October 17, 2011
Wow the mission is crazy. I don’t understand how much happens in so short of time. This week was a lot of crazy hassles and to make things worse, it rained. I thought I had finished the raining season but we got hit with a tropical storm. It’s not supposed to leave until Tuesday. I’m wearing my “Sunday” shoes (my eccos that I’ve had forever that I try to only wear on Sundays to keep one pair nice) because my other two pares are soaked and it hasn’t gotten very warm to heat them up
This week was a lot of crazy stuff. First was a baptism. We had plans to baptize 3 of a family of four (the dad still wasn’t sure). This week we found out that the mom and the dad weren’t married so… kind of burst my bubble a little bit. I felt super bad but its part of what they have to do if they want the blessings. We did have the baptisms for the two kids. It was a crazy one. The younger brother was afraid of getting drowned. The first time he didn’t go under and he started clinging to the walls. He eventually got back to his senses and let my companion try again. I told my companion to force him down and it worked. His older sister was scared too, but she knew better so she just dealt with it. They got baptized though.
Another cool thing has been a guy named Felipe. I think I talked a little about him in my letter last week. He was about to get baptized but at the last minute he said he wasn’t legally married. So I get to inherit him. He’s already read the Book of Mormon. It was pretty cool to have another one of those investigators. He’s pretty ready. We ran out of things to teach him so we taught him how to present the Book of Mormon and he presented it to his wife. He is reading the Book of Mormon and Bible for about two hours in total every day. It’s nice to have investigators like that.
The other couple that we are teaching is coming along. They are George, and his soon to be wife, Marleni. They are making me stretch a little as far as teaching goes. I need to find new ways to teach them but everything is coming along well.
Now that I’m a district leader I get to do baptismal interviews. This week I did 5 and they all passed. The first one was in a place called Tulum. It was crazy because the kid I as going to interview was taken to work by his dad and we had to find things to do for four hours. The second, third and fourth were members of a family. I got really stressed out because there were problems and phone calls to president - baptism by fire kind of thing. Then yesterday I did another one and it was fine. It’s crazy to be in this spot. I feel like I've graduated grade school, skipped junior high and gone straight to high school. Now I have to be “grown up” and be more organized, sharper, more exact. It’s pushing me to be better.
This spiritual thought comes from an interview that I had with one of the elders from my district. This elder has a new greenie, opening an area, becoming senior companion, and has 3 months in the field. He was a little bit unhappy with how things were going on. He talked about how he didn’t do anything right all the time. I talked to him about how we needed to be patient not only with the people around us but also with ourselves. It hit me one day, “there would be no salvation if there was no patience.” And of course our examples of patience are our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, who patiently are waiting to help us.
Well it’s short this week but it doesn’t mean I love you any less,
October 24, 2011
I just finished reading all the emails and seeing all the pictures and let me tell you what- I loved them! I wish it was like that every week (hint, hint to those who haven’t written in a while). This week had some crazy ups and downs.
There is an investigator Felipe that we have been working with. Well we haven’t had to work with him very much, he’s pretty self working. He’s over halfway through the Book of Mormon on his second time around and he’s reading the Bible. We were trying to get everything planned to have his wedding be this week, but it wasn’t happening. The only time the offices here would be open to marry him was a Thursday and his wife has a double shift every Thursday. So we married them today and he got baptized today. However that didn’t stop him from giving a talk in church on Sunday. It was pretty cool he quoted scriptures from the book of Mormon and everything.
There is a couple here (Marleni and Jeorge) who are more or less coming along. The only problem is well… there are a few problems. One is that they aren’t married (which seems to be a common theme here. I haven’t found a married investigator yet here that’s an adult.) Jeorge use to be a whole different kind of guy, and his future parent-in-laws weren’t very happy about them getting married because of who he was. Now that he has started to change, he wants to get married and set everything strait. The only problem is he wants to go talk to his future mother in law. He can’t do that for about another month….. grrr! Also Saturday we got a text from him so we called him up. He told us his wife was dying. That didn’t sound too good. We ran over there (literally ran) and checked it out. She had serious headaches and it had been going on for three days. In a few hours, she said that it hit even worse. It was the worse pain she had ever felt. But the paramedics came so I think they took care of it. They are struggling a little bit.
Another person who has been struggling a bit well… me. Thursday I had a temperature and I didn’t think much of it so I went to work. I came back home finally in the night at about six to check how high my temperature was and I was up to 102… oops! I spent Thursday night, Friday and most of Saturday in bed. It was rough but I made it through. I can’t believe how long it’s taking to get back to 100% and getting back in the groove.
