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Missionary Scripture

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Third Epistle of Bird - February 1, 2014

From Chalco, Mexico

1. Elder and Hermana Bird, servants and missionaries of Jesus Christ, to all the saints, family and
friends, who cover many lands; we greet you from Chalco, Mexico, which shares great history of those who lived long ago. Many Lamanites walk here, as did their fathers before them at the coming of Christ to the Americas. Some recognize their great heritage and are very valiant in their faith; belonging to wards and stakes with as many as 100 participating each Sabbath day.
2. According to the spirit, being found by the Birds, two faithful senior couples living in the Chalco Mission area have been called to serve as full-time missionaries in the mission office, assisting the Birds. They have been recently released as Temple workers in the Mexico City Temple (which is now closed for a year and a half) and their hearts yearn to continue to serve the Savior. Many more, including other released Temple workers, are being prepared in their hearts to be called to serve in their respective Wards, searching for the lost sheep that are losing the blessings which they once knew.
3. In this land there is a peculiar thing. The police cars, ambulances, tow trucks, and any other vehicle with flashing lights, flash them all the time. It is said that this is to scare off would-be offenders, but how is one to know when there is a real emergency? Even when they turn on their sirens, people are confused, and since no one follows the laws, the emergency vehicles cannot get through!
4. And it came to pass that the people provided places where they could congregate and exercise and visit. Zumba, Hawaiando, kick boxing and karate seem to help with the stress of surviving on the streets, whether you are driving (crazy) or trying to walk across busy, lawless streets without being run down.
5. Everywhere you see young and old playing on their electronic games. A favorite sport for the adult group is wall ball. School is from 8 am to 2 pm and one often sees mothers walking hand in hand with their children, including teenagers. Grandchildren walk arm in arm with their grandmothers. The primary children sing the same songs, in Spanish. We are alike in many ways.
6. Be it known that even the faithful must endure adversity. One morning upon leaving for the office, the apartment keys were left in the lock – inside the door. There was no way back in, as we live on the third floor, and no way out of the gaited doors. Upon waiting for nearly five hours, in the cold garage downstairs, spare keys arrived. We immediately went to the locksmith and retrieved three more copies of the several keys required. They have been stored in various places in the event of a future need.
7. And it came to pass that there exists much cold in some parts of this land. We endure it well, since there are no furnaces; and it will be discovered in coming months, that there is no air conditioning either. Nevertheless, a Hawaiian Luau was organized by a sister missionary from the islands. She helped prepare Island food, Mexican style, and taught many members, young and old, various Island dances, which they performed to the delight and laughter of all.
8. And it shall be seen; every six weeks these senior missionaries take a trip away from the mission. The first excursion was to Veracruz, to go to the Temple, which of course, was closed for maintenance. We spent time sitting on the Getty watching the ships great and small pass by. We will return to the temple.
9. And it came to pass that Elder Bird saw the need for much organization in the mission office, thus with the mighty computer and his great abundance of knowledge, is organizing referral manager, which is of great importance for the work of the missionaries. And moreover he is preparing forms and requirements for the safety and housing of such missionaries. Two days ago, a missionary abode was broken into, thus a new and everlasting residence is required. Many new missionaries are arriving every six weeks and will be in need of safe dwelling places where the spirit can abide.
10. Notwithstanding, Hna. Bird knowing that the Lord calls upon the weak things of the world to bring to pass the needed things of the mission, is organizing the sacred supplies – pamphlets, Books of Mormon, and lists to make mission and missionary life less complicated. A place for everything and everything in its place provides wisdom in all aspects of life.
11. Then came unto Hna. Bird the call to arise and share with the members of the Chalco mission in their various six stakes and approximately fifty wards and branches, the praising of the Lord with singing and with music, because few play the piano. With the miracle of the church’s Keyboard Course and the provision of keyboards to those with great desire, many have been called and many have chosen to serve their wards through music. Approximately forty students, as young as nine years and as old as – well, old – are currently participating. In their first lesson, they played a hymn, using both hands!
12. Miracles, wonders and tender mercies of the Lord never cease. It requires one and a half hours to go to one of the wards to teach piano. Upon arrival, the gates were locked and no one was there, except two missionaries. We left the chapel sorrowful, but provided transportation to the missionaries who were following up on a referral. Being prompted, we returned to the chapel to find a group of members waiting at the locked gate to learn of the music of the Lord.
13. Wherefore, we pondered and sought help. When all seemed lost, the saddened members prepared to return to their houses, which were far, and they had only their feet to carry them. Hna. Bird remembered there were treats in the car and beckoned all to follow her. As they were all departing once again, behold, the two Elders returned, downcast that their referral was not there. Nevertheless, there was much rejoicing, because they had keys to open the gates! A miracle had occurred.
14. With renewed spirits, the students listened and learned and played like they had never done before. They now have four hymns to practice, in just three weeks, with no prior musical experience! God truly works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. The students will bless their ward with the spirit of music, and with an understanding that the Lord is mindful of each of them.
15. And now, I would that ye should know that in the January Liahona, at least in the Spanish edition, there is a special insert about Mexico. It is about my uncle, Eduardo Balderas. I read things I didn’t know about him. I always respected him as a great leader and translator, but I had no idea to what extent. I have talked to people in this land of Chalco who remember him and received their patriarchal blessings from him, or were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple by him. I am grateful for this great heritage.
16. There is work all around just now, including being approached by an inebriated man wanting to meet God, not in church, but when he goes to heaven. Elder Bird gave him an Article of Faith card to ponder when sober.
16. We greet you with love and fondness and pray the Lord send you peace and comfort, health and joy.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Elder and Sister Bird
Associated Pictures:
1. Mexico Veracruz Temple, with palm trees
2. One of many artistic wall paintings
3. Tepecoculco Keyboard Class


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