Tuesday, November 24, 2009


So I heard a rumor that it's someone's birthday today, but I just can't remember who... haha. Dad, thanks for the helpful hint (or seven). Mom, happy birthday!

I hope it's a great day and that you realize how much everyone who knows you loves you. You are a great example of charity and service. Honestly, where would I be without your help? No Eagle Scout. No high school graduation. No practical knowledge of any sort. Likely no common sense. I'd be sleeping all day and eating Cocoa Puffs in front of the tv all night. (That doesn't sound too bad...)

But really, I owe so much to you. Thank you for always being there for me and for teaching me so much. I wish I could send a present or something. Once more, happy birthday! Everybody else - I hope you're making it a great day for Mom.

Not too much new stuff to report this week. A few things, though. We gave talks yesterday in Sacrament. It was a pretty fun opportunity. We had a day's warning and each talked for about 10 minutes or so. The theme was missionary work (what a surprise!). I talked about Lehi's vision of the tree of life and how after he had tasted of the fruit, the first thing he wanted was that his family could do the same. When he saw them by the banks of the river, they looked confused and lost. So he called out to them, pointed and waved and everything, and they came over and joined him. I mentioned how it didn't take too much work on Lehi's part for the faithful members of his family (Sariah, Sam, and Nephi) to partake of the fruit - all he had to do was open his mouth. It's the same thing with the missionary work that we can all do as members. The Lord has prepared people to receive the gospel. With them, all we have to do is open our mouths and say something, and they come eagerly. In D&C 123 it talks about those who search for the truth but don't have it simply because they know not where to find it. As members, we've received so many blessings from being part of the church, and we should take the opportunities that come to share that happiness with others. Anyway, that was the gist of it. Pretty fun.

Also, we had a ward FHE Saturday night. We gave the message (about how to have a Heavenly Home here on Earth), and then we had refreshments and played... Fruit Basket? Here it's "coctel de frutos." That game where you run around and switch chairs and generally have a lot of fun. And it was - the whole night was a lot of fun, and we had some investigators come too, which was cool. Good times. :)

Last night we talked with a man named Guadalupe. We contacted him a couple weeks ago and decided to stop by again, since he had seemed somewhat interested. He's studied the Bible and knows a lot of passages, but that's kind of his downfall - he can't accept anything unless it's concretely founded in the Bible. He also doesn't believe in personal revelation or direct answers to prayers. We did the best we could, bore heartful testimony, and left him with a pamphlet of the restoration. It made me realize that for all his knowledge of and belief in the Bible, without prayer and without a living prophet, it does him no good. I really am thankful for the truths we have, and especially for the opportunity to pray wherever and whenever for the help, guidance, and comfort that we need. Faith really is the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This week is week 6 - the last week of this transfer. I doubt I'll be changing areas, though. The trend in the mission has been 3 or 4 transfers in the same place for most missionaries. I hope I stay here longer - I really like the area, and we're starting to really get things moving. Who knows though - I'll know by next week!

Two other random things from this week.  I know I'm supposed to be separated from the world, but we were at a member's house the other day, and Seinfeld was on, turned up loud, and in English. I didn't watch, but couldn't help overhearing, and it made me laugh just to hear that show in english down here. Second thing. An RM in the ward told us that down the road, in one of the evangelical churches (there are dozens), they like to take popular songs and Christianize them (Coldplay, the Killers, Green Day, etc.). He didn't know any of the songs, but I thought that was interesting and kind of funny.

Okay, so let me answer the questions and respond to what you said last week.

Gabbie (first the best of all!): Sounds like you've been having lots of fun making your Christmas list. I remember when I was your age and a little older than I would cut out pictures from magazines and make my list and everything. It was pretty fun, I thought. Nikka's up to her same old tricks, huh? Barking at nothing. Haha. Keep trying to make her speak. Teach her to say "Elder Greer." That might be easier than teaching Reagan, who knows. :) I had totally forgotten about the haunted house decoration! Haha I remember how Reagan loved it so much. That's really cool that he remembers it and everything. Sounds like it's been super cold there! 30 degrees? You said you can see your breath, and you were also right about me being able to see my sweat. Haha. During the day it's not terrible... well, okay, sometimes it is. Sometimes we're out on the street contacting in the hot sun and humidity for a couple hours and I start melting. But otherwise we're inside (usually with fans blowing) or walking around and moving and stuff, and sometimes a nice breeze kicks up, and then it's not so bad. I'd love to be in Utah right now and feel cold again. :) Well, Gabs, take care of everyone this week. You're the man of the house now. (Huh?) Make sure everyone's being nice to you. If they're not, give them a smack and tell them I said, "Knock it off!" :) haha. Let me know how school and everything's going, okay? I hope you have lots of fun this week. I love you very much. :)

