Sun Dublan
Chapter 3 

CHAPTER III - First Mission to Mexico

Upon my return home, I applied for a teaching position at the Juarez Stake Academy, and was accepted. I taught the following classes: chemistry, Horticulture, Poultry Science, General History (to the Seniors) Freshman Spanish and zoology (the last was also taught in Spanish). I was the Freshman Class Advisor, and we presented an interesting and funny assembly program for the whole school, and had many other activities. Among my students were Alma Jarvis, three of the Whetten girls and many others I cannot remember as Freshmen. LaSelle and Arletta were in the Senior Class General History and were more interested in each other than in the class. To save time, I boarded at Aunt Maude Bentley's home (and Joseph C. Bentley's) from Mondays to Fridays, and went home on weekends. I had to keep ahead of the students, and so I was always sleepy. The Bentleys treated me like their son, and fed me very well.

The year that I taught at the J. S.A. Ralph B. Keeler was Superintendent. It was good to be home for a year, after having been in Logan for four years. I do not have a record of what I did during this time. I remember that some of the students and I formed a dance band. I played the saxophone. I was pretty rusty, however. We played for school dances.

The year that I taught at the J.S.A. I served as President of the Alumni Association of the J. S. A. I gave nearly all of my wages to Dad to keep for my mission. I believe it was more than enough to pay for my entire mission of two years and five months.

On July 22, 1937, I received my Patriarchal Blessing from Patriarch Joseph C. Bentley.

I was set apart for my mission August 5, 1937 in our home by my father, the Stake President. That same afternoon, I left home with President Harold W. Pratt, the Mission President, and Isidro Bautista, for a trip into the mountains of Chihuahua to find members of the Church who had been abandoned since 1926, when the missionaries were forced to withdraw. We found a few members in the towns we visited: Galeana, San Buenaventura (El Valle), Namiquipa, Bablcora (William Randolph Hurst's immense ranch), Temosachic, Matachic, Guerrero, Miniaca, and, after a tight squeeze on a narrow ledge of a road, San Juanito, Maguarichic, then to Chihuahua, Las Delicias and back home--6 days. We left home again at 2:00 A.M. on August 13-President Pratt, Isidro Bautista (who was going to Mexico City to see his father after 15 years), and Cesario Gonzalez, who was going to Mexico to work for Harold and Joe Pratt. We stayed in El Paso that day and until 2:00 P.M. on Saturday. We arrived in Piedras Negras Sunday morning in time for Sunday School. We also held a meeting of members and investigators (83 present) at a ranch about an hour in a truck southeast of Piedras Negras. There I had my first opportunity to speak in the mission. I had spoken in the Mexican Branch at home previously. We then went on to Monterrey and held another meeting there. We went on to Mexico City over that fascinating mountain highway.

I had the pleasure of giving my brother Bob a big hug. I had not seen him for five years. I was assigned to work with William H. Jarvis in Mexico City. LeRoy Hatch also lived with us. He was attending the National University. We lived at Gabino Barreda 101.

In the afternoon, we visited a family that had a sick child with some sort of fits, to administer to her. Then we went on to a home to a meeting with investigators with Reah Walser and Marguerite Taylor. Later, the little girl we administered to was completely well 3 days afterward. However, much later her illness returned.

I received a letter from Mother, dated Thursday, August 19, 1937, saying that the boys had taken Grandmother Mary Gubler Bowman to Provo to be under the doctor's care, and that Maybeth and Aunt Lottie were with her. The next letter from Mother was written in Provo on Tuesday, August 24th. She informed me that Grandmother had died the day before, Monday, at 5:30 A.M. They had received a telegram on Sunday at 9:00 A.M. that she was dying, and they got ready and left immediately for Provo. Mother and Dad took Wesley and Dorothy along.

I still get an inspirational feeling in my heart when I think of a lot of things that I know about Grandmother, after having lived with her for four years while attending college. Mostly, I am oh so grateful for the privilege of having been associated that intimately with such a wonderful woman. If she had not helped me so much by letting me live with her to help take care of her business and things around the house, I would not have been able to finish my schooling as easily. She also paid my tuition one year when I didn't get enough work to pay it myself.

Grandma was ready to go when she was called home. Ever since Grandfather's death on April 30, 1933, she had been saving all she could so that her last expenses would not have to be paid by her sons as Grandfather's were. Grandfather had been in the hospital so long after his prostate cancer operation in June or July 1932, that he had used up all his reserve. He was just as great a man as Grandmother was a great woman. Grandmother had saved over $1,400.00, and she also had a few hundred dollars of Poultry Stock in the Cooperative. She had also contributed more than $200.00 to Marion's mission. She saved the money out of the rent on the three apartments in the house. Grandmother was an aristocrat, that is, she was definitely among the finest people who have lived on the earth. If I started to list all of Grandmother Mary Gubler Bowman's outstanding qualities, they would fill a number of pages. Probably the most outstanding quality I know was her ability to sacrifice anything and everything for what she thought was right and what she thought she should do. The most important thing in her life was living according to the principles of the gospel, and having her sons and daughter live them also. She worried considerably over the fact that some of her boys were not too faithful to the Church and the teachings of the gospel. Nothing gave her more joy than when one of her boys, or her daughter, did something creditable as, for example, when Dad was made Stake President, or to have one of her grandsons go on a mission. I remember how she used to say so proudly. "I have two grandsons on a mission" --speaking of Marion and Bob.

I shall never forget the hours of fun we used to have when she'd tell me about her experiences, or when we'd get into some argument, not serious, just in fun. Zelpha Cook also got in on these confidences and wrote a lot of them down. She promised me a copy, but I never did get it.

Bob was released from his mission to go home on Saturday, August 21, 1937, and he traveled home with Beatrice Hawkins and Naoma Stevens. I shall never forget the trip I was permitted to take with Bob to San Marcos, Santiago and Pachuca on Mutual business and to tell the Saints goodbye. They prepared a big program and banquet at San Marcos. I had the pleasure of sitting by him while they covered both of us with confetti and flowers and later when they sang him an especially composed song that started out like this: "Va se va el hermano Bowman, Va termino su mision." Sorry I can't remember the rest of it, or have a copy of it. I can't describe how proud I felt, but I hope that I can fill his place. Even as I say it I know that it is impossible. Mother thought that I would step right into his place, where he left off, They did ask me to be the teacher of the Book of Mormon class at Ermita in the Mutual. Now maybe I will study the Book of Mormon.

September 17, 1937

I feel pretty good tonight because we had a pretty good day today. We contacted 9 new places and visited 6 investigators. We also presented our film strip "King of Kings" in Ermita tonight. I have not put out a Book of Mormon this week to fulfill one of the mission goals.

On the fifteenth, we started about ten p.m. to go to the Zocalo to hear the "Grito". We stopped at a show house where we were to meet LeRoy Hatch and the sister missionaries. We went in and saw the rest of the show, which made us ten minutes late to hear the "Grito". But we were not too late to have our ears deafened by hearing all the bells in the cathedral ringing at once, and not too late to get our raincoats soaked in the downpour. It has rained almost every day this week. On the sixteenth, we went down to the Alameda and climbed up on sign to have a good seat to see the parade and take pictures. We saw one of the Russian leaders, one of Lenin's co-workers, who had been exiled to Mexico, and who was assassinated a short time later. In the afternoon, we went out to Ashton and Ruth Longhurst's (they were running an orchard for an important politician) and played games and had a nice picnic.

