Elder San Diego's Address

Explanation on Sending Packages and Letters

If you would like to send a letter:
Elder Eric San Diego
Apartado Postal 118-184
Gustavo A. Madero
Mexico, D.F. C.P 07051

If you want to send a package:

You write this exactly, including Elder Jose Luis Escobar Maya (They don't like more than one name coming to the same PO Box when dealing with packages).

Elder Jose Luis Escobar Maya
Apartado Postal 118-184
Gustavo A. Madero
Mexico, D.F. C.P 07051

To make sure Elder San Diego gets the package just make sure his last name is in the return address (or next to the return address).

August 27, 2011

“And Who Is My Neighbour?”

Came across a copy of Elder San Diego's farewell talk and thought I'd post it for those who were not able to attend.  ENJOY!!

It may very well have been a beautiful day like this.  The Savior was sitting, teaching some of His disciples, when a man identified only as “a certain lawyer” stood and asked Him, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus knew the man’s heart and understood the question was a thinly veiled attempt to get Him to say something contrary to the Law of Moses.

The Savior responded to the question with two questions of His own: “What is written in the law?  How readest thou?”

As you might expect, the lawyer was able to recite the law: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”
“Thou hast answered right,” the Savior said. “This do, and thou shalt live.”

But the lawyer wasn’t satisfied with that.  Knowing that there were strict rules and beliefs among the Jews regarding association with those not of the faith, he pressed the Lord for more information, hoping to trap Him in controversy: “And who is my neighbour?” he asked.

It was time, once again, to teach.  Jesus drew upon one of His favorite and most effective teaching techniques: a parable.

You know the parable, how a man from Jerusalem was on his way to Jericho and fell among thieves and was left half dead.  A certain priest passed by on the other side; neither did a Levite stop to help.  Then Jesus taught: “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, “And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”

Then Jesus asked the lawyer one more question: “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among thieves?”  And the lawyer replied: “He that shewed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus delivered His final instruction to the lawyer—and to all who have read the parable of the Good Samaritan: “Go, and do thou likewise.”

In his October 2001 address, Elder Ballard expounds on this story saying:

"Every time I read this parable I am impressed with its power and its simplicity.  But have you ever wondered why the Savior chose to make the hero of this story a Samaritan?  There was considerable antipathy between the Jews and the Samaritans at the time of Christ.  Under normal circumstances, these two groups avoided association with each other.  It would still be a good, instructive parable if the man who fell among thieves had been rescued by a brother Jew.

His deliberate use of Jews and Samaritans clearly teaches that we are all neighbors and that we should love, esteem, respect, and serve one another despite our deepest differences—including religious, political, and cultural differences."

I like that.  We have about 6.7 billion people who are our neighbors, all whom we can and ought to help.  I feel, however, that for you to love those far from you or even someone you will never meet, that you should start with those who are closest to you.

I can think of no closer neighbor than those crazy people I share a roof with and who I call family.

So, what should we do to be a good neighbor?
We can:
·         LOVE
·         SERVE
·         SHARE

As Mother Teresa once said: "If you judge people, you have no time to love them."

To fully love someone, you must look past all that is different about them and accept them for who they are.
Does loving a person solely mean you give them hugs and kisses every time you see them?  No.
Do you always need to buy them things to express your love and gratitude?  Of course not.
One of the greatest ways to show you love someone is by listening.  If you listen, they feel appreciated.  They feel secure.  They know you are there for them.  They trust you.  They feel loved.

One question that always permeates our culture, though, is if we ought to love our enemies.

"Should I love that person who just cut me off?"
"Should I love that guy who just cursed at me?"
"Should I love the drunk driver who killed my whole family in an accident?"
The answer:  YES!

The Lord Jesus Christ, during his Sermon on the Mount, taught:

"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; THAT YE MAY BE THE CHILDREN OF YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN..."

D&C 64:10 states: "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men."

