Here are some email updates from the trip Steve is on right now:
Sunday, June 9 - Just got back from Mangales. We had a great service. Alejandro preached and did really well. It was my first time to hear him preach. After church we had coffee and pan dulce and hot tostadas. The tostadas were the great big corn tortillas cooked until they were crispy. I told everyone that you would be so jealous when you heard about it. You would have loved them. I took tons more pics but had a lot of fun. Everyone wants you to come with me next time. Santiago and I will leave at 10 tomorrow for Bugambilias. Alejandro is going to stay here and visit the other missions. Then we will return Wednesday evening to pick him up and head to Oaxaca for service Thursday evening. I'll bring my computer to breakfast and try to email you before I leave tomorrow. It's been a huge day but it's been fun and a good day spiritually too. We're all worn out so I'm sure we'll sleep well tonight. I hope you had a good day and that you sleep well tonight. I love you and can't wait to get back home to be with you. I love you, Maria and Kent, too. I hope everything is going well and am looking forward to seeing you soon. Good night and I love you all loads.
Monday, June 10 - Hey, I just have a minute before I leave for Bugambilias. We just got back from praying for this lady that is literally starving to death. She has some kind of medical problem and can't eat anything hardly. She probably doesn't weigh more than 80 pounds and is just lying on a bed dying. She was covered in flies and gnats and so pathetic. We explained the plan of Salvation to her and prayed for her and she just cried and cried and said that God had saved her. This was not a planned visit so it used most of our time this morning so now I have to cut and run. I love you so much and am sorry I can't contact you for the next couple days. I should be back here on Wed. night but I have no idea what time so it might be too late to email. We'll see. I hope all goes well with you. Love you lots and will write again when I can.
Wednesday, June 12 - Hey, I'm back in the land of the living. Coming down the mountain after dark in the rain and mud was one wild ride. All I can say is, "thank God for 4-wheel drive!" There were bogs of mud 3-4 inches deep and 20-30 yards long and I would slip and slide through them in low range. Definitely one of the most memorable rides. I'll tell you all about it some time. We had a great time and it is so beautiful up there, but the rainy season has begun and every afternoon it would pour the rain for 4-5 hours. Almost every day it would thunder and it was so loud that it was deafening. It rained so hard that there were rivers of water running everywhere including under the doors and walls. Everything felt damp and very humid then at night it would get pretty cold.
Santiago and I alternated. He would teach one class in the marriage seminar and I would preach in the service that followed and then we would switch with me teaching and him preaching. Every thing went great and we had 16 different couples attend the seminar sessions. That all took place in the evening starting at 4:00 and going to whenever. During the day, we visited with many different people in their homes and counseled and prayed with them. I really had fun with a man named Ignacio and his brother who do woodworking. We talked about it often and they asked tons of questions about how to do this or that. It was great.
The Lord really helped both Santiago and me to teach and preach. We had altar services after almost every service. The people are so open and willing to seek the Lord. The night services were really well attended. Normally we had about 55 people. Last night was the largest and we had 62. I'm really tired but very happy too. After service we had a meal each night and I would show people pictures of my family, the Philippines, Alaska (those were the three most requested) and many more too. They also really liked it because I kept uploading my current pictures of them and they would all gather around looking and laughing at everyone else's pictures. Great times!! I really thank the Lord for His help and really feel like good things are happening in Bugambilias.
We leave in the morning to return to Oaxaca City for a service tomorrow night. Then very early Friday we head for Saltillo. At this point I don't know if we will try to make it all the way to border or not. A lot will depend on what time it is when we get to Saltillo. If it's too late we will probably stay there and come on home Sat. morning. I'll let you know for sure later on. I'll try to touch base tomorrow morning before I leave here and then I'll be able to call you tomorrow night. I love you so much and can't wait till I get home. I love you Maria and Kent too! I'll talk to you soon.