We bought an electric iron to iron our pants. It cost $6.00 pesos. We couldn't afford the 50 cents it costs to press them, It rains and there goes the press. How do you kill bedbugs?

September 30, 1937

I invested $6 so pesos in a tripod for my camera. We went down to the National Museum to take some pictures to use in our work. We spent the whole morning, but didn't get permission to take any pictures. Elder Jarvis says he won't give up though.

October 12, 1937

Today is Columbus Day (Dia de la Raza), so we took the excuse to go to the mission home to play ball. We arrived just in time to see President Pratt arrive bringing Aunt Bertha and Sister Williams (Vila's mother). All the gang played ball. Ashton and Ruth were there also. They are preparing to return to the Colonies.

Everything is going along fine. I am over my cold and typhoid shots, and feel like I could lick the world.

November 6, 1937 – Atlixco, Puebla

After a great many satisfying experiences working with Elder Jarvis up to the time of the San Pedro conference (Oct.23-24) and the inspiring missionary meeting the Monday following, I have been given the position as President of the missionaries. I am to travel throughout the mission to help supervise and help the missionaries.

Elder Jarvis was assigned to work with George Turley, one of the four who arrived Oct. 23: J. B. Robinson, LaVerne Whetten, and Dorothy Bowman. I was certainly glad to see Dorothy and visit with her. She was assigned to work with Marguerite Taylor.

My first job in my new assignment was to come to Atlixco, Puebla to work with Elder Francisco Haro because Elder D.V. Haws was sent to Monterrey. Elder Haro was to meet me in Mexico City. I was a little late, and he didn't wait. I wasted all afternoon waiting for him before I decided he had gone on. I took a night bus to Puebla, stayed in a hotel, and left at 6:00 A.M. on a bus for Atlixco. I was really worried, because this was my first trip alone. I woke Elder Haro up. We went to Tlacotepec with Brother Ramos to visit his cousin. On the way back, we missed the train and had to walk 4 hours. I was not used to it, so was very stiff the next day.

While in Tlacotepec we had trouble sleeping because all the bells in town began to ring at midnight. We got up at 5:00 a.m. and went to the cemetery to see the thousands of candles on the graves of the children. They believe that the dead return to earth on November first to the seventh. The children come the first day. November first was Sunday, so they couldn't start until midnight. The graves of the children were covered with Flowers of the Dead (Flor de Muerto) a pungent yellow flower. A group of musicians were there playing at the graves where the mother had 30 cents to pay them to play so the spirits of the children could dance. They ring the bells and shoot sky rockets and bombs to wake the poor things up. They also make an altar in their homes, decorated with flowers and pretty paper, on which they place a food offering for the dead. They make a pathway of flowers of the dead from the gate to the altar to lead the dead to it. The poor people have to eat the food after the seven days are past. The proof that the dead have partaken of it is that the flavor is all gone.

We visited San Gabriel Ometoxtla, where the members were all conventionistic. Perhaps I should explain the Third Convention a little. It is a long story. The members were left alone so long that they held a convention and decided to ask the Church to give them local leaders as mission president and other callings. They claimed to be the only people of the house of Israel, and all the North Americans were gentiles. They twisted the teachings of the Book of Mormon to fit their ideas of Church doctrine. When President Pratt arrived in Mexico City on August 30, 1936, he started to work with these people to return them to full activity in the Church. There were such intense feelings and race hatred that he couldn't get through to them. He held a court and excommunicated eleven of the principle leaders. A large number of the members joined with the leaders and formed congregations outside of the branches organized by Church authority. Thus they were all out of the Church, although only eleven had been excommunicated. The missionaries spent a large amount of time trying to get them back into activity in the authorized Church branches.

A little later, Margarito Bautista returned to Mexico from Salt Lake City and introduced the doctrine of plural wives to the group. He gathered quite a large following.

In San Gabriel, the members were getting tired of being out of the Church. I believe that we helped them understand the situation and the doctrines better, and the branch was soon organized within the Church.

I returned to Mexico City, but President Pratt sent me back to help the Elders get the people of San Buenaventura and Atlixco out to the two conferences to be held on November 14 and 21. As I remember, we had a pretty good conference in both places, but not as many out at the latter place as we should have had. A few of the conventionistic brethren also came out. The women got busy and made mole and beans for the whole crowd. This is not a good idea because the women don't attend the conference. However, the women in San Buenaventura do not speak Spanish they speak the Aztec Nahuatl.

I then went to Pachuca, Hidalgo to help Ricardo Flores get ready for conference there on November 28. Knowing that the missionaries were invited to Thanksgiving dinner at the mission home. Elder Ricardo and I returned to Mexico City. Sister Pratt and Fanny Bluth Hatch prepared a wonderful dinner. Uncle Dewey Brown was also invited since he was there alone. Aunt Millie Robinson Brown was planning on coming to Mexico after the first of the year.

After the conference at Pachuca, President Pratt, who had just returned from Chihuahua, sent me to Ozumba and Chimal to help Elders Ernesto Tellez and Raymundo Montoya prepare for the conference at Chimal December 5. We had a good crowd and a fine conference under a canvas stretched out over the patio. I also enjoyed the Catholic fiesta at Chimal, where they set off more "cohetes" than I had ever heard at one time before.

We then went to Chalco in the same district to invite all the people to conference. They all promised to come, but less than ten showed up. There should have been about fifty. Perhaps they were afraid of the law. It seems that one time they were holding a "kermess," and most of them were thrown into jail, where they spent the night and had to pay $5.00 each to get out.

I had written to Elder Serrano to come with me to Toluca to invite the Saints there to conference. There were no missionaries there because Elders John Canton and J.B. Robinson had been sent to reopen the mission in Chihuahua. Elder Serrano and I walked all over that part of the State of Mexico. One walk I will probably always remember was from Tenanzingo to a place near Ocuila, about 25 kilometers away, to visit two families. We walked it in 4 hours and very much enjoyed the visit. There was a long climb that when taken fast is bad. We were stiff all week after doing it. Had a good conference.

On December 21, 1937, I left Mexico City early in the morning on the train for San Luis Potosi. Had to stand up most of the day because the cars were so full. I woke Mennell and Floriene up to get a bed. I enjoyed Christmas with them. Sister Rinda Taylor was also there. President Pratt thought that we owed something to these isolated members and gave her permission to visit her brother. I also visited Lester Skousen and his wife Eva (Shupe) in San Pedro.

On Christmas night, I left for Charcas. Harold Taylor, who was visiting his brother, and Marguerite Taylor who was also there with President Pratt's permission, came down the 15 kilometers of ASARCO track in the old jalopy to meet me. The colony members in Charcas treated me royally. The following members were there: Asael and Oreva Taylor, Clyde and Mabel Brown, Louise and William Bartlett (the latter is not a member), Reuben and Lemoyne Farnsworth, and Ellen Beecroft and kids. I stayed 2 days. They were just getting over the Christmas celebration.

