From the Parent of a Missionary
It was a very event filled week here in El Pajon. It started out with my first interview with the President on Tuesday. President Stay really is a man of God, and I know that he receives revelation for the mission. He helped me a lot with the questions I have, and I`m sure I will continue to learn from him. I found out that I will be leaving the same week that Pres. Stay is going to be leaving his mission, so who knows… I might be on the same plane home or something.Tuesday morning our entire district went to another area, San Jose Pinula, for a service project. They are clearing a big field in preparation for building a chapel, and when we got there, they handed us a stick and a machete. The spanish verb is “chopear”, or chopping, I guess. The field was filled with tall grass and bushes, and we cleared a pretty big portion of it. And I got a pretty killer sunburn. But I guess technology is a bit behind here.
We went to our first Branch Council on Wednesday night. We have never been invited to it, and this week my training is focusing on working with ward members, so we decided to just show up. We sat there for about 20 minutes without being acknowledged or anything, and at the end of the meeting Elder Torres finally asked if we were going to discuss investigators. No, they said. We`re focusing on increasing sacrament meeting attendance. Hmm…. That`s logical.
I also had a really weird dream that I think is noteworthy. President Packer died right before our stake conference, and Elder Bednar and Holland changed the conference into a newscast about President Packer`s life. They asked me to be in an interview, but I had forgotten my suit and was unable to join. I think it`s a sign that I need to always be prepared or something.
We also had an exciting meeting with an evangelical pastor this week. We knocked on a door and a woman answered, and the pastor was sitting behind her in the living room. He started to talk with us and explain in a semi-kind manner that our religion was incorrect. When we asked him why and what beliefs were incorrect, he couldn`t tell us anything that we believe. For some reason a large portion of the population believe that we don`t believe in the bible and that Joseph Smith is our God. Silly kids.
Some other exciting events: The 15 of September is Guatemalan Independence Day, and there were some big celebrations. Lots of people go to the Eternal Flame torch in the capital and light a torch of their own, and then run back to their house. Lots of people in the branch did the run, and then there was a big dinner afterwards. That was fun to see. That was Friday night, and on Saturday (the actual independence day) there were parades all day that went through town. People really respect their country here. And as one of the wise elders said in my district, “I didn’t gain an appreciation for my country until I left it.” I definitely feel that way now, being the only American in town.
Saturday night was the wedding of one of our investigators, Jocelin, with her now husband, Alex. It was so great to see them together and so happy. They got married in preparation for her baptism, and have plans to get sealed in a year. Jocelin’s baptism is Saturday!
We also found a couple more investigators this week. One, Vilma, was a convert at the age of 12 but went inactive. She is now a single mom of three and doesn’t remember anything about the church. We are re teaching all of the lessons, and I think she is going to reactivate with her three daughters.
Another investigator, Ruben, is really amazing. I contacted him about 2 weeks ago in his house, and he said we could come back another day, which we did. Every single day of that week. And he was never there. One day he finally opened the door and we taught him the first lesson and gave him a Book of Mormon. Now he is reading and went to church with us on Sunday, and feels like he has received an answer to his prayers. The Lord is guiding us to people ready to receive our message.
Finally, Sunday was branch conference, and it was a big one. After 14 years of being a branch, El Pajon became a ward yesterday! It was really interesting to see the change, and I`m grateful i was there for it. Now we have a new ward council and can start over.
I had a good P-day today. We went bowling.
I hope everyone has a good week! Until next Monday!