Miranda: I liked what you said about the butterfly effect that can come from baptized someone. Dad's talked to me before about that a lot. He said, "You can count the seeds in a single apple, but you can't count the apples from a single seed." It's definitely true - look at Abinadi. He only had one convert (and he didn't even know it), but that convert was Alma, who went on to baptize so many people, and then had his son Alma the Younger, who baptized hundreds more. And then those people and their kids... and so it goes. One person really can have a great effect on lots of other people, but it's all about setting an example and doing the best you can. Congratulations on the A on your math test! That's a first ;) haha. You still have a 3.9? Getting excited for your driving test? Don't worry about it; it's pretty much a piece of cake. That's awesome that you'll have your license though. You're growing up... :) I like that idea of having a thankful journal. It's important to remember all the blessings we have. Keep it up, with that and your reading of the Book of Mormon and studying in school and all of that. It's pretty important, all of it. Keep me in the loop. And keep having fun, too, and remember that I love you! :)

Mom: Happy birthday again! Haha. I'm glad the pictures came through okay. I am indeed happy and healthy and having a lot of fun. The baptism in Spanish was fine - the words aren't too complicated and the actual baptism's the same, so it all went well. I can't believe it snowed and it's so cold there. I mean, it's almost December, thinking about it from where I am... I'd love to be cold again. :) Sounds like Lisa and Laura really had a good time. Let them know I'm glad and hopefully they can send some pictures sometime. I'm glad Reagan had a good birthday, and that he's doing really well. That's just the way I raised him... :) I really liked what you said about the heavens still being opened. I've shared that thought several times this week, actually, after you told me about it, and it's been really powerful. It's important to remember that those blessings are always there for us - we just need to ask in faith.
I too sometimes order a Brick Oven pizza and watch TV for lunch, but you're right, it's just not the same without you. :) (kidding) I've been gone three months - can you believe it? Crazy. Two years will go by in no time. I'm going to try to make the most of every day I have. Mom, thanks again for everything you've done for me. I love you very much and hope you have a wonderful day today.

Dad: Sounds like we both spoke in Sacrament on the same day! I'm excited to read you talk and all the other parables/Hardy Boys adventures that you have. You talked about how Uncle Bruce was baptized around the same age as Benjamin, and how important he said it was that he had friends in the ward and everything. I'm happy to say that seems to be the case for Benjamin. He's making friends and is always really excited to come to church and activities and everything. It's really cool and we're going to make sure he continues having friends other than us. Nice job on the Scottish accent recognition. :) Man, that trip was fun. I'd love to go back to Scotland some day - Isle of Skye and everything. I loved it. Thanks again for that opportunity.

Pretty cool everything you said about Paul Cardall and Sam Payne's history with him. You definitely should go to that concert and take Miranda and Gabbie - sounds like a really cool opportunity.
   I'm one-eighth done... wow. I can see how much I've progressed and grown, though, and I'm excited to continue to do so for the next 21 months. Time really does fly though. How's your wound/surgury thing healing up? What an adventure. Your mention of Braveheart reminded me of our trip to Macloud Castle on Isle of Skye, and Highlander's, "There can be only ONE!" I'm going to use that in my next street contact ("there can be only one true church! haha).
   Your questions about the mission: there are about 10 zones and 200 missionaries in the mission, and roughly half are Americans and half Mexicans. Maybe a dozen sisters. There are islands off the coast of Tabasco, like you mentioned, and they're part of the mission - my friend Jeremy is there right now, I'm pretty sure. Thanks for all the encouragement you've given me and everything. It really helps and strengthens my testimony. Writing down spiritual experiences is something I've been focusing on a lot, and it's really helped. It's a great idea. I'm excited to hear about yours. Dad, thanks for everything. I love you very much.
Until next week, and with lots of love,
Elder Greer