I left for Matehuala on Tuesday morning, December 28. I was also treated royally by the members there: Lamar and Lucille Redd, Van and Vilate McDonald, Sixtus Carlton and wife, Leo Carlton, and LeRoy Johnson. These last two got me a free room at their hotel. I was visiting these people to investigate the possibility of organizing a branch at each place.

I missed the Friday train, so I attended their New Years dance for a couple of hours to see a bunch of Americans plastered and become a smoked ham. I felt a great desire to be able to impress these Mormons with a desire to live their religion. They are all very fine people, but some don't know what the Word of Wisdom signifies.

I arrived at Monterrey Saturday night. It cost me $1.00 peso for a taxi instead of 5 cents for a bus ride, because I didn't know how to find the Elders' quarters. That day they had baptized a young fellow, a Baptist, converted mostly by Antonio Ivins Martineau. He will introduce them to his friends, and it looks like the Monterrey Branch will grow. The other missionaries there were: Elders David Haws and George Turley, and the L.M's Sisters Laverne Whetten and Raquel Morales. I enjoyed my two weeks with them, which included a weekend at Saltillo.

On Saturday January 15, 1938, I went to Piedras Negras, Coahuila about 12 hours on the train. I arrived at the Alba's home. I knew they were members, but it took me about 20 minutes to realize who they were. I thought that the address I had was the "Casa de Oracion."

I worked with Ignacio Zarraga, who is a very good missionary, but a little too proud of himself. The first Sunday evening, I walked over the bridge to Eagle Pass to attend a meeting with the American Elders there. I arrived three minutes before it was to begin, and they asked me to speak. I stayed all night with them to get acquainted.

I must tell about our visit to Saucillo, about 20 kilometers from Piedras Negras. After seeing how miserably poor those two families were, I shall never be able to complain about my situation again. It was really cold, and we slept on a gunny sack with a thin factory sheet over us. The four kids had a few rags and a thin blanket over them.

President Pratt came to Piedras Negras on January 20 to hold a conference. We enjoyed it a lot, and had about 50 in attendance. Sister Pratt, Francis Meaker (who was going to the Colonies to school), and Elder Haws were in the party. They picked me up and, after a night in Sanderson to visit the Hursts and a night in Clint, Texas to visit Joe and Vila Pratt, and a few hours in El Paso to buy some good candy, we went on to the Colonies. I arrived Home at about midnight. Boy! I was a privileged missionary to get to visit my family. I took some pictures of mother and dad.

We left at 4:00 A. M. the next morning, Thursday, February 3rd for Chihuahua. We visited a number of families, and that night had a meeting-party with the Mormon Smelter employees. We went on to Delicias the next afternoon, after waiting for President Pratt to finish his business. We met with the Woods and Rodriguez family. The Pratts left at 11:00, intending to stop at the first good hotel and go on to Monterrey for a conference on Sunday, February 6th.

They took Elder John Carlton along because he was to have an appendicitis operation. They left me in Delicias with Elder J. B. Robinson. We visited and attended church on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday night we left for Chihuahua, thinking that the train left the next morning for Madera. It didn't, so we visited there in Chihua-hua on Monday. On Tuesday morning, after a long run to the station, we caught the train that was just pulling out, and went to San Isidro (10 hours), and walked to Guerrero to visit the Quintanas. The next afternoon, we went as far as Fred Pothast's ranch. He kindly invited us to stay overnight. He was a German, a nice old gentleman with a few funny ways. He had some Mennonites working for him. The next day he took us clear to Tejalocachic (39 kilometers) in his rickety old car. When he heard my name, he said that Bowman or Bauman meant "builder" in German.

We visited Sister Nieves Treviso, who was suffering greatly for having accepted the gospel. To punish her, her husband put her out on an isolated ranch without her glasses or her Bible, and with insufficient food. This ruined her health, and she was a very weak old lady, but she still was faithful to the gospel.

We went on to Temosachic and spent two days visiting the Aragons and other members there. I had been there 6 months previously with President Pratt. They were on their good behavior when he was there, and I thought they were living their religion, but this time, we found that they were not keeping the Word of Wisdom. I had the pleasure of blessing two of Abdon Aragon's children and authorizing him to bless the other two.

We waited almost all day to catch a truck coming from Ocampo to catch a ride to Chihuahua. We finally left at 5:30 p .M. and, after 3 flat tires, arrived at Chihuahua the next morning (Tuesday) at 9:00 A.M. Oh how good it felt to have a bath and some clean clothes.

It was a pleasure to tract with Elder J. B. Robinson, and we made some good contacts. In one experience, the guiding Spirit was manifest. One afternoon, we knocked at a "zaguan" (a big door to the patio), but the lady wouldn't accept any tracts. She told us to return when her husband was home. We knocked at another door, and were permitted to enter and talk to the lady for about half an hour. She invited us to return on Sunday, when her husband would be home. So Sunday afternoon, after Ara and Annie Call took us to a good restaurant for a good dinner, we went to visit our contacts again. When we arrived at the first place, I had no desire to knock on the "zaguan." We passed it up, but then something impelled me to return and knock. The husband was there and he received us very well. They were followers of Judge Rutherford (Students of the Bible), and they had a big stack of literature and phonograph records. Part of their doctrine is true, but when the record talked of the personality of God, we were able to explain why Judge Rutherford really didn't understand the Bible. We stayed about two and a half hours. Another couple had come in and had heard about half of the discussion. They invited us to return. We also visited the other family. The husband was there, but his wife was not at home, and she had not told him about our visit. However, he invited us in and listened to our discussion.

I left Chihuahua at 12:00 midnight February 22nd, arriving at Torreon the next day at 9:00 A.M. I wanted to go to Saltillo, but there was no train until the next morning. I studied most of the day. but went to a movie in the evening. I was up early to eat some cornflakes I had bought and catch the train at 7:00 A.M. for Saltillo. On the way to Torreon, I made a contact with a young medical student and gave him a copy of all the tracts I had. On the way to Saltillo, I also contacted two men who were interested and gave them tracts. I arrived at Saltillo at 2:00 A.M. and spent the day visiting members there, leaving on the train at midnight to go to Vanegas. I arrived there at 4:30 A.M. on Friday. I slept and studied in the station until noon to take the train to Matehuala. I visited the Colony boys and their wives that evening and Saturday and Sunday.

President Pratt arrived at Matehuala Sunday evening, and visited all the members except the Carltons and Roy Johnson. He set Lamar Redd apart as President of the Matehuala Branch, and Sister Vilate H. McDonald as the Relief Society President. Van McDonald was set apart as counselor in the Presidency.

March 22, 1938, Mission Office, Rosa 116511 Quinta Celina, Colonia del Valle, D.F.

We are at the mission home for a general missionary meeting tomorrow. We moved from Cuautla and vicinity on Wednesday, March 16th. Elder Romney and I went to Chalco, the stronghold of the convention. We spent the rest of the week there. We stayed two nights with President Rodriguez, who is not a conventionist (Cruz Rodriguez), and one night at San Pablo with Jesus Soriano, the President of the conventionist branch.

