Tuesday, September 15, 2009

WEEK - 35 Hello Ixtapaluca

Hey everyone how’s it going? I’m here in my new area, and it’s so great! Hope everything’s going well at home. Everybody is getting ready here for the 15 of September, its the Independence Day of Mexico, and everyone is going crazy for it!
It was really weird leaving Pachuca! I´ve been there so long, it was just so strange to think I was leaving. We ate three times on Monday because everyone wanted to feed us! Raúl and his wife Yadira fed us, then we went and ate with Mari, Antonio and their family, and after with Griselda and her family. Antonio gave me a painting/carving he made of a tiger. They all signed it and wrote a note. When we ate with Griselda all her kids gave me a Little picture of them that they get in school, I also got a recording of them talking so I´ll send that next week. One of the families in the Ward wrote a letter and gave me a snickers, it was pretty nice. They told me how much they appreciated my work in their Ward, and told me I could come back and visit anytime. When it came time to leave Tuesday morning I really didn’t feel like I was leaving!
Okay it sounds like you’ve all been wondering where I got sent so I’ll tell you, but first I want to tell you about cambios. We went on the bus from Pachuca and headed out for D.F. Elder Spencer was in Pachuca as well, so when he saw me he was excited and asked me if I was training as well. He was really excited and nervous to train, just like I was! We finally got to the “Manzana del Templo” or.. that translates into Temple square. The trainers had a meeting so Elder Spencer and I went to that. President told us how the assignment as trainer is one of the most sacred assignments he can give as president of the mission. He told us how the Lord expects us to give the best to our companions, to help them start their mission off right. I walked out feeling pretty overwhelmed! In this meeting there were all the trainers and all the new missionaries. Everyone was trying to guess their new companion! At the end there was only one American and one Mexican in the room, so they knew who their companion was.
The changes meeting is in the chapel. All the missionaries sit in the seats, and the new missionaries sit on the stand behind President. It’s pretty funny to see everyone so nervous waiting for the changes. President reads the zone and then he reads one Elders name and says who they’ll receive and what Ward or area they’re in. Everyone in my generation from the MTC has changes, Elder Bertin went to Palmar with Elder Mora, and Elder Spencer went to Constitución with his “hijo”, or the missionary he is training.
“Elder Rasmussen, you’re going to receive and train in the area San Buenaventura, Ixtapaluca. You will be working with Elder Martinez from Monterrey.” Elder Martinez is awesome! He’s from Monterrey, and is so ready to get to work. He was the Ward mission leader in his home Ward and got to go in divisions (splits) with the zone leaders all the time.
A Little about our area… Ixtapaluca (pronounced eextapalooka) has the nickname in the mission- “Bautizaluca”. Our area is called San Buenaventura. Its HUGE! It´s the biggest…fraccionamiento? Sorry I don’t know that translation of that. Its the biggest fraccionamiento (Housing Subdivision) in all of Latin America! If you look at it on the map there’s a road called San Buenaventura that divides the fraccionamiento in two. We have the biggest part. Everyone says they want to come to our area because its so elect. I think President knows there’s so much potential here that they put another companionship here. That road I told you that divides it in two also divides our areas. The other companionship is a trio, so we have 5 missionaries in our Ward! Our Ward was going to another church building kind of far away, and so they built a “Casa de oración”, a House of Prayer. It’s a three story building about twenty five feet wide. We had 150 people at Church yesterday, and we were all crammed in to it! They put in a tv system so there are people in another room that watch sacrament meeting! Its pretty crazy.

We’ve been so blessed to find people to teach. Elder Martinez and I decided to contact at least 12 people everyday, and we’ve already seen the blessings from it! We found a family of four that is just so ready to hear the Gospel. The missionaries before found a family of five that is also progressing for their baptism. The mom, Piedad, and her daughter went to Church last week and yesterday so their baptism is this coming Sunday. This sister’s story is really great… She had been praying that Heavenly Father would show her the right way, when she was in the park later that day someone in the Ward saw her and asked her why she looked so down. She told him that she has had problems with Money and didn’t have Money to make a phone call, he invited her to make the call from his home. When she was there the missionaries came over and she started crying! Those missionaries both left this last transfer, and we came here, when we set her baptism date she accepted full heartedly! Her whole family is progressing for their baptism.

I love missionary work! Elder Martinez and I have felt the Spirit guiding us, and helping us with this great work. Oh! I forgot, Elder Sander was here with Elder Mora! When Elder Sander trained Elder Mora they were in my same house! Everyone remembers them because they really helped out the Ward. I´ve already met some of their converts! Pretty cool huh? Well I have to go, my area is awesome, my companion is great, and we’re working hard! I forgot my camera so I’ll send pictures next week of everything you asked me for.

Con mucho amor,
Elder Rasmussen

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