P.S. Okay, a few more things. Sorry no pictures this week - I'll take some good ones for next week. Everyone give Reagan and Nikka hugs and kisses for me (maybe not a kiss for Nikka). Oh, and you asked how people pronounce my name, (since with dad it was "Elder Grrreeet - or, "EverCrisp" ha) But here most people say "Grrrr" when they try to say my name. Either that or Elder Grinch. Haha. It's pretty awesome. -JAG

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One month in Mexico


Hey everyone! Man, it's hard not to read the emails I get. I scanned through the one you sent, then printed it out. I'll have a chance to read it more in detail tonight. It costs a peso a page to print. The exchange is 13 pesos to a dollar, so not too bad at all.

Once again it's been a great week. Four weeks in the field already. On Thursday I'll hit 3 full months. Crazy. I've said it before, but time is flying. Feels like I was home just yesterday.

So, the news from this week.
We put four baptisms as our goal for the weekend of the 5th of December, and early last week we found a family that we hope will be ready by then. Also, we ran into the cousin of a member while at that member's home, and she's already heard most of the lessons and is pretty much ready to be baptized. It's amazing how much faith can do, and how much the Lord had helped us in the work. So, all of that's pretty exciting.

I had the chance to eat fish for the first time in the field last Friday. We had the usual stuff - shrimp cocktail, normal shrimp (cooked with the heads and stuff still on. That was a new experience), and some other type of fried fish. But we also had some oysters (cooked in this weird sauce, not bad exactly, but just different) and a giant fried fish apiece (they just fry the whole fish and put it on your plate. In some places they expect you to eat everything - head, fins, etc. - but the members we were with said they just stick to the normal stuff, so we did that - no fish head for me, thank you). We also had empanadas de tiburón - shark! Those were extremely delicious - probably my favorite part of the meal. All in all, everything was really tasty.

That reminds me. Yesterday... no, Saturday I ate cow tongue, heart, and intestines. Also not too bad. Not something I'd eat every day, but pretty good. So, those are my food adventures for the week. Last night we had a lesson with a Seventh Day Adventist that we had talked to once before. She has a lot of faith in Christ, she reads the Bible diligently, and she really understands concepts like "faith without works is dead" and so on. Her belief in the Savior is really strong. The problem with that is that she's so cemented in her faith that it was a struggle trying to get her to accept Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon. We kept trying to leave a copy with her, so that it can do the real converting, but she kept refusing. We had a great talk with her despite that - it lasted almost an hour and a half, and we covered lots of topics. Toward the end, I kept feeling the Spirit tell me that I should just testify to her and leave it at that. That's one thing they taught us in the MTC - if you don't know what to say, just testify of the Restoration and the Spirit will take over from there. So, at an opportune time, I read the last two paragraphs of the Introduction of the Book of Mormon and testified to her about what that says. I talked for a few minutes, just bearing my testimony, not trying to convince her or anything, and then my comp did the same. She finally accepted that we leave a copy of the Book of Mormon with her. We did so and left. Who knows what will happen with her, but the real lesson of the night was for me. I felt the Spirit prompt me very strongly and testify to me that what we're preaching is definitely the truth.
Even though nothing might happen with the investigator, my testimony was strengthened. That's why it's such a blessing to be out here - even if we don't have any success with other people, we can always have success with ourselves and our own testimonies. In short, the mission is wonderful.

Something kinda cool - my comp said that last night I was preaching the gospel in my sleep. I didn't say much, just something about how God loves us and listens to our prayers. I thought that was cool. Practically every night I have some dream in which I'm preaching the gospel or contacting or something. It's almost like I never get a break! But it's cool - seems like the missionary life - and the Spanish - is really starting to sink in.

One thing I've been focusing on the last few days is my Patriarchal Blessing.  I'm really starting to understand parts of it more and I'm learning a lot from it every time I read it. It's such a blessing to have (no pun intended) and I want to remember to read it more often.