Back to Ozumba March 20, for a debate between President Pratt and Abet Paez, president of the convention. (Attendance around 250.) President Pratt certainly spoke with the Spirit of the Lord, and he didn't leave the conventionists a thing to stand on. But you know how people are; they only hear what they want to hear and only see what they want to see. Some of Abel's arguments sound good to a prejudiced mind, or a mind swayed by race prejudice. His talk and the prayer given by Othon Espinoza were certainly words of fire to keep burning to a white heat all the race pride and desire to be the "chosen house of the Lord." We have been working with the saints (?) before and since the debate, but we have not been successful in changing the way they want to believe.

In organic chemistry at school, we studied about a substance a few drops of which would make many, many gallons of water smell like concentrated skunk. Also it is next to impossible to get the containers clean and free from smell. The easiest way is to throw them all away to avoid contaminating the rest of the dishes. You could compare the convention with that substance, but we can't throw them all away, because the value of souls is too great. We will keep working with hope.

The missionary meeting on March 23 was very inspiring. It lasted 9 hours, and all the missionaries were very enthused. Elder William Walser and I went to Puebla on the train and then to San Buenaventura. Elders Lemuel Flares and Haro met us there and we divided up to Xalitzintla and San Nicolas.

Elders Serrano and Haro held a meeting with some investigators. A group of Catholics came and threw rocks at the house breaking some roofing tiles. Brother Santiago Mena, an investigator got sore and went out to stop them. They took him to jail. The others went to Cholula and got an order for his release. They are all now very enthused about the gospel. Satan certainly uses the wrong method when he uses physical punishment.

We met Elders Jarvis and Serrano in Puebla. Elder Jarvis and I went to Tlacotepec. (This is the town nearby where Dad was killed in an automobile accident May 20, 1958.) Of the families we visited previously, probably four will be baptized.

We visited other towns, then went back to Mexico City to spend Easter on a picnic at Chapultepec park. It was an extraordinarily good time, playing ball, watching the monkeys, eating a delicious dinner and our fill of watermelons. I nearly died laughing silently. The two sisters that work at the mission home went along with us. Later in the afternoon they went out behind some bushes and did what people sometimes do behind bushes. Unfortunately a policeman happened along. It is against the law to do it behind the bushes in that park. He was going to take them right down to jail. After a long time, the Elders talked him out of it.

May 5, 1938. Down By the River's Verdant Side, Xalitzintla, Puebla

It is absolutely impossible to find anyone at home during the day in this town, so Elder Lemuel Flores and I have retired to the banks of this little stream to do some concentrated study (if the knats don't drive us away). We got up this morning way before sun up to get a few words in edgeways before the campesinos pulled out for work on their farms, or making "metates" etc. Some also make things out of wood, like tubs and pans, etc.

Oh, what a great sight it is to see the sun tip Popocateptl with a pink crown at daybreak! The people here are not very well educated, but we do have the 21 best-educated families, because those who know how to read study the Bible. I guess it all started with Brother Tequianes, who got a bargain buy on about a hundred Bibles and brought them up to this country.

The way we eat around here reminds me of those old fashioned progressive suppers. Every place we visit, always at morning or evening mealtime, when people are at home, they offer us a little "taquito." Sometimes we eat as many as ten times a day. This time, we feel a little underfed, because we have been able to get some of the brethren together to visit more than one family.

When I went in to the office last week, President Pratt had me stay there for a couple of days to help him plan the three day missionary conference and school we are going to have after the San Pedro conference. He has also had me working on a card filing system to keep a record of each family the missionaries teach. I have been looking for a suitable box in which the missionaries can keep the card file. I have also been getting my driver's license, with all the red tape, fingerprinting, standing in line, taking tests of physical condition and ability to drive. We have also been looking for a car the mission is to buy for us.

Prior to the conference on May 20-21 in San Pedro, I went alone out to San Buenaventura, San Nicolas, and Xalitzintla, because I had promised to walk over between the volcanoes with the brethren who wanted to go to the conference. They al1 backed out except a young fellow, Miguel Mena. Two others went in previously. Miguel and I hit out, and in 7 hours, counting a 45 minute stop to warm up some "itacates," we crossed the saddle between the volcanoes and arrived at Amecameca. The scenery was tremendous. It was a delightful hike, and I didn't even feel tired. They have built a new highway from Amecameca up to between the volcanoes for tourists. We rode the bus from Amecameca to Mexico City.

Conference was splendid. The new San Pedro chapel was dedicated by President Harold W. Pratt. We had been afraid he would not be with us, because he had an attack of kidney stones. It makes all the difference in the world when he takes charge of a conference. The chapel is really pretty, and it was filled at every meeting. There were 450 present on Sunday morning and 500 at the Mutual program.

I ate more "mole de guajolote" than I thought was possible. On Sunday they fed everybody, which was really something for a little town like San Pedro. Every family had to set their table from two to four times.

The next three days after the conference were very busy and happy and inspirational for us missionaries. Between the meetings, we played volleyball, etc. to have an appetite for the delicious food Sister Pratt fixed for us. There were 35 present, counting a few visitors. Twenty-eight were missionaries, and three of them were released.

William H. Jarvis and I were assigned a new job. We were given a used 1933 Ford Victoria two-door, and have all of Mexico as our front yard. Our special job is to help the Elders make new contacts and create good will in general. We have a small projector and six illustrated lectures: King of Kings, two Book of Mormon films about ancient America, "Forgotten Empires and Before Columbus," two History of the Church films, and another about the Authorities of the Church. We also have a record player and are hoping to soon receive organ and choir recordings. We have six volt globes, so we can give the lectures with a battery in pueblos where they do not have electricity. We always passed out two or three hundred invitations, a copy of which is in my missionary journal. We had a great time going to many different little pueblos, finding an available hall or room, and giving the lectures. The people were hospitable and it was not too hard to get something to eat and find a bed.

May 24, 1938 – San Miguel Ameyalco

Elder J. B. Robinson was made mission secretary, letting Elder Barton Pratt go to Monterrey. I took him down to get a driver's license, but he didn't pass the test the first time. My test wasn't that catchy.

At San Miguel Ameyalco on June 24th, we got permission to use the school again to give King of Kings. There were about 150 people present. So many were trying to crowd in that we took the crowd to the patio, put the projector on top of the car and used the wall for a screen. We couldn't control the rowdies. They went off a ways and started to make a lot of noise: "Protestantes, burros-- amaneceran tiezos!" And other funny noises to make the crowd laugh. This was the first time we had experienced this. A man was outside yelling, "Paula! Paula! salgate de alli, no escuches a ese tarugo. Estan hablando de Jesucristo, pero no dicen nada de su madre! Salgate de alli, o entro a sacarte." Paula didn't get up and go out, she couldn't, it was too crowded.

