Date: 10/29/14 12:05:11 PM
From: "Manuel Santos"
To: "Isabel Santos"
Dear Momma and Papi,
First of all, the trip was long... Haha. It takes about 4-5 hours to get from Merida to Champotón. We left Merida at 7 last night and got home a little before midnight because we had a long meeting yesterday, had to pick up materials for the other missionaries in my area, and also because the financial secretary was arranging tickets for us Elders traveling back to Campache that night. Needless to say, it's nice being "home". (Forgot to take a picture, but...)
My son's name is Elder Lopez and he's from Puebla, Mexico. He's 24 and he's way cool. (In my opinion.) He has a really humble spirit about him and he's very anxious to learn. I just hope I can be the example he needs. I know I'm pretty dang imperfect and I have a lot to improve and change, especially for these next 3 months, but I'm incredibly humbled and privileged to have this opportunity. (And nervous because how I train him will affect future generations of missionaries.) All in all, I think this is what I need. It just feels fresh and new and I do enjoy the change that training brings. Plus, it's just something I feel I need to improve upon and better my habits as a missionary because everything you do as a trainer has some kind of effect upon your companion. Really, all the life application that one gains as a missionary is incredible. I was seriously freaking out a bit because of the huge responsibility that comes from training because I felt a bit like a father awaiting a newborn child. Haha.
All in all, I just feel that there's a lot that I'm supposed to learn from this. It was definitely an inspired transfer to have me train during this time. Really, I can just feel it. We have a lot of work to do with the few investigators we have right now, but I personally I believe that during this time, we're going to learn together just what's been lacking for the progress of our fold (as in our fold of "sheep). Something that I was able to be reminded prior to returning to Champotón is the importance of teaching others the Atonement and how they can feel a need to repent and apply in their lives. I've learned that I haven't been loving enough because I haven't done too well in teaching others of the consequence of sin. At first I thought I was being too loving since I've been focusing more on the blessings of obedience to the gospel, but really, I haven't loved enough because in order to demonstrate love, you have to teach the consequences so that others see their ways as being offensive to God and to just avoid sin and iniquity like the plague.
In short, I've just learned that you can't sugarcoat repentance because it's such a necessary part of exercising faith in Jesus Christ that leads to a desire to enter the waters of baptism and be cleansed. Yes, you repremand, but it's done with love. I'm so glad that you've been feeling the joy of missionary work! (Even though dad gets in the way of it a bit. Haha.) Just continue to do what you can. Also, remember to preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words. (In other words, your example is everything!) I love you all tons and hope you're all doing well! Till next time!
Love Elder Manuel Antonio Santos
PS, Don't worry. I do spray my hammock because them lil' pests like to eat my feet sometimes. Also, in regards to asking about my birthday, ties are always cool. And this may seem strange, but stickers would be nice as well because they're fun to give to kids, but also because I like decorating the inside of my hymn book. (Adventure Time stickers or other fun stickers from movies or cartoons or anything'd be cool.)