Lately I've been reading in Mosiah. I've been studying in chapter 4 (I think...haha) where it talks about having the name of Christ written in your heart. I read that talk of President Eyring's again, Dad, and I've been looking up some other scriptures about it too. Sounds like that's what your talk is going to be on? I really like that scripture, and the talk as well. Another thing I really like from Mosiah is in chapter 13, which is where Abinidi gives the 10 Commandments to King Noah. Afterward, he talks about how you can't be saved by the law - that you must understand that only through Christ can salvation come. He adds how all the prophets - and he gives some examples - testify of Christ. Everything always points to the Savior. He really is the focus and the key to everything. There's a real power in reading the scriptures - I feel it every time I study, and it encourages me to improve and work harder. What a blessing.

Okay, so I'm going to answer (hopefully) everything that I missed last week from last week's email. First, Miranda. You asked about what it's really like being on the mission, and what it was like the first day. Well, the first day was a mixture of the emotions you mentioned - nervousness, excitement, fear. Once I got into it, though - once I started talking to people and everything - everything left but the excitement. I think that's the way with a lot of life. We're afraid of the unknown - but once it comes, we realize we can handle it. The mission really is so much fun. In one of his letters to me, Mike (Lanham) said that the mission is great. There's no worry, no stress, no guilt. You just focus every day on Christ and on talking about Him, and it leaves you with a sense of peace and love. Of course there are still challenges, but really, that's what the mission has been like for me so far. I'm just happy pretty much all the time. I love being here. I love preaching the gospel every day. Even when people don't listen, I still love it. It's a blessing to be here - every day a blessing. I'm glad you're studying the scriptures so much. I've been doing that too, really trying to study and learn from them, and I truly have learned and felt so much. They are very powerful, and it's important to learn as much as we can from them, because they really do help us in real-life situations. You talked about learning by experience, and that's also very important. Studying is crucial, so that we're prepared, but we learn the most from what we experience. In his email this week, Dad talked about how spiritual experiences are the most helpful to the person who actually experiences them, and it's true. We learn a lot from personal experience, especially when we can apply what we've already learned and studied. Keep going with your studying and experiencing as well. I can tell from what you write that you're growing and progressing, and that's awesome. Sounds like you've got some exciting things coming up (ie New Moon movie-ha), and that's great. Keep telling me about school, friends, music and movies, your daily activities - that sort of thing. I enjoy hearing about that as well. I love you! :) I miss you as well - I miss the whole family - but I do love hearing from and writing everyone.

Mom - That's pretty much all I can think of for Christmas. Surprise me! :) I really like reading what you've written me - about the things you've been up to, about Reagan, etc. I forgot to say this last week, but wish him a happy birthday from me and give him a hug and kiss. 8 years old already. Wow. Not much more to say but that I'm working hard, trying to improve every day, and just loving the work. Thanks for all the support you've given and still give me. I love you.

Dad - Sounds like all is going well - except with your infection thing. Yikes. I bet the chance to go to PEC

and have those visits is fun. Josh emailed me, and it was a great letter. Just like you said, he sounds like he is doing so well. I'm really excited for him and his calling and progress.

For your questions - our area goes past Libramiento Sur in some places. It's like our area is the shape of a Ping-Pong paddle, with the tip of the handle being where we live and then extending out to the southeast. We actually go out to the city limits in that direction, though we've never gone that far. From where we've been tracting and teaching it's probably an hour's walk from one end to the other. That's the most populated part of the area. We take the colectivos and stuff, though, so it's maybe fifteen minutes from one end to another. We do walk a lot, but not overmuch. Sundays are lots of fun. Church is great. We get to interact with the members and talk to people and everything. After church ends at 3, we eat and then go out to contact and teach some more. It's nice to get a bit of a break though.

All in all, everything is going great. As always, there's more I'd like to say, but I'm always pressed for time. Thank you very much for the email - I'll read it tonight and I'm sure half a dozen times more in the next few days. All is well here. I'm loving the work and really just very happy. It's a great life. I love you all very much, and I'm so grateful for the chance to be a part of this family. Truly, I have been very blessed. Can't wait to hear from you again next week. Until then, as always, you're in my prayers. I love you all.

