Monday, October 21, 2013

One day, I'm going to learn this freaking language.

YES! English time!

Man, what a week. My mind is kinda scattered right now, because we're in what they call a "Locotorio" which is where everyone goes to use the internet. So there's some weird latino music in the background, and pretty much everyone is playing Grand Theft Auto. Basically, it's the opposite of where I'd feel comfortable writing about spiritual experiences. But I'm trying to make the most of it.

So, we've been having a lot of trouble with our investigators progressing. They are still awesome, and I love them so much. They're generally really excited to have us talk to them about the gospel, and are really sincere when making commitments, but they almost never follow through. Once again, we had none of them show up to church, or even be home when we came to pick them up. I get the feeling that they think talking with the missionaries is all the spiritual guidance they need, even though we're blatantly telling them they have to act. As of right now, we have no progressing investigators, and there are only two Sundays left this transfer, which means no more baptisms. I'm kind of bummed, because like I said, I love these people, and I want to see them progress. But it really shouldn't matter how long it takes them to do so, as long as they do come unto Christ. We're trying now to focus on getting them to keep their commitments.

So I still have hardly any idea what people are saying. But I keep running across scriptures in my Personal Study about opening your mouth and speaking. For example here's a nice and humbling one: Doctrine and Covenants 60:2. Yep. So I've been trying really hard at saying everything that I'm prompted, and it's actually been pretty awesome! I've been praying during Personal Study that I could find something to share with an somebody, and lift them spiritually. During one lesson, a less active woman shared that she feels like something is missing from here life, even though she is praying and reading the scriptures often. I shared a scripture that I had studied that morning about how the people were filled when they partook of the Sacrament. Then I explained in slow, broken Castellano about how even though the Sacrament is only a crumb of bread, and a drop of water, they were filled. Not with the food, but with the Spirit. I told her that by taking the Sacrament, we show our willingness to live all five parts of the Gospel: Demonstrating our faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, being worthy after repenting of our sins, renewing our baptismal covenants, feeling the Holy Ghost testify that our sins are forgiven, and doing this whole process every week. I told her that's why she feels something missing, and she liked it so much that she asked for the reference and marked it in her own scriptures. In Doctrine and Covenants, it also says that when moved upon by the Holy Ghost, the words of the Lord's Elders "become scripture". (Doctrine and Covenants 68:1-4) It's been really amazing to see that happen.

I've also been praying like crazy to understand the people. I try really hard to understand what they're saying, but it's easy to get lost in the discussion. Also, there's a new problem: some of these people are just down right insane. Haha, it doesn't help that I have to fill in the holes myself, so sometimes I'm just left utterly confused. For example, we have an investigator named Segundo, and we were teaching him the Word of Wisdom. The whole time he would say "Oh, logically" as if it made perfect sense. Then he would go on about how "we shouldn't eat potatoes that aren't orgainic because the preservatives are addicting and bad for us." Or better yet, "we should only eat fruit from trees that have roots that are a certain length. Anything different than 40-50 cm will bring bad fruit." ...I don't even know. The important thing is that he agreed to live the Word of Wisdom. As long as He abstains from the five things we discussed, and tries to eat his organic potatoes in balance with the other fruits and grains of the field, than I guess there's no harm.

I have another crazy story. The other Elders in our area are Elder Fuentes and Elder Marchant, (the Chileans). They're in the nicer part of San Ignacio, and they still had their bikes when I got here. But while they were riding, they were jumped by 10-15 guys who kicked E' Marchant's tire from underneath him, grabbed his backpack, and he and his companion had to take off running. They were at the police station reporting their stolen bike and backpack pretty much all day. Then an officer started talking about religion to them, and asked about, of all things, the Law of Chastity. They talked about it, took out the pamphlet, then somehow moved into the Restoration. She was so interested, she gave them her contact information, and they told the missionaries in that area about her. So, with all said and done, the Lord let them be roughed up by a bunch of thugs, so that they could report it to an officer who is interested in the Church because of the Law of Chastity. Uh, what? Yep, the Lord sure works in mysterious ways. But whatever works, right? Hahaha, it still makes me laugh.

Okay, finally, I want to share one of my journal entries this week, attached as a picture. Most of the time my journal is just the ramblings of a lost 19 year old in a foreign country with a few recognitions of spiritual experiences. But this entry in particular is special to me. As I began writing, I felt inspired. By about half way through, I felt as if God was talking to me by direct revelation through the things that I was writing. My testimony really grew about my purpose as a set apart missionary. It was a really cool experience for me.

Also, something totally out of the blue. I was looking through some of the old copies of the Spanish Liahona, and in the May 2013 edition, on Page 121, there's none other than Haley Brunsdale! I don't know if she's left on her mission yet or not, but somebody please tell her for me.

¡Hasta la próxima semana!

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