From the Parent of a Missionary
I was thinking about counting how many weeks have gone by in my mission, but I didn’t want to get “trunky,” like we say here in the mish. I just know that I have sent way to many emails to you people! I hope you enjoy this one as much as the rest.
This morning I woke up on the right side of the bed because of an awesome dream that I can´t even remember, so here we go!
This week was filled with patience, humility, suffering, and BLESSINGS! I learned a bit from Ammon in one of the greatest missionary speeches of all time:
“Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.”
Even Ammon, one of the greatest missionaries, was COMMANDED to go and suffer with patience, and THEN the Lord would give him success. You´ve got to suffer a bit, folks, if you want to get blessings in your life!
Somehow the Lord always manages to get me to suffer a bit on P-Day. P-DAy is supposed to be like a day off for us missionaries, but every week we manage to either get lost, sick, frustrated, or any number of things. This week my companion was attacked by the infamous B.U. (which is worse than diarrhea) and we had to move to a new apartment. They kicked us out of our last one because of a flirty 16 year old girl who lived next to our last apartment (hehe, mission rules) but now our new apartment is waaaay better anyways! We conveniently live right above a barber shop, a thrift store, and a television repair shop in a second floor apartment that has two rooms, a private bathroom (without a water heater… if you ever want to wake right up in the morning, try turning on just the cold water in the shower!) and the extra perk of having a roof that is made out of cement, not tin, so the rain doesn´t sound ridiculously loud! I basically love it. And who needs moving trucks… we hired a guy with a pickup truck, crammed all of our stuff into the back, and then hopped in the back ourselves to hold the stuff in place while the guy drove us the three blocks to the new apartment. Moving doesn´t get any better.
On Tuesday we got to go to a really fun meeting called the new missionary and trainer´s meeting. I got to see all of the other trainers and my companion got to see all of the other new missionaries that he came with, and we all sat down and listened as President Stay “took out his whip” as we say here in Guatemala and told us all to start being better missionaries. And to top it all off, we got to eat delicious food! It doesn´t get better than that.
We also had a wonderful zone training meeting. The meetings just never end while you´re on the mission. I had a very humbling moment as everyone in the zone went up one by one and wrote all of their baptismal goals and accomplishments. Almost everyone was able to write that they have had baptisms or at least have baptismal dates, except me and my companion. I know that we are opening up a new area, but I have been struggling my entire mission to get people to baptism. I understand that God has a different plan for each one of us and every place is different, but it was really tough to see that. My companion and I really humbled ourselves and decided to change a lot of things. I don´t really get it, because we are some of the most obedient and hard-working missionaries I know, but I guess we need a little something extra. We´ll see what God´s plan is for this area!
I also went on divisions this week with my district leader, Elder Darrah. I got to go meet a new area this time called Lo de Coy, which is basically a rich neighborhood filled with gated communities. To missionaries, that means NO KNOCKING DOORS, and it´s kind of hard to get investigators! We spent a lot of time doing essentially nothing, and I became grateful for poverty (ironically) that opens up so many doors to the Gospel of Christ.
On Sunday we had some amazing meetings working with branch leaders, and everyone in the branch is super excited about missionary work now that us and the other missionaries are bringing lots of new people to church. They are even making plans with the stake to put a chapel in our area so that we don´t have to take a bus to go to church! That would mean making an extension of the branch and we would basically be in charge of it. Oh boy!
We continue to have immense success with less active members. There is one member, Hermano Queme, who hasn´t been to church in 4 years and has really gone of the path, but is now willing to go back to church. He invites us to eat Tamales every Saturday night, which is pretty cool, and he was SO CLOSE to going to church this week. They whipped out an amazing Guatemalan excuse of “we were getting ready, and when we looked at the clock, church had already started, and we didn´t want to show up late. We´ll go next week for sure though!”
A bunch of other families and investigators are progressing towards baptism. Hermana Miriam finally got her marriage papers figured out and is on the path to get married with her 8 year old grandson next Saturday. My good friend Raul continues to go to church but is really taking his time about accepting baptism. He even survived a bible bash with his evangelical pastor brother and was defending the church and our doctrine. We have two couples who are working on getting married, the Vasquez and Chicol families, and several other less active families who are coming back to church. We continue to see miracles every day in people who are willing to make sacrifices and come unto Christ. People who haven´t gone to church in years become willing at the smallest invitation. I love missionary work!
After watching a huge family fight, a funeral, several sicknesses, and depression, i also know that the Devil is working hard to stop us from moving forward. But nothing stops the work of God. I know that this is his work and I am excited to be a part of it.
Love you all!