From the Parent of a Missionary
I had a pretty interesting week. I guess I should explain something first — missions are organized into 6 week cycles, or changes. Every 6 weeks you have the possibility of being transferred or staying in your area, and every 6 weeks people leave and enter the mission. Training is a 2 change cycle, so I didn’t change this time, but I`’ in my second change now. At the beginning of every change, we have a zone meeting, which we had this Tuesday. We have some excellent zone leaders in Zona Guatemala, and I learned a lot.
This week was a week of firsts. Like I may have mentioned before, we have a whole other city in our area called Piedra Parada, but unfortunately it is a 40 minute walk down/up a huge hill. So we had never gone there before Wednesday, when one of the members who lives there took us on a tour. Piedra Parada is even bigger and more advanced than El Pajon is, and we haven’t even touched it. So that was fun to see — there is a massive amount of work to do as missionaries.
On Thursday, we did another division with the district leader. Since we’re in a new change, he has a brand new companion, Elder Cratty, from Las Vegas. His Spanish is terrible and he is as green of a missionary as they come. So even though I’m still in training, I was senior companion for a couple of days. It was pretty scary at first, and I had to take the lead in all of the lessons and in all of our contacting. But I learned a ton in those two days — since I had to teach everything to him, I had to learn it for myself. I’m not sure who learned more – him or me. But we had a very successful couple of days, and we worked really hard for a couple of greenies.
I also realized how much my Spanish has come along from that experience. When we are discussing the Gospel, I have no problems understanding and holding a conversation. When we stray into other topics, a lot of times I just don’t have the vocab, but now I can pick out the words I don’t know and ask what they mean. My Spanish is exponentially increasing. I also had my FIRST DREAM IN SPANISH this week! That was really cool. I don’t even remember what it was about. All I remember is that the first thing I thought when I woke up was that “Hey, I had a dream in Spanish.”
I also had my first dog attack this week. The dogs in Guatemala are crazy – almost everyone has one, but all of the dogs just roam the streets and bark at everyone. So there have been plenty of times when a couple of dogs have charged at me, but I just stand there and look at them and they stop 5 feet in front of me. I ain’t scared of no dogs. So this week I was just knocking a door and a dog came out of nowhere and tried to bite my leg. I hadn’t even done anything to it. Luckily it only got my pant leg and I kicked it away. So that was exciting.
We set two baptismal dates this week: one with Ruben and one with Eduardo Tiulcal, both for the 10 of November. We taught Ruben the Word of Wisdom, and he committed to quit smoking. We gave him a really powerful blessing, and he has a big desire to change. And Eduardo thinks that the Book of Mormon is true already. Unfortunately, we had no one come to church this Sunday, which was a first for me in the mission. We were a little down hearted, but I have tried to keep a positive attitude through it all. We have had a lot of success here. We have a lot more investigators than most missionaries and we already have 1 baptism (Josseline) and two reactivations (Vilma and Lucy). So I am one happy missionary.
I forgot to give a shout out to all of my friends who are now able to go on a mission thanks to the historic announcement in conference! I hope all of you girls and all of my younger friends really consider going on a mission. I can already feel that the mission is changing for the better, and it is a change that will affect me for the rest of my life. And besides, the girls can just leave on a mission now instead of waiting around for 2 years for their missionary to come back. I’m sure BYU is going to be really different when I get back, but whatevs.
I wanted to share a quick scripture that has really touched me. In Mosiah 5:2, it talked about how the people of King Benjamin gained a testimony from the word and THEN received a change of heart. True conversion involves a change of being, not just a testimony. Try to convert yourself to the gospel. I know that the first convert I should have in the mission is me.
Have a great week!