Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The latest

well this week was another learning experience. this week there wasnt quite as much heat which was nice. but it was definitely still very hot. I am doing well here and working hard and trying to find people to be baptized. we had an earthquake here, but i barely felt it. we were studying and there was a little shaking for about a minute and then it stopped, but if id been up walking around i dont think i would have felt it. also another story this week is that i ate turtle. it was funny because the sister served the head to my companion. we also ate some of the eggs that were not fully developed. i didnt like it a ton, but it wasnt bad. it tasted a lot like beef really.

this week we had another baptism fall through, which was probably that hardest one ive had so far. We´ve had a lot of opposition here. In my three and a half months here 4 baptisms have fallen through the day of or the day before and 8 people have not been baptized. THis week the lopez centeno family wasnt baptized which consists of 4 people. a mom and her three kids ages 18, 17 and 9. It was really hard. We taught them everything and they were all ready and excited for their date. we had their baptismal interviews this thursday and they all passed and knew everything and were ready. we then went over another night quickly and then saturday morning a few hours before the baptism we went by and the dad who we have only talked to once came out, set up three chairs and said he wanted to talk with us. he told us that he wasnt going to let his family be baptized because they were catholic. He told us when we first started teaching the family that he didnt want anything to do with us, but that his family could do what they wanted and didnt say anything else and then left the room. up until this day we hadnt talked with him more or really seen him. he told us that though he was not active in the church at all he was going to be better and go to church and that his family wasnt going to be baptized. we talked for a long time with him, and by the end he was very confused with himself and wasnt saying anything. we then asked if we could talk to the family and when we talked with them we asked if they wanted to be baptized and they responded with basically they knew they needed to but that their dad/husband wouldnt let them... 45 min before the baptism we had to cancel and told the president of the branch and he told everyone else. i was pretty down for the rest of the day, and was rough. just a culmination of all of the experiences like this are really the thing that is the hardest. i prayed a lot before our last lesson with them. i did a personal fast and fasted again sunday for them, but idk.
i have learned a lot from these experiences and am always reminded of the words of elder holland when talking about the trials of a mission. he posed the question. why does the mission have to be so hard? He then said, the atonement was not easy, and salvation was never a cheap experience. why would we expect or want it the mission to be easy. we as missionaries are representatives of jesus christ. if we are his representatives we have to walk in his footsteps, we must cry some of the tears that he shed and bear some of the trials that he suffered and in this manner we learn and appreciate and develop more faith in him, and truly become his servants. I am grateful for my experiences here, and for what i have learned. only in a mission would i have the opportunity to have these experiences. know these people, and feel a love for them and desire their salvation. i understand my purpose and am fulfilling it to the best of my ability but will be better and work harder and will find the success when the lord gives it to me. The field is white, and there are people here who are ready, we just have to find them, help them to feel the spirit so that they can be taught, so that they can accept this restored gospel and receive the blessings that the lord has prepared for them.
i am doing well, no worries. love you and miss you and hope that all is well.
elder smith

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