So I'm finally leaving! I got my travel plans and my visa and I leave to Mexico early Monday morning! Here's what my schedule looks like:
Monday, May 21st, 2012
1:30 AM -- Wake up and get ready
2:30 AM -- Be at the Travel Office in the MTC
3:00 AM -- Leave the MTC on the shuttle bus and head to the SLC Airport
6:00 AM -- Plane leaves
9:35 AM -- Arrive in Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
10:15 AM -- Depart Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
12:15 PM -- Arrive in Torreon, Mexico and get picked up by the Mission President.
So, yeah. Family, expect a phone call really early in the morning. I'll probably call between 4:30 and 5:00 AM. Unfortunately, there is not enough time to call during my layover in Texas, as I have to board 30 minutes early. Sorry.
I was made travel leader of the group, so I hope nothing goes wrong because I don't want to have to deal with anything. I just want a smooth travel experience and be in Mexico already.
Apparently in Hermosillo, Mexico, temperatures are around 114 F right now. I'm expecting a weather shock, as Torreon is hotter than Hermosillo. It's probably going to be around 120 F when I get there. And it's going to get hotter as the summer really starts to come. I'm actually pretty excited. I'll probably drink 2 gallons of water a day just to keep myself hydrated.
Update on the Brother Free story (prank/troll/trick being played on the newest district in our zone [refer to the last letter]): They still think we are 2 separate people. Hermano Free is a returned missionary and is a ZRT Teacher who helps different districts with their spanish. He is the cousin of Elder Riggs, some think they are identically and some think they don't look that much alike. Hermano Free served a mission in Santiago, Chile. He has taught a few lessons to the new district and has been helping them with their spanish. So far this has been going on for over a week. I went in and talked to them a few times now as Hermano Free, wearing glasses, a different tie, a different belt, and some pretty worn out and unpolished shoes that resemble all the hard work he did in Chile. I'm going to break it to them Saturday. Yesterday, I had another missionary write an assignment on their board with all these scriptures they needed to look up and some inspiritational questions to which they need to put their answers on a peice of paper. Saturday I'm going to visit them as Hermano Free and start discussing the scriptures and reviewing their answers, and at the end as I am still teaching I'm going to slowly change into Elder Riggs, changing my tie and belt and shoes, putting on the glasses and lastly putting on the White Teacher Nametag/Plaque. It's going to be epic. They are fooled so hard right now, so I'm definitely going out with a bang. I doubt it will be forgotten for many weeks to come.
Spiritually, I can feel myself growing more and more every day. I have been reading the Book Of Mormon very thoroughly and have been getting so much out of it. I really wish I would have read it throughout high school, as I wish I knew it better. Not only is it a source of epic historic events (and I say historic because I know for a fact that they all actually happened), it is full of so many principles and lessons that can be applied to you to make you a better person. I treasure every opportunity I have to read the Book Of Mormon. Those who haven't read it: READ IT!! Those who have read it: READ IT THOROUGHLY! By thorough I mean think about the message behind each verse. After each verse, pause and think about all the possible things that verse is trying to tell you. Even "and my father dwelt in a tent" has plenty of messages behind it, as it talks about how the Lord has humbled Lehi, taking him out of his comfortable lifestyle and his many riches to live in a tiny, uncomfortable tent in the middle of the desert. If you do this, thoroughly read the Book of Mormon, I promise you that you will learn so much and will get 20 times more out of the book than if you just read through it the same way you would a novel. Especially the Isaiah Chapters. I got through them and actually was able to discern quite a bit of the symbolism because I read it thoroughly and for understanding.
I know this church is true, and I know that through it we can find joy. Only through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (which is the same church that Christ established on the earth, but now restored to its fulness) can we receive the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ. I love my God, and I have realized that he has always been there for me, even when I haven't been there for him for most of my life. He is my true father, and I hold him to that respect. I have realized that my heavenly father means more to me than any earthly father ever could have, and that he has high things in store for my future. I hope to pay him back in some slight amount by serving this 2-year mission and bringing the restored gospel to the people of Mexico. I know that God the Father lives and so does is Son, Jesus Christ, and we can know these things for ourselves through the Holy Ghost. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our brother, redeemer, and the creator of all the earth, Amen.
Con amor, y hasta proxima semana cuando estare en Mexico,
Elder Tyler Riggs