From the Parent of a Missionary
The subject of the email has nothing to do with the actual content — I just never know what to put for the subject line.
This upcoming week is the last week of my training — Week 12 in the field. That means that I could have transfers next Tuesday. We find out on Sunday night if either one of us is leaving or not, then we have Monday to say goodbye to the area and to pack, and we leave early Tuesday morning. Both Elder Torres and I have the feeling that at least one of us is leaving, but we’ll see!
I have seen how much both I and Elder Torres have grown in these twelve weeks. Not only is he a great friend and we have lots of fun together, but we have grown as a companionship. We received several comments from members this week telling us that they could see a difference between us and other missionaries, and that we were really dedicated and obedient. One member told us in an FHE last night that we worked really well together as teaching and that we do a good job of inviting the spirit, and that was from an RM. Boo-yah. But I really have seen how much we have grown together. We switch off well during teaching and we both do our part. We have also become a lot more efficient — we are teaching more with members, and we’re setting up a lot of appointments in the chapel and in member’s homes. A lot of our investigators that weren’t budging are now moving forward. And even in situations where it seems like I will have to break a rule or two, I have always found a way to be obedient. I made a promise to my stake president to be 100% obedient, and I’m still going strong!
In other words, if I have to leave I will be sad. I have come to really know my area and love the people and the investigators here.
This week was a pretty big week in Guatemala. We had Halloween and Dia de los Santos and Dia de los Muertos; Oct 31, Nov 1, and Nov 2, respectively. Halloween here was actually really lame. All of the members said they were going to be dressing up and having parties, and then when the day came they had normal clothes with some fairy wings attached, or something of equivalent lameness. We had a humble little party with one of the members, but then we got an unfortunate call from our zone leaders — we had to be in our house by 5 and stay there. So we have 5 hours to think about what everyone was doing at home for Halloween while we sat there and played checkers. Wooooo.
Dia de los Santos, or all-Saints Day, is the real holiday here. Halloween is a borrowed holiday from US influence. On Nov 1 everyone buys a whole bunch of flowers and then there is a massive migration to the cemetery, where everyone pays respect to their ancestors. We didn’t do anything to celebrate it, but we did enjoy the fact that entire families were walking down the street, and did a little bit of contacting.
A lot of our investigators are moving along, like I said. Eluvia and Gumarcino, for example, are finally finding solutions to their problems. He found a job and they found someone to help them with their divorce at very little cost, so that she can eventually get baptized. I might not see it, but I think she will be baptized one day. Selvin, the boyfriend of one of the members, is also moving along. He’s really excited to get baptized and wants to, but they have to get married first as well. Their marriage is in the planning stages right now, but I think they’re doing it in January. Once again, I might not see the baptism, but I have no doubt that it will happen. Ruben is currently 8 days without smoking or drinking, and he’s starting to have withdrawals. But he is showing a surprising amount of diligence and spiritual strength. I think he will make it. He didn’t have a job before, which was part of his problem, but he found a job as a street vendor, and he is doing very well selling candy in the streets.
One thing I have noticed is that Elder Torres and I are having more success with Inactive members than with investigators. We had a whole bunch of less active members show up to church this week. It’s almost a disappointment that we don’t report those numbers, because I think they’re just as important. Vilma, for example, had her first interview with the bishop and is really becoming part of the ward. She got the assignment to pass out the Liahonas as well. And her daughters love us. She is having a couple of problems with her roommates not liking Mormonism, but she is pressing forward and fighting to go to church. She gave up coffee, agreed to tithing, and is making a bunch of other sacrifices without any problems.
Josseline had a couple of problems as well. Her RM husband has been helping her a lot, so we unfortunately didn’t visit her very much. But when we went on Saturday night, she told us that she was having a testimony crisis. Satan was attacking her hard and she had a lot of doubts if the Book of Mormon was true or not. We had a great lesson on trials and testimony, and yesterday so got up to bear her testimony for the first time. It was a powerful experience.
I’ll finish off with a spiritual thought that I shared the other day. In Helaman 15:7-9, Samuel the Lamanite tells of the conversion of the Lamanites. They were converted by the prophets and the scriptures and came to be stedfast in the faith, abandoning their weapons of war and came to have a fear of sin. What are our weapons of war that we need to abandon for our conversion? Is it pride, envy, a grudge, a guilty pleasure, or some other sin? Let us abandon our weapons of war against God, be converted, and lose our desire to sin, and we will be raised up at the last day.
I love you all!