Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lemon Tree

July 13, 2009


I complete 4 months in my mission and 2 months in Chile over the weekend. Time is going by so fast I can hardly hang on to it.

Remember my misiĆ³n scripture? In Romans 1:15-17 about having no shame in the gospel of Christ? Well I can tell you confidently that I have no shame in the gospel of Christ! Two events this week are evidence of this.

First, last Monday we retrieved bikes from an area that was closed and as you can imagine they are a lot of fun to ride with skirts. My bike is too small for my legs and that makes it even worse. While riding back along the road from an area called Santa Rosa I thought how funny we must look to the cars passing us. Two twenty something girls riding bikes that are two small with skirts! Ha ha…yeah I laughed at this thought. I really don’t like riding the bikes because of several reasons including that it destroys my skirts, but there is work to be done in the far away areas of our sector and we need to find new people to teach. So I am just going to keep thinking about how funny we look and laugh about it.

Second, we had a lesson on the street curb with a bunch of laughing teenagers. We had contacted a Alexis the week before and had a hard time finding him in his house, finally we had set up a time for Saturday evening. We arrived and he was sitting on the curb outside his house with three of his friends. We asked him if he remembered our appointment and he said yes, but it didn’t seem like he wanted to go inside his house, so we just started the lesson right there in the street with his friends snickering. We asked if it was ok to start with a hymn, gave him a hymnal and I sat down between him and his friend. We started singing- can you imagine this? People are passing by in the street and these teenagers are astonished that we are singing hymns to them in the street. Ha ha ha. Oh and you know how wonderful my voice is! Despite the slightly awkward and humiliating start we had a wonderful lesson. Alexis is 21, working to save up money for school, and shows promise because he vocalizes his doubts concerning what we have taught. We also have another youngster Pierro that we started teaching last week and he is the same, has a lot of questions. I am excited to continue teaching them.

Juan....hhhmmm. Juan is our worry right now. Our leaders always want to talk about Juan and why he isn’t baptized yet. His progress has stopped, we called him Sunday morning for church and he said he was coming, but never came. We tried various times to visit him last week and he wasn’t home. The last time we visited him was last Wednesday and he still had lots of concerns about not having enough knowledge. When Ha. Spielmann asked about when we could have his baptismal interview, he said that he didn’t have time last week and that this week would be better. I knew that this wasn’t the problem, that he has something else bothering him and so acting like myself I said, "Juan you are never going to have more time. Time is not your problem there is something else. We are here only to help you. We are here serving missions because we have something really special in our lives and need to share the happiness it brings with others. We don’t want to pressure you into baptism, you need to be ready for it and feel ready. But time is not the problem." When I related this experience to our zone leader he kept saying, "No, you seriously said that." I only told him the first part though the part about being brash with the time is not your problem. I continued with nicer words and hopefully conveyed that we are only here to help him, that we want the best for him. Sometimes I feel like we push baptism too hard and I want people to know that it is not just about the baptisms it is about improving lives. The baptismal interview for Juan is set for tomorrow night, we will see what happens. I am trying to have hope because without hope life is a lot harder. I have seen changes in the life of Juan and this is what really matters, but to continue his progress he needs to be baptized and receive the gift of the holy ghost.

I want to leave you with my favorite part of the week. We went to Santa Rosa on our bicycles which is out in the country and reminds me a lot of grandpa and grandma Arnold’s ranch. We were there with a recent convert Felipe, he is 13 and I love him to pieces. After teaching a short lesson we stopped along the dirt rode and picked oranges off a tree and enjoyed them in the sun. What could be better than this, seriously??? Yes, you can be jealous Mom and Dad, I have forgotten for weeks to tell you that we have a lemon tree in our yard outside our house!!!

Love you all, have a great time in Florida, I am a little bit jealous,

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