Okay, I think I am on week 15 but let’s be honest, I am losing track of the weeks. Every day feels very similar and the weather in Laredo still feels in many ways like it is July. Although it has cooled down a little and some mornings we do wear our sweaters! Oh yeah, here is an interesting FYI - if the weather in Laredo gets to be under 40 degrees, the schools will shut down. I guess they all spend money on wonderful air conditioning units but do not have heaters. How crazy, especially coming from Utah and going to work in hundred degrees weather or negative seven degrees.
I am not sure if you have heard that last week my mission lost two of its finest missionaries. Their names are Elder Strong and Elder Walker. Elder Strong was just three weeks from completing his mission. Sad huh. :( Elder Walker was also a great missionary. These two Elders were hit by a car while riding their bikes on last Tuesday night. There was a third missionary with them, named Elder Harris, who was hurt but is recovering nicely. My heart goes out to Elder Harris, as he now has to live with something that no one else can share with him. The loss of two companions, the loss of two brothers, the loss that only he can feel. For reasons, only the Lord knows why, he survived. I know that this was all part of Heavenly Fathers plan but it is still a great loss for the mission. Few missions ever lose one missionary and even fewer missions lose two missionaries.
The tragedy happened at 7:30p.m. on that Tuesday night. The Laredo zone, which consists of 27 missionaries including myself, were at a fireside with Elder Zvic. Let me briefly explain the leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Because God is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we have a prophet that leads and guides our church. His name is Thomas S. Monson and he has two counselors that assist. Then we have 12 apostles just like Jesus had when he was on the earth and established his church. Underneath the 12 apostles we have what is called the quorum of the 70 again just like Jesus had when he was on the earth. (Evidence of Jesus calling 12 apostles in Math 10:1; evidence of him calling the 70 is in Luke 10:1,) Pretty cool!! Christ’s church is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Anyways, Elder Zvic is a member of the 70 and he was giving a fireside here in Laredo last Tuesday night. President and Sister Trayner who along with an older couple in charge of all the missionaries were also attending this meeting. During the middle of the meeting Sister Trayner walked out of the room. When she came back in her face was red and teary eyed. About 5 minutes later she walked out again, followed by President Trayner. We all knew something was wrong. However, we did not find out until the next days at Zone Conference with Elder Zvic. When the announcement was made everyone sat in silence and then tears and sniffles began to fill the room. This Zone Conference was a very solemn conference. My companion said no other conference you have on your mission will be like that one.
Please pray for these families during this time of hardship. Please pray for the people of the McAllen, Texas mission that their hearts will be softened because of this tragedy. I know that there is a way for families to be together forever not just here in this life but forever but I know that is only through Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, being baptized in the same way as Jesus Christ by someone holding the priesthood authority of God, then receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands, and enduring to the end. Those families can be together forever.
I am so grateful for every single one of you. I pray for you, I love you, and I am concerned about you all and your well-being.
Les Amo mucha,