Other than that it hasn’t been super crazy. I have heard that there is supposedly a tropical storm headed this way that could become a hurricane. True? The source isn’t 100% reliable but it could be worth something to check into. Something else that’s way different about this area than those others is that there are a lot of tourists here. Every time I go to Wal-Mart to do my weekly shopping I see people from not just the states but from all over the world (even one time a couple said, “Oh look it’s the missionaries.”) You can even pay in dollars here! How crazy is that!
Well I got to get going. One of the things that I have seen this week especially being sick is that our Heavenly Father knows who we are and how we feel. What a comfort to know that we are not left alone. We struggle through this life and often feel that we are inadequate or that we aren’t worth our Heavenly Father’s time. Or in a trial, we feel that we are so alone, with no one at our side. However, we are not, because of that act about two thousand years ago. Christ our heavenly brother suffered himself to be taken prisoner and to take upon himself everything. And in doing so, he had to do it alone. Now because he did it alone, we never had the need to be alone. We can repent pray and talk to our Heavenly Father and feel the warmth from the Spirit, and have the knowing feeling that he is watching us and he loves us.
October 31, 2011
Well, ya it was a crazy week. We had a lot of plans go wrong and a lot of changes, but learning to cope with changes is one of the things that we get to learn in the mission.
Before I forget mom don’t worry I did get my toenail fixed like a month ago. I went to a toe nail doctor (yeah that’s right they have doctors specifically for toenails) and I got everything fixed. There was a pretty good chunk that had gotten ingrown but it didn’t even bleed. Everything was leading up to me going through a lot of pain and blood being everywhere, but ´twerent nothing. I walk around fine without any problems. So please don’t worry J
The biggest thing of the week was hurricane. Tuesday we had interviews with president and he told us that we had to go to Wal-Mart and pick up eggs to make hard boiled eggs and tuna (neither of which I was very excited to eat). Also they told us to pack for five days because there was a possibility of going to Merida. We had plans on Wednesday to go with the zone leaders and camp out the storm until then. However, things changed. At five in the morning on Wednesday, we got a call and we went to the bus stop and we went to Cancun, from there we went to Merida. President said that we had to leave because he was thinking about the report that he would have to give to one of our parents if something happened to us. We were in Merida from Wednesday in the afternoon until Saturday in the morning. We stayed in Merida and worked in the area of the assistants. They just changed areas so we were helping them open it so it was strait knocking doors and getting in and teaching. It was pretty crazy. We talked with a ton of people and we even taught an almost atheist. He said that our look on life was beautiful and that he wished he could believe in it. We did set up some baptismal dates and it was almost hard to leave the area again. At 5:30 in the morning, we had to go back to the bus station to get headed back to Playa. It was good to be back in Playa.
Shortly after we came back, we went to work and we were checking on a referral when a lady came up to us and asked us to talk to her family. We talked and they all agreed that the house didn’t have a lot of peace and that this is what the needed. Under further investigation this could be a pretty special family. Everyone will have to have an interview for one reason or another, but they seem to be willing to work on things. They even gave us a ride to our house after the lesson. They have a few houses and a little bit of land that they rent out and here in Playa it’s expensive to rent so they are living well off that. The dad even has a porche! It could be a sweet family of 6 though.
Two more people that are new. One is a girl who is 16 named Naida. She grew up in the Catholic Church, but wasn’t satisfied with the answers that she was getting so, she left the church. Then she said that she saw missionaries all over Playa (which is true, there are 10 missionaries here in Playa) and finally one of them contacted her and she said she would accept a visit from us. Her mom isn’t super thrilled but she, the girl Naida, is pretty into it along with her brother. Also there is a lady that was a reference too. Her soon to be husband is a member and she had gone to church and talked with members quite a bit. Teaching her is easy and fun because she is acceptive to everything. She is about 30 and her name is Claudia. Her soon to be husband and is an ex chef and says that someday they are going to invite us to dinner. I’m down with that.
The spiritual thought comes from something one of the assistants said while I was working in Merida. “There is nobody who is more worried about the missionary work than the Lord. No matter how much we worry about it, we can only do so much. He however is in charge of this work and he invests a lot of time and knowledge into each missionary. He will not let such a valuable asset go to waste. Sure, the plans will fall but the hour and the work that the Lord wants to be done in that hour won’t. So when the lesson falls, don’t worry, don’t get frustrated, trust in the Lord that there will be something in the work that He wants you to do.” Applying this to “normal life” sometimes we have plans all figured out where we think that everything is perfect. But as usual things change. We need to remember to not worry. As long as we are on the Lord’s errand he will not let a daughter or son of God be forgotten. The Lord is in control, and as the standard of truth says, “The standard of truth has been erected, and no unhallowed hand will stop the work from progressing.”