"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou
dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."
-Joshua 1:9

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Week Five

Dear Family & Friends,

It is hard to believe that I am approaching my last week at the CCM. It has been an amazing experience thus far. It has been challenging, humbling and eye opening to be here in Mexico City. I have met some incredibly good and faithful people. I have learned more about true service, hard work and having a cheerful heart no matter what life brings you, more in the past 5 weeks than I have ever experienced before. I love the people. I love the language. And I have a deeper testimony because of it.

This week I feel it most important to share with each of you my gratitude. My gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father who has been there and helped me out so much while being here in Mexico City. I know as I give my all and do my part, the Lord has blessed me. He hears our prayers. I know that for sure. How grateful I am for the Book of Mormon and the opportunity I have had to spend hours each day studying it. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I have a deeper love, respect and admiration for Joseph Smith and his family. I have felt of his hardships and his families hardships to go through those things necessary to bring forth the gospel in these latter days. I am so grateful to those that have gone forth before me, who have sacrificed everything so that we could be blessed with the restored gospel on the earth today. I believe it otherwise I wouldn’t be on a mission today. I am so excited and honored to be able to go share this gospel message with the people in Honduras.

I also want to express my deepest appreciation to my many friends and family members for your support. Whether it is a quick e-mail, a formal letter sent in the mail, or however you have corresponded with me, I can’t thank you enough. Leaving behind each of you has been my biggest adjustment on my mission. You know that I am VERY social. I love my friends and family so much. Leaving you has been hard. Real hard. I hope you feel of my love and appreciation for taking the time to write me. It keeps me going during difficult moments.

Today we got to go to the Mexico City temple again. It was so peaceful. So peaceful I had a hard time keeping my eyes open. It is such a beautiful place to go to and participate in the Lords work there. I had but yet another crazy experience while traveling back from the temple. We past a crime scene. There was still blood all over, the caution crime scene tape was up and the swat guys were all still there. It is very humbling to see what goes on.

So the other day I walked behind this money truck not thinking anything about it…well…the guy that was on the side of his truck pulled his gun out. HA HA I walked like 15 feet behind the truck. When they refill the ATMS here they have like 5 guys involved for security reasons. They all have their gun and some have big assault rifles. The guy apologized to me when he saw my badge and said its just instinct.  Apparently I need to stay on my toes…

A few of my buddies decided we would put together a fake fight one night going back to the dorms. Everyone goes back to their rooms about 9:30 so we pretended to fake fight and people were running over to try to help the kid we were “supposedly” beating up. Like 45 others sat and watched in awe. People thought it was for real. It was so funny. Sometimes, it’s the small things that make you laugh! Speaking of laughing. I met another group of HALARIOUS Mexicans. They are so so so funny. You have no idea. One of them was a professional clown before he got here. He is so funny. I just love these guys. I am going to need an international calling plan when I get home. I can’t wait until I can speak well enough to rattle off the language fast with them. It will be so great. I love all of them. Any by the way, I am giving haircuts. to the guys here. Dad, you would be proud of me I am giving pretty good haircuts. HA HA

Today I said goodbye to more good friends. I have been richly blessed, by the people I have met here both those that work here and those new friends that are here just like me, serving a mission. So many of them have helped me through tough times, and have been good examples to me. Many of them have made me laugh, and laugh real hard at times. This has been a blessing. I can see that a very difficult aspect of my mission will be when it is time to move on to the next area, and leave those people I have met and now love behind. I already feel a great loss for those wonderful friends I have met that have left. Actually, it feels like a great loss because I love them so much and have experienced hard and great things together, but it really is a great gain as I have met some fabulous people whom I can now call them my friend. I know leaving next week will be hard to say goodbye to so many people here that I have come to love and admire.

My time is short, I have much to accomplish in my last week. I hope that I have left a lasting impression on those whom I have met here. In some small way, I hope that I have helped someone along the way…

I love you tons. Con mucho amor!
Elder Long

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