Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I'm coming to know my Savior

I saw a dog fight.
We were charged by a dog from behind. Freaky
The missionaries say that here in Coyhaique the dogs jump like cats. Elder Bustamante showed me several pics he had of dogs on top of fences. I attached a picture of a dog on top of a house to give you the idea.

Every night I go to sleep with all of my winter gear on. It´s freezing. 

We had intercombios (companion exchanges). I was with Elder Peterson who is my zone leader. We knocked a door and nobody answered even though the chimney was smoking. Then he said we need to do service. So he started clearing dead grass. But her whole yard is dead grass. One dude walked by and asked us if we had permission. Elder Peterson told him that Christ said in the Bible what we do in secret will be recompensed in the open. The guy was like, “huh”, laughed and got in his car. Elder Peterson told him also that his grandma would be Disappointed in him if he didn´t do it. I of course found out what happened after, because all this was in Spanish. Haha

The Quinteros family is having their baby!!! We visited them in the hospital. Hermano Quinteros was the happiest man alive. He shook our hands and was beaming. I’ve never seen such happiness. Elder Ryan and I both got trunky for home and our future eternal families. The Lord gave both of us a glimpse at what we can have after our missions. We were giddy.

We have a baptismal date with Monica on Oct. 3. After that lesson, I felt kind of bummed because she has a LOT of work and changes to do. But this isn´t about if I´m comfortable or not. 

We also have an investigator named Jordana. She is golden. I mean golden. But our appointments with her always fall through because she has family obligations or our member doesn´t show up so we can´t teach her in her home. But her goodness makes me happy

I´m getting humbled. Straight up. I can´t understand. I can´t express myself. I feel alone. Missionary life is stressful. 24/7. It is never about you. It never ends. I thought I was depressed. But I realized it was the stress of the language. I’m learning new ways to cope with stress. But through all of this never ending agony, my Savior Jesus Christ is with me. He knows PERFECTLY how it feels. And even though I hardly feel comfort or relief in this test I´m going through, and I´m exhausted, cold, hungry, stressed, anxious, suffering, He is with me every step. Every step of these giant hills we walk every day, literally and metaphorically, I´m getting humbled. I´m coming to know my Savior in a way I never have before. I am catching a glimpse of what he went through. The other day I was passing through a neighborhood, and on every side, there are dogs, in the streets and behind fences. They were barking like savages. Biting at us behind the fences. I was tired, hungry, cold, exhausted. We had been rejected, nothing was working, everything fell through that day. And then these dogs were barking at us, Why? WHY? Don´t they know we are literal representatives of Jesus Christ? Why are they filled with a hatred. And then I was transported to the hill Golgatha, and I was Jesus Christ. And I was walking up a steep hill, with a cross on my shoulders, and I was hungry, and tired, and sore, and rejected too. And there were "dogs" barking at me on every side. But these dogs were men. Men I was suffering for, dying for. And why were they rejecting me? Did they not know I was their savior? I´m trying not to cry right now. 

Through all of my suffering, I´m coming to know my Savior. And even though it hurts, I can´t express my gratitude for Him. 

I testify, as a representative of Jesus Christ, that Jesus Christ is REAL. His atonement is real. It is accessible. Please be patient in your trials, suffer with Him. Come to know Him too. I love you all. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

To the family,
Life as a missionary is different. In Chile, everything is super expensive. It costs about ten dollars for a bottle of mouthwash, and eight for two toothbrushes. Houses in Chile don´t have heating or AC and sometimes it doesn´t feel like walls do anything for us. We only have breakfast, we eat lunch with a member, and then we tract through dinner. I´m adjusting. and it´s hard. But it´s awesome. My testimony is shooting deep roots down. Most missionaries in our mission have members do their laundry, but we have a washer. Except it is broken and doesn´t spin. So we have detergent stains on our clothes, and we wring out our clothes, and hang them to dry over our wood burning stove. Missions are the best. Here´s an analogy. Missions are LONG paths full of disappointment, frustration, sorrow, and hard things, haha. But they are also pebbled with invaluable little golden nuggets of lessons learned, testimony strengthened, and growth. I´m growing a