As we are commanded to forgive, we are also commanded to love.
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

The next thing we can do for others is serve them.  King Benjamin of the Book of Mormon taught us that when we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are only in the service of our God.  Whatever we can do for those around us that will lighten their burden, it will be greatly appreciated and well with us.  Just as we ought to love and serve God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, so should we love and serve our earthly neighbors with all our heart, might, mind, and strength.  When we lose ourselves in the service of others, not only are they helped, but you truly find yourself in the service and grow in your testimony and capacity to love.

            Back in my previous ward, I had a unique and very special opportunity to serve and the love and lessons I learned from it still touch me today.  We had a very small youth group in which I was 1 of maybe 3 teachers in the Young Men.  One Sunday we received word of an elderly lady in our ward boundaries who was in a care home and wanted for us to bring her the sacrament.  I volunteered to go to prepare the sacrament for her while our one priest in the ward came to bless, while we had the supervision of our leaders.

We took the sacrament to her for a few weeks and always talked with her for a little while afterwards.  We all thought she was a little off her rocker because she would always tell us how she hated it there and how she wanted to escape.  Sometimes, she would even ask us to take her out of there so she could go back home!  She was wheelchair bound, so there was no plausible way for her to leave, and we always told her that we could not take her home or we all would get in trouble.

One Sunday, after administering the sacrament to her, she told us that she was going home.  We took no thought of it, thinking it was just another one of her dreams of escape.  We continued to talk and then it was finally time for us to leave.  The next Sunday, we found out that the elderly lady had passed through to the other side of the veil.  It touched me so much when I realized what we had done for her and what service we offered.

This old lady felt her time coming and desired the cleansing power of the atonement through the renewing of her covenants by partaking of the sacrament.  It was such a blessing to see the desire and necessity for the sacrament in each of our lives and what a true blessing it is to have it.
The service you can do for others is incomprehensible.  It is such an amazing opportunity to serve someone.  I love it so much and there is no better feeling than when you serve so selflessly.  As I said, when you serve others, not only are they helped, you also grow in your testimony and capacity to love others.

Finally, we can share with our neighbors.  As is commonly said, "Sharing is caring."  Sharing is the outcome of trust and love.  As we come to serve, trust, and love those around us, we are able to open up and are glad to share with them what is ours.  You could share a family meal, a tender moment, a smile, a talent, a testimony, and yes, even a cup of sugar. Sharing, also defined as charity, is the pure love of Christ.  What a joy to be able to share with anyone, and hopefully everyone, the pure love of Christ!  Just as we are asked by our earthly parents to share with one another, we are also asked by our Father in Heaven to share what we have.


Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.
There are chances for work all around just now,
Opportunities right in our way.
Do not let them pass by, saying, “Sometime I’ll try,”
But go and do something today.
’Tis noble of man to work and to give;
Love’s labor has merit alone.
Only he who does something helps others to live.
To God each good work will be known.
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.


I love this work and gospel.  And know of the truthfulness and divinity of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith, through the power and grace of God, translated the ancient record of the American people.  The stories and testimonies in this book not only are real, but are of such great worth and benefit to us.  The appearance of Jesus Christ to the inhabitants of the American lands happened!  I know this to be the truest thing ever!  Jesus Christ lives!  He suffered for our sins and paid the ultimate price for us.  His love and mercy is stretched out to us through the power of the atonement if we but have faith in him, repent and become as little children, are baptized in his name, receive the Holy Spirit, and endure to the end.  After our best efforts, we will receive the ultimate reward of resurrection and eternal life and be able to stand before God in the last day and declare that our works have been good.  I love my God with all my heart, might, mind, and strength.  I love the joy this gospel brings me in my life. I am so excited to love and serve our neighbors to the south in Mexico City and teach them of the gospel of Jesus Christ, to share with them the knowledge and joy I have, that I may leave their lives a little better.

May we all draw near unto God by drawing near unto each other and may we love each other as the brothers and sisters that we are is my prayer in the sacred name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Come, Follow Me!


Lots to tell this week! 

Friday was good. We had lots of opportunities to practice our teaching and also had a fantastic substitute that day! His name was Hermano Painter and he was very funny but also very spiritual.

