Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 18, 2014

Wow, tomorrow I complete 5 months in my mission. Once again, I'm stuck thinking..."Huh, only 5 months." and "What in the world happened to those 5 months?"

This week has definitely been an interesting one. 
We had a FHE with Imer and his family. He had said that he wanted to have one and had a class and activity in mind but wasn't sure how a FHE worked so he invited us to join them. It was good....at first. When it was Imer's turn to give the class he talked about the family and their responsibilities. He totally flattened everyone out, basically telling them that they weren't even close to fulfilling their family responsibilities. It didn't help that just about all of it was aimed at his older brother who likes his alcohol and has told us that when he's ready, he'll listen to our message. By the time we started the activity of writing down the bad things about us and preparing ourselves to ask for forgiveness from everyone in the family, his brother decided that it would be a perfect time to leave. My companion and I will be having another FHE with them tonight and have decided to focus on love within the family.

Our mission received it's second pair of senior missionaries and they are fantastic! I positively adore this couple. They're from Culiacan Sinaloa, Mexico which is in the north, and are Elder and Sister Arellano. Elder Arellano is positively hilarious and loves his jokes and thoroughly enjoys combining his love of humor with his love of the gospel. The first day we met, on Tuesday, he started telling me that once his ancestors were beautiful like me, fair with light eyes. However, in the land with his beautiful ancestors were ugly people, with dark skin and bad attitudes. Thoroughout time, the uglies fought with the pretty people and eventually killed them all. However, there is a promise that one day, when the uglies accept Christ as their Savior, it would not be many generations before they became beautiful again. He told me, "That is the hope that I hold onto." XD He's hilarious and although he's only been here a week, I've learned so much from him, for example, he explained that the reason why we have the greater sin when we don't forgive someone is because we have put ourselves in the place of God, claiming that we have the authority to forgive sins. I know, I was a little shocked too.
His wife is wonderful too. She's super sweet and is just so ready to work. She reaches out to everyone that she sees. She's an ex-missionary who served in Northern Mexico when it was just one mission. She loves to join us when we contact in the street but hasn't quite figured out how to do so yet. We'll be walking in front of her and her husband while we're teaching about the area and introducing them to members and when we stop to contact someone, her husband will keep walking but she'll stop and join us to listen to the person we're contacting. It's funny but a little uncomfortable for the person we're contacting because it adds additional pressure to them when people start adding the to crazy group that wants to help save their soul. 
On Wednesday, we had a zone meeting. The whole mission is focusing more on contacting people in the street. However, our zone is focusing not only on contacting people in the street but also on the bus....the whole bus.
How do you contact a whole bus? Well, you get on the bus with your companion, ask the bus driver's permission to share something with the people on the bus and usually they say yes, then your companion goes to the back and you stand at the front of the bus, trying to maintain your balance while holding a Book of Mormon in your hand and testifying of it's truthfulness. Then you and your companion pass by each person and ask if you can share more of this message with them and their family. It's pretty intense. Just about every time I've done it, I just feel this power and authority deep within me as I testify of the Book of Mormon. There's a strange confidence that comes from holding high a Book of Mormon. Without that confidence, I don't think that I could stand in front of 25 people I don't know and declare who I am and why the Gospel is important. Although, most of the time, we'll only get 1 address, I have to remind myself that maybe that one person is prepared for the Gospel and if we hadn't of planted our feet on the bus and shared the Gospel, they could have waited for a long time before they got the chance to hear it.
We've been struggling a little trying to teach our 10 year old orphan Martin. He wouldn't really pay attention during lessons and my companion and I would get a little frustrated because he didn't understand what we were trying to teach. It's wasn't until this week while I was asking for help from the Lord to know how we could help Martin that I realized that the problem was with Martin but with us. We were trying to teach him like a teenager instead of the 10 year old child he is. I started asking around for advice on how to teach kids and got some awesome advice from my zone leader and my MTC companion. We decided to introduce him to Captain Moroni. We asked if he wanted to be like Moroni. With the most excitement that I've seen in him yet, he said yes. As we explained things we would tell him of how it would help protect him and help him become like Captain Moroni. Then, when he accepted a commitment to follow a commandment, he would get to draw a piece of armor on his Capitan Martin self that we had him draw. It's turned out to be quite effective.
We have a new investigator named Valeria. She's from the south mission and we got permission to teach her in her house. We went to find her yesterday for our appointment and just got lost. Luckily, we saw some elders down the street and started chasing them down. They were confused why we were in the wrong mission but luckily, they had taught Valeria before and knew exactly where she lived.

We talked in church on Sunday. It was quite interesting because my companion just flattened everyone out. It was subtle and without anger but I'm pretty sure that everyone felt it, mainly because they told me. My companion said that I was a little more loving than she was and thank goodness the Arellanos spoke after us because otherwise I don't think the ward would have been too happy.
It feels like things are just running and everything is just a blur sometimes but I'm so excited for this week and can't wait to see how the Lord is going to bless these people we are teaching.

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