June 30, 1938 – Puebla, Puebla

Yesterday we received a circular letter dated June 23 from El Paso, that had been printed at our mission office, saying that President Pratt had been released, and A. Lorenzo Anderson put in his place. I can't explain the disappointed feeling it gave me. We all think so much of President Pratt and his wonderful wife, Anna. The mission home has indeed been a home to us. We have all profited greatly from our experiences with President Pratt, and we are so grateful for our relationship with him. We are sorry to have him go, but we know that it is the will of the Lord, or the change would not have been made. It was probably because of his health problems.

I can just hear what the conventionists will say that the Lord removed him because he was “un hombre mentiroso” and other things to that effect. But those who really know him here in the mission have only love and respect for him and his lovely family. We have all had a glimpse of heaven, because we have been in their home and have seen how lovely and thrilling a family relationship can be. Sister Pratt is a very good manager, and she has made us all feel like we belonged.

July 15, 1938

Last Wednesday we went with LeRoy Hatch and some of his pals to witness an operation. It was an experience I will never forget. They opened him up half way up the front and let his intestines out to find an obstruction in them. They were using a local anesthetic, and every time they would touch his intestines or move him he'd yell. They finally decided to put him under general anesthetic. He said, "No pongan ese sobre mi boca porque me da ansia! Me da ansia! No me tapen la boca, me da ansia!" The poor fellow died before they got half through with the operation.

Doc Hatch also took us to the morgue where they cut up corpses to study anatomy. I don't know how many bodies they had there but if was a lot.

July 25, 1938 – Mission Office

Elder Jarvis and I arrived last night with a very muddy car and a broken front spring and mud up to our knees. We had been working in the State of Hidalgo. We were over at Tepatepec Saturday and Sunday, and we wanted to go to Arenal to give encouragement to one family of members and a few investigators. Just as we were ready to go, it started to rain. The road was absolutely the most slippery I have ever been on. We got stuck once, and the car was so tipped that gas ran out of the tank. We finally got it out after trying a dozen different things and then hiring some men to help us push. We were not able to have a meeting, so after visiting a while, we came on in to Mexico City.

July 29, 1938 – Mexico D.F.

I have just received a letter from President Pratt transferring me to the office to do the translating for the mission, because Sister Rinda Taylor wants to accept a teaching job, and must be home by the first of September. The letter says immediately, but we want to go to the Ozumba area to accomplish our unfinished business.

The last couple of days I have been translating the tract, "Three Degrees of Glory" by Elder Melvin J. Ballard, a really inspiring sermon. I suppose that you have noticed the first installment in the Atalaya.

Sister Pratt asked me to see what I could do about writing a history of the Mexican Mission. I wrote to Brother Bentley to see what he could contribute, and have talked to Brother Perez (one of the first 8 baptized) and have taken some pictures of the places they held meetings many years ago.

We certainly enjoyed our week of fling before my entering the “prison.” We showed the Church History and Church Authority pictures to a lot of conventionists, and the other pictures to a number of new people. We wanted to go over to Tepecoculco--there was no road, so we loaded the battery on a stick between us (like Joshua and Caleb did the bunch of grapes (as I just translated a Sunday School lesson), and walked two hours to get there. We had about 50 people to our meeting, and we encouraged the members.

Sister Rinda Taylor was released and left for home on August 17, 1938. We miss her, especially me, because I have inherited her typewriter to pound on.

August 30, 1938 – Mission Office

President Pratt, Sister Pratt, President Anderson, and his daughter Marguerite all drove in on Friday the 26th. We are certainly glad to have a mission president again. Elder Carlos Barton Pratt has been in charge in the president's absence.

We played a lot of fronton and volleyball on Saturday. Sister Pratt asked me to take the kids to a show, which I did, and then came home and went to "Marco Polo" with the other missionaries.

Sunday the Presidents held a conference in Ermita. We certainly enjoyed it. President Anderson has a lot of enthusiasm, and I think he will do very much for the mission. President Pratt has had very tough going, but things are just about to the turning point. We think that President Anderson will profit by the hard knocks that President Pratt has had.

We were rather shaken up when we checked the reports and found that only two people have been baptized here in Mexico City, while over 40 have been baptized in Monterrey this year.

William Walser finished his 6 month mission and was released on September 1st. He has been working trying to get all the unmarried couples married.

President Pratt went up to San Marcos today to use his tact in summoning Brother Bernabe Parra to an Elders' Court. Brother Parra is one of the very few members who had enough to live on. He is a wonderful man, except for the fact that he can't leave the women alone. He already has one or two children out of wedlock, and now he has another of the girls who work for him in trouble. Brother Pratt is a very dear friend of the family.

Woe is us until we can change the morals of the people of Mexico. This is one of the reasons that Elder Walzer was glad that his mission was for only 6 months.

Doc Hatch composed the following song to the music, "A Teacher's Work is Done." He, Carlos B. Pratt, Juan B. Robinson Jr., and I sang it twice in San Marcos and in San Pedro at farewell meetings for President Pratt and his wife, Anna H. Pratt.


Mensaje este, Dios nos dio

A su llamado fieles son,

En siglos muchos ha,

Mostrando el amor.

Que la honra es para el

Dios les inspira por Su don

A quien Dios se la da.

Y obran con fervor.

Para cumplir con esta ley,

Dios su descanso les mando;

Son cinco anos ya,

Su voluntad haran,

Llegaron a cuidar Su grey

Y otros vienen a servir,

Nuestros Hermanos Pratt.

Y ellos ya se van.

Cumplida ya su gran mission,

A otros campos van.

Oramos, pues, que Dios les de

Paz y su galardon.

Quiza nos vemos mas alla,

Porque Dios es bondad.

Alla podremos renovar

Nuestra gran amistad.

I went to San Marcos last Saturday, September 10th, 1938 in time for a nice dinner at Lupe Monroy's. During the afternoon we pumped water to fill the baptismal font, studied and fooled around. Then we went to the program honoring the Pratts. It was well done according to our mission standards, in other words it was awful, but we were very well entertained and had a few good laughs. We will not mention that some of the things that were supposed to be funny weren't and vice versa. Sunday was conference and we had a delicious dinner at Bernabe Parra's home. We also stayed there. They have a special room for the missionaries with two beds and some mattresses. There were nine of us on this occasion.

Sister Bowman (Dorothy) ate some mole, which she had been told not to do, and was sick all afternoon. She has been suffering with appendicitis, among other things.

We had an experience that I never expect to have again because it is so rare. We stayed at the home of a brother, had a very elaborate dinner, and that evening were called to form an Elders Court to excommunicate him, an September 11. The following were present: President Pratt presiding, President A. Larenzo Anderson, E. LeRoy Hatch taking minutes but not participating, and the following members of the court: GuadaJupe Zarraga, Abel Juarez, Agricol Lozana (San Marcas Branch President), Sabina Lazana, Lemuel Flares, J. B. Robinson Jr., Carlos B. Pratt, Jose Garcia, Jose Regina, Trinidad Hernandez, Archie G. Meaker, and Claudius Bowman Jr.