Saturday was the last day teaching for one of my teachers, Hermana Bauserman. She teaches 4th grade in Salt Lake City so no more MTC for her. She was a really great teacher and we are going to miss her a bunch. However, she said she will come down on Saturdays to act the part of an investigator for us, so that will be cool. But! Main story of the day for Saturday was Elder Ridd's and my appointment with our investigator Juan. Elder Ridd and I went over to Juan's and taught him about the Restoration of the Church, Joseph Smith as a prophet of God, and the truthfulness and divinity of the Book of Mormon. To this point, Juan had heard good things about the church and had read up to Alma and believed it was all true. After we taught him more about Joseph Smith, we asked if he believed he was indeed a prophet of God. He responded that he believed it all to be true and that Joseph Smith did translate the marvelous record known as the Book of Mormon. As Elder Ridd and I kept bearing testimony throughout the whole lesson, I could feel the Spirit growing stronger and stronger. It soon became overwhelming in the room as we testified of all truth. I had the most distinct and strongest impression from the Spirit to invite Juan to be baptized. Neither Elder Ridd nor I had planned for this but I felt the impression and acted on it. I shared with Juan, 2 Nephi 31:5-10 and expressed to him my belief of Christ and his perfect example. I asked him how he felt about the verse and I could feel the Spirit that was testifying to his heart. I invited him to follow Christ's example and be baptized, and to Elder Ridd's and my great pleasure, he accepted our invitation! It is something wonderful to feel the Spirit of the Lord working through your words to bring His children the truth of all things. It was such a blessing to see that miracle and feel the converting power of the Spirit. I can testify to you that this Church is the true church. The Spirit converts people to come unto Christ and learn more about the blessings in store for them. I know that as you bear often testimony of the truths that we have, you will be blessed to see the hand of the Lord working through you. Bear testimony often, even when you don't need it! It is such a marvelous thing to be a witness of what you know is true and the Spirit will be right with you to back you up and testify to people's hearts of what you are saying.

Sunday! We had an amazing fireside given by Stephen B. Allen, a director of something here at the MTC. Here are a few notes I took from him:
  1. Study fervently and often the words of Christ and the doctrines of the gospel.  
  2. To build a Zion environment in your home, you must build it on principles of faith and obedience
  3. Remember who you are at all times and who you represent. 
  4. Never do things that would dishonor yourself and those you represent, especially God and Jesus Christ. 
  5. Always strive to keep the Spirit with you and seek humble guidance and revelation through prayer.
Great blessings are in store as you follow these things!

Monday, I can't say I remember too much and I forgot to journal that day. Oops! It was a good day to be sure though.

Tuesday! Elder Ridd had broken his wrist before the MTC and had to go to the doctor today so it was cool seeing the outside world again! We had yet another amazing devotional and district meeting in the evening.

Wednesday was good and I received another companion from my district today! His name is Elder Dennis and his visa got delayed so he will be staying in my companionship until it clears and he can go down to the MTC in Peru.

Today was great! Temple and Preparation day stuff! I left to the outside world again because Elder Dennis had a doctor appointment.

Sorry for being brief but time is up and I have to go!

Love you all!
Tenga fe y sea obediente!

Todo mi amor,
Elder San Diego

The Trio! - Elder Ridd, Elder Dennis & Elder San Diego
Enjoying the Temple grounds on P-day.
Our Teacher - Hermana Bauserman (#1 of 14)
A Big "Thumbs Up" with Elder Kipp

August 19, 2011

Front Row Seats!


What a week it's been here at the MTC! Let's cut to the chase!

On Friday, my district met our second teacher, Hermano Arnold! He is the one who has been acting out Claudio for us during our first week and I'm sad to say, but we are no longer meeting with Claudio because Hermano Arnold is now Juán. Although we knew Claudio wasn't truly an investigator, we felt sad that we weren't able to visit with him anymore. But! With every disappointment comes even more blessings! We picked up two new investigators, Juán and Alejandra. Juán is a great guy and upon talking to him, we were suprised and pleased to find out that he is in Alma in the Book of Mormon! Wow! More of that in just a bit. Alejandra is an interesting story and that is coming up soon!

Saturday was alright. We had a substitute for class today and it was definately different as our normal teacher, Hermana Bauserman, has a super upbeat personality. But! Nonetheless, it was good.

