So the mom of Rebeca came back to Poza Rica this week. I was talking to her and she said she wants me to baptize her. When she came for the baptism for Rebeca, I shared with her the message of the Restoration, and then invited them to church. They came to church for the baptism and liked it. Behind the scenes, their whole family searched for the church back at their house in Puebla, Mexico. Now all 8 of them go to church. Rebeca´s mom came back to Poza Rica this last weekend and told me about how now that they are going to church, she can see the unity and how they have so much more love in their family. She thanked me for how I have helped her to change her life, and she wants me to be the one to baptize her. We´re preparing her to be baptized on the 11 of Sep. And when I was sick, she was super worried, and gave me a bunch of fluids and little house remedies so that I would get better. She was constantly asking me how I was doing. She´s 68 and a spry little woman at that. I have a picture with her but I forgot my camera..... Next week :)
This picture is of Guillermina, she will be baptized on the 18 of September! She is the mom of Rebeca and is an example to all converts everywhere. She loves the Gospel and she has seen the changes in her family. I taught her once and then she went back to her house in Puebla. She came back a couple weeks ago and told me that she wanted me to baptize her. When she went back to her home, she searched for the chapel closest to her and started to go with her family. There are now 8 people that go with her and preparing for baptism. She came back and told me she wants me to baptize her becasue she said it was through me that she found this new life.
As of this morning, there is a man that we are going to be teaching. A few nights ago, my companion and I were contacting people in the street and in their houses. As we were passing a house, there was a woman who was trying to get some bags into her door. We offered our help, and then gave her a contact card while explaining a little bit of who we are and Who we represent. Later, the father of this young woman came out to hear what was going on. He bluntly stated that he is a Pentacostal, already goes to church, and reads his Bible every day. He had many questions where he would try to tie us up in our words. Yet I had many questions as well. But when I asked him my questions, he would either interrupt me, or ignore my questions and try and change the subject. You can only imagine how frustrating that was. My patience slowly started to whither into a dead leaf. I kept my visual clean, patient, and reverent... But on the inside I wanted to explode. At the end where I was at the point of just leaving. I reached into my shoulder bag, pulled out a Book of Mormon, and gave it to him. I told him to read it, he has our number, and if he is interested and would like to know more, call us.
As my companion and I walked away, my companion asked me, "Are we going to go back?" I told him, "No, he is the type of person who just wants to contend or fight. If he reads the Book of Mormon and wants to know more, he can call us, and then we will. But, until he calls us, I´m not going back because he was just testing my nerves." Then my companion agreed, and we started contacting more people once again.
Today, the member we live with invited us to have some brunch. We ate, and then the hermana invited us in her living room to talk for a second. The lady who cleans her house is a member of the church. She is married and has children. I don´t understand the situation, because she loves her husband and they are happy together, but she lives in another house alone. She started talking to us, and explained how her husband recently obtained a Book of Mormon! He is now reading it, and is very interested. Her husband is the man we contacted the other night, and he wants to know more. She told us about how he was, "Intrigued by the persistance of the white boy, and when he told him to read the book, he felt as though it was something he needed to do."
The Lord works in mysterious ways. And He knew that Elder Koontz was not going to go back to the house of the man, unless he was therefore called to do so. So the Lord sent the call through the wife of the man. :)
So changes got here this week! After my 4 1/2 months here in Barrio Totolapa, Estaca Poza Rica I`m getting changed to Cazones. It’s the area with the beach of Poza Rica. I`m still in the same city of Poza Rica but there are 2 zones here. I`m going into the other zone along the beach. I`ve been told that all I`m gonna be eating is fish, shrimp, crab, oysters, etc. Seafood. I`m happy that I`ve been to Tamiahua where they showed me how to really eat crab and shrimp.
Baptism!!! We Baptized Guillerma Javier Perez this last Saturday and then she was confirmed yesterday. She is the mother of Rebeca (who we baptized last change). She is a great little bundle of joy and she is always so caring of my health and well-being. The first time I met her was the week of Rebeca and Ana`s baptism. Her along with the rest of their extended family had come to visit, and it just so happens that the missionaries had been invited to meet everyone... We extended the invitation for them to go to the baptism of Rebeca and they said they weren`t too sure. We shared the message of the Restoration with them and they had a lot of good questions. When we gifted a Book of Mormon to Guillerma, she held it tight to her chest and shared her testimony of how This Book is a treasure to her. We have helped her by teaching, answering questions, reading, and continuing forward with her baptismal date. She was baptized and confirmed this last weekend. I also had the opportunity to talk by phone with the rest of their extended family that lives in Puebla, Mexico. The first day upon their return from their visit, they searched for the closest chapel to their house. They went everyday until there had been some type of activity or meeting so they could find out when the services started on Sunday. They found the missionaries and have been receiving the discussions from them. As I was talking to them last night over the phone, they told me that they are happily and readily preparing themselves to be baptized on the 25th of September. This next Sunday!!! They thanked me for helping them with this great gift of the Gospel in their lives because they can see the unity in their family 100x more. It made me very happy to hear this :)
Alright, new area: Cazones, new companion: Elder Sulub, Ward/Branch: Branch, pictures: yes, love the area: yes, love my companion: yes. WOOOO! CAZONES!!
