Wednesday, July 29, 2009
July 20, 2009
While I was writing to Presidente May just barely, the song "Dead and Gone" by JT and TI came on in the internet cafe and as Matthew and Jonathan know I love this song. So it was a little bit hard to write about my spiritual experiences while fighting the urge to listen. After not hearing this song for 4 months and only listening to hymns, I still think it has a good message. It is about how important our decisions are and the eternal consequences they can have. Like Dad shared in his testimony, living the commandments really is the only way to have lasting happiness in this life. With our investigators that we plan to have this week(more on this later) Hermana Spielmann and I are really trying to develop strong commitments. Because our investigators can’t change or find the importance of prayer and the truth of our message if they don’t do something.
Second, I like that in this song it says we can look to both sides and find no one but when we look up to our Heavenly Father we find strength and help. I think this is true, our friends come and go, they won’t always be there for us. Our family is the most important institution we have but still our family is right now mortal and can’t always be with us. Like right now, Ben and I are far from home and we as well as all of you have to rely on the mercy and protection of our Heavenly Father. It is through Him and Jesus Christ that I receive strength from your prayers.
This week was for sure the toughest of my mission so far. I realized a lot of weaknesses that I have and how they are keeping me from being the best missionary I can be. We had to leave all of our investigators this week, because none are progressing and willing to really change. This was hard. Realizing that we won’t be spending much time with these people in the future. To have zero investigators and start anew is a little bit stressful. I understand a little bit more the work that Ben does in Washington, but I still can’t completely understand because he has to search for the Hispanic people. Here I am completely surrounded by them and have to find those that are ready for the gospel.
So we spent the week looking for people and didn’t have much success. On Wednesday we decided to fast. I have not really had any distinct experiences with fasting in the past and as a result when we teach fasting to investigators it is always a little bit difficult for me to bear testimony of it. Thursday passed. Friday passed. Saturday passed. Nothing. It was looking like we would be reporting a bunch of zeros to our district leader for the week. Yesterday in church we had no investigators, but the talks in sacrament meeting were really good and I taught the Principles of the Evangelio class successfully. Can you believe it? I taught a Sunday school lesson all in Spanish. The topic was repentance and I used an article from the June issue of the Liahona about overcoming addictions. I am sending all of the notes from my lesson to Ben today because I think it is super bueno for investigators that have addictions. You should look for it when you get home from Florida. I have always searched for a good way for me to truly repent, which I think is actually a change, a true change in character, and I think this is pretty good.
After church we had lunch with a member as usual and then returned home for our bikes. We biked to an appointment we had set the previous day. The biking was miserable and the appointment fell through. For some reason feeling urgency to return to the center of our sector, we pedaled really hard to get back fast. The whole trip took 35 minutes on our bikes.
When we returned we picked up Maite a twelve year old in our ward and started to knock doors. We had no other appointments for the day and planned to knock for the rest of the day. We had good success with Maite, teaching four lessons, but the people weren’t super interested. There was one man that I felt we helped with hope because he is out of work, but he lives in the sector of the Elders in Los Andes, so we won’t be teaching him in the future. After a couple of hours with Maite, we dropped her off and went to pick up another member, Valesca. Valesca is 16 and oh moses smell the roses I love her. Want to know why? I love her because we are running with her in the morning. On Saturday we got up early and ran about 3 miles. I have missed running a super lot and I can’t tell you how happy it made me to run again. After running for half an hour we do exercises on her patio. It is great.
Yeah, back to the missionary work. With Valesca we went to a long street named Angamos, which I had felt the previous night we needed to knock. At the first door we knocked we found Felipe. He has listened to missionaries before, about 8 years ago. We taught the first lesson, better than we have ever done before and he has a baptismal date for the 9 of August. He is married and has two kids, hopefully in our lesson tomorrow we can share the plan of salvacion with all of his family. Second door, we found Lucinda. She is really nice and after teaching about the baptism of Jesus Christ we set her baptismal date for the 26 of August. She is a little nervous, but we are going to work hard with her, setting powerful commitments. Next door, Claudio a teenager who always says his prayers and we are going to teach him more tomorrow. Next door, and final of the night, we found Jorge. Jorge has been visited by missionaries in the past but never had time to listen to them. It turns out that he knows Valesca from school and so her help was vital in having a super strong lesson with him. I am pretty sure he would have accepted a baptismal date, but we didn’t have time to extend an invitation. He felt the Spirit and after describing it to us in words like, "this is so nice the feeling and the message are beautiful," I shared with him the scripture in Galatians that talks about the fruits of the Spirit and explained the role of the Spirit in our lives. This is the best, when we set an appointment for tomorrow he said, "Ok, I will be waiting for Tuesday night to come."
I know have a testimony of the power of fasting. We taught 8 lessons with members in one day and found really good people to teach. People that have been prepared by Heavenly Father to hear our message and find true happiness in their lives. Stay tuned, I expect great things this week.
Fun things. We taught lesson one in a taxi this week. We take taxis everywhere, to the center in Los Andes. To San Felipe where we have zone class on Tuesdays, this trip takes about 30 minutes and on the return trip this week we taught a woman named Sandra. She had a lot of wonderful opinions and we left her with a pamphlet. One day when we returned to the house to leave our bikes, Hermana Spielmann changed her skirt. After taking off her skirt she put on her coat and walked out as if ready to go. I said, "Hermana where is your skirt?" She looked down and laughed. Ha ha. Can you imagine if we had left the house? Then we had a lesson with Juan this same day and Valesca was with us. We were talking about the importance of attending church and I thought Hermana Spielmann said, "And Valesca attends church sin falda." Falda is the word for skirt in Spanish. So I thought she said that Valesca attends church without her skirt when she actually said that she attends always "sin falta". Hahaha. It was the day of missing faldas. I don’t know if that will make sense to you because it is Spanish humor, but trust me it was really funny.
I don’t have pictures this week. And writing this really long email took up all my time, so sorry to everyone that I still need to write to! Love you all and thank you so much for your support.
Sending love to Florida, Washington, Idaho, and Utah,
at 12:29 PM