Monday, November 2, 2015

Viaje a Mexico

This week was pretty good compared to last week. We had a good bit of success finding a bunch of new people. Some were references, some were from contacts. I learned a bit about being persistent, too. We went to find a contact I'd had like three or four weeks ago with the district leader and when we knocked, the husband came out and we got to know him. We talked and talked, he said he was going to another church every once in a while, etc...the usual, you know. Not like wow, come on in, but thing was he stayed there in the door and let us keep talking to him. Many times I would have simply said yeah, we'll see if we can come back some other day (because they were also getting ready for their restaurant family business) but this time I just kept at it and hey, he let us in! I think people give us doors (with or without knowing it) out of a contact lots of times. It would've been easy to say, hey, we'll let you get to cooking, or something, but this time persistence won and we got to know him and his family! We'll see what happens there, but I'm just glad I kept at it.

This week was also the week of the craziest ward activity I've ever participated in - Viaje a Mexico. The idea was to simulate a trip to Mexico and give people "money" to spend in the games we were going to set up (all Mexico-themed). Then at the end when they were "flying back" to Otavalo the plane would crash, every would "die" and depending on how they spent their money in the "world" (Mexico) they'd be judged and separated into different kingdoms of glory. But everything just went bad from the start. It was supposed to start at 6 but at 6  almost no one was there, not even the people who were supposed to set it up. Complications ensued, people forgot things at home, technology didn't work, and we started, finally at about 8, joined by a bunch of people from the other ward who also had an activity but nobody had told them. Anyhow, it all turned out good at the end, if a little crazy. The point was to get us references for the missionaries but we had to leave running to the appointment because we ended at like 9:25. But it was fun! And I got pictures.

This week was also stake conference here. The "keynote" speaker was an area 70 from Quito, Elder Calderon. It was pretty funny in the adult session because all the other speakers spoke quickly and left him about an hour and a half - and he managed to speak through all of it, and would have kept on going I'm sure if he wanted. It was really interesting to see how excited he was to just talk about the gospel, and more than anything, just about being obedient. He cited some interesting scriptures from John 5:33-36

33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.
 34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.
 35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
 36 ¶But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

In essence, Christ's testimony was the work he did, his actions. That's the way it is with all of us. We are only what we do. And so Elder Calderon basically dedicated his hour and a half to talking about simply being obedient, not just saying pretty testimonies. He talked about Alma 31, where the Zoramites get up on their Rameuptoms and compared it to testimony meeting. (It was even more interesting because in Spanish it uses the word "pulpit" to describe Rameumptom.) It's a pretty common problem among the members of the church! Why do they have to often talk to us about the same principles over and over again? Because we just don't apply them. It's really true that the purpose of general authorities is to warn people of the consequences of sin - and Elder Calderon had a good time doing so. I guess that's what I should be doing as a missionary, too.

Ah, something else he said that caught my attention - he explained that the Quorum of the 12 have been praying and analyzing the scriptures for months to figure out what it is that the church needs right now  - and the answer is the Sabbath Day. That's why there's so much emphasis. How grateful we should be for living prophets and apostles. It was a good stake conference, and it was really cool seeing the hundreds of natives that came. The stakes here are pure Lamanites, let me tell you. There are few latins, mostly the natives. It was cool, because they dress up in their ponchos and traditional dress, so it was cool seeing the stake presidency up there in their ponchos with their long, braided hair. Some of the talks even drifted into the native language at times. It's a pretty special place here.

And the last bit of news is that I saw my "dad" in the mission "die." It's really crazy to think I'll be in the same position in less than a year. I could see it was really hard for him. He just didn't want to go. I hope I can get to that point as well of loving the mission.

Shoot I had a ton of pics for this week but this computer won't let me put my chip week!

No wait here they are!
        Ward members with costumes.

 Me and my trainer his last day.

             We found a freaking scorpion the other day. I didn't even know they existed here.

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