Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 47

Hi mom,

Well its another really wonderful week here in the mission, and it really touched me how much I have gotten to learn down here from President Cordova. I honestly feel like I could not have a better mission president. I would guess most people feel like that, but when they talk about your mission president and his wife forming parental figures in your life, it is so true. I really see the vision that he has shared with us, and completely agree with all my heart with the changes he has made in the mission during his tenure. 

Anyways, I mention all of this about President Cordova because this week we had interviews, and it was really a spiritual highlight so far in my mission. He had sent us off this story about two Elders, Elder Strong and Elder Green. Basically the idea of the story was that Elder Strong really was not afraid of anyone, talked with everyone he met in the street, and his companions complained because he worked them so hard. He said that the reason he worked so hard was because he was a disciple of Christ. As I sat there in my interview with President he started talking to me about my area, saying that the number of people at church was good, that I was doing a lot of good work with less actives and that my companion and I had really lifted Cosamoalapan. He did say that the area that needed improvements was contacting because we had 18 contacts for the week. So we got to talking and something he shared with me was that when missionaries really truly understand who they are, when they understand that they are disciples of Jesus Christ, and that their purpose is to help their brothers and sisters to become like their father in heaven, then they will want to talk with everyone. Then they will want to go with every less active possible, because they really want the salvation of their brothers and sisters. I pointed out that it was really hard to know what Jesus Christ would do in situations, because I am nowhere near as strong as he is. Jesus could just know who he should go talk to, but I am not that in tune to the spirit. He said, Jesus didn't need to go to the people, they came to him simply because of who he was. That is the purpose of our missions, yes the baptisms and all of that are important, but more than anything else, it is to become like him, to change who we are, how we think. In my mission, I have always had a very hard time with patience, really sometimes I just feel like I cannot take it anymore. I sit in a lesson, and I can ask sister what blessings would you like from God. And the response i get is well praying to him. And I am like no not how do you get blessings, what blessings would you like, to which the response is well asking him right. Sometimes I just get so frustrated because people don't get what I am trying to say, not because of Spanish, but because they're not paying attention. I have tried telling people to pay attention, or scolding them (appropriately) when they give me a dumb excuse to not keep a commandment, but it never works. Something they said in general conference was that it does no good to yell at darkness. We cannot scold people into keeping the commandments, we have to help them see and understand the blessings. Jesus said that the problem of the pharisees was that they did not understand the scripture, I want mercy and not sacrifice. That is how it is with us, we should want our brothers and sisters to be happy, and try and show them how the Gospel will bring them that. We should want mercy for them, and not punishment for breaking the commandments. I also realized that everyone paid attention while Jesus was there. When he spoke, he did it with authority, and everyone listened. We as missionaries need to love people to the point that they can feel it and pay attention to our message because they know we care about them. Needless to say, I set out feeling very spiritually lifted, and seeing everyone way differently than I did before.

This week at church was pretty awesome. All of this less active work we have been doing has been paying off, this week there were 18 less actives and 6 investigators at church. It was honestly awesome to see how they are progressing. This is even more awesome because the relief society president went on vacation, and had her family been there, there would have been 90 people at church (my current goal is 100) so really we are starting to see some major success.

Oh another thing, my new favorite fruit is mango. I love love love mangos! Those things are great! The only problem is how messy they are, like honestly if you cut them up, they have a great texture and taste. One of those less actives just happens to give out fruit cocktails and gives us them when we pass by (that is like my dream come true, the key to any Elders platonic heart is through his stomach)

Its getting hotter and hotter down here. We live right next to a sugar cane factory, the largest in the world, so there are days where it just rains ash, which is fine, because its not small particles, but instead big chunks so it doesn't bug me to much. That being said it does lock the heat in more, which is no fun when you have this much humidity and temperatures. 

Anyways, I have no photos or anything, but I want you to know I love you and the next time I do something fun I will give you lots of photos!

Miss you

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