Sunday was amazing. We had a very inspirational fireside given by Brother Heaton, the Administrative Director here at the MTC. He talked about what success means and how we should define it. Missionary success is baptisms, but even more importantly, it is measured by yourself in your commitment to do what you have been called to do to the very best of your ability with all your heart, might, mind, and strength and then leaving it in the Lord´s hands and expect nothing out of your efforts but rather that by your efforts the investigator may "perhaps" have that change of heart and receive the Lord's hand more fully in their lives. We just have the opportunity to sit front row and watch the Lord work miracles! How cool. After that, I got some pictures by the good old MTC map with some of my college roommates. And after that, I got to catch the last little bit of the movie "Mountain of the Lord." It is such a great movie, and I highly recommend you watch it. What a blessing it is to have temples in our lives!

Monday, we met with Alejandra and Juán for the first time. Juán has heard good things about the Mormons and passes by the temple in Chile (we transport to Chile when we teach him) everyday on his way to work. He reads the Book of Mormon like I said and feels it is true. Me and Elder Ridd are really excited about that and cannot wait to meet with him again and hopefully get him to come to church with us and maybe even commit him to baptism real soon. Alejandra is originally from Argentina, but moved up to Provo to be with her kids. She is a hard-worker and is a great person, but Elder Ridd and I just need to break down her barrier a little bit so the message that we have can sink in.

Tuesday was another great day and we had a spiritually restoring devotional and district testimony metting afterwards.

Wednesday was so good! We met with Alejandra and discussed more about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. The spirit was so strong and I know she felt it and that she is starting to listen more to our message because of the peace she felt. I know that when you bear your testimony, then the Spirit will testify also to the heart of those around you.

Today was another great day and we got to go to the temple again! Hurrah!

Well I have to go! Love you all!

Tenga fe y sea obediente!

Todo mi amor,
Elder Eric San Diego

BYU Roomates! - Me, Elder Boberg & Elder Thomson
Elder Bigelow and I
The Classroom!

August 12, 2011

Spiritual Obliteration

Hello hello!

The MTC is great! I am doing well and it has been quite a spirit-felt week!

Sunday was great. I felt the spirit strongly as other elders and sisters in my branch got up to bear their testimonies. Great stuff, AND I understood all the Spanish! Thank you gift of tongues! Since it was fast Sunday, the MTC had a big mission meeting and we got to hear from our MTC presidency! Yeah!

On Monday, Elder Ridd and I taught our progressive investigator, Claudio for the second time. It really is a special something when you are testifying of the truth to someone and you feel the Holy Ghost rush in like a wave and obliterate the hearts of everyone in the room. We taught him how God is our loving Father in heaven and about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and how if he prays to know the truth of the Book of Mormon, he will receive the confirmation he is searching for.

Tuesday was simply the best day of the week. My district had service that morning at 6am, but it was nice to change it up for a bit and get away from the classwork. We get to clean the bathrooms! Hurrah! It was pretty easy though because hardly anyone uses those bathrooms, so it did not take very long before we were done. Later that night, we had our weekly Tuesday devotional. Elder Cecil L. Samuelson came and talked to us! Besides the fact that he is the president of the greatest college ever, he is really inspiring in his talks and brings a great spirit to the meeting. He talked about being an example of the believers which is such great advice for us young missionaries. After the devotional, my district had a district meeting to review the things that we learned from the devotional. The spirit was overwhelming in the room and it was hard not to get a little teary-eyed. The elders in my district are straight-up amazing.

Wednesday was ok. Elder Ridd and I started teaching Claudio about our pre-mortal life, the creation, fall, and our earthly life as part of our lesson on the Plan of Salvation. He was pretty receptive to our teachings and is progressing in the right direction. We even got him to commit to coming to church this Sunday! (along with his previous commitment to read the Book of Mormon and pray)

Today has been so amazing thus far. Since it is my preparation day, I had the opportunity to go to the Provo temple today and take part in a session! It was an amazing experience in such an amazingly beautiful temple.

Well, that's all for this week!

