The first night here we stayed at the mission home, I was one of two Spanish elders coming into Detroit, and we are two of five in the mission, its a little crazy. So let me tell you all a little about Detroit. THIS. IS. THE. HOOD. There are madmen roaming the streets screaming in languages unknown to man, and one of them (his name is Vincent attends to the church every Sunday). Vincent bore testimony on how he is going to save all the kids from shooting themselves in their legs with his "Da Vinci Code Theory" as he waved a bunch of papers with numbers all over them in the air. Apparently, he bore testimony last week about how Adam and Eve went to go "kill that apple" as he said. So pretty much he's insane and sometimes it's really hard not to laugh because I have never been in a situation like this before! But I can tell he loves God he's just..... a little conflicted internally you could say.
Detroit is covered in tags and gang signs and there's at least two houses burnt down on each street. (In fact apparently every Halloween here people set fire to as many houses as they can and my companion Elder Bardalez was surprised that not that many were burnt down this last Halloween) The people here live in basically the frames of what once were homes and the "high end homes" in Downtown Detroit could be comparable to some of the crappier houses in Old Town El Mirage in AZ. However outside of Detroit you can find multi-million dollar houses quite easily. Being here really makes you know what the REAL essentials are in life.
I couldn't be happier though! To be able to be here and share the gospel and see the change it can bring into there lives is amazing! I've really learned to fear no man because God is no respecter of persons and because I am sharing His true gospel restored onto the earth there is NOTHING more important these people could be doing other than to listen to what we have to share. But of course that is for them to decide and if they choose not to listen, there is always someone who will!
One specific experience I want to share is about an old man named Tomas. As Elder Bardalez and I were going down the street, we came by an old man in his 80's trying to clean up this huge mess of debris in the street from a tree, and so obviously we helped him. After about an hour of work he welcomed us into his home where we then shared the message of the restoration. Suddenly I felt impressed to share my testimony but then I also took the time to inquire if there was anything else the Lord wanted me to do and He told me to commit Tomas, his wife, their daughter and her three kids to baptism. By this time Tomas's daughter Teresa was in tears and she and her mother accepted the invitation.
The Lord knows how to go about His work! I love Him!
Before leaving the MTC, I got to see one of my best friends, ELDER KLIPPEL!
The flight to Detroit
My and Elder Bardalez apartment
The first two pics are of my street (we have one of the nicer streets) The next few are to give ya a better idea of what Detroit looks like!
Not really something to smile about.