We appreciate that we have had so many followers. We are now in El Salvador and we invite you to follow our mission by going to uttsenelsalvador.wordpress.com hit the selection to receive automatic updates on the follow selection and we will tell you about this new adventure.
We made our report of our mission in our ward today and that wraps up this mission to Chiapas. Since our last report, we said farewell to many friends. On our last Sunday, we attended the Pentecostal Church in Tsabalho. The power was out and they sang without sound amplification. They sang wonderfully. I spoke on the Plan of Salvation which explains why we are here on earth and what awaits us in the next life. Pastor Pedro was wonderful as he translated and he spoke as if the words were his. When I finished, the congregation erupted in applause. After the meeting, we took several members of the congregation down the hill to their homes. They wanted to pay us but when they found that was not going to happen, one of the women climbed the hill to her home and returned with a blouse for Janet. They cried in gratitude as they hugged their farewell.
We said farewell to Mariacelia who left her home and family to be baptized and I left her with my scriptures and other books so she could prepare for a mission. We said farewell to our dear friends in the city and gave away our possessions. We began our trip home and four days later we were in Salt Lake.
We met with Elaine Dalton, President of the Young Women’s General Presidency. We provided her with the textiles made by the Tzotzil speaking sisters. Sister Dalton is very kind and gracious and she wants to know more about the marvelous women who live in the mountains surrounding San Cristobal.
Our reports today spoke of the wonderful miracles that have been published in prior blogs so we won’t discuss them here. We have many wonderful memories and we want to experience more and help people realize their potentials. We have submitted our papers to serve another mission soon. Once we have our calling, we will publish the new website name. Thank you for learning about the wonderful people we have come to love and who we miss so much.
We said farewell to our family in Elambo. When we arrived a year and a half ago, they were quiet and hardly spoke to us. They stared at us when we spoke of the Church. Yesterday, four of them gave talks in Church and used scriptures, a magazine article and a manual. They spoke firmly. They have been to the temple. The difficult part was the farewell. They normally do not show emotions but there were tears and long hugs yesterday as we may never see each other again. We take their weavings home to use in our lives so we will always remember them as we pass through our home. We visited the Lopez family a few days earlier and they prepared a nice lunch. There were long hugs and tears. The father is not a member of Church but we are able to talk and share our feelings about the influence the Church with the rest of his family and he is truly impressed. We said our goodbyes in two of the wards yesterday. Next Sunday we preach in the Pentecostal Church in Chojolo. We have many people to visit this week. It is time to go home.
We are finishing up the final details and heading home in two weeks. Many friends have followed our blog as we have told of many stories and adventures which will always be a part of our lives. We have served 19 months. We do not plan to return to serve in Mexico.
Last week we returned to the Pentecostal congregation near Chojolo. It was a rainy day so only 40 attended as I taught what Mormons known as the first lesson on the story of the restoration. With Pastor Pedro at my side interpreting, we covered step by step the concept of a loving God and the ministry of Jesus Christ and how His church remained after His death but could not continue. We spoke of Joseph Smith and the restoration of priesthood authority and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.
All the teachings came from Pedro as he spoke to his congregation. Afterwards, our fellow missionaries handed out copies of the Book of Mormon and teaching tracts and made appointments. We will return the day before we go home for a farewell talk. I make a pretty good Pentecostal preacher. Nice to know I have something to fall back on.
We were hoping to begin work in Chamula. We were offering to help develop a system to organize and provide services for people of all ages with disabilities. I provided a detailed work plan. When they saw in the plan that we would be working with them closely and we would not give them money, I think they froze up and the women could lose their jobs if they continued to be in contact with us. It is dangerous for us to make further contact with them so we dropped the matter.
We have some work to do here in the city with members and then we will pack up and begin the long drive home.
How to remove dried corn from the cob
We joined Antonio from Elambo to remove dried corn from the cob. They have a pile of corn and needed to get it into sacks to store and use over the next year. The photos show the process to set up the posts and tie off the heavy net. We loaded bags of corn and then beat it with clubs as the corn drops through the net onto the plastic where it will be swept up and placed in sacks. They expect to take three days and end up with 30 bags. What the pictures don’t show is how Antonio is so patient and gentle to work with. They are family to us.
We visited the town of Tecpatan while our daughter was here. It is one of the many churches that have been around for 500 years. This one is the largest. The chapel doesn’t have a roof but the monastery has undergone some wonderful restoration. This town is off the path of tourists. The designs on the walls are achieved by painting a design and then removing plaster from the unpainted areas. The building is built with brick which is different from the stone built chapels we saw elsewhere. This provides interesting designs in the monastery and powerful lines above the altar.
When Emily was here, we visited some very old sites with the guidance of Thomas Lee, an archaeologist with a Mormon background. He has lived here fifty years and has made a number of discoveries.
We drove a few miles into the foothills south of Comitan to arrive at the church of San Jose Coneta, built during the 1500’s and now abandoned. There is some red paint above the main entrance of symbols important to the people of the time. We also had a visit from a large bull which we decided to leave alone. Check back in a few days for the other old churches Thomas Lee took us to.
Thonmas took us to the ruins of Lagatero which have been recently opened to the public. He made the original discovery while make a survey of the area many years ago. Some local people told him of the ruins and when he entered through the growth of plants and trees, he knew he made a significant discovery. These ruins are surrounded by a lake and stream with clear running water. We entered the area by driving through streams until we left the van and crossed over bridges. A couple photos show the original bridges used for access by the archaeologists. There are many areas left to explore.
On the way home from Palenque, we stopped at the town of Ocosingo and visited the ruins in Tonina. The Mayans of Tonina defeated the people of Palenque. These are their ruins. This was the day after the long awaited end of the world. Those who were disillusioned over their survival dropped the Mayan ruin experiences and went somewhere else. The park was pretty quiet. Emily took most of the photos from this visit. These people were known to bring the conquered warriors back home for humiliation and decapitation. We also stopped at a church and visited with the people who were preparing for Christmas.