Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 32 - Another New Companion!!!

Happy New Years Everyone!!!! 

I thought that this was well celebrated in the US, it is not, Mexico is kicking our buts. Every family here puts an old man that represents 2014 outside their front door, fills it with fireworks and at midnight blows it up. I, being obedient in this particular instance, was in bed at 1030, only to be awoken by what sounded like the American assault on Normandy at midnight. Its really funny because the fireworks they sell here are made mainly for noise and explosive capacity, one missionary who probably should have thought this one through before he did it, decided to ignite what was the explosive equivalent of a third of a stick of dynamite (I am not exaggerating on that) which landed on his leg, so he kicked it a couple meters away, only to be propelled out of his house by the explosion. Apparently the whole neighborhood came by to see what happened and the jefe de manzana (like neighborhood manager thingy) was yelling at them and stuff. I really doubt they heard a thing because the next day we still had to yell at them for them to hear us. Anyways, I still missed getting to see some big fireworks that are colorful, but all in all, I just cannot believe where 2014 went, like I feel like it just flew on by because I can remember singing Les Mis songs in my house last new years. 

In other news, so this week there were special transfers!!!!! Which means that there are two new elders here in Barrio Progreso. Elder Mcgannon who is my new companion is one transfer behind me, from North Carolina, and apparently all Mormons know each other because I was the home teacher for his Girlfriend, who is serving her mission in Fresno, California (where all my moms half of the family live) (although she is in Madera right now, which as I just wrote that, realized the town´s name is wood in Spanish, that took some creativity on their parts) Anyways, he and have been getting along super well, and hes a pretty good teacher, and knew Spanish beforehand like I did, so things are all good.

Although this week I have had special transfers, a sick companion, and one of the lowest teaching weeks of my mission, apparently the Lord was merciful upon us because we found honestly some people that were like golden. One was a better investigator than I was, and has like committed to clean the church (I hardly did that). The other is a young boy whose dad is super interested in getting an answer from God, the kid has already gone to church twice, and so is looking pretty solid. Interestingly enough we found a Hindu family that speaks mainly English but can understand Spanish somewhat. They are honestly super hard to teach because they believe that God is the father of all, but that Christ is just one of 130 demigods, but that he has power here in mexico, but interestingly they feel that the Mormons have authority from Christ. So needless to say in what has become my Spanglish (i can no longer speak in pure English) we taught them, it was pretty hard, especially when the woman started talking to me about how believed in shwami Jesus and how he was the perfect spiritual master and he and kirshna were friends. Little odd, but they have been reading praying and going to church so they really are progressing towards baptism nicely (there is a lot more nonsense with them living in the us, she pulled out the kids social security cards and showed them to me, and they're kids already being baptized, but you get the idea). Anyways, we also have been helping a family of 4 that has had several deaths in the family, and they want to get baptized to be able to have their family forever. WE haven't talked about the book of Mormon yet with them, but honestly they already want to get baptized so they are moving along nicely. Its so amazing to me, how the Gospel brings comfort to peoples lives, when i told the mom that she could live with her mother forever she almost cried. Honestly its super powerful how little by little these people make changes and have their whole worlds transformed by the Gospel. I know that this Gospel is true, but even if it weren't, I love how it brings people happiness, even if this were all just some lie (which it is not), I am so much happier because I have the Gospel than I otherwise would have been, and I am glad that I can share that happiness here. But even more so, I am happy that I have the opportunity to share that happiness with people for all eternity, there honestly is nothing better.

Something else that really struck me this week was a man spoke to me about having to return home from his mission after a year. He had made some bad choices beforehand, and was forced to return home. It was honestly so sad to watch him cry as he said that he wished he could take back all he had done, and that we should never under appreciate the blessing we have to be missionaries, and how hard it was for him to be stuck there and unable to move on until he went back out again. Honestly I have no idea if anyone even reads these (I doubt it 8 months in) but if there is anyone thinking about serving a mission, do it. You have no idea what a blessing it is, how much you learn, change, and grow from it. More than that, never ever do anything that could risk your eternal happiness, it really really really is shortsighted to risk all eternity over a 16 year old girl or boy, that although they promise they love you, will probably end up at a different college or at some point you will break up with. Always remember, true love would never risk someone else's  eternal happiness like that. Each of us can find lasting joy through this Gospel, that is honestly something I have seen visibly. And it honestly touched me how I want to share that joy with everyone I come in contact with for the rest of my life. I love you all very much, I think about so many of the people back home and treasure the letters and emails I get from everyone. Please enjoy 2015, I´ll be back. (In a very Schwarzenegger fashion)

Elder Standridge

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