Hey family and friends!
To all who are reading this I hope that through all the random things that I say and some of the jokes and all, I hope that I can express how grateful I am to be here. I hope I can express my testimony and some spiritual expriences with you.
Well first of all I was thinking the title of my letter might go something like this. (the sound of music) You can imagine me singing... these are a few of my favorite things... cold cereal, pancakes, french toast, both with peanut butter and lots of syrup, pb and j sandwich with milk, grilled cheese sandwich, sometimes a breakfast burrito, delicious bread from the states and raspberry jam. I guess I could just say Walmart. I love HEB and Walmart. Those stores make the world go 'round.
This week has been a great week. A learning experience. First change and my Mission President put me with a great companion. There's a lot we are going to change and leave this ward better than we found it. This change will be great.
Monday I cleaned the apartment while my comp packed for his change. He was sent to a place called Mante. It's dry heat there. But it gets up to 120 degrees or more in the summer time. Never really gets cool in the winter. I just smiled and said good luck I'll pray for you. ha ha. After we had changed my comp and I went back to our apartment and went to work.
This week I learned that I didn't learn all the streets and the area as well as I should have. It was kind of frustrating at the beginning but things have smoothed out and I quickly learned the area . I seemed to always depend on Elder González for the directions. Not going to make that mistake again. haha.
We did a lot of tracting and found a great family. We are hopeful that they will progress. We have a great investigator basically given to us. The missionaries of the other ward had been teaching him. Taught him everything and were ready to baptize him and the bishop said no because he doesn't live in the ward. His friend lives in the other ward and had been going to his friend's house to listen to the lessons. So the missionaries of the other ward had to give him up to us because he lives in our ward. He is a great guy. Wow! He has a strong testimony. He's 23 and I have great hope for him that he will go on a mission. He is amazing. He has his birthday october 1st so he wants to be baptized then. It'll be great. Conference with a baptism. One busy, but great day.
Our converts are doing well. Well most of them. The families are doing pretty well. Elder gonzález and I had a baptism on Saturday before the change. A family of 4, one family of 3 and the other a 10 year old girl. And then we confirmed them yesterday because of stake conference. Well two of them asked me specifically to confirm them. Normally I would just let the bishop or Elder González do it. But you can't say no. Got to have the practice I guess. No, they weren't perfect but they were understood. ha ha. Spanish is coming along. Not perfect. And for the most part I think they can understand me. I can understand them.
I haven't spoken English really at all last week. It was weird thinking about that today. I spoke a lot of English and Spanish with Elder González, but Elder Mendez doesn't speak English. So I just speak Spanish. Occasionally I'll speak English to myself just to see if I can still. No just kidding. But the dreams are pretty weird once I quit speaking in English completely. Now people in my dreams speak Spanish. It was funny when I woke the first time that happened. I was like weird... anyway no more English...
Yesterday we had a great and terrible day. Sunday one of our converts maria gave a wonderful talk on faith. It was like she had been giving talks her whole life. I was so proud of her. ha ha. And we also had the confirmations of the baptisms. That was great. I taught gospel principles and it was great to have some wonderful feedback on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Learned some wonderful things that I never thought of before. Then the terrible part...
We got home to change our suits and go out tracting. Well once we got home we got a call saying that Juan the husband of maria had fallen and to come quick. So we grabbed a taxi and when we arrived it was worse than we thought. Juan didn't attend church and decided to sleep in then later do some house work. He was cutting branches up in a tree at his house and I guess fell to the ground. No one around saw it but when maria and her family got home he was lying on the cement or something and had some blood in his mouth. The ambulance came and by that time we arrived and he was on his bed sleeping. Well the paramedics said nothing was wrong with him and that they couldn't take him to the hospital because they didnt have enough money and paperwork for him was in order or something along those lines. So they left. We gave him a blessing and started to talk with Maria. At this time members had stopped by and most of them were gone. We sang a hymn to calm her nerves down and then saw Juan walking towards us. He walked outside to the bathroom, went to the bathroom and then walked back inside and went back to sleep. We couldn't wake him again.
We had to leave but returned again 5 hours later and he was still the same. Sleeping. He apparently woke up and said some things no one could understand and then went back to sleep. He woke up for us went to the bathroom and went back to sleep again. I felt so out of control. Like there was nothing Elder Mendez and I could do. Maria was just crying all day and night. She just kept blaming herself and saying that she was faithful and she is. Why had this happened. She has a lot of faith and I hope and pray all will be well with Juan. So that was my great and terrible Sunday. I hope your Sunday was a lot more quiet and peaceful than mine. ha ha.
Well things here are still moving on. Time keeps ticking on and on. It feesl like I've been here my whole life and that life back at home was just a memory of some sort. Very strange. Then I think about it and I've only been here for 5 months on my mission. Flew by and I know that the next 5 will go even quicker. I hope all is well with you and your family. I pray for all of you.
Elder James Cox