Brother Bernabe had been disfellowshipped previously for confessed sins. He confessed another and accepted responsibility for it, and so, according to D & C 42nd section, he was excommunicated. ‘

I would rather die than have to face that accusation in a Church Court. This gives me an idea of the utter horror of having to face our Father in Heaven on the judgment day. I bear you my earnest testimony that there is nothing on this earth that could be worth even ten minutes of what I think that will be for a sinner. I believe the prophet was right when he said that a sinner would rather have the mountains cover him than to stand before the judgment seat.

There were times during the court that there was not a dry eye among those present, especially after it was all over and everyone expressed deepest personal love for Brother Bernabe, and their desire that he have the blessings of the Lord to help him return to full fellowship in the Church again. He expressed his desire to continue paying his tithing and supporting the missionary he was supporting, and that his family not be blamed nor hindered in any way.

I can't see how it is possible for a brother to be so good and capable in all other ways and be so weak in this way. The court was conducted in such a way as to guard against hurting his feelings, but the sadness and hopelessness of sin was brought home to me in a way that I will not soon forget. My heart was so full that it was about to burst, and we couldn't hold the tears back. I suppose that the world, and worst of all my loved ones, will have to learn by experience.

As we bid goodbye to the Pratts, you can't convince me that there is no satisfaction in serving your fellowmen. The tributes paid to them complete a very epic of service. One family's hearts are full because at the time of their deepest sorrow, when they lost their little boy, the Pratts were right there with sincere sympathy that they know how to express and have it sink in. Others are filled with love because they are grateful for other kindnesses that only an understanding heart can give. The moral to all this is that the secret way into anyone's heart is to have and show an interest in their pleasures, sorrows, and their in between times. It doesn't do much good to have these feelings if you can't show them and make them sink in. This is my problem.

October 3, 1938

We were very busy last week because the lessons were not out, and were a week late. We finally got them in the mail, and are now resting easier. I guess I will have to burn more midnight oil. I even went out visiting this evening. The others went to San Pedro to a kermess.

Dearest Dad: This is to let you know that we will be thinking about you on September sixth, and we lovingly wish you complete happiness on a good many more September sixths. I hope that you know that I love you and honor you. I want you to know that this love grows with time, and that because I appreciate all that you are, my life and the lives of all the members of the family are made better. I know that it is impossible to put into words the deep feelings of gratitude that I have for the heritage that you and our dear Mother have given to us physically and through the environment that you have created for us. I truly believe the greatest privilege enjoyed by our family is to be intimately associated with two souls so great. I want you to know that I am grateful for these ties that bind--that they are the dearest in the world--and grateful that they are eternal. This inspires me more than anything else to follow your example to insure the eternal nature of these family ties. Happy Birthday!

November 18, 1938

The gang at last got the "Atalaya" out today. It should have gone out three days ago. Elder Ignacio Zarraga wrote a bad editorial, that is, it didn't have the right spirit. I just happened to notice it as Dorothy was beginning to type it on the stencils. Between the two of us (a formidable team) it didn't go to press. It really would have made quite a stink since it was an answer to a letter Othon Espinoza wrote criticizing us for calling President Pratt's service Christ-like (in the October Atalaya). The best way to handle stinky things is not to handle them, so we didn't.

A general conference was held in San Marcos with all the missionaries present on December 4 and 5. Dorothy and I stayed at the mission home on Saturday to be with Sister Anderson. She had fallen and dislocated her tailbones and didn't feel up to the conference. We went to San Marcos Sunday morning and greatly enjoyed the sessions, and also the delicious dinner served to all on long tables in the "casa de oracion." Due to the shortage of time, the people were spared my sermon. Monday the sixth was spent very enjoyably in a missionary conference. The missionaries all spoke to each other as was the custom, and President Anderson gave us some very inspiring instructions. We all returned to the city and fields of labor that afternoon on the train.

Brother Albert C. Wagner Sr. arrived in the mission on Sunday. Elder J.B. Robinson met the train in San Marcos and had him get off to attend the conference. He will be a great influence for good.

The next day after conference, I took Dorothy to see Dr. Garnett. He advised her to get her appendectomy over with, and he arranged for her to enter the Hospital Americano on Wednesday. The appendectomy and removal of an annoying wart on her left foot were performed on Thursday December 9th. She was under ether for almost two hours, and was she sick when she was coming out of it. Sister Anderson stayed with her until I relieved her about three o'clock so she could go home and get something to eat. We all faster for her, and she also received the administration of anointing with oil by President Anderson and Uncle Harvey Taylor, who had arrived the day before. I was also in the circle.

Fanny Bluth Hatch underwent an operation for some sort of tumor. She was put in the same room with Dorothy. She was also very sick because of the ether. They took her home on Tuesday. That night Seville called the President and asked him to come over and administer to her. She had a hemorrhage and was very low. The next night it occurred again and they had to take her back to the hospital for an operation to stop it.

I cut the clipping on the next page out of the Deseret News. I can't realize that good old Doc. Wilson is dead. He was my major professor at the U.S.A.C., and one of the best friends I ever had. I worked for him at the college off and on for three years. I worked for him all of the summer of 1935. He was one of the most understanding men I have ever known, and an all around good man. He treated me almost like a father. I'll surely be glad to see him up there some time. The picture on the clipping must have been taken when he was much younger than when I knew him. There is just a slight resemblance. Good old Doc. Wilson.

December 13th 1938

My skinned knee from a fall while playing "fronton" started to act up. It made me sick and gave me a lump in my groin, which are signs of the beginning of blood poisoning. Sister Anderson put me on the couch and started to soak it, that is, steam it with towels dipped in hot boric acid water. We kept it up all day. I got the water so hot that it gave me a second degree burn just below the hurt part (a blister about the size of a fifty cent piece. a "toston," with several small ones. All this has taken a lot of my time getting doctored and visiting Dorothy in the hospital and has thrown me far behind in my translating.

Sister Bowman came home from the hospital on Sunday, Dec. 18th. Seville kindly furnished the transportation. I put her right in bed, but she wouldn't stay put, and she got up the next day, that is, she went as far as the sofa. The next day she was out on the porch in the sun in the big rocking chair. She looked so cute that I ran for my camera. She wasted four of my films by putting her umbrella in front of her face, but I finally got a good one. I'll keep the whole series. She is quite spry, but she can't walk on her foot at all, on account that it would split open.

Dorothy and I sent a small package home to the family: A sarape piano scarf for Mother (it seems that mothers always get presents that serve the whole family), a pocketbook-letter-folder for Dad, and one for Uncle Harvey, a leather belt for Maurice, a small cedar chest for Kathleen, a pocketbook for Donn, a horn chess set for Keith, a wrist watch for Wesley, and handkerchiefs for Rinda Taylor. We also sent a tooled leather briefcase to Bob.

We greatly enjoyed the Christmas season here at the home. The two Marguerites, Anderson and Taylor, came home of course. The Andersons gave each of us missionaries, Jose Rueda, J.B. Robinson and me a very nice pair of tennis shoes.

