I survived another week here in Tijuana Mexico :)
So another week has passed in the blink of an eye! i find myself staring at 7 months this week haha. did i just turn 6 last week? Man, i love this place. This week i had the chance to just talk to a few elders about what we really think of TJ and our mission. We all love the work. But we all agree that we have a very rough and tough mission filled with difficulties and without a whole lot of beauty haha. TJ isn't the most exotic or beautiful place...but then, you sit in a very humble home and talk to a family or a broken hearted man and you begin to find the...well beauty of it all. The ugliest place in the world, filled with garbage, drugs, gangsters, problems and more suddenly becomes a place to mend families, change lives, and create happiness. As missionaries we literally bring a message of hope and happiness.
This week, by some miracle, my favorite investigator came to church again. Her name is Rocio, she was recently deported after she got in a fight with her 18 year old daughter, her daughter then called immigration to come and take her mom away. Rocio has lost all contact with her 18, 13 and 5 year old daughters. She is recently divorced and lives alone. She does not know anyone. And yet, she has hope. She has battled alcoholism for a few years now and is on the mend. you can see the effects of her situation weighing down on her. I have kind of made her my special project, focusing a lot of attention on her. I really think the spirit is doing a number on her to guide her in her life now. She told me yesterday at church that she can see a glow or a light when i talk to her and others...i find this rather strange, because my convert Armando in Mexicali told me the same thing. I think its just because my hair is so blond now so the sun hits it and i glow ;) haha. But honestly, the spirit works just as hard if not harder than we do to bring these people the truth. and i feel very honored to be a representative of Christ here in such a dark city.
This week, we found the man that contacted us the other week while i was outside in basketball shorts and T shirt. He told me he had be apprehensive to talk with us while we were dressed up. This has got to be one of the coolest guys i have ever met. This man was deported about 8 years ago after spending 25 years or so in the USA, in California, and Utah. He has visited the temple and seen the visitors center in San Diego also. And well, he wants to know more! His story tho, wow. He was charged with some rather large crimes just because he was defending his life after he had a gun to his face. After his buddy had been shot he defended himself and beat one guy to pieces ha. man. After being tried, he wasn't granted freedom because this all happened on private property, but he was only given 6.5 years in prison instead of 25 to life. He was tried as a minor and was put in a special prison. After 6.5 years he headed over to Utah and lived in SLC! But, got into more trouble.. He really is a great guy, wish i could tell you the whole story. Right now he is just concerned of taking care of his daughter and finding work. I think he has a bright future ahead...especially as member of the church!
I feel a lot healthier this week, no more throwing up almost back to "normal", as normal as you can get around here. Not going to lie, i almost cried the other day when Holland lost, man that was rough. i knew Germany would win tho, puro poder.
The mission really is pretty amazing tho, i love talking with the people and hearing their unique stories. i have become very close with many investigators and members here. Also, i truly can feel the spirit directing the work in the lessons and the streets. For example, the other night we were walking and we heard some shouting and talking saw a man walking, and we now assume he was very heavily drugged, we continued, but then elder Espino and i stopped walking at the exact same time. we both had a very strong prompting to take the long way around. Just as we did that the situation in our route got a bit intense haha lets just say. Its amazing what the lord does to help us just simply use our brains and avoid disaster, but also, help us out of situations when we are completely oblivious to the danger.
Mom i loved the missionary activity you did with the kids, and the pioneer day activity will be awesome! haha i also loved the book of Mormon story of the sister missionaries, crazy stuff like that happens a lot here in the mission!!
Well, i will send some pics. Hope to hear from you all soon! Callie Brown, i will write ya back i promise! Tyler and Brittany King!!!!!! i love you guys. And know i pray for you two a lot :)
What else do y'all wanna know??
The title of my email is exactly as it says. at times life and the mission get super hard. but we just have to enjoy what we have and trust in the Lord! Keep on keeping on!
Love ya all!
Elder Benji Hyrum Westbroek