So we had two new missionaries living with us for about five days, and they are already moved out. They are Elder Franco and Elder Olsen; they cover English for the Logan stake (our more southern stake) even though they are both Spanish missionaries. Elder Olsen is waiting for his visa to go to Argentina. They just moved out last night to a nicer apartment across the street. We kept the not so nice one, because I didn't want to pack, and we get free milk sent to our apartment from the dairy in Logan. AANND Elder Coronado moved out so I promoted myself to the queen size bed...living like kings in Logan in Utah.
So this week has been awesome. Things are just changing for me generally. It's kind of hard to explain, but mainly it’s my perspective and confidence in the Lord being able to just guide me and tell me how to be a missionary. I'll come back to that, but this week we had kind of a funny dinner appointment.
We called the night before like always and then showed up the next day, and the mom was asleep; she had forgotten. Her kids said sorry, and we said no worries we would eat at home. She called thirty minutes after that when we were eating at home bawling her eyes out asking us to come back and eat with her. We said it was fine, and we didn't have time, but she really wanted to give us money to go out. We said seriously it's fine. She just cried harder and said, "Please come back! I have rejected the servants of God! I’m so sorry!" It was really hard not to laugh; we couldn't figure out why she was being so hard on herself, but we promised to go back for dinner another day, poor lady. I wish our investigators felt that bad about missing appointments.
Oh and other good news, we got a car this week! We had been waiting on one, and on transfer day, I called the assistants. They sent one up the next day. A ford fusion! The two assistants drove up a couple cars and left one up here with us, so that has been pretty convenient and made things a lot more efficient in the past week.
At church on Sunday, the usual gospel principles guy wasn't there, so we grabbed a returned missionary and had him do it. Within five minutes, the students in the class had taken over sharing their ridiculous comments. We have a really tiny class and just the few people that were in there went from talking about the creation to how in the United States things are awful. It took some time to kind of bring things back on topic...good thing we didn't have investigators there.
On Sunday, an eight-year-old girl came up to me that I had eaten dinner with and talked to/shared some magic tricks with a few nights before and asked me to confirm her after her baptism. She had had her interview with the bishop, and he was going to baptize her and said she wanted the white missionary to confirm her, ha-ha. I double-checked with the bishop, and he said she could choose, so I guess that's what I am doing next Saturday.
So this week, we have picked up/refound some awesome new people. Sunday night was a good day, because we found Hernan again! He broke down crying talking about when he repented like 20 years ago and quit drinking so he wouldn’t hit his kids anymore, and we talked about how he needs baptism to sweep that guilt away that he still has. He knows he needs it, but he works sooo much. They work 14 days, outside a lot of the time, and then he stays up in Wyoming so he doesn't have to drive home. In two weeks, he will go to Colorado to work for a few weeks so we need to teach him a ton and hopefully baptize him before he leaves.
We have been trying to set up a lesson with the Morales (less active) family for the past three weeks, and they kept cancelling. Yesterday, we went by to see them, and they cancelled but asked us to come back and be prepared to talk about baptism to their nine year old daughter who they want baptized. We didn't even know that they had a daughter! So that's cool. Also, we found another lady we will teach tomorrow who is less active, but her ten-year-old son has never been baptized. The really cool Hernández family that I had talked about keeps disappearing and has cancelled all their appointments last minute and not showed up to church; we just need some persistence with them.
Angelica's husband has gotten worse. She is sure she needs to leave him now, and we can't counsel for or against it, but I think that she can leave him once she can find a job and babysitter. I don't know if she will do it, but he is just worsening and getting more serious with the woman with whom he is cheating on her. Maybe he will just decide to leave so that she can stay in her house with her kids; that's the best thing for them right now.
We went to English correlation for our more southern stake this Sunday and were once again, as always, amazed at how efficient it is. They sent around the schedule of how the two missionaries covering their stake get picked up by two different ward mission leaders early Sunday morning and brought around for the next two hours so they get to every single ward council in the whole stake before any sacrament meeting. And they have the ward missionaries go wake up investigators and get them to church. Our ward council for the Spanish ward this Sunday was two hours of talking about the dangers of white water rafting; we're working on it!
Things for transfers went smoothly though. There were a ton of changes in the mission. I am just once again grateful to be staying with Elder Salazar. It's his birthday on September 13th if anyone wants to send him a letter! The two of us have gotten closer this week and been able to talk a lot more with us being the only ones in the house.
I feel like, just in the past, week my mission has been transforming. I started reading page ten of Preach My Gospel (definition of successful missionary) and a talk called ‘Create Success’ every morning. What that has taught me is that success is measured only by things under our control. Satan tries to tempt missionaries to measure success by things out of their control knowing that will lead to disappointment. It's an important life lesson about being positive and happy that has taken me 15 months to learn and a lot of prayers, but I feel so much better. I am infinitely less stressed than I used to be and feel like I am a good missionary and am very capable of being a good missionary no matter where I am placed. It's a good feeling to think that, and I know it will help me later in life.
I had Elder Salazar finish The Book of Mormon this week; he finished it this morning in personal study, and then the two of us are reading through all of Preach My Gospel this transfer. This will probably be my last transfer with him, so I am trying to just give him as much as I possibly can in a short period of time. He is an awesome missionary. I have no idea how he has been out for so little time and does so well, but he does it. I am grateful for good parents like his preparing their missionaries, and I hope I see more parents doing that across the entire church. We went to an English sacrament meeting this Sunday, and the stake president was there in tears to tell the ward that they needed to stop floating down the river and letting opportunities pass by and be willing to row upstream to take advantage of so many opportunities around them. He warned of how too many people go to church, know no-one else there, and before they know it three families have moved in and out of the house next door, and they never knew any of them! I know I need to be better at playing my part as a missionary in encouraging members to get to know their neighbors and reach out to make friends. It's part of our call to leave our nets as disciples of Jesus Christ (Mosiah 18).
I love being a missionary. It's the greatest thing I have ever done. I remember being eleven years old and watching the Best Two Years and thinking of how much I wanted to be a missionary, and it's finally happening! These are the best two years of my life, and I hope no qualified young man passes it up saying it's not for them, because that's a lie. More than anything, I love Jesus Christ and The Book of Mormon, because The Book of Mormon is the way that I have come to know Jesus Christ. Sometimes I wish I could just read it for hours everyday because of how great I feel after reading it.
This week I got a few emails hearing that my little brother, Jeffrey, got the priesthood. He is an awesome guy, and I wish I could have been there, too. I'm glad he is making such an earnest effort to prepare to be a good missionary one day. I hope everyone is doing well. I miss you all so much but know this is exactly where I need and want to be.
PS Sorry if my letter was preachy. I guess I just didn't have much to write about and was on a spiritual high. I didn't update you on Victoria. In normal circumstances, we would have dropped her by now, but something just won't let me stop going to her even if she isn't progressing. Pray for her.
|The big one would sit on my shoulder and bite at my ear over and over again..didn't hurt just kind of tickled...we both went home with bird poop on our shirts.|