From home: a dress to Dorothy, a pair of very comfortable house slippers (Alvino, or Romney leather shop, made) for me, that smelled of tanning, however, the smell has now disappeared. They are really nice, and Mother's love and her desire to do something for us are clearty manifested. Donn sent me a bead watch fob he made for me, with a Mexican eagle, two flags, and my initials woven into it. Mother also sent boxes of candy, cake, and other goodies for both of us. Dorothy gave me a wristwatch like we sent to Wesley. I guess she saw how much I liked it. I gave Dorothy a pair of birds made from cow-horns that she has wanted. The missionaries gave the Andersons a nice "popote" picture and a lacquer tray that are typical Mexican art. We each received, including J.B., five pesos from Grandfather Robinson and the same from Aunt Lucille, fifteen pesos each from the bishop, and $1.15 each from the Dublan Relief Society. Dorothy and I received an international money order for $48.50 {ten dollars) from Bob. We hope that Uncle Harold cooperated, because Bob, a school boy couldn't spare that much.

We went to Ermita on Christmas Eve to see a very nice pageant (with speaking) that showed that a lot of work had been done on the scenery by Elder Ignacio Zarraga. We spent Christmas Day, Sunday, at Chalco, but were not able to hold a meeting. We had a lovely Christmas dinner on Monday, to avoid breaking the Sabbath Day, with turkey and cranberry sauce (cranberries at $3.00 pesos a kilo) and all the trimmings. We went to the Alameda, the best show house in Mexico, that night to see a movie. At first, Dorothy didn't want to ride in the "arm chair" that J.B. and I made for her, but her condition made her accept. Her left foot is not entirely well yet.

January 17, 1939

My dearest Mother: Happy Birthday!

Being our Lord's greatest gift to the Bowman family has been quite a job, hasn't it Mother, and 99.9% of the time a mighty thankless one. I am trying to express part of the .01 %, but it is difficult to find words to express my poignant feelings. It doesn't take much reflection to think of all the mental torture, the physical effort to the point of being a punishment, the downright impositions that you have borne willingly and without complaint from and because of all of us--the whole family.

You inspire in me the most marvelous admiration for the twenty-four karat qualities of your soul and personality. Your sound judgment, your high intelligence, your extraordinary self-control, the absolute love and self abnegation of your nature are precious pearls of inestimable value to me. I am sure that if we, your children could acquire your qualities of mind and personality, the world would recognize us as one of the absolutely outstanding families of the age. We still have a long way to go. Yours are the qualities and capabilities that really count. As we, your family grow older, we will become more aware of these things, and I hope we will try to make it up to you in some small measure for some of the things you have sacrificed in your life on account of us. However, I still think you have lived wisely and well, and I doubt very seriously that you would trade the things you have for the things that you were admiring so much in your friends who have visited you lately.

I can't think of all these things without mentioning the same admiration for Dad, even though this is directed to Mother because of her birthday next Sunday. I hope we can live in such a way as to show our real appreciation for the priceless heritage that you both have given us. Almost every night I express my gratitude to God for the privilege of being born in your family, and of having you to guide and inspire me as you do.

Well, the Mission President is renting another home, and we will move at the end of the month. We are sad that the new house doesn't have a fronton court. It is four kilometers closer to town. (I don't remember moving.)

February 5, 1939

Great Daze! Sister Bowman left my kind, loving side to go away off up to Monterrey. At last, she has her wish granted to work again in the field, and the best place in the mission too. They are having problems because the owner of the place they were renting to hold meetings will not rent it any more since he is afraid of expropriation due to recent action by the government. They'll probably get a chapel soon. Elder George Turley is to take Dorothy's place.

Sister Bowman has really done a lot of work here in the office, and it is surprising how much she has been able to learn while here. I am really proud of my sister. One of the reasons that I would like to have gone to Monterrey with her is to participate in her success. I am sure that she will get right into the work, and also that her work will be successful. She has quite a way with her.

May 10, 1939

My Dearest Mother:

MOTHERS' DAY next Sunday, and all the loving thoughts are filling our minds. As usual, this letter will be late but, even so, it carries the same love and pride that your son feels for you, and which Mothers' Day causes to be put into inadequate words trying to express something that is impossible. I do love, admire, and respect you more than I can express. This quotation from President J. Reuben Clark inspires me to try hard to see that it is fulfilled; "This righteous family of father, mother, and children, with their loving relationships, will endure throughout the eternities to the glory and blessing of its members."

Thank God for you, Mother and Dad, and thank him too for our glorious heritage. We surely are a privileged family. We will try to pass on to your grandchildren, if any, the same clean, pure, and priceless heritage you have given to us, starting with eternal covenants in the House of the lord.

About the first of June 1939, we had a very nice trip with the Andersons down to Acapulco. They had been planning to take their family, and when the close-by missionaries heard about it, we all wanted to go. I had so much work to do that I first decided not to go, but changed my mind so as not to shame the others by staying at work while they were playing. The following traveled in our Ford (tin lizzie): J.B. Robinson, George Turley, Arthur Clyde Pierce, Elder Longhurst, Sister Muro, and C. Bowman. In the Dodge (palace): President and Sister Anderson, Bobbie, Clyde, A.L.Jr, Marguerite, Sister Nora Redd.

We Elders took a quilt and slept on the balmy beach. I left my camera in the car and forgot to lock it. My camera was stolen. On the way, we stopped at the Cacuamilpa Caves. They are really a sight to see. We also stopped at some Maya ruins, some of which have been restored. They didn't lack much, however. We had a great time.

June 13, 1939

We have settled down to the grind of getting the lessons out this month. But, Joy! Oh Joy! It looks like at last I am going to get released from this job--maybe this is the last set of lessons I will have to get out. We received a letter from President Ivins asking where they should start with translating the lessons in Salt Lake City. (I had to get the next quarter's lessons out also. They didn't start as soon as we thought they might.)

September 1, 1939

We very much enjoyed the visit of Bishop LeGrand Richards, and you will also because he is to visit you. He visited the mission in order to purchase a meetinghouse in Monterrey. They found one in a very good location-Tapia Poniente 840--and bought it with only two days delay to get authorization from the First Presidency. President Anderson then insisted that he come on down to look over our situation. He was very impressed with our needs, because he went over to Ermita to a District Presidents' meeting. It was raining, and the roof of our little shack leaked. I got to accompany President Anderson and Bishop Richards for the latter to explore the city to see if Ermita was where they wanted to build a chapel. He found that it was really a good area, and promised to see that a chapel would be built there as soon as possible. We had a delightful and inspiring missionary meeting with Bishop Richards. He also attended a special meeting in San Pedro. President Anderson translated for him.

President Anderson asked me to accompany him up to Xalitzintla last Sunday morning bright and early to visit the conventionist members there, who are dominated by “el indio Margaro" (Bautista) as he calls himself. We took the Ford because the Dodge would have hung up on high centers. Upon arriving, we found that Bautista, Tomas Sandoval, and Cesario Dominguez were already there. The elders had told the Xalitzintla people that the president was coming, and they undoubtedly informed Bautista of the visit, who doesn't want the President to get to talk to those poor people without a rebuttal. This made the trip very much less a success than it would have been. President Anderson and I were both given the opportunity to speak, but the other three spoke afterward and did their best to try to neutralize the effect of the President's talk without openly insulting us.

