Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 15 ~ Pictures

2 of the pictures are from a baptism Kevin and his companion did this week; One is of his room, One is of a food called memela and he says it is the most delicious thing in the world, and the last two are of Kevin and his companion in the field.

This week has been just a great week, my companion and I are really working our buts off, and it is great, just great. We have been teaching a bunch of people, and have had the wonderful chance to find people that are chosen by God to hear the message, which I am super duper grateful for. That being said, getting people to do what they say they are going to do is incredibly frustrating. I can commit anyone to anything, but it really depends on what they are willing to do. I`ve come to realize just how the Lord prepares certain people at certain times, like some people have a hard heart, and profess to love God, but then they do not really try and seek him. So many of us get trapped into doing just what our parents did, and that is really not how it should be. All of us has to search for truth in our own way, and then dedicate ourselves to the truth that we find. I´ve been thinking about what Jesus said about if you had faith as a grain of a mustard seed you could say to this mountain remove thou hence. I realized that it is not the amount of faith that we have (if we have a testimony of complex doctrine or of every aspect of the Gospel), but it is honestly our commitment to the small amounts of faith that w have that can bring miracles to us. When I say commitment I noticed that so many people believe in God here, it’s just kind of one of those things that everyone just accepts, but sometimes all of us forget that if we really have that belief and faith in him, then there should be fruits and actions, if we don’t have those then we really do not have faith, we are just pretending because of social pressure. 
This week was really great in part because I got to baptize little Santiagito (he is the son of a active member we`ve just reactivated). ITs really funny because when I started working with him, I was disappointed because he has 8 years so does not count. That said I’ve really started to care about imp and his mom, and when he was baptized and confirmed I felt really happy for them, like honestly it didn’t matter to me at all that he does not count for the mission, he counts to me. There are others like him, so I really want to help them all to take the steps that they need to grow closer to their savior even at that tender age.
Speaking of Children, I cannot believe how much my mission has been teaching me about how to deal with kids, like honestly you wouldn’t believe it. I’ve realized really that kids are kids, and will be kids, and they do not have to act perfectly in order to be little angels. (nor can you expect them to be perfect) That said, the Branch President down here (whom I love more than just about anyone else I’ve met so far) is just like a perfect example of how to correct kids with love, and they listen to him. He`s just a really good example to me of how to endure to the end and raise of family (its interesting how your perspective changes as you get older).
Someone interestingly enough mentioned to me this week about the tree of life (you have to know the book of Mormon to get this next part) that because it represents the love of God, that it represents coming unto Christ, and that the iron rod is the church and all of its programs and scripture study and prayer. I was really impressed by that, like it really touched me, so I started thinking about it. So often in English we automatically ignore little grammatical nuances that can make a huge difference. When they say Love of God, is that the love God has for us, or us loving God. For the longest time I probably would have said the former, and I think it is tempting to choose the latter, but I really think that honestly it’s both. As we pursue the tree of life, and try to get it, we develop a greater love for our Father in Heaven. As we do so, we become more and more like Christ, and eventually are able to truly feel God`s love for us, as the savior feels it for him. I don’t know that just was like my scriptural aha moment of the week.
Oh also, last night I got a cool chance to see what it would be like to train. My companion is district leader so he and the other 2 district leaders got called in for concilio (don’t know the translation) last night. Which means they sent me out with the other two district leader´s companions. One of them struggles with his Spanish, and the other is 3 weeks out (his name is Mitch Romney and is actually related to mitt Romney, which I found funny). Anyways, we went contacting and taught in the zone leaders area, and it was just really cool to get to see what it would be like to have that kind of relationship. Anyways, that is my rather long email about my week, I am happy and loving it down here, nevertheless, I love you all.

Elder Standridge

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