So far everything is going good. We´ve had some great experiences and I´m already getting to know the majority of everyone here pretty fast. There are so many young single adults here. Everyone seems to range from around 20-24 years old. We all get along pretty well. But I´m still pretty new and the people are getting used to the fact that the Elder that used to be here is gone. He was here for 6 months and everyone misses him. So pretty much whenever I walk into a house the people first get very sad at the fact that the other Elder is gone and now I am here. But then after about 5 minutes of sorrow, they get happy at the fact they can get to know me.
There are 3 people who typically hang out with us a lot. Their names are Edgar, Irving, and Pancho (Francisco). You´ll see a picture of them in a second.
We had a really good week this week. We worked a lot and had an effective fast. We have been finding new people to teach and we had 10 people come to church yesterday! Everyone is awesome. Tonight we have a noche de hogar ( Family Home Evening) planned and we are going to play volleyball with the branch. It’s been raining quite a bit today so it’s been a little bit cooler. I´ve been told that my area is the coolest (temperature) in all of our zone. We live up a little bit in the "mountains" so it’s just a little bit cooler. But, it’s still part of the oven of Poza Rica. My house is awesome. I have upgraded from a tiny one-room-concrete-box to a nice apartment. We get a little bit of airflow in it sometimes so it’s a little cooler as well. I finally have my own desk again. For the past 4 months and a half, I´ve had to share a desk with my companion and I never had anywhere to put my books. Now I have more space and I´ll send some pictures in a bit.
Edgar works in his own shop. He sells clothes and there is a small area with a bunch of miscellaneous items. I took some pictures with the random stuff so you will see those as well.
I´ve been really warmly welcomed into the branch. We´re all excited about conference coming up and it’s just a happy little place here.
I got to see conference and I loved it. I really loved all of the talks. I loved Pres. Russel M Nelson with Joy, but I guess I can say the one I got the most out of personally was Dale G. Renlund about True Repentance. That experience he shared about the firecracker was hilarious, but at the same time, you think about how it really wasn´t so much of a bad thing. And he felt terrible just for causing a distraction in the sacrament meeting which caused him to feel unworthy of the Sacrament. Powerful experience that one, it put me to think
The biggest things I am learning on the mission are humility, charity, and repentance. I have come to learn more and more about these three attributes that are absolutely necessary in a successful life. Daily repentance has taught me how to have daily happiness. Working on having less pride is a much more peaceful way to serve the mission and take guidance. Pride is the enemy of Humility, so when humility is learned, pride is destroyed. Charity is something I am still trying to get to learn. I enjoy teaching and getting to know the people I teach. Developing love for everyone I teach is something that requires more work. Charity is a gift, it’s not something you can just have on your own. So I pray for that gift daily. Man, I miss conference already.
1 Family of 3 and another investigator came to watch conference. They said they loved it, their only difficulty is that they arent praying. I already feel like we have shoved the importance of prayer into their face a bunch. They just need to do it. I think it clicked in the last lesson we shared with them yesterday. They said they will. They are super cool and great. They just need to pray!!!!!!!!
Okidoki. I´m audi. Love you all! Talk to you in a week!! :)
Guillermina.....Isn't she sweet??
Guillermina and her daughter Rebeca. Guillermina got baptized!
This cat climbs up my body like Spiderman to get to the top of my shoulders
Saying goodbye to so many WONDERFUL families!!
We ate Pazolei with this family. They are awesome and I`m gonna miss them.
Us with Ana and Guillerma... and Vicki (baby) :)
With Guillerma and Rebeca in their taco stand
This is how people in Mexico wish you a fond farewell. Wait for it.....
Everyone had to get in on the fun!
My bags all packed and ready to go to Totolapa.
Hermana Blanca from Totolapa
My new zone in Totolapa
My first Sunday in the Branch with only a few of the members :)
This well is huuuuuuuge. There are a ton of people with small ones, but this one is huge!
Finally, my own desk again. :)
My very organized closet :)
And another with my new hairdoo...........Just kidding.
I have regulation haircut.
I wish my hair was like this, I could be a model. ;-P
I was helping my companion with his English Study this week and we came across this practice question... Not even the book knows why... (bottom question)
Lucha Libre! Nachoooooooooo!