Y'all are incredible. I can't think of a better way to spend time than with the family!
Channelview is the small, not so impressive Texan town near (you guessed it) the channel. That is where Elder Poplin and I serve. I haven't even seen it yet, because we've spent all of our time in other neighborhood that are actually in Houston, as well as in Crosby Texas. It's a big change from my Magnolia. I'm used to biking around the neighborhood, not driving 15 minutes on the freeway to get to places! it's very close to where I've been the whole mission, but all of a sudden there are cows! There are still plenty of Hispanics to talk to, I just can't teach them. Now I can teach all the red-necks and black folks I want! My old area Denver Harbor is in our zone. Elder Poplin is a humble, dedicated missionary who's going home this transfer. The Lord made sure to put him with the companion that will work him to the very end. Last Sunday Elder Strong and I taught a little illiterate Honduran couple in a one bedroom apartment that had just battled through the Guatemalan jungle to get to the States. This Sunday Elder Poplin and I got dinner from Texan fire chief Brother Webb and his wife, who first were Baptist, then Pentecostal, and then miraculously found the Gospel almost three years ago. Brother Webb (a High Priest before he was even 1 yr in the Church) was about to slam the door in a couple missionaries faces back in September of 2012 when, as he says "The Lord told me not to!" Their daughter is now at BYU Idaho, they consistently go to the temple, and are as dedicated and converted to Jesus Christ as any member I've ever met. There are many more Webbs out here.
The main message I got from general conference was the same one Ken Jones, a recent convert here, tried to teach us when we went to review the Restoration with him. This is a large, ex-kung fu instructor black senior citizen who told me: "everything else is just a side-story. Joseph Smith was just a vehicle God used. When we get right down to it, when you strip everything away: JESUS CHRIST IS LORD. JESUS CHRIST IS LORD."
I was looking for a magic ingredient. Like the Athenians listening to Paul I wanted to hear "some new thing." What I learned was that all along the answer to my struggles, worries, and fears is Jesus Christ our Savior. I know He really lives.
These are some photos of great the folks I left behind: Nestor and Esmeralda, Mercedes and Joseph, Pablo and Elder Strong
|Nestor, Elder Decker and Esmeralda|
|Elder Decker, Mercedes and Joseph|
|Elder Decker, Pablo and Elder Strong|