Monday, June 24, 2013
Whew! This week was a little bit crazy. I'll start by saying that it rained. And that it still rains. Here is what a normal day is like: wake up, its a little bit cloudy. , sunny, blue skies, HOT. mid morning to afternoon, still beautiful blue skies with almost fake-looking, beautiful white fluffy clouds; still miserably hot. , things start to get crazy. Clouds roll in, it gets dark, FAST. Then the rain comes. Sometimes lightly, and for a little while. Sometimes lightly and for a long time. And sometimes the rain is torrential. It literally rains 9mm bullets of water. And nothing can stop it. My umbrella keeps my head and shoulders nice and dry, but from the waist down, there is no hope. NONE. And a few not so great things happened this week due to the rain. My shoes got wet. Like really wet. And they are waterproof! But waterproof means nothing when you have to walk through streets that become rivers. And....my triple got wet. I was so sad. I had it in a plastic bag in my backpack. Normally my backpack keeps things dry. And the plastic bag is a precaution. But I guess from taking it out and putting it back in my backpack, there were little invisible holes in the bag, and it couldn't save my scriptures. I have dried the triple out and put it under the leg of my desk at night to try to flatten it back out, but it has only worked so well. I figure I'll just get a new one. I only have 4 months of notes and marking, which is a blessing. I probably would have cried if I had 20 months and it got wet. But no big deal, the work continues regardless of the rain. This week we had baptisms! Seven baptisms in the ward, FIVE from our area! It was a crazy night. One of our investigators was baptized by her boyfriend. It took him at least 7 tries to submerge her completely. And then Elder Ibarra from the other area was nervous and baptized their two investigators in such a way that President Glazier (who attended because we had 2 families baptized) called it a 'wrestling move' and said that he never wanted to see that kind of baptism again. I baptized Emma Mendoza de Jimenez, the wife/mother of the Jimenez family. She was so nervous after seeing Fatima baptized 10 times and the other two slammed down and dragged up. So I had to talk her down a bit and explain that it was going to be really easy and that there wouldn't be any problems. Luckily, it WAS really easy and there were no problems. The next day in church, I was supposed to give a talk (they informed me of that night after the baptism at !), but the confirmations and announcements took so long I only had to give a short talk/testimony, even though I had prepared an entire talk. So with all of this stuff, needless to say it was a stressful week. Luckily, my Mom is awesome and had sent me a bunch of goodies. I ate a whole bag of chips in one day, and a whole bag of m&m snack mix in another day! So that helped the stress. Also, I felt really good this week because I beat everyone in my district who would arm-wrestle me. However, the stress is not over. We do NOT know our changes yet. night we should know. And on top of that, I am feeling a whole lot of responsibility because my training is over, and now I am a trained missionary. No excuses now. But there is also a lot of hope before me now. I am a missionary! And with the worldwide training (which was AWESOME!), I feel like I am ready to go. One thing I really liked about the training was the perspective that missionaries are only there to assist in the missionary work of the ward. That is my though for the week; the missionaries are only full-time employees of the ward mission. They NEED the help of the members in teaching, and especially in finding people to teach. Missionary is the Lord's work, and it is to be done by all members of the church in everyday life. So help us out. Introduce us to your friends and neighbors. Think of all of the blessings you have received, the stability that you feel in your life that allows you to have peace and assurance in all of the business and bustle of each week, and pray to know who you can help by sharing the gospel, and for opportunities to share it. I know that the Lord wants to bless us and our friends and families, and He will do so as we reach out in love and act in faith. Entonces, id y trabajad! Hay mucho trabajo que hacer en la viña del Señor. Les agradezco por su apoyo y amor, y siempre oro para que ustedes reciban las bendiciones que están buscando, y que tengan oportunidades de ver las manos de Dios en sus vidas. Los quiero mucho, amigos
Monday, June 3, 2013
8:51 AM (9 hours ago)
So apparently I have been out over 100 days. I didn´t know that until I was told in an email. Here we count by weeks or changes or months, and even then it doesnt mean much. I am about to finish up my 2nd change in the field in a few weeks. crazy how fast it goes. It sounds to me that there is a lot going on at home! Graduations, the division of the mission, and all of the other more normal stuff that seems to fill our days. I still love hearing about everyones lives. It is kind of like a little escape for me. Not that I need an escape, I just really enjoy the short time on Mondays to hear about everyone back home. This was kind of a crazy week. It has rained like crazy. I don't think I have ever seen rain like this before. But the work goes on! And all is well. I have to admit, I was a little homesick this week. My companion Elder Martin goes home in one more change and he is getting ¨baggy¨as we call it here. It kind of rubs off too, so I have been thinking about home a little more than I should. I figure it works both ways though, so I am trying to work super hard and stay super focused so that it might rub off on him. But he makes the decisions as the senior companion in our trio so many times we are subject to his bagginess. Something pretty funny and scary and crazy happened this week. We were walking down a street on the way to dinner, and a drunk man (the son of a member...) was walking toward us. All of a sudden, he just looked at Elder Castillo, and as he approached he pulled his arm back and took a huge swing at him!! Because he was so drunk, he was slow, and Elder Castillo had plenty of time to get out of the way. We then just kind of navigated our way out of that situation, as there was plenty of room to run around him and get out of there. Luckily because we had space, we got out without incident. But believe me, I was ready and willing to put him down had it been necessary. Also this week, President Glazier came and did our morning study and weekly planning with our companionship. That was pretty intense. It was amazing to see that he received the same inspirations for our investigators, even though he has never met them. He was quite satisfied by the way we do things in our companionship, and it was a really neat opportunity to study with him. We also did a pretty funny activity this week. An appointment fell through, and we were near the chapel, so we put out a table with some pamphlets and videos and passalong cards and such and talked to people who passed by. To draw a little more attention, Elder Martin and I sang hymns while Elder Castillo explained to people a little bit about the church and gave them one of the materials. And yes, I did sing harmony. And yes, we sounded awesome. I got my package this week. Not the umbrella yet, but the one with the perfect pushup thingies in there. Thank you Mom (and I assume Dad or Zach as well). The treats are well appreciated. And I don´t know if it is just my weakness, but perfect pushups are hard. Way harder than normal pushups. Elder Martin and I have been doing pushups lately.Elder Martin and Elder Castillo have a meeting, so they´ll pick up my other package if it is there. Right now I don´t need anything else. This week in my Preach My Gospel study, I started underlining all of the promises made to missionaries, and I started circleing every time it uses a form of the word ´apply´. I have also been studying the Book of Mormon in every free moment I get. Studying in Spanish is so awesome, because I have to pay much more attention to the meaning of each word, and I notice a lot of stuff that I have never noticed before. Read the Book of Mormon! I promise you that you will like it. You will. Because it is awesome, and you will feel the Spirit of that book. You will. I don´t have a nifty little quote this week, but here´s something. In I Nefi 8, in the vision of the Tree of Life, Lehi sees that there are innumerable concourses of people, and that many of them are pressing forward to the rod of iron. There are MANY people who are looking for the gospel in their lives. If you are one of those people looking, talk to my family or to the missionaries. They can help you figure it all out. And if you are already walking on the path, help others, because there are many who are looking. Be like Lehi, who when he made it to the tree and had found the perfect happiness that is the Love of God, turned and shouted to his family, and they found the path and were reunited with him. We have some shouting to do. We all know people who we wish had the same happiness we do. Let´s call out to them. Have a great week people!! Pray to know who you can help this week. Then, do all you can to help them. I love you guys. Adios!
P.S. - A few minutes after the picture was taken in the rain, that street was literally a river. Crazy!