This week went faster than any other week I have had in the mission. I am learning to take more advantage of every moment I have out here because the time seems to be going by quicker and quicker. I received my new son finally Wednesday afternoon. His name is Elder Lubiano from Monterrey, Mexico. He is a great missionary, willing to be 100% obedient and work diligently. I am grateful for this because we have tons of people to baptize and I don't want to be dragging someone behind. I am excited to be training again and love the fire that the "verdes" (greenies) have. There are so many missionary close to the end of their missions that are just being lazy and basically waiting to go home. I am learning from these newbies how to retain excitement and their desire to baptize is contagious!
So I thought that I would quickly explain this new program that the Apostles have implemented in the mission field for training. We are given a new missionary to train over a 12 week program. This program involves two hours of Companionship Study as opposed to one. We have an agenda with certain topics and activities that we need to accomplish every week and certain achievements that my son needs to meet. We were also given a little TV screen with a bunch of missionary video clips that will help us both to learn. We are basically beta testing and the program is a draft, but I am so excited to give it all I have got. It came straight from the Apostles and is packed with many things that will help my companion and I work more efficiently and intelligently. It was implemented for the newbies but I am going to draw all I can out of it also! After this intensive study, we leave our home every morning with a different spirit, a spirit that drives us to work harder.
My wonderful family, I absolutely love the photo you sent me of President Monson. The moment I pulled it out of the package I could not help but smile. Recently, I have looked to Pres. Monson as an example of someone who always is happy and has a contagious smile on his face the majority of the time. He is a strong example of always being happy and at peace despite the hardships of life. Every morning, Pres. Monson smiles at me as I study my scriptures and prepare spiritually for the day. I love the photo and it has such a strong personal meaning to me. Thanks!
So this last week was Holy Week and basically everything stopped for 8 days. A week where the people here celebrate the life and miracles of Christ. There were parades in the streets of Roman guards throughout the week and then on Friday they had some dressed up as Christ walk down the street carrying a cross. It is so sad that in the season of Easter they chose to remember Christ in such a warped way. They were all dressed as Roman soldiers and had people hitting and pushing the Christ. Later they actually had someone be crucified on a cross in a representation of what they did to Jesus. The people that were watching this were all drinking tons of beer and extremely drunk. Let me tell you, we avoided this part of our area for the most part of the day.
On Saturday it is called Saturday of Glory and the tradition is to pour water on anyone or anything that moved in the streets that was dry. I was walking down a hill when we passed by a huge group of men all shouting "mojado, mojado, mojado" (wet, wet, wet) and a guy came out of his with a huge bucket of water. I was thinking about the plans we had for the day and chose to ignore the shouting. That was a mistake because the next thing I knew I had a huge bucket of water poured on my head. I just kept on walking rolling my eyes at the crazy things they do here and thankful for the cold water on such a hot day. I laughed with my companion as I continued working, knocking doors and contacting with all my clothes sopping wet. I even thought about how Jesus would have reacted to this situation and that is why I chose to walk away without saying or doing anything. Also why I chose to keep working despite being really wet! I laugh as I write this remembering the whole experience!
I am thoroughly enjoying being a missionary in this time of the year. Spreading the knowledge we have of a living Christ who has an abundance of blessings and the ability to return and live with Heavenly Father. I also really enjoyed walking in the shoes the Savior wore as I was laughed at when a bucket was poured on my head. I love Lord and seek everyday to become more and more like Him. I am so grateful for the sacrifice he made for me personally and for each and everyone that lives in order to have eternal life. I am so blessed to be here and now doing the wonderful things the Lord has given me to do. I love all of you and hope that you had a wonderful Easter!!!!