Elder Greer
P.S. If you could send the Ensign, I'd love that. We get the Liahona, but not too promptly or anything.
P.P.S. Gabbie! Don't worry, I didn't forget about you. I love you lots and hope you're having lots of fun. Give Nikka and Regs a hug from me. Love you. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

First baptism

¡Hola todos!

Okay, so I just read through everyone's letters. Couldn't help it, but I'll still have time enough to write! The good news is, yes, I can print whatever I want - so I printed off the family letter for later perusal, and also Josh's (though I also just read them both). What I think I'll do is print off the letters from now on, to read later and respond the following week. I think that's the only way I'm going to be able to read and reply to everything. We'll see how it goes.

Okay, so this past week was amazing - primarily because we had Benjamin's baptism on Saturday! It was incredible. We set up the service, gave the talks, etc., and then I had the opportunity to baptize him. It went perfectly. Afterward he said he felt really happy - 'es como una luz apareció en mi corazon,' he said (as if a light appeared, blossomed, in my heart).  Pretty awesome. He bore his testimony of the gospel and then all the members of the ward who were there (about 20 or so) had the chance to congratulate him and talk to him. It was great. Yesterday he was confirmed (I took part in that as well), and after church he received the Aaronic Priesthood and was ordained a priest (the bishop said, 'We might as well do it right away, since we know he's worthy!'). All of that was very, very cool. Missionary work is definitely very awesome. It's such a privilege just to be here in Mexico, studying and trying my best to become better. But to have the chance to share the gospel with others - and then to have them accept the message, and see the change in their lives - and then to actually baptize them and help them enter the road to eternal life and exaltation - wow! It's indescribable. Such a fulfilling work.

Other than that, this week has been about normal. We still do a lot of contacting, but the members are really helpful and give us people to teach. We have five or six investigators who are progressing really well, and we're hoping to set baptismal dates during their lessons this week. It's really cool when we return and talk to people after they've prayed about our message and received an answer - it almost surprises me sometimes. Growing up with the gospel makes it seem more commonplace - almost like I've taken it for granted, or at least not realized how powerful and amazing it is to have the Spirit in my life so much and to be surrounded by things of God. Hearing investigators talk about their testimonies is really, really cool.

A couple other things I wanted to mention. Our area covers the limits of the La Salle ward, so that's where we attend and those are the members we work with. The bishop is really helpful and so are lots of the members. They do have a ward mission leader, but he's inactive and has been for quite awhile. We going to try and visit him this week, hopefully get him back to church, but in the meantime we teach the gospel principles class. I taught yesterday. It was pretty fun - a simple lesson, since I can't teach the way I would in English, but that's okay since the class is intended to be simple. It was on faith, which is something I've been studying a lot lately, so that worked out. Miranda, I liked what you said about faith - everything you mentioned was exactly right. Faith without works doesn't actually help us at all. It's great if we know about repentance and service, but that knowledge won't help us unless we're actually doing those things, putting them into practice. Faith is a principle of power, but only if we actually DO things.

We have district meeting every week. It's pretty good - me and my comp, the district leader and his, and the zone leaders. Pretty basic, but always fun too. We also had zone conference this past Wednesday, and that was awesome. The President and the APs spoke and taught some great things. I learned a lot. They also passed out letters - so that answers the question about when the next one will come - six weeks, roughly, from this past Wednesday. I had two Dear Elder letters, both from Dennene and, from what I can tell, from sometime while I was still in the MTC. I guess sometimes it works like that. Dear Elder is pretty nice though, if anyone wants to check it out. Anyway, you have a couple weeks to get stuff sent, and hopefully it'll reach me by the next zone conference. As always, letters from anyone are greatly appreciated.

Thanks, everyone, for your emails. I'll keep reading through them and try to respond to what you said in more detail next week. But for now, a few comments.

Gabbie - Saturday sounds like lots of fun! I'm glad you're feeling better and I hope you're still having fun. Wii Sports Resort is very fun... maybe if you ask Santa nicely, you'll get it! Let's hope so. :) I hope things are going good and I love you!

