|Mosquitos eat right through my socks.|
Monday, June 18, 2012
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Well, this is turning out to be one of the most complicated changes ever for the El Dorado district. We received cambios especiales today. (...emergency transfers?) Elder Maldonado is heading out to Guamuchil tomorrow and Elder Amaller is coming to be my new companion. (He was Elder Schwab's companion in my last district). I'm really excited and sad at the same time, because Elder Amaller is really cool, but so is Elder Maldonado. And Elder Maldonado happens to know the area a lot better than me, because I've hardly been here at all this transfer. I haven't even met many of the new investigators from the last week while I was at seminary. But everything should go as smoothly as things ever go in the mission.
New experience of the week. First car accident! Except I was on a bus. The Culiacán buses are notorious for being like a night club on a roller coaster. They're decked out inside with strobe lights and neon and banda music blasting (some even have big plasma TVs with banda music videos playing). And the drivers are generally insane. Some other missionaries and I were heading to seminary in the morning during the week, and a car tried to cut off the bus, so we ran into it. And then we walked the rest of the way through the city. We were only going like five miles per hour.
Seminary was great. During four days, we had classes with President and Sister Cantú for most of the day, and went out to work in Culiacán for a few hours to apply what we were learning. We learned a lot of really good stuff. The importance of representing Jesus Christ and acting accordingly. Working with the appropriate motives (love for the people and desire to help them come unto Christ). How to utilize specific prayer in order to work miracles and find the elect.
Applying what we were learning during the week went really well. Elder Cruz and I taught a woman named Nancy, whose husband had recently passed away. I've never felt like the plan of salvation applied so well to someone as we explained the doctrine. She came to realize that her husband is being taught the Gospel as well as her, and is probably accepting it and hoping that she does too. It was a very spiritual lesson even though her baby was screaming the whole time. We also managed to have a really cool lesson with a couple who goes to the church of the Jehovah's Witnesses. They had a marker board up on the wall, and on it we drew the cycle of dispensations and apostasies, and the organization of Christ's primitive church as we taught.
Bye! (No luck with photos).
Monday, June 4, 2012
and everyone dies. The stewardess comes in and tells them that they've all kicked the bucket and she'll now be their guide through post-mortality. They go to the spirit world, final judgment, and the three kingdoms of glory and learn about each one. It really turned out successful, and a lot of investigators were able to have a cool, spiritual experience. It was pretty stressful putting everything together, but turned out really fun and we found some new people as a result.
At the end of the event, everyone comes out and Elder Soto and I had a table with a bunch of materials there so we could teach everyone who came out. Araceli, whose sister is a recent convert came to the table and I started teaching her, and we talked about what she thought about baptism and why she hadn't been baptized yet. On the table, I had originally had seven or eight copies of the Liahona, but there was only one left, which I told her to take. She opened it up, and inside,
it had her name written down! The missionary who originally started teaching her had intended to give it to her and her husband, but it never made it for some reason. We both just started laughing by the surprising, seemingly coincidental occurrence. She told me that in the morning, she had been praying to know what path she should take in terms of the Gospel. Receiving that Liahona originally intended for her was a cool little confirmation.
We also had a baptism in branch this week, this crazy kid named Alan. I played guitar at his baptismal service, and we watched the John Tanner movie while he and Elder Soto were changing after the ordinance.
Work hard, work smart. I've been thinking about something lately. I've often felt like there's an unfortunate phenomenon in the mission: Sometimes when I feel like I'm working my absolute hardest and just exhausting myself, I seem to have no success. And then, when I slacken up a bit, success seems to come out of nowhere. I know that diligence is completely necessary, but I've learned that diligence alone isn't enough. Going out and knocking on every door in your area shows that
you're tiring yourself out, but it's probably not the what the Spirit would tell you to do. If I want to have true success, I have to work really hard, and I have to work smart. I have to be in tune with the Spirit and be valorous enough to follow His impressions.
I've also learned that I'm not going to become perfect anytime soon. Maybe eventually, but for now I have to get used to making mistakes and being humble. Often, after I learn a lesson from a trial, I expect to never run into the same problem again, but that's just not how it goes. Line upon line, precept on precept.
Another really cool investigator we're teaching is named Minerva, who is a friend of the recent convert who is Araceli's sister. Or something. We haven't even gone to her house because she lives out in some place called Manguito, where I imagine they eat nothing but tiny mango pies and drink tiny mango water. We had a family home evening
and watched the "Prophet of the Restoration" movie with her and a member family last night. She's progressing really well. In the first lesson, she just said, "This is great! I feel like a niña, learning new things."
Side note, I am currently in COSTA RICA! It's awesome! I'm here with Elder Larkin and Elder Aylesworth for a few hours on our way to Culiacán, where I will be all week for seminary. (That's far, far too long to be out of my area, but seminary is really great). This is the first time I've been in Costa Rica for a year, and I've already run into tons of people I know. Costa Rica is among my favorite areas in the mission.
I also have gained a very strong testimony of fasting this week. Commandments are so cool. I'm starting to feel like they're just a vending machine for blessings. God really blesses us when we obey his laws and are aware of the promised blessings.
So, Zion is extending gradually here in Sinaloa. Here a little, there a little. Cuídense mucho!
Sunday, June 3, 2012
El Dorado is awesome. It's an adventure just riding around the place. Everyone I talk to engages me in crazy stories. For example: Elder Soto and I were teaching a woman in her backyard and a lizard crawled out onto the wall. She said, "Those lizards are really dangerous."
"Why? Are they poisonous or something?"
"No, it's because they eat lots of bugs and stuff."
"What? I don't really see why that-"
"One time, one of our neighbors was making chocolate milk for her daughter, and the lizard fell into the milk and she didn't notice. The little girl drank it and just fell over and died. Those lizards sure are dangerous." Lesson learned. Check chocolate milk for lizards.
We have Nuvia's baptism scheduled for this week. However, due to her complicated situation, it's sort of dependent on us finding a job for her that lets her take Sundays off.
When I first got here, our bikes were broken, so we walked everywhere the first day. My companion ended up with really bad blisters and couldn't walk. So I spent two days running around the area with ward members and I don't know to find investigators I've never met. It's been interesting.
New fruit of the week: Chicos. I think they only exist here in El Dorado. It looks like horse poop on the outside. I can't really compare it to anything. It's... sweet. Rating:7/10