Thursday, December 2, 2010

Week 19

Well another week has come and gone and it went well. The only bad thing was that I was sick for a few days. We went on exchanges to an english area friday, and had a good day, but then saturday morning, Elder Mueller woke up sick. We were supposed to exchange back and go back to our area, but he said he was too sick to go in a car, so i had to stay with him in the english elders house for the day. I read a lot and tried to use my time productively, but then i started feeling really tired, and fell asleep for like 10 min here and there. I didnt feel super great, but i figured that i was just being lazy and tired, so i forced myself to just keep reading. At about 5 oclock, someone knocked on the door so i stood up and walked up the stairs, and then had the feeling like i did that one summer when i got really dehydrated and passed out and i felt nauseous and everything. Thats when i realized i wasnt just lazy and tired, but i was actually sick. The guy needed to borrow some tools or something and said he'd be back so i waited for him upstairs and just put my head in my arms on a table and fell asleep. Then for the rest of the day and then all day sunday I was sick. I was really really tired, but I couldnt sleep. I was nauseous, but i never threw up. I learned from the last time I threw up, and didnt want to do it again and pass out and all that stuff, so i just didnt move too much ha. It wasnt too bad, but i missed a lot of time to go out and work which wasnt fun.

Other than that, the week was good. I had a lot of good experiences with the people here and was able to teach a lot. On wednesday after pday ended I got to go teach Hugo. He is a 17 year old boy who is really cool. The experience we had with him was very powerful for me. We went over wednesday night and when we got there we talked to him to see how he was doing, and we kind of got off topic, and talked about dumb unimportant things, and basically I just felt like the spirit wasnt there at all. We had planned on giving him a baptismal date that night, and I knew that it wasnt going to go well unless we had the spirit with us. I had my scriptures out, and so I opened them up, and then spent the next 10ish minutes reading through some of the highlighted scriptures that I had. I didnt talk or anything for that long, and they all continued in the conversation, which did develop roughly into our lesson. When I finished reading through, I looked up, and elder martin was about to give him the baptismal commitment. I somewhat interrupted/ just said I wanted to share something. I told them that i felt that the spirit wasnt there and I took part of that blame for letting the conversation drift from what it should be on. I then told them that was why I was reading in the scriptures. I then bore my testimony on the power of the book of mormon to bring the spirit and on knowing that it was true. I then related when I received my testimony of the book of mormon, and related that to how Hugo needed to do so and how he needed to show his faith in both continuing to read and pray, and to be baptized. WE gave him the date for the 19th of december, and I think that he'll make it. He is a good kid, and he has a good heart. He is smart and he likes to think and ponder about things a lot which I like. It was a great experience for me to have, and also helped me to see the importance of having the spirit as we teach to do anything.

Thanksgiving was an interesting experience. We didnt really have it ha. A lot of the spanish people dont really celebrate it and then if they do, i'd say 90% of them dont eat turkey or anything thankgivingish at all. We went to our dinner appointment at the same time as usual, at 5 oclock, and had a normal dinner, and then left and worked again. The only thing that was different about this day than any other was that we just mostly went by members or investigators that we knew pretty well, because we didnt want to bother anyone ha. I'm excited for the chirstmas season though and for everyone to get more religious and stuff. Hopefully it will help us get into a few more doors, and teach more people about the gospel. One thing that the christmas season brings is an opportunity to serve. My companions and I joke around that we are going to make a new key indicator (like baptisms, lessons w/ a member, other lessons, referrals, etc) but we were going to make it for driveways shoveled. We have a car every two days, so we drive down the street and if we see a woman or an old person shoveling their driveway we usually get out and help them out.

Friday on the exchange we taught a really cool kid named nathan. He's 18 and is one of the english elders investigators. I've never seen anyone so excited to just learn. We got there and walked in and went down to the basement. I then saw that he had a ton of amps and keyboards, an organ, a ton of recording stuff, a mac computer, and an acoustic guitar. I got to sit and play a song or two while we talked to him about himself and got to know him a little better. We told him where we were from and he said he'd been in portland and did some cool music stuff there. He also likes a lot of the same music as me, and had a john lennon poster in his basement. If i wasnt on my mission, i'd be good friends with this kid for sure ha. Anyways so we had our lesson with him, and I wasnt really sure what we were going to do. We asked him what he was reading and he said he'd been reading in the pearl of great price. We then spent some time talking about the church and about the book of mormon. We taught and explained a little better what the book of mormon was, and then spent some time all going around and sharing some of our favorite scriptures. Oh and before this he walked in with a pen and paper, and took notes on all of the scriptures we talked about in the lesson, and stopped us in the middle to go and get a highlighter so that he could mark the scriptures. The whole time he was talking about how cool it all was. We shared the story of alma the younger in alma 36 and he was way pumped about reading it. We talked about joseph smith and the church and a ton of stuff, and just had a really good conversation with him. It was probably the most fun lesson i've taught so far on my mission. I wouldnt really like to be an english missionary here in this mission, but its people like that that would make it worth it i think.

Also this week I went with Elder Brown and Elder Meuller in my old area for studies because my comp and elder browns comp had a district leader meeting. I ended up being there until like 2, but at 1 we had an appointment with Jose. I got to go back and teach jose again and it was awesome. We talked to him about eternal families and the need to be sealed in the temple, and it was a really great lesson. At one point we had all 5 elders there teaching him, which was kind of funny but really good.

Also we taught the Ramirez family. We found out that the parents, though they've been together for 19 years, arent married, but we put the rest of the family on date for january 2nd. One of the girls is super excited about learning and everything and she's really fun. Another one of the girls who is the 15 yr old with the baby, has already read to 2 nephi 25 in like a week! I'm excited for this family and I think that they will be great members. Hopefully i'll still be here for their baptism.

Overall it was a great week, and there are a lot of other good experiences as well. The people here are great and i'm improving my spanish and everything. I love you and miss you all and hope that you have a great next week.


Elder Smith

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