Miranda - again, I liked everything you said about faith and works. To answer your questions, the mission is amazing. Yes, I miss things about home - but I'll be coming back to those things in less than two years. (In the meantime, I can always listen to the High School Musical soundtrack here in the cybercafe. Haha.) Those things will always be waiting for me. But for now, this is the best thing I could be doing. It's honestly a lot of fun. And I'm growing every day, learning more and more. That in itself is worth it. Seeing the change in other people's lives - wow, it's incredible. Amazing. I do think you would be a great missionary, and that you'd be fine in the mission field. I'll write more about that next week or in a letter or something though, give you some advice and talk more about school and everything as well. Thanks for writing, I really enjoyed reading it. I love you! :) ('It all comes down to right now, it's up to us...' something like that. Haha.)

Mom - yep, everything is all fine with me now, my sickness really wasn't too bad at all and down I'm back to normal. Yes, we fix breakfast and dinner for ourselves. Usually cereal or eggs for breakfast and hot dogs or fruit for dinner - basic but tasty. For laundry, we use the members' washing machines or a laundromat, it just depends. So far so good. :) As for Christmas - what I want the most, aside from things like letters and pictures, would be root beer. :) I've been missing it, and you can't find it down here. Other than that, I really can't think of anything... I'll give it some thought this week though. Going swimming with Reagan sounds like lots of fun! I'm glad he got to go. I'm sorry to hear that he got sick at the store and threw up! That sounds pretty terrible, and hard to handle with him and such a mess. At least Josh's mom was there - that's really lucky, since it sounds like no one was helping out at all. Give him a hug from me. :) And if you hear from Lisa and Laura or anything, tell them hi from me. I'm sure they're having lots of fun in Egypt. Thanks for all the encouragement and support, Mom. I love you very much too. :)

Dad - yeah, that really is too bad you weren't at the store with Mom and Reagan... (cough). I'm glad things are going well. Never heard of Arbol de Navidad, but I'll ask around. Sounds like things are great with you and Gabbie. That's so cool. Keep it up! I loved the joke about the Dog Star. It's gold, Jerry, gold! :) Legitimately funny though. Well done. As always, thanks for everything. I love reading your letters. I love you very much.

Everyone, thanks so much. I love the letters. I love you all very much, and I'm having a great time on my mission. Until next week --
Con amor,
Elder Greer
PS: Do me a favor and thank Josh for his email. I wanted to write him, but I don't know if I'll have a chance today. Thank him for me. Love you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Teaching, Knocking Doors, and the Dengue Fever

Hey everyone! :)

So here we are, hanging out in the cyber, listening to Journey and writing our letters. Haha. It's quite the experience. The walls are covered with posters of High School Musical, the Jonas Brothers, and Smallville. Miranda would be jealous. :)

I can't believe I've already been here two weeks! That seems just incredible to me. It really doesn't feel like that much time has already passed. I also figured out the other day that I had just finished the first tenth of my mission. Think about that - one-tenth of the way done! That's a little sad, because it makes time seem like it's passing really fast, and I love being on a mission.

This week has been amazing. Some ups and downs, but lots of fun. We're still preparing Benjamin - I think I mentioned him last week, but maybe not by name. He's 17 and his baptismal date is for this Saturday. He's extremely ready and excited for it. We've talked to him about serving a mission and receiving the priesthood (not in that order) and he said he's excited for both of them, which is really neat. Assuming all goes well - and I see no reason why it won't - he'll be baptized and confirmed this weekend. We're teaching another family - Maria, the mom, and her son Francisco - and we were planning to set a baptismal date for them this week, because they're really strong even after only the first lesson, but we never actually managed to talk to them. Maria has cancer, and from what I understand (and can see) it's pretty tough. She's no longer taking any treatment, just medication for the pain, and it honestly seems like death is right around the corner. The three or four times we tried to visit this week, she was sleeping, and since she has such a hard time sleeping, we didn't want to wake her. With her sickness, it's really hard for her to get around, so she hasn't come to church yet. We're trying to get some members to help us with that so that she can progress. Her son Francisco is 14 and he's just like his mom - open, eager, and receptive. We're going to focus on them this week and hopefully make that happen soon.

The sisters who were here before us left us a couple of investigator families that at the time seemed pretty good, but turns out... not so much. We have another family we're going to visit that might be pretty close to baptism, but otherwise, we're starting from scratch and building up our teaching pool. Which is still fine - there are a lot of humble people here, and we've had some really good contacts that will hopefully keep listening to us. I'll keep you posted as time goes on.

