To the right reverend, spiritual, and most beloved in Lord lady aunt Francisca and lady sister Maria Teresia. May the Highest in the Heaven be eternally praised who has so fatherly led me with his merciful help to the end of the underworld where I am writing this letter, and who has finally, through so many dangers, brought me safely hither. The place, or the mission, where I am at present is called Cucurpe, in the Province of Sonora, situated some 430 German miles from Mexico (which is the capital in these Indies). It has two other dependent places, or villages of the Indians, to take care of, one of which is called Toapa, and the other Opodapa, and is the one distant from the other not more than about 4 German miles. The air is actually mostly thoroughly pleasant, and lovely, yet in the month of May, and in June, there is a very great heat which would be unbearable in July, and in August, kad it not been moderated by the almost daily falling heavy showers. The winter lasts here only some 20, or 30, days, and that only during the night, because during the day there is usually a pleasant sunshine, except when the day is darkened and cooled down by some winter waters (as they are called); and these winter waters fall down usually in the month of January, after which, during the 5 following months - that is in February, March, April, May, and June - not a single drop of water falls from the sky. And this is the same every year. Yet in July, and August, there is enough rain-water. These lands are mostly divided by hills and mountains and there is little level ground; because of this- the fields are cultivated in the valleys only and very close to the rivers, where it is namely possible to use the help of the water, because otherwise the earth, dried out by the heat and by the lack of rain, can yield no fruit.
My Indians are very devoted to work, especially to agriculture. They produce for me enough wheat, and maize (that is the Indian grain, and it is nothing else than the Turkish wheat) as well as the beans. The two gardens of the mission are supplied plentifully with various fruits, especially with quinces, pomegranates, figs and peach trees; I have also a small vineyard, and this year I have planted a few small pear trees and oranges. My gardeners are diligent also in other types of horticulture, such as in the sowing and planting of onions, garlic, salad, radish, cabbage; this year they have sown for me also sugar cane and a largest field of cotton since there is no linseed here; and the Indian women produce and weave from the cotton wool very beautiful tablecloths and table napkins, yet without any weaver's tools, which must amaze. A few months ago they have made for me a beautiful carpet produced from cotton wooland red Arras which is 6 ells long and 4 ells wide, and they have not used a single instrument for it, only the bare earth and a few pieces of wood which they stuck into the ground and tightened the structure, after which 4 Indian women set down on the flat ground, one next to the other, and so they worked all 4 simultaneously on the piece: they weave from the cotton wool also very beautiful socks and other similar articles.
All the Indians subordinated to me are baptized, they all walk clothed, yet my neighbors located towards the sunset are all pagans and they speak the most difficult language which is in the Indies, yes, even in the whole world, because their speaking is as if they were constantly coughing and would like to expectorate themselves. This nation is called Seris, and Tapokhes, they live without any knowledge of our Creator, neither do they pray to any idol, they do absolutely no work, they cultivate no fields, they live in the most infertile region, their-life differs almost in nothing from the animals, nevertheless they are very kind, they cause not in the smallest degree any evil to my Indians among whom they spend the best part of the year; 14 days ago we have given them a piece of land, because they want to stay among us, to accept all the true faith and to be baptized. They have already begun to cultivate the earth, and during the last Easter holidays, inorder to create in them a great desire for the holy baptism, I baptized at their long-lasting and urgent request some twenty children, and when I departed the next day to another mission I was followed for 4 miles by some of them and theirchildren in order that they too would be baptized by me which I also did forthwith to my greatest comfort, especially because I had noticed such an eagerness among them.
After that I went to my neighbour who is not fully 4 German miles distant from me. And he is a German Father, with the name of P.Eusebius Khinus, and we two are the last ones in this part of the Indies. And there is nobody else in front of us but merely the pagans. The majority of his Indians are pagans and are located towards midnight, some also between the midnight and sunset, and are called Pima. They endeavour much, and the majority among them, to make themselves fit to accept the holy baptism. From his mission we made a journey to the pagans who live in the valley of Himeris; they received us with the greatest love and the following day we arranged a solemnity, and after the sung mass I baptized 61 grown ups and small ones who have desired to be Christians, and who had already been instructed. This was on April 18th, of this current year 1689. Present at the same solemnity were also 5 pagan governors of the Indians, one of whom, and the first one among them, I baptized at that time. And he wanted to be called Josephus Ignatius, yet others were not lacking to whom we have given the names of brothers and acquaintances, as well as the names of ladies, such as Francisca, Theresia, Ludovica, Josepha, Antonia, Barbara, Maria Magd., Catharina, Cordula, Juliana, and still other similar names in remembrance of friends and acquaintances. But one thing I can here not omit to add: which had happened the past year during my departure from Mexico towards these missions: when we stayed for half a day in a sheltering house, and the following day when I already wanted to depart together with two German Fathers, an Indian woman comes running and asks us to baptize her small sick child which stands in danger of death: at once I run together with another Father towards the hut, and when I want to baptize the child, I ask the mother which name she desires to be given to the child, she answers: Francisca. Certainly I felt anunusual pleasure: because of the remembrance of my aunt in such a holy deed, especially since this was the first Indian who had received from us the holy baptism, and was called Francisca. To-day 8 days ago, that is on April 23, when I returned again to my mission, I had an unusual consolation of soul caused by two pagans (man and woman) who, because of their age, could no longer walk, neither see nor hear, and were brought hither by their friends some 30 German miles on their shoulders, and on the same day they gave permission, and made us signs that they wanted to be baptized, and I have done it also in the same evening, and gave them the names of Adam and Eve; I may with all the certainty say that all my life I have never seen so old people and in my judgement each of them could have had at least some 120 years of age, their appearance was nothing else but that of the living death: my aunt can easily imagine what consolation and pleasure I must have had when I saved these two old people with the holy baptismal water from the jaws of the devil.
Yet it is already time to hold back the pen desirous to write. And solely and only to add this my petition: that the aunt, and the sister Mar. Teresia do not forget their promise and do not omit to recommend me, the poor sinner, daily to the divine mercy; in fact I have kept steadfastly my promise till the present day, and am remembering daily the aunt and the sister Maria Ther. as well as the sister Mar. Magd. (the aunt may therefore cordially recommend me and give greetings). I hope also that other acquainted ladies of the convent will occasionally remember me in their holy and innocent prayers. I conclude, and that against my will, because I would like to make no end to this writing: recommending me most cordially to the fervent prayers of the aunt.