Monday, March 25, 2013

Super Stressful Week

So this was a super stressful week. The worst so far, my comp and I both agreed it was the most stressful week of our mission so far, just so many things to think about and getting everyone settled in, super crazy! But I'll try to explain some of the highlights. Tuesday was the changes and obviously I didn't have changes or else I would have said something last week! But none the less we still go to the changes to help out and get the missionaries off to our zone safely and without problems. This change everyone that had changes from our zone, president replaced them with a new missionary, or in other words there are a lot of people training right now in our zone! Which is a great thing, there is a great attitude that the greenies bring to the work. But one of the areas President closed, and reopened again, so I went with Elder Earl to Oratorio to show him the area. Now if you remember back oooo like a year ago I went to Morales, I don't remember if I mentioned it then, to drop off some furniture that the assistants dropped off in our house in Teculutan. But I went to Morales and while there we ate with the missionaries there, well Elder Earl was new then, maybe had one month in the field. We had a good chat and who would have guessed that our paths would cross again. He is the new district leader down there in that district. So divisions went well, we found the house alright, (I had only been there once) found the commodore based solely on Guatemalan directions (they are the worst at giving directions...Here is a typical Guatemalan direction...Walk out and go down a ways until you get to a green house, go up the side street that's there and look for a tree, once you find the tree turn right, go until you come upon a dog that is barking, if he barks 3 times that's the house but if he only barks twice you need to go a little farther until you find the house that’s made of cinder block. (All the houses here are made of cinder block.....) Once you come upon the block house it's on this side (then they make an incomprehensible hand signal) and say "uh huh that's the house." That is a Guatemalan direction. But we found everything in Oratorio alright; we got to know the branch president, the chapel and some member houses. They are going to rock that area, the members are stoked to help out the missionaries and elder Earl is an amazing missionary, just super positive pumped and ready to go. I am excited to have him as the district leader to be able to work closely with him. So Wednesday we ended divisions in the morning and that day it decided to rain. A Guatemalan down pour. That is something that will be different once I come home... 10 things I am used to now here... 1. Guatemalan down pours, it is literally like switch, comes on and off just like it’s nothing. 2. They eat corn tortillas every meal.... But a ton! 3. Always having fleas on me. 4. Always having trash in the streets. 5. Tile... Everywhere, zero carpet. 6. No rules with transportation, anything goes. 7. Chicken every meal. 8. Cooking with wood. 9. Having to always worry about clean water, and clean fruits and veggies. 10. Having people always staring at me cause I'm white. There you have it a random thought. So we are going to marry a couple and then baptize the wife! But this has turned into a huge mess.... The thing is we aren’t good wedding planners and they want a huge wedding... But long story short we figured all the problems got everything planned and next Wednesday at four we are going to have a wedding!!! ...... If this next part sounds negative or bad don't include it in the blog..... But we made the promise to Elder Martino that we would personally baptize a family in March... That has put so much pressure on us, this week has been a nightmare trying to keep our investigators from falling, the family that we have planned to baptize want to get baptized, but just not so soon, April would be a great time for everyone, but we are pressuring them for March to complete our promise but I feel horrible that it is turning out like this... I tell my comp that every day that I don't feel good about it. They are poor a young couple starting their life together so they don't have a lot of money, and they wanted a huge wedding, so basically the branch has been amazing and are totally supporting us and helping out with the wedding literally with everything, it has been a nightmare trying to get all the problems figured out.... I feel like Preston planning a wedding, only this one we only have a week to plan and pull it off. Just little problems like where to do it, cause the mom of the bride supposedly wouldn't step foot in a Mormon chapel...Or they want to invite 70 people, and then they wanted a dinner...Just small things like that. If we hadn't made that promise to elder Martino we would not be putting so much work and effort into all this, we would have waited until April so that we could plan with more time and not do something so big. But it’s not like that so we are doing everything within our power to come through with that promise but I feel bad because the branch is basically providing everything, between the branch and the members, and we are rushing forward to do it all and pressuring to get it done.... The zone as far as baptisms and completing our goal we are going to fall short I think, at the beginning of the month we were doing great we had a ton of fechas, but they have slowly all fallen and Semana Santa has a lot to do with that, if you remember I think I explained Semana Santa last year, but basically it is a nightmare for the missionary work. 1. Because the whole country shuts down literally. 