Saturday, June 7, 2014

Letter 28

Hello familia!
Well, this is the first time in a while I actually have my full time to write to everyone. Thanks for all your emails, and sorry I haven't responded. But let me try to be as thorough as possible.
First, the past. We had Rafael "Miyagi" Palacio's baptism last week.. It was a pretty hectic day, but we were able to pull it off. That same day, we helped a recent convert family  (The Lopez Quiroz family) in the ward plan and prepare for their son's baptism (Max).They had a really nice program and then we had our baptismal program.
So let me tell you all a little about Rafael "Miyagi" Palacios. First off, everyone in his neighborhood knows him as Miyagi because he somewhat resembles Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid. Before we started teaching him, he had a real long beard and he only has one eye, so he was always squinting like a Chinese man. Plus, he uses a pretty awesome cane. Rafael is about 63 years old, and lives alone. He had struggled with alcoholism, and got into a pretty intense incident which caused him to loose his eye. He is a great man, and progressed so quickly as an investigator. He came to church every Sunday until he was baptized, shaved, started wearing ties all the time, it was so amazing! We had a very special baptismal service with him, and Hermano Yañez baptized him. Hermano Yañez is the high priest group leader assistant, He's so awesome! Rafael is the first investigator we actually shared with the sister missionaries who is finally baptized (the first of many).
So now, the present.
We got a few surprise visitors staying with us this week. First, Elder Lokotui. He's from California but his parents are Tongan. He speaks Tongan too, and he's been teaching us a few words. He's going to be with us for a while because he messed his feet up pretty bad from all the walking and now he can't walk. Then, we got another Elder on Thursday. Elder Romero is from Mesa, AZ and he's been out for about 3 months now, he got way dehyrdated and now he's chilling with us.
Dehydration is real folks. The heat has been crazy here in Juarez, and the locals tell us that this heat is just the beginning. It's been about 90-95 degrees for the past few days, but it's usually like 100-110. The heat is dry, so dry. Good thing I'm in the office for at least 3 hours (AC!), because man, it is heating up. The nights are crazy hot too. I usually wake up sweaty like at 2 AM and pour some water on me. I'm always drinking water (I hope that makes you happy mom) and I put on sunblock (like 90% of the time, sorry mom, I forget sometimes).
We had a special multi-zone conference with a General Authority, Elder Daniel L. Johnson on Friday. Check out a talk he gave in the October 2012 General Conference. Also, his biography. Elder Johnson talked to us and the local church leadership about Hastening the Work Of Salvation. He focused on us as missionaries working more with local church leaders and members to get more investigators, more references, and more baptisms.  We got 6 references that day
Well, we are currently looking and finding new investigators. We have found at least one new investigator everyday (except for past Thursday) for the last 2 weeks. We just talk to everyone and really listen to them and find a way to connect the Gospel with their needs. We are also preparing a new investigator for baptism next week (fingers crossed). His name is Alejandro Mendez (I think I've mentioned him before) and he has been coming to church for the past 5 weeks. He is anxious and close to baptism.
I hope everyone has a great week!
Elder Velazquez

Elder Lokotui

Hermano Yañez and Hermano Rafael. (Baptism Last week)

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