This was another crazy week. We had thought that our hospital woes would be over. Elder Cifuentes came home tuesday from the hospital, but yesterday, while we were in the office, he got way sick again, and he went back to the hospital. Thats 3 trips to the hospital in just less than two weeks, with each trip being several days long. He ended up having surgery again last night, and they put his drain back in (which they had taken out a few days earlier). I spent 2 days and slept 2 nights in the hospital in a row last week so that Elder Muñoz and Elder Albrechtsen could get some stuff done in the office. And it looks like we are going to have to keep rotating who stays with him and who gets to work until everything gets figured out. The doctor said that he is not going to be able to work normally for at least 2 weeks. So these next few weeks are going to be a mess as well. But, in the midst of all of this craziness, Elder Muñoz and I taught 2 lessons yesterday. Woohoo! One to a new family and one to a father of a family we had already been teaching. The rest of his family wasnt there, but he invited us in and wanted to chat a bit. He is a really great guy. He told us that he is a little bit hesitant (even afraid) to get baptized because he understands that baptism is a lifelong commitment, and he is afraid of failing along the way. He has a lot of trust in us, which is something that I think is pretty amazing about the mission. We have only visited this man 3 times, but he tells us about his worries as a husband and father, and about trying to do the right things for his family. It is odd that people just open up their lives to a couple of foreign young men. That was a nice way to get back into our work in the area. However, on top of the hospital stuff, I got a call from the financial secretary of the area, and he wanted to have an urgent meeting with me. He came into the office and explained to me that a few things have been done incorrectly in our financial office for some time, and a few things have not been done at all for a few months. These are things that I had never even heard of, so it looks like I am going to have to either call the financial secretary from the other mission to come explain some things or ask Elder Earl, one of the current assistants who was the financial secretary a while ago. Because of all of this, I have been on the phone or emailing administration every day to get some things sorted out. Anyway, between all of these stressful new things and the hospital trips and rotations, we have now worked 2 p-days in a row. I just barely sat down to write a few minutes ago, and I will most likely be back to work after I finish. Talk about LAME! But the weeks go by so fast here that before I know it, it'll be p-day again, and if we aren't working, I'll get to relax a bit (at least for a few hours...). We had an elder go home a few days ago. He was having some heart issues (even got to spend a few days with us while he had a monitor on - see picture), and after the results of that test came in, President decided to send him home. Kind of crazy how fast it all happened after the decision was made. I found something pretty cool this week. Elder Albrechtsen showed me a talk/letter type thing that talked about how we as missionaries can have the Spirit with us more strongly, guiding us in what we say and do in every moment of every day. It involves fasting and praying to know what things we do are impeding us from hearing and following the Spirit. Then, once you have a list of things you need to eliminate, you spend 40 days praying each day in the morning and in the night to ask for the help you need to stop doing those things and giving a report about how well you did during the day. You add things to the list as they come to your mind, and one by one you eliminate them, until at the end of 40 days, you have overcome each of them. Most of the time they are little things like getting angry at someone easily or thinking negatively about them. Within these 40 days, the goal is to remove each 'pavilion' that could be preventing you from receiving the personal revelation that you seek, and that you are entitled to. So this week I invite you to think and pray to find things that may be stumbling blocks for you. Little things. You don't have to do this 40 day thing, but I am going to. It will be interesting to see what little things we do that we don't even notice but that have an effect on us every day. But lets look for some pavilions to take down. I'm sure a lot of them won't even be that tough. But others will be. That's why we need to be willing to make sacrifices and depend on the Lord to help us with what we can't do alone. He gives us these weaknesses so that we will be humble and turn to Him for help. And when we do so, He makes those things strong unto us. I love you guys. Thanks for being so awesome. Thanks for your prayers and concerns. Mom, thanks for the package. You're the best mom. I'm sure everyone already know that though. Have a great week. Do something good.
p.s. the pictures are of the Elder who went home, Elder Cifuentes, and some explanations I drew out for him while we were bored in the hospital.