Saturday, December 13, 2014

Snakes, scorpions, and PIGS FEET!

ELDER MARTIN is having quite the adventure down there in Apan. (or should I say up there since he is at 7900ft elevation?) So far they have rescued a snake from their neighbors house and got a teaching appointment out of it, found a scorpion on their hike, and in his words this past letter,  "I tried pigs feet last week. That was interesting. I did my best to graciously accept it from one of the branch members. It is pretty much just tendons and fat, but wasn't as bad as I thought it would be." All I can say is that he is a brave soul and I'm glad he isn't a picky eater! Other adventures he has reported to us about involve traveling to other towns and cities and p-day hikes. The couple serving in their area have a car so they don't always catch the bus or train. Here is the experience he relayed last week "After our meeting, our Cano's (the couple) took us along with our district leader and comp from a nearby town, Sahugun. So there were 6 of us in a little economy car, and our district leader is a hefty boy. We rode like this for 45 minutes. Right after we entered the town, the Mexican police pulled us over and tried to give us a ticket for having too many people in the car, but we went away ticketless! " Who knew they even cared in Mexico? Jajaja! 
Kade is doing better with the language but was a little disappointed when his trainer of only 5 weeks was transferred. He enjoyed Elder Cruz and his great work ethic. They had a lot of success together and baptized a few investigators. Here they are pictured with the couple (Cano's) and another set of missionaries. I don't know the sisters. This photo is from Sister Egberts awesome blog. pachucamexicoldsmission.blogspot

Anyhow, his new comp is an Spanish speaking Elder from Nicaragua. They are getting along fine. Kade loves the Cano's who cook and act like grandparents to the missionaries. The weekend after this last transfer, Kade and his comp had the mission President and his wife come visit their Sacrament Meeting. It made Elder Martin nervous because he didn't know everything like where everyone lived, etc, since he was now the missionary there for the longest period of time.  (many houses don't even have addresses!) Below you can see a picture of he and his companion in the building they meet for church "house of prayer" (in someone's garage),  blessing the Sacrament. There are apparently more members there, they are just sitting behind Sister Egbert as she takes the photo. Pretty humble conditions though! Kade and his companion really get to take an active role in the branch since there are so few members. President and sister Egbert posted that the missionaries in this area along with a dedicated branch President have almost doubled the size of the branch recently. Kade says most people have never even heard of the LDS church in this area. SO exciting and full of potential! Kade says they are very busy with appointments. His day consists of studying gospel and language in the morning and "pretending to exercise" (ME TOO!) Then at noon, they start appointments. Usually they eat a big meal with members at 2:00 in the afternoon. and work until 9:30. He then goes to bed and "treasures every ounce of sleep."

Here are photos from Elder Martin's hikes and his humble abode with a "stairway to heaven". He was without power a few weeks ago during a cold spell. He was happy when the awesome Sister Egbert showed up this Sunday with two brand new blankets. He sure enjoys his mission President and wife. Overall, Elder Martin seems to be adjusting and doing well. He did have a tinge of homesickness on Thanksgiving, but was so excited when an investigator brought the missionaries hot cinnamon milk and pastries. "we got to have a feast after all". Elder Martin does love and miss everyone from home and loves to hear from you. He has a very strong testimony regarding the importance of his work and the importance of us members stepping up to help and share the gospel ourselves. This Christmas, the church has a campaign going entitled "HE IS THE GIFT". Try this link Or, there is a you tube video "Angels we have heard on high" With David Archuleta and The piano guys that will take you there after their beautiful song. Kade closed his most recent letter with his testimony "I am so grateful for the atonement and for His teachings which allow us to overcome all trials and have happiness without end. I know that this is true; that Christ is our Mediator and our brother, was sent by our Heavenly Father to do what nobody else could do. I encourage everyone to watch and share this video and utilize the season to draw closer to Christ and share the knowledge they have of this grand gift we have been given. "HE IS THE GIFT!"
I too, am grateful for this gift and this time of year when we can focus our attention of the greatness of the Savior. I am really missing this boy but couldn't be prouder of his sacrifice so that others may find the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I cannot personally imagine my life without it! Kade sends his love and gratitude to all of you for your support and love. I want to end with a picture of the first baptism Kade got to perform even though he was quite sick that day. He said "It felt so good".

Ana and Sebastian (With Elders Martin and Cruz)