Dearest Mother and Father,
The successes are something we are very grateful for here. We are truly seeing miracles here and I am seeing and tasting of the fruits of our efforts. As I've mentioned week after week, the work is by no means easy and the days are indeed long, but when things work out, it just feels absolutely wonderful. Haha. Oh dear. I don't blame dad for getting a bit unhappy to have his "friends" from Tropical-Sno say hi, though, since I feel the same in regards to competition. Haha. But I'm glad you were pleasant for the businesses sake. And I'm glad someone else enjoys your Diablitos. Heaven knows I did not. Haha. Glad you're running a tight ship at work! In regards to the food, I do show my gratefulness for it.
Their actually aren't really any poor folk out here. Really, those who are poor are mainly the borachitos, but unfortunately for them, they made unwise decisions in living a life contrary to God and falling victim to the natural man. But anyway, most folk out here just work a ton, and by a ton, I mean 7 days a week. They really just need to keep the Sabbath Day holy and they would receive the blessings they need, but most don't have that confidence in God or believe that He'll justify it all because they have to work or they won't be able to eat, etc. but really, it's just a matter of excersing a bit of faith with the intent of obeying. That's something real hard to try to get people to understand, but we try our best.
But yeah, Yucatan really isn't known for it's food, but the fruit is delicious. If only you could taste the mangos and bananas. Haha. And also, the panaderías here are my best friend. Going back to the topic of walking, we walked a ton again and actually got a bit of heat exhaustion yesterday (mainly my companion, but we're totally fine now). A lot of plans were falling through again, even though we were trying to be really obedient and follow the council we received from our zone leaders (who received the counsel from President Garcia) in regards to making two backup plans per appointment, but we had a dang big miracle (in my opinion) occur towards the latter end of the week.
First, we visited a family which were a reference from one of the hermanas in the branch that we had set an appointment earlier in the week. We shared the message of the Restoration with them and also we introduced the Book of Mormon. We also invited them to baptism. Out of the 4 present (the husband, wife, and the husband's parents), it was the husband and wife who understood it pretty well. They thought it was a pretty interesting message and they didn't accept baptism immediately, but they did say they would investigate more and read and pray about the Book of Mormon and our message, so here's hopes that they do! We also met with a family who were old investigators and committed them to baptism. Just need to see if we can get them help with their financial situation, and I think they'll be good to go! We only had two investigators at church this week, and that was a bit discouraging, but we did have those two miracles occur, so for that, I'm grateful.
Something I'm really loving in myself that I'm seeing grow continuously is my love of the Book of Mormon. It is truly a treasure for me and I love reading of the prophets and the rise and fall of the Nephites. (That sounded a bit dark, but it really is so important because it is from learning from their fall that we can learn how we as families and members of the church can prevent such a tragedy from occurring. For more on this subject, look up Ezra Taft Benson's talk (as read by President Hinkley) Beware of Pride. Way powerful stuff.) I don't know if I've mentioned this, but my comprehension of the Book of Mormon in Spanish is way good now (since that's pretty much all I try to read in) and I see that as such a blessing. At the moment, I'm reading in Helaman and am learning of Nephi's ministry as well as the rise of secret combinations and corruption within the Nephite society. I also re-read a bit of Jacob this week and I find it to be absolutely powerful. He was truly a one of a kind prophet. His words may be hard and direct, but there is such a powerful spirit when he preaches in the temple.
Just to sum everything up, the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It is not a work of fiction. There is no way that a young man without much formal education could go and write something so profound that not only testifies of and supports the Bible, but also gives the reader who reads and prays about it the absolute surety that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that His gospel and priesthood have once again been restored to the earth. I know these things without a doubt and often chastise myself for being so unfaithful to my scripture study prior to the mission, but I know now that this is something I do not want to be without for the rest of my life. We teach so much of the Book of Mormon because the world really doesn't know what it is. That doesn't mean we neglect the Bible, because yes, Mormons believe in the Bible, but without the Book of Mormon, we don't have the fulness of the gospel. That is why it is so important. I extend my invitation to those who have not read the Book of Mormon to read it and pray about it as well, with real intent. It truly is a blessing and a treasure to me and I know it will be also to those who read it and apply the lessons it contains. But as they say in Reading Rainbow, don't take my word for it. (In other words, read and pray about it!) That is my testimony and I share it in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Till next week, love you! (Also, good for Pedro!)
Elder Manuel Antonio Santos