After the meeting, Bautista, Sandoval, and Dominguez asked to ride down to Cholula with us. We ran out of gas just as we were arriving at San Nicolas. There was no gas there, but we found some in the next little pueblo. The Ford was a gas hog. By rights it should have gone another 150 kilometers on the gas we put in that morning. By that time, it was almost dark, and it began to rain. We came to a fork in the road, one a straighter road to Cholula, and the other that the bus takes. Since we had been over it that morning, I thought we would arrive sooner by the straight road. I didn't remember that the road for a short distance was in the bottom of a sort of trench. The water soon began to run down the road. "Bump, bump, plop!" We fell into a little pothole that left the car leaning close to the right side of the trench. We only lacked about thirty yards to get out of the low road. I got out in the rain and tried to jack the car up and put some limbs under the wheel. It stopped raining for a while and I worked hard to get the car out, but with no success. Then it started to rain again, and the water came up, up higher and higher. When it covered the gas tank I gave up. They were all in the car but me. I was drenched anyway. The water reached the top of the lights. President Anderson was sitting on the back of the front seat with his feet on the steering wheel holding the briefcases, but he still got wet where he was sitting. It finally stopped raining, and President Anderson decided to send Elders Johnson, Garcia and me back to San Buenaventura to Brother Mendez' home to bring tools and oxen out the next morning to pull the car out. We arrived at about 11:30 P.M. The others got to Cholula about 1 :00 A.M.

Dear Sister Mendez (who doesn't speak Spanish but only Aztec, or Mexicano as they call it) got up, made a fire to heat the "comal", ground some "nixtamal", made tortillas, peeled some chiles, made some "ojitas" (herb tea) and gave us something to eat. Then they gave us a petate and one blanket for the three of us (which probably came off of someone's bed).

The next morning six brethren went with us taking an ox team to get us out. After much digging, the oxen would not pull together and broke their yoke, but we finally got the car out by man-power (it wouldn't run, it would have ruined the motor because it was all full of sand). The car had eight inches or more of dirt and sand on the inside. We finally towed it to Puebla. The agency wouldn't take the job of cleaning it up, so I took it to another place after President Anderson had gone home leaving me there. They couldn't get it done until Saturday, so I also went to the office. It cost $70.00 pesos to get it cleaned up. They had to take the motor apart and gas tank off etc. to get all the sand out. This was one of the biggest messes I ever got anyone into.

It is an example of one time the straightest road was not the best. It was funny to see the peaches, walnuts. etc. that the people had given us floating around in the car. When the door was opened, Elder Johnson's shoes went downstream. He only was able to find one the next morning. I went back to Puebla to get the car on Saturday. I also bought some briefcases that Bob asked me to get for Uncle Harold. I started home when it was starting to get dark. When I got a little past Cholula I had a short in the lights, so I asked Brother Sandoval for a bed and stayed over until Monday to get a few more things done on the car.

I forgot to tell you our experience when Brother Paez died. He was Abel Paez' brother I think, and one of the eight who were excommunicated because of the convention. On Wednesday morning August 16th, his daughter called up President Anderson and asked him to come and administer to him. He and I went over and did it. Brother Paez was so far gone that he probably didn't even recognize us. He died about two hours after we left, probably of bronchial pneumonia.

Jose Rueda, who was a good friend of the family, and I went over the next morning. No one else came (none of the conventionist brethren), So Jose and I thought we should prepare him for burial. I called Sister Anderson, and she told me what to do. We stayed until late afternoon and, when the catholic relatives came and put candles all around him for the "velada", we left. I didn't think I could stand the drunken people. Margarito Bautista came and forcefully took oVer the funeral arrangements. The District President, Brother Zarraga, and we missionaries didn't dispute with him. We didn't want to make a fuss. The President left the city that morning. He called on me to speak, and also the others, and he also spoke well, So it was not so bad.

Things are looking better now. Most of the worthwhile people of the convention have now returned to the Church.

October 16, 1939 - Bachelors' Hall, Calle Moneda

Boy, we are in the money now, in fact we are right on "Money Street." Yes, the moment arrived this morning, and I was fired right out of the office. Elder Dennis Romney was appointed as the new secretary, and I am taking his place with Elder Ike Taylor to work here in the city. My desire must have been leaked to the President. I don't think much of our living quarters, and already, I miss the good food and good bed. I feel like an arm that has been tied up in a sling for a year and two months.

Brother Amando Perez, the eighth person to be baptized here in Mexico, had informed us that there were some members in Texcoco who had

not had contact with the Church since the missionaries were withdrawn about in 1912-1914. So last Sunday Elder Romney and I were assigned to get in the Ford and drive out the Puebla highway to the Texcoco highway to San Vicente. We found one of the members there, but he was only about twelve years old when he was active in the Church, and he didn't have enough interest to sit down with us and talk. We talked with him out in the yard for a while, and left him some tracts. We drove into Texcoco, but couldn't find any others.

On our way back, we stopped at Chapingo, the National Agricultural School. They have some good cows, chickens, hogs, and quite a lot of land. They have a nursery of fruit trees that they plan to send out to different places in the republic. This is where Rey L. Pratt's son died about in 1925-1926, when he and Jenner Hatch were going to school there. It is a pretty good start for Mexico.

December 3, 1939

Now, Mother, please don't worry about my health. It has been a long time since my stomach has bothered me, and I am feeling very fine. We eat even more than we should, and get plenty of fruit. We go down to the "Merced" market and stock up. We get 72 oranges for a peso, and bananas are only 12 cents a kilo. We also buy potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and beans. We don't have to cook much, because the saints are good to invite us to dinner. We also buy honey at 50 cents a kilo, and cajeta at 80 cents, so we have plenty of sweets. Our milk is delivered at our window every morning at 7:00 A.M., and so we have a pretty good alarm clock. We get the best bread in Mexico from a "panaderia" just around the corner. I almost forgot to thank you for the cheese. We really appreciate it. We use it instead of butter.

I neglected to record that Sister Bowman was released about the last of October. I miss her.

Also, I didn't record that we moved to 2nda. General Prim 32-F2, downstairs from where the Martineaus lived. Sister Martineau was very good to send us down food occasionally. LeRoy Hatch boarded with them.

I will also insert a note here about what eventually happened to the brethren who were excommunicated because of the Convention. While Arwell Pierce was President of the mission, President George Albert Smith went to Mexico and held a conference. He revoked the action of the excommunicating court almost 15 years previously, and brought all the members back into the fold. This really hurt President Harold W. Pratt and others of us deeply. We felt that they should have been required to humble themselves and return to the Church like any other excommunicated person. Possibly if they had done this, they would have appreciated their Church membership more. Being returned to the Church so easily didn't help them, because they didn't do much in the Church after being readmitted.

The Stake President, my Dad, wrote to President Anderson to request that I be released from the mission about five weeks early. I was serving a two and a half year mission. This was urgent because they had a job they wanted me to take, which was to manage the poultry business that had been organized. The manager, Velan D. Call had died. For this reason, President Anderson released me and I arrived home on December 24, 1939.

3/5/2003 Webmaster: Troy Bowman