There was a little bit of a downer this week, and that's that I've been sick. I've debated whether or not I should mention it, for Mom's sake :), but it's really no big deal and I'm almost better now, so what the heck. Around Wednesday or Thursday I started feeling really weak, dizzy, headache, that sort of thing. On Friday I had a fever and some nausea and such as well. Also, I developed this weird rash on both arms - like thousands of tiny tiny mosquito bites. All of that together was a little worrisome, so we called the mission doctor and then on Saturday went to see a doctor here in the Stake with the Bishop of our ward.

He said it's most likely dengue fever. It's something caused by mosquitos and is pretty common in Tuxtla right now. It's not serious or anything. He gave me medication and stuff to drink. So far it's been working. I'm at maybe 80% capacity today and still getting better, so nothing to worry about, everything's perfectly fine :) - it just meant that we couldn't work Saturday or yesterday, which was kind of sad. At least I got a lot of studying done. Anyway, that's that. Again, don't worry, I'm doing great.

It's awesome that you could pull up my street and stuff. To answer's Mom's questions, neither the temple nor the mission home are in my area - where we live is right at the northwest tip of our area. And, sadly, we don't get to go to the temple until the end of our missions. We're here to do work for the living, not for the dead, apparently. Who knew? :)

I was going to try to send some pictures today - but it looks like this computer doesn't have the right setup. I have a cord that will work with my camera. For sure I'll figure something out for next week and send some home.

Our days are pretty fun! We're up at 6:30, take a nice frozen shower and get dressed, eat breakfast (so far it's been eggs or Frosted Flakes), and study until 11 - then we hit the streets. Most of the time we have appointments with people. If not, we contact or look up references and such. I like contacting a lot, but I love teaching people. It's a lot of fun and always a powerful experience. Around 2 we head to the house of one of the sisters in the ward. They have a schedule for making sure we're fed. We eat lots of chicken, rice, beans, tortillas, vegetables and fruits... those are basically the staples here in the city. So far it's been really great - only a couple things were a little so-so; most of the food is really tasty. We drink lots of juice and lots of soda... and water too, of course. You can't drink the tap water, but they sell 5-gallon jugs of purified water for less that 50 cents, so no big deal. I'm liking the food a lot so far.

The last couple of days have been interesting for the weather. It's been overcast, rainy, windy, and - dare I say cold? Not really cold, but not hot by any means. I love it. :) It's still humid, but not as bad. It's not even terrible when it's hot either. So far so good. (80's)

I'm sorry to hear about Granny Bown - tell her I hope she feels better and I'll be praying for her. And thanks, Mom, for telling me all about Halloween. That sounds like a blast. I'd like to see pictures of everyone's costumes and everything.

Dad, in some ways it does seem like another world, but it's very similar to South America, and even to the UK in many ways. After these two weeks, I feel right at home. Nothing so far has been too strange. I liked what you said about 1 John 4. I actually read that recently; I was studying conference talks about love and related scriptures. I really like that chapter, and everything you said about it - perfect.

I don't have a ton of time left right now - there were some issues with the computer and stuff - but I wanted to mention that I was reading in Mosiah chapter 7, and I really like what king Limhi says. I don't remember the verse, but he talks about how they are soon to be saved by the Nephites after a long time of struggling in vain. Then he adds, I think there will yet be a good fight to be had before then. Something like that. I saw that as a parallel to our day, and also to the struggle we all have with sin. We could fight forever and accomplish nothing without Christ. But even when we are assured in Christ and trust in Him, there is still fighting to be done. I could go into it more, but I hope you get the idea.

My comp said he didn't know about being related to Andrew Skinner - he asked his parents though, so we'll find out. I wish, again, I could comment more on everything - next week for sure. I'll come better prepared. :)

Mom, Dad, Miranda, Gabbie, Reagan, Nikka. I love you very much. I'm having a blast our here and working hard, but I'm always thinking of you and praying for you. Hope things are going well and I hope to hear from you next week and hear about everything you've all been doing. I love you!

Con amor,
Elder Greer