Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Staying in the Same Area!

Hello everyone.

this week here in mexico went very well. I am learning a lot and having a lot of great experiences. nothing too crazy happened this week but it was good. tuesday we had a lesson with a girl named ana and her sister named elizebeth. The other week, i cant remember if i said or not, but a family that we are teaching had a funeral for their grandma. and in mexican (catholic) tradition, involves about 2 weeks worth of different things. we didnt get to teach this family very much, but one night when we went over to see how they were there were a ton of people ther. we asked if we could help and she said yes and then told us to sit down. I didnt think she wanted our help really and we sat there for a little while. i then started talking to this couple that was kind of close to me but kind of far away as well, but they were looking at me funny so i said hello. we started talking and i had a really good conversation with them. my companion was a little ways away (still in sight and sound but talking with other people) and helping make tamales. I talked with them for about 30 min. and tried having a conversation in english, but didnt go to well haha. they were impressed with my spanish though and it was a little better this night as well i think i got some help. at the end of the conversation i turned it into a gospel topic. they asked what i was doing here and i told them. i then talked about the blessings ive received and about the changes id seen in people. i then aksed them if we could ome by and talk to them another day and they talked about it privately for a few minutes while i talked to another person and they then said yes. the one guy really liked me i think and his reasoning for inviting us over was that i was a good guy (basically, he used a phrase though that means a little more). the lesson tuesday was with the girl and her sister because the boyfriend wasnt there and they both accepted dates for baptism. they had a problem and couldnt come to church, but i´m really excited about them and hope they will be able to make it and be faithful members.

also this week i had another training. it was for the new missionaries in mexico. the majority of the missionaries had 4 and a half months, apart of me and three other elders from my district that were there. I learned a lot. we practiced a lot with the president and with the ap´s. From one of the ap´s i learned some very important things. he talked about how lots of missionaries fall into the norms. teaching the same way everytime, he related it to a computer. Assess the type of person and then press play on whichever lesson it is and there you go. I wrote down a quote taht is siga al espĂ­ritu, no a los normas. follow the spirit and not the norms. also he taught me that we need to feel what the investigator is feeling. to help them we need to understand them. to understand them we need the spirit and need to really work hard. in the practices it was really hard to do, but i have been working a lot on trying to relate to the investigator and apply these things to my teaching, and i had a great experience with it this week.

We have been teaching an older lady named Nineva for about 2 months. she has been close to the point of that we would drop her, but has been progressing a lot. she has come to church two times already and i left her with areading assignment one day of 3 nephi 11 to 28 and she read it all in between one visit. she is a seventh day adventist and so she brings up at least once a lesson that the sabbath day is saturday. though she says this a lot, but was able to help her in this lesson and she made a ton of progress. I am trying to let the investigator teach themselves more. i try to ask a lot of questions (inspired by the spirit) and teach simply inbetween all while trying to feel how they feel. We were talking about the book of mormon and about baptism and about the 7th day and about just about everything with her and she had a lotof doubts and didnt seee the reason for another baptism or church or anything. I was able to really feel what she felt in this situation and understnad where she was coming from. after a few questions about her experience with the book or mormon, she told us that she knew it was true. after this and some other questions we started talking about baptism more seriously. she knows taht it is true, and at the end of the lesson she asked me to pray for her so that she could have the strength to change religions and be baptized. she wants to do it, but it is very hard for her to give up what she has felt so strongly aobut for so long. I know she´´ll be able to do it though!

Another funny story about her, is right before we left she grabbed my arm and asked how long we were in la venta for. i told her until we get transferred. we have transfers tomorrow, but luckily i´m staying. when i told her about transfers she got almost angry and said thats not fair that they change when you are here and get so close to the people and then have to just leave. I couldnt tell her, but i had a good probablitiy that i would get transferred. also my DL played a joke on me by telling me that i was transferred and waited like 2 hours to tell me that i wasnt. i was sad for a little while, but then got the call and was relieved, but still stressed about everything, and for that i am very grateful taht i have my guitar now haha.

i hope all is well with you. i am doing great here, and am working hard. my spanish is improving a lot, and i feel a lot more comfortable communicating with everyone here. I am receiveing a lot of help from my heavenly father and growing closer to him everyday. I love you and miss you.


elder smith

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