It is so hot. Sweating is the new normal. To beat the heat, Hna Huerta and I have been finding new ways to stay cool, i.e: freezing bananas during the day and making banana ice cream for a midnight (10 o'clock) snack, eating frozen mangos with chile (I just found out this week that Mexicans eat everything with chile. Literally everything. Hna Huerta taught me the list of all the types of chile they consume in this part of the world, and it was quite a long list), showering with cold water (even though we are the only missionaries in the whole area of Merida that have hot water), and trying not to jump into every kiddie pool outside of every single house. Among the highlights of this sun-filled week:
1) teaching Hna Sitlali, a 20 year old who can't hear. We contacted her on the street earlier this week and then returned to teach her, putting our faith in the fact that the Spirit speaks all types of languages and could help Hna Sitlali understand our hand gestures and scriptures. It was perhaps one of my most favorite experiences of the whole mission, sitting outside in plastic chairs on a hot patio while she was swinging from a homemade swing, reading along to the words of hymns and smiling the whole time. She is a great person of light and goodness, and for a moment I was almost brought to tears in gratitude to my Heavenly Father for giving me a small moment of seeing one of His children as He sees them — I saw her as one of the most valiant and purest and perhaps one of the most loneliest, being reminded of the fact that there are a lot of people that live lonely lives because of their circumstances. We are hoping to find someone in the ward that speaks sign language so that we can continue teaching her.
2) Hno Tony is progressing a lot and we just kind of love him a lot. We teach him every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday outside his house with his little five year old brother who always accompanies us with his new kitten that he is obsessed with (literally, he is in love with his cat. Whenever we sing, he places the hymnbook in front of his cat so he can read, too, and whenever we pray, he crosses the cats paws as if he were praying, too. I hope I explained that well, because it is hilarious). Hno Tony is still having a hard time accepting the Book of Mormon to be true, but is still preparing for his baptismal date and always ends the lesson with a prayer, thanking God for bringing great joy in his life, and asking for this joy to stay.
Today we rode the bus into Centro really early. Usually when we have to take the bus in the early light, we end up standing and holding onto the railing. Most times, I like being able to stand up in a moving bus and view the sea of people sitting on the two rows of plastic chairs lined along open windows. I always feel a greater love for these people every time I see them and wonder about them and their lives. Today, I wondered a lot about what every single one of them were thinking. While the wind and the blasting radio created a type of noise on that 20 minute bus ride, everyone else rode in silence. No one talks to anyone on the bus, and for this very reason I found myself wondering about what they were thinking and where they were all going and why they were all on this same bus and what motivates them to wake up early in the morning and take a crowded bus that only moves them farther away from home. I've been thinking a lot about what motivates people, especially in terms of what motivates a person to the point that they are really converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every conversion story in the Book of Mormon talks about a true conversion that comes after hearing the words of eternal life and repenting in order to obtain that great promise. I suppose that this is part of a conversion — really understanding what it means to have the promise of eternal life, what it means to repent and use the Atonement of Christ in order to get that good blessing. But I also suppose that a true conversion is different for every person that this good Gospel finds and changes and converts. The Gospel has found and changed and converted me because I came to love my Father and my Savior with such and deep and wide love that I feel as if I would do anything in order to please them and return to their presence. I guess my conversion came about after I came to really understand and feel God and Christ in my life--a conversion that came out of love.
Wishing you a full and happy week,
P.S. the assistants just called and we have special changes tomorrow — I am staying here and getting a new comp that is sick (¿? details are nonexistent) and Hna Huerta is going to another area — we are kind of sad. kluvubi