Tenga fe y sea obediente!
Todo mi amor,
Elder Eric San Diego

My District ( minus Elder Bigelow & Elder Bliler)
L to R: Elders Savage, Dennis, Kipp, Guymon, Anderson, Stevenson, Ridd, San Diego, Ostler & May
The Beautiful "Provo Temple"
My Roommates

August 7, 2011

Hope You're Thirsty!!

Hola everyone!

Boy has it been an intense past few days here in the good ol MTC. My mind feels like it is sometimes going to explode from the amount of information that is coming in! A good analogy is it's like trying to drink out of a fire hydrant. That's a lot. But it has been going very well! My companion is Elder Ridd whom I actually had the opportunity to meet while at BYU. Good guy. He is from Woodlands, Texas. The spirit is so strong here and bears constant witness to me that this is God's true church. Whenever I get a little discouraged in class by the amount I need to learn or by the language, I always remember that God has called me to this work and He will not let me fail, but will be there for me and help me when I need it.

Having said that, the gift of tongues is really starting to show! I am understanding more and I am getting better at communicating my feelings in Spanish. Yeah! I have a motto I created which is "Tenga fe, y sea obidiente" which translates to "Have faith and be obedient." I know that as I keep showing my faith and being obedient, I will be blessed. Yesterday evening, my companion and I met our progressive investigator, Claudio. He is a great guy and believes in some of the same things we do. He is so willing to learn and I am feeling that we will have a great time teaching him.

This is such a big change being here, but it is such a good one. I am so humbled by the opportunity to serve. It is a blessing to put on my black name tag which declares to the world that I am a missionary de La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias.

Yo amo este Evangelio. Este es la verdad. Se Dios es mi Padre Celestial y es su Padre Celestial tambien. El nos ama. Mediante revelacion, Jose Smith tranducio El Libro De Mormon. Yo se que El Libro De Mormon es verdadero y es la palabra de Dios. El Evangelio es muy bien y lo ayudanos. Este es muy dulce. Yo amo el Evangelio con todo mi corazon. En el nombre de Jesucristo. Amen.

I love this Gospel. This is the truth. God is my Heavenly Father and your Heavenly Father as well. He loves us. Through revelation, Joseph Smith translated The Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God. The Gospel is very good and helps us. This is very sweet. I love the Gospel with all my heart. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Tenga fe, y sea obediente.

Todo mi amor,
Elder San Diego

Members of the BYU 185th Ward
L to R: Bishop Sybrowsky, Me, Geoff Fernquist, Marrie Palmer, Emma Stephens
YOUR PURPOSE - enough said!
My Companion - Elder Ridd
Now I'm "Official"!

August 2, 2011

"Elder" San Diego

Hi, this is Heather, Eric's sister!  I have officially taken charge of his blog, as he has now been set apart as a missionary!  A couple updates since his last post: this past Sunday, he gave his farewell talk in church.  He prepared and delivered it very well--I know he is going to be quite a good missionary : )

As for this evening, I cannot think of an adequate way to describe how wonderful it was.  The Spirit could be felt so strongly, I only wish you could have been here with us to experience his setting apart and the messages given before and after.  Testimonies were shared and the joy of having family together was abundant.  Truly the most spiritual experience I have EVER had!

Elder San Diego leaves for SLC airport first thing in the morning tomorrow & reports to the Missionary Training Center in the afternoon--I can't believe this day is already here!!!  Two years...wow.

I am extremely proud of my younger brother for accepting the Lord's call to serve our brothers and sisters in Mexico City!  I am grateful for his example & strong testimony and can't wait to see how his mission will progress!

Hope you enjoy the blog..!

p.s.--here are some pics from his farewell, setting apart, and departure!

a few of Eric's high school buddies 
inside joke : )
 a couple gifts
going away cake
 San Diego family
 family friends
 San Diego grandparents
 Bishop, Mom & Dad, Pres. Burnham, Eric, Grandpa
 the "crazy people he shares a roof with!"
 Danielson cousins
 at the airport!
 awesome walking away shot
 one last close-up
 still more pictures?
 security guard: "this kid's a missionary--he doesn't need to go through security." ;-P
goodbye sky harbor