From Chalco, Mexico
1. Elder and Hermana Bird send you greetings from the land of the Lamanites - Chalco, Mexico. Here can be found many who are seeking the word of the Lord. There are many servants of the Lord who have put on the full armor of God and with the guidance of the Spirit, are bringing many to the fold.
2. In the year 2014, February 8, every missionary in the mission arose early and traveled by taxi, van, bus or metro to arrive early at the Stake Center near the Mexico City Temple. An apostle of the Lord, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, declared that He wants everyone to be full time missionaries, not worrying about home and family, and if they have girlfriends at home, don’t worry about them either, they will all be married before the mission is over anyway!
3. Elder Oaks declared: “Teach part member families and get these to find others who need the gospel. ”Be fishers of men”, as Christ taught Peter. Start when you leave the house each morning and have your lines cast in the water all day. Seek in all places for those in need. Mexico has many baptisms. Denmark has less than one baptism per missionary per year. In faith, every time a missionary knocks on a door in Denmark, someone is baptized in Mexico. We help each other.
4. Elder Bird is starting a "hunt" for all senior couples who are willing to be full-time or part-time missionaries in the Chalco Mission, living at home and serving with their wards, with name tags and all. There is a lot of work to be done finding the inactive members who are losing their blessings because they have lost their way.
5. And behold, Hna. Bird finds great joy and satisfaction opening the many boxes that arrive at the office with gifts of pamphlets and pass-along cards for investigators, and recently there arrived 27 cases of Books of Mormon, with 36 books per case! And lo, more need to be ordered !It’s as much fun as Christmas!
6. And it came to pass that the young servants of the Lord have been found lacking in training. Now that their moms aren’t around to remind them (or teach them), some of their rooms are not a place you would invite the Bishop, or the spirit. Mothers, please train up your children to understand that Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and they will not depart from this training when they are missionaries – and beyond. Prepare them with simple, really inexpensive recipes too – besides Ramen (which probably really does exist in most countries), and cold cereal.
7. And now, ye shall know that the easy cheese cake recipe can be made even in Chalco, but even better with fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice. Tacos in this country are made with small corn tortillas, two placed together with chunks of chicken, pork or beef (or unknown) and hot sauce; sometimes onion and hot peppers are included. A word of wisdom, for the benefit of all: all things are to be used in moderation, and not to the excess that spicy foods bring tears to the eyes. Another word of wisdom, to help keep the body healthy, exercise. Now, the Birds do not have time that warrants buying a treadmill, so Hna. Bird has taken to the stairs, four flights, 3 times each morning.
8. It should be remembered that we are to love one another at all times and in all things and in all places, but one day has been chosen to celebrate this commandment – el dia de amor y amistad – the day of love and friendship. Many were seen carrying flowers or gifts to someone special. The language of the chosen people has many beautiful and meaningful sayings. The gift of tongues is well and alive, but at times it becomes difficult to just speak English or Spanish, they go mano a mano. Elder Bird even remembered to get a box of chocolates for someone who really appreciates chocolate!
9. In the year 1945, Nov. 6, the temple endowment is presented in Spanish, the first time the sacred ceremonies are presented in a language other than English. Many made their way to Mesa, Arizona to receive this most precious gift. Today there has arisen 14 such Temples in the land of Mexico. Many go often to these sacred places of worship. The Birds had such an opportunity to witness the great love and faithfulness of this people. Attending a Friday evening baptism in Veracruz, there were more than 60 youth in participation. They joyfully spent three hours completing the baptisms of hundreds of people, including some of the Bird ancestors, already dwelling in the spirit world. The following morning, again there were many happy people waiting patiently, sometimes hours, for their turn to enter overflowing rooms to perform endowments and sealings. Could this be the beginning of the day of the Lamanite?
10. And there could be found in their many houses of worship, many striving to learn piano to lift the hearts and voices of the people. A surprise review of all their learnings will include M&M rewards for every correct response! It is a curious thing that there are many hymns these faithful ones have never heard! They plan to share these new found hymns with their congregations, when they are well trained. They should start playing the prelude music soon. And as a bonus, they will get a treat. These dedicated ones get stars on their name cards each week when they do their homework or play something perfect. They work hard because they love the stars, and there are young and old assisting all the classes.
11. And it came to pass that more missionaries continue to arrive every six weeks. New dwelling places must be found and prepared, which provide safety and invite the spirit. This is not always an easy task, but having faith, and praying always, and lots of footwork, the Lord prepares and provides for His servants.
12. Behold the field is white (not with snow) but already to harvest; and the many senior couples who are hearing the word that too can be Senior Missionaries, are flocking to the work to bring salvation to the souls of their families, friends and local ward members. Elder Bird works with all his heart, might, mind and strength with Bishops and ward councils to help recruit the army of those who possess wisdom and understanding to embark in the service of God.
13. Harken, O ye people, Elder and Sister Bird do not proselyte, but are kept busy from morning to night. Leaving by 10am every morning (sometimes 7am on Sundays to arrive in time for the ward services that begin at 8am) and rarely get home before 9:30 or 10:30pm. But they know by assisting in bringing forth the work of the Lord, according to His commandments, they and their children, and their children shall be blessed.
14. There is a season to be merry and to play “Yellow Car” or “Coche Amarillo” that their souls may be joyful. It is a variation of the American “Slug Bug.” There are many slug bugs in this land and everyone would be constantly punching each other. Not so with yellow cars.
15. And again, there is much peace and joy in the children of the family Bird because their children’s children, Cameron and Marissa, were baptized by their fathers when they were eight years old, and they shall teach them to pray and walk uprightly before the Lord. The Priesthood shall also be part of the lives of the youth. Others are advancing and learning the ways of Scouting. (We have some pretty special children and grand children!)
16. Therefore, ye shall find those of whom have been prepared, which are many, in every place. Look on the street corners and wherever you eat. Even the mail lady who brings letters to the office is ready for the Good News and the light of the gospel. Eating tacos in the public square attracted some who were excited to share their directions to be able hear more. Sharing the gospel is easy when you remember that everyone knew Heavenly Father before coming to this earth, and they just need their spirits touched to accept again the truths they once knew. Find something each person is interested in and incorporate that into a gospel truth. Try it – you will be as excited as they are!
17. Behold, and lo, there are much people in this place, that have opened the front of their homes as small stores of every kind. Anything one might be in need of can be found in their doorways or on the sidewalks. Bakeries, laundromats (they do the washing, ironing, mending etc.), fruit stands, fresh meat hanging on pegs, stationery, tiny shops with a bit of everything, floral shops, small racks of clothing (who knows if they are new or used), tortillarias, and the list is endless. They use their abilities and what they can obtain. One of the most common larger store is the shoe store! The people do a lot of walking here – in spite of all the cars and taxis. The other common needs are car repair shops (they drive really crazy) and spotless car washes (by hand), in their yards.
18. Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We salute you with love and fondness and pray the Lord send you peace and comfort, health and joy.
Elder and Hermana Bird
1. Bird anniversary at the Paraiso Restaurant
2. Corner phone booths
3. Senior missionary couples having dinner at Bird home
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