DEVELOPMENTS IN MEXICO
By courtesy of Brother Parley P. Pratt, we are enabled to present some extracts from a letter from his brother Helaman, who is on a mission in Mexico. The communication was written at Jaurez, near Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, and bears date of Feb. 6th:
I have studied hard and now have a fair knowledge of the Spanish language; have traveled much among the natives of this land, and held many meetings, in which I have been enabled to explain the principles of eternal life in their own language. I have baptized about fifty persons and assisted in confirming many more; ordained a number of Elders, Priests and Teachers, blessed many children and administered to many who were sick. I have been preserved from small-pox and other contagious diseases and also from enemies who have sought to take my life.
Lands, water, grass and timber enough have been purchased to sustain many hundreds of God’s people, and be a gathering place for the native Saints, that they may be made free through the principles of the everlasting Gospel, one of which is that of gathering. I am one of the first three families who have moved on to the new town site, where we hope to make a permanent city. We are now working on the new ditch and expect to have the water in our town by the first of March.
About the 20th of March I expect to again return to the City of Mexico, attend the Conference in April, visit all the Saints, and hope to gather up a company and bring them to this place. I think I will be able to transport them at the expense of the Mexican government. I have also assisted in translating a number of important laws, and in publishing a small pamphlet in Spanish, showing the proper mode of baptism.
The hardest of my missionary labor is still in the future; that is to care for and look after the native Saints after they are gathered. The manners and customs of the two races are very different and through misunderstandings that will naturally arrise, it will take constant care and prudence to prevent them from clashing. But I hope to succeed through the blessings of God and the patient assistance of our brethren and sisters, for this is a mission devolving upon all, both old and young, male and female, and God has, in my opinion, forced some of our best Saints out here that they may assist in the redemption of His fallen people.
We have a good country, fine climate, land, water, grass, timber, and every facility, in its crude condition to build up a prosperous colony, and all necessary machinery, such as saw mill, lath and shingle mills, grist mill, etc., are now on the road and will be here about the first of March.
[Transcribed by Roy Avondet, DeeAnn T. Pratt and Mauri Pratt, May 2012]
“Developments in Mexico”, Unknown newspaper, 9 March 1887.