This week flew by!!!!!!!!!! We had a lot to do and in the end the week was very successful. We are working with two investigators named Mauricio and Gladys. Both are progressing very well and want to get baptized which is awesome. Gladys has had trouble giving up drinking tea. She has drunk tea her whole life, like literally her whole life. When she was a baby, instead of giving her milk her parents gave her tea! Who does that? Crazy parents! But this last week we had been praying a lot and working with her and she took big steps toward giving it up. She said that now the taste makes her sick. I know she is getting heavenly help to move toward baptism.
Yesterday, church started and she still hadn’t arrived. I was nervous because she was not there but then 5 minutes after the meeting started she walked in. When I saw her, I whispered “yes!” and fist pumped by my side. Some of the members sitting next to me laughed. I was excited that she made it!
This week I conducted my first baptismal interview! It was cool. We had to travel 40 minutes by bus to this other little town named “llay llay”. There are sister missionaries there. The investigators all passed the interviews, which was great. After the interviews, we had to literally sprint down a hill and through a ghetto neighborhood to make it to the bus stop. The interviews finished at 9:25 pm. and the last bus that left for San Felipe left at 9:30 pm. We got to the bus stop right as the bus pulled up and was going to leave. It was crazy!
We also had an intense lesson with an older investigator. The missionaries had taught him before and we had tried to set up lessons with him but something always happened and we were unable to meet with him. He lives kind of far in the country so we have to go with a member by car to see him. Finally things worked out and we went. It was 30 minutes away. We got there and right when I saw him I noticed that something was wrong. We sat and talked for a little. The member was a good friend of the investigator. The man first said that he was fine. Then we prayed to start the lesson and right after the prayer he let everything out. He said that a month ago he and his wife separated and that things had just been getting worse in his life. He said that he always feels tired now and the main thing is that there are bad spirits in his house that bother him. It was intense. So we told him that we would bless the house and we told him to take everything that would offend the spirit of our Heavenly Father out of the house. After we blessed the house, it was more peaceful. He was in a bad condition mentally and emotionally. He just looked really scared. We are going to see him again tomorrow. Experiences like this always are a testimony to me of the power of the restored priesthood and that this church is true. That’s what happened to me this week!
Well, it was a very busy, crazy, stressful, fun week being a District Leader and Trainer in a new sector. However, I feel a lot more relaxed now. After getting to know the sector and finding the investigators that the other missionaries were teaching and getting to know some of the members, I feel better. I had to teach a district class, which was fun. It was my first one so I had no idea what I was doing but they give us instructions regarding what we should teach so it went well. Now, I understand what I am doing and will be better prepared next time.
It was an interesting week with my new trainee! He is a good missionary and is obedient and excited which is great! It scares him to death to do contacting. Ha! It is so funny. So I have to help him a lot with that. Before his mission, he was a big video game player and didn’t go out a lot and talk with people so that might be why it is hard for him. It has been interesting trying to work with him and teach him because he doesn’t know a lot about being a missionary, especially many things that are like second nature for me now. Training him has been a good experience for me. I have to explain everything really well so that he understands why and how he is supposed to do things. Sometimes he doesn’t like an idea or he doesn’t understand why we do things a certain way but his comfort level will come with time and practice. There are a lot of things like rules that we have to follow that don’t make sense initially but we just have to trust in our leaders and follow them. It is like investigators trying to accept the Word of Wisdom. It doesn’t make sense to them because everyone drinks some alcohol or tea or coffee but that is when it takes faith to follow the commandments. As missionaries, we must also exercise faith as we follow instruction from our Mission President.
We had a funny experience this week. We were teaching a lesson and all of a sudden the floor started to crack and make loud noises. We got a little scared and the investigator almost started freaking out. Then it got louder and the floor started to lift a little and began to crack and break. If it weren’t for the member that was with us we would have certainly freaked out. The member told us to relax and that the person who had laid down the ceramic flooring had done it badly and because of the heat the glue melted and the floor had begun to deform and break. We had a fun time telling the other missionaries that we taught with so much power and authority that just as the scriptures say the ground began to “quake and divide”. It was pretty hilarious.
We have one investigator that is progressing really well and will be getting baptized in the coming weeks. He is awesome. His name is Mauricio and is 25 years old. So that was the week!
This past week was great! It was the last week before transfers. We had a lot of great experiences. The biggest news, however, is that there has been a change in my assignment and I was transferred to the “Los Andes” zone. I am in a town called San Felipe. Also, the Mission President called me as “District Leader and Trainer! So this is a huge change!!!!!
Now I need to figure out this new area and also figure out how to be a District Leader with a “newbie” missionary! This is a lot but I am excited! My new area is really cool. The Andes Mountains are really close. They are huge. I am more in the country here and it is really pretty. It is also just a nicer and more affluent area. So there are not as many “gangster kids” trying to rob the missionaries J. We supposedly have some investigators that are ready to get baptized that I have to contact and encourage to keep progressing. So I am very excited.
My trainee is a good missionary. In the morning today, I had a meeting with the Mission President and the other new trainers and he let us know what we need to do to help our trainees. He also gave us a booklet called “12 weeks” and we have to take an extra hour to study and teach the trainee about how to be a missionary. I am a little nervous but excited! My trainee is named Elder Pinilla. He is Chilean and from the south of Chile next to Chillan. He is 18 years old. I am his second trainer. So he is not fresh off the plane but he is still super new! He looks like he is about 15 years old! Ha! He has a good sense of humor and is a normal kid. It will be a fun experience teaching him. I will be able to bestow all my wisdom and experience J. I also received a packet on things I need to do as a district leader. That is going to be interesting as well. I need to teach a class every week. I am excited for that, too. That is the big news of the week!
Feliz Año Nuevo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This past week flew by! Our New Years was a normal day. We were allowed to watch fireworks from the window of our house if they were visible. We saw a little but not very much. There were a lot of parties. Somebody threw an M-80 at us. Thankfully, nothing happened though. New Years day was fun. We had a two- zone conference with President Essig. A member from our ward made ties for our whole zone that were blue and had the CTR logo on them but in Spanish. The logo is “HLJ”. The other zone was really jealous.
We have changes next week. I think I will be leaving. Today we were playing soccer in the church and while we were playing a robber came in and stole a missionary backpack. It was crazy. A few missionaries ran to try and catch him but he got away.
I made some New Years resolutions that I will be working on. My theme for the New Year comes from a scripture in Thessalonians. It says: “Quench not the spirit.” I like the meaning of this scripture better in Spanish because it says “No apagueis el espiritu.” The word apagar means to turn off. So it translates to “don’t turn off the spirit.” All of my resolutions are focused on keeping the spirit strong in my life and to never do anything to turn it off. It is important to keep the spirit in all circumstances.
For example, when you get home at night, the first thing you do when you walk in the house is turn on the lights. If you don’t turn on the lights, you will most likely trip over something or run into things. As you move through the house you turn on more lights. If all the lights are on, then you are free to go where you want to with confidence because you can see everything. If all the lights are off, you will be in darkness and your movement restricted. So by keeping the spirit turned on you will always be able to live in peace and confidence because the spirit will guide you in the light. So that’s my main resolution and I have plans to turn on the spirit in all aspects of my life.
Not much else happened this week! I am doing great and working hard!