I love you all more than you can possibly imagine. If there was one thing that changed in me immediately from when I was ordained an Elder to before, it is this, I look into people`s eyes, and I see them for who they are, and for those who I can understand, I love them and just want to bring them to the temple with me in their family. And as I think about so many people from back home, I just want you all to know how much I love all of you. You are wonderful, and there is not a thing in the world I wouldn`t do for you guys (speaking to family friends and ward).


p.s. Spiritual thought I`ve had It is our desires that show who we truly are, and what we truly want in this life. It is who we are that determines where we go in the world to come, and our standing with Father in Heaven. How do we change our desires, through repeated action in a particular method, but if we are trying to draw closer to God, it must also be through the power of the Holy Ghost. It is only in and through the power of the Holy Ghost that we can come to truly desire what God does, and change ourselves. to how he would want us to be.

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