2. Everyone goes out of town. 3. Everyone turns catholic for this week. Let me put an example of what it's like, let’s pretend we are missionaries in the states, and as part of our zone we cover a party school, and we put a bunch of fechas with college students, but we put the fechas for over spring break.... That's basically what's going on here, but things will turn out great! This upcoming week we should have 9 baptisms in the zone!! Just pray everything turns out great. So Friday we had a zone meeting, to get to know everyone and to address a couple needs that the zone is facing right now. In preparing for this meeting we felt the needs of the zone is that their spirits are a little down, discouraged or just not stoked to be out here!!! So our purpose was to get their spirits up, and we also felt that obedience or doing things the Lords was another need. So what we did was we got permission to watch a video that's not by the church but it has a great message, it's called the butterfly circus, it's about how our attitude affects everything, and really how people can change their circumstances, they just need to act! (We feel that the missionaries think their areas are impossible and are waiting for a miracle to come, but really they are the miracle, they just need to realize it.) Look up that video it's really good, it's only about 20 minutes, I promise you won't regret it. So then we talked about how our attitude affects everything and we read from true to the faith....Under the subject adversity: Your success and happiness, both now and in the eternities, depend largely on your responses to the difficulties of life. An account in the Book of Mormon illustrates different responses to adversity. The prophet Lehi and his family had been traveling in the wilderness for several days, using their bows and arrows to hunt for food. The family encountered difficulties when Lehi’s sons lost the use of their bows. Laman and Lemuel’s bows lost their spring, and Nephi’s broke. Hungry and tired, Laman and Lemuel began to complain against the Lord. Even Lehi began to murmur. Nephi, on the other hand, refused to be discouraged. He went to work. He recounted: “I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?” Humbled because of Nephi’s words, Lehi asked the Lord where they should go for food. The Lord answered his prayers and led Nephi to a place where he could obtain food. (See 1 Nephi 16:15–31.) When some people face adversity, they are like Laman and Lemuel. They complain and become bitter. They ask questions like “Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this now? What have I done to deserve this?” But these questions have the power to dominate their thoughts. Such questions can overtake their vision, absorb their energy, and deprive them of the experiences the Lord wants them to receive. Rather than responding in this way, you should follow Nephi’s example. Consider asking questions such as, “What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Who am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial?” After we watched a video of Elder Holland talking to missionaries in the MTC, it is very similar to his talk 2 conferences ago about when he tells about the Savior asking Pedro if he loves him, when peter response yes, you know I love you, the Savior responds then why are you fishing?! I asked you to leave your nets behind, and to feed my sheep, its super intense, there is more to it, but it is amazing and just what our zone needed, if you want to watch it the video is called "apacienta mis ovejas" it is in English with Spanish subtitles. We watched from like minute 36 to the end about 14 minutes. It was amazing after we talked about how the Lord has called us for two years, not 15 or 23 months but two years that's all he requires of us, we can't have one foot in the mission and one foot in the world. It went very well the spirit was very strong and I think it helped. Dad I got your package that you so much! Did I win the lottery? And I have a question was Forest Gump real? Those newspaper articles got me almost convinced that Forest Gump was real. So Diego we taught him last night and he would be what we call golden, he is so ready for this gospel!! We are preparing him to be baptized in April he has such a strong desire to change his life and just start all over again. So I want to explain a really cool spiritual lesson we had. We were eating dinner with members and their neighbor came over to get something and we got talking and turns out her brother just barely died unexpectedly, and she is suffering a lot so my comp asked her if she would like to know where her brother is and she said I would so we put an appointment to come back the next night “in the house of the member” (members are key). We came back the next day and she was waiting for us and so we explained where her brother was, how he is in the spirit world and how she can help him, and we explained baptisms for the dead, it's usually something we don't teach right off the bat but it's something that she needed to hear. The spirit was super strong and she said it helped her a lot and she is going to try to explain it to her mother, and try to put an appointment with her mother and us. Lately I have felt the spirit is a lot stronger in our lessons and I am starting to recognize it more and more in my life I love it! Wow I think I broke a record with this letter, by far the longest yet! Love you all have a great week!

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