Thursday, May 15, 2014

I got here safe and am alright...

Dear mom,

Thank you so much for the information you sent me regarding my card. I´ll see what I can do regarding that since it is collect and I don´t know if I´m supposed to do that with the mission phone. Since I´m in the mission now, my p-days are Mondays now, but I was allowed to mail today to let you know that I got here safe and am alright. Unfortunately, I don´t have pictures to send you because I need a cable for my camera that I left at our house, so I´ll send you some next week. My companion is an American named Elder Wilcox and he´s a real good trainer. My area is a little place called Tixcocob. You´d love the vegetation here. The people are all very nice and humble. The majority are Catholic, so we´ll see what we can do. There are some active members, but the rest are inactive and we meet in a small building for church, so it´s just a house of prayer since there aren´t enough who pay tithing for us to have an actual building. We´ll see what we can do with that as well. Just to update a bit, the president and his wife are really nice people. They met us at the airport and then we ate Subway for dinner. We went back to the mission office and all of the new Elders and Hermanas went elsewhere to sleep for the night. We slept in the home of the assistants. My hammock was wonderful. (I get my own, just so you know.) The next day we had an interesting experience as we went to the mission home for breakfast. We were told that we had to give a Book of Mormon to the taxi driver on our way there. It worked out. He already had one, but we gave him specific things to read. Later, we were told some things to be aware of in the mission, such as the mission rules and goals. It seems a bit strict, but oh well. It´s nothing that worries me in regards to conduct. The music is just a bit limited for my taste, but I don´t have any, so no big. I can´t remember exactly what exactly all the goals of excellence are, but this one I remember for sure: we´re to baptize every week. There was already one set up for this Sunday, so it´s likely I´ll be doing it, I think. It´s an exciting goal which requires much diligence. My trainer is very good about being able to merge things into a gospel conversation with anyone, so I hope to get to that point. So far, we´ve just been teaching members and less actives since It´s been a weird week so far with the scheduling of things. Yesterday, I went on splits with another missionary because our companions had a meeting in Merida, so I served in a place called Canek. It was a good experience to teach the members and less-actives. It´s a tough area because few members help with missionary work, but I hope to serve there sometime. Please tell dad I was sorry I couldn´t call him. When I was going to after I was done talking to you, we had to board our flight to Mexico. Please tell him hi for me. I don´t know how letter writing will work while I´m here since I have no idea where a post office is, but we´ll see how that works, but just in case, I might not write for about 12 weeks while I´m here, but I will email. I´m really glad to be here. It´s a bit tough waking up in the mornings because I´m still just adjusting to being in the mission, but once I get going, I feel good and I really enjoy working with my companion and also just serving the members or whoever we may be teaching. Keep me in your prayers, though, because I´m still having a hard time just adjusting and stuff since this for sure isn´t home. Please say hi to everyone for me. Love you tons!

Elder Santos

I'm excited, yet I'm fearing it at the same time...

Hey Mom! (Written 5/8)
Things are going well over here. This week for our Tuesday devotional, we had Elder Jeffrey R. Holland speak to us. That was a real treat for sure and the words were so inspiring. Overall, the main messages were that the decision we've made is one of the most correct decisions we've ever made and that while we're here, we need to make it an experience that will truly memorable and worthwhile, in the sense that it's something that truly changes us. That hit me pretty hard, especially with the mixed feelings I've had in realizing that next Monday, I'll be arriving in the mission field. I'm excited, yet I'm fearing it at the same time. My faith has increased so much, though, and I'm really just holding on to that. I've really seen the improvement in myself and my companionship this past week. We've gelled well and stuff, but throughout, we found ourselves having too much fun. Thankfully, the chastisement of the spirit is something that is truly incredible and we've allowed it to help direct us to know what we needed to change. We've also been filled with the spirit more often. Our lessons have gotten better and we've been united in our teaching. Working with the spirit and acting upon it really is a necessity. I'm glad Cinco de Mayo went well. Oh! For Mother's Day, we'll be calling from 1:30-2 PM your time. This is the first time the MTC has done this, so this is really a unique time to be here. We'll get to call from the airport the next day (I heard), so hopefully I'll have more info by Sunday. I sent grandma a mother's day card, so hopefully it will arrive before then. Well, I hope all is well. I love you all so much. I'm going to try hard to trust in the Lord as did Nephi in 2 Nephi 4: 33-35. The next time I'll email is in Mexico, so bye till then. Love you and can't wait till Sunday!

Manuel (Elder Santos)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Another short email...I'm real busy with class and things...

Hey mom!

How is everything? Thank you for your encouraging messages. This weeks
email will be short because my companion has a dentist's appointment,
but just a real quick recap, we had D. Todd Christofferson speak to us
this week in regards to how important it is that the Lord trusts us. It
was really good. I'm also a district leader now, so my time as a zone
leader is over, but I do love my district, so this is no problem
whatsoever. I also got my travel plans today, so a week from Monday, I
fly out from Salt Lake at 7 AM and will get to Merida by 7 PM. Long day.
Haha. Well, I'm sorry this was short, but I do have to go now. I'll try
to write home this week so I can share some spiritual experiences and
let you know all is well, so please tell dad to be patient since I'm
real busy with class and things. I hope all is well and I love you so

Elder Santos