Monday, November 24, 2014

Week ?: In Which Investigators Fall Out of the Sky Onto Our Hero‏

It's probably a very good thing I have no idea what week it is. All I know is that next week there are cambios, and I hope I get to stay here with my companion! We're really getting the ball rolling here and I want to see a lot of success.

New Investigators

So at one point last week there were a few days were practically nothing happened. Between meetings, all of our appointments falling through, and various other things, we basically didn't get to do anything. It was kind of rough, but those days happen. And we were really blessed this week with a bunch of new investigators that more or less yes, appeared out of nowhere.

For instance, a family just showed up at church yesterday, and so of course we grabbed them and ducked into a classroom to teach them and get to know them before they could get away. The wife had heard of the church from a co-worker, and they wanted to go somewhere. The husband explained that there are things he wants to change in his life and that's why they chose to came here. "Well," I thought, "you've come to the right place!" How cool is that?

With investigators like that sometimes I feel like I'm holding a piece of fine China. I must be careful, because I don't dare drop them. I couldn't bear watching that happen. Being so close to the truth, to the change they want, and - no! But at the same time, I don't worry unduly. I know I'm working hard. I know the Lord is on my side. If I'm teaching with the Spirit, maybe they might not choose to listen, but I did my best. What's great is that this family really does seem to want to change. We gave them their reading assignment from the Book of Mormon and in the next hour in church I saw that the husband was already flipping through it. Great!

One of the real joys of missionary work is watching people change. It's truly incredible.

My First Baptism!!

For instance, this investigator I got to baptize. Last e-mail was my first baptism where I had helped teach the person, but this one was the first one I got to actually baptize myself and it was great! Really, the whole family is awesome. The husband was already a member of several months, but the wife...well, the first time we met with them, she didn't seem to want much. Kinda "eh, yeah, whatever."

But you know what? Not only has the husband made incredible strides, but he helped her to do so as well. And as my companion explained to me (this happened while we were on divisions) he showed the family the movie Prophet of the Restauration. At the end they asked "so, how do you feel?" And she said, "I feel like I need to get baptized."

And there we are! This gospel, and the Book of Mormon, have more power to change than anything in the world. If you don't believe it, try it for yourself.


Or, pride. I've learned a bit about that this week and learned some very interesting things.

First, I'd like to refer you this talk by Pres. Uchtdorf, which has quickly become one of my favorites and something I should try to apply every day:

I learned in a district meeting a very interesting interpretation of a passage of scriptures I'd never thought of before. Here we see pride of the righteous in Alma 4: 12: 

Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted.

And then we turn to Amos 8: 11-12:

 11 ¶Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:
 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of theLord, and shall not find it.
These verses here are talking about the Great Apostasy. The people were hungering and thirsting for the truth, but could not find it. So, what do we learn?
If we aren't sharing the Gospel we are, after a fashion, being prideful.
Pride really, truly is the root of all sin. When we say "I'm better than this, I'm better than man, I'm better than God." That's when we fall. I noticed this was a problem for myself! I was comparing myself a lot to other missionaries regarding Spanish, wondering why I couldn't be better at it, and realized - wait, that's pride! I shouldn't worry about that! I will do the bestI can and not worry about others.
I'd love to talk more about this but have no time. One last point: it is PRIDE that will be the great downfall of civilization. That's what Lehi saw, in his vision. 1 Nephi 11:36:
 36 And it came to pass that I saw and bear record, that the great and spacious building was the pride of the world; and it fell, and the fall thereof was exceedingly great. And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying: Thus shall be the destruction of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
So, yeah. Let's be humble! :)
Most of the types of bananas here. Those are pink, yes, on the right. They're a little less sweet and kinda...mushy. The big yellow ones are the normal U.S. type. I bought that bunch for $1. Yes. And plaintain and minibanana whose name I don't know.


I also got to baptize this little girl who turned eight. Her two names are Maria Fernanda but every shortens it to "Mafer" which is hilarious and adorable.

 This, my poor, deprived, American friends is encebollada. An amazing fish soup. Here they love to stick popcorn and banana chips in their soup and it's great!

Passion fruit, viewed through Hunger Games shaky-cam. It's really acidic, actually, which you'd never guess from the juice, but still great. With a little bit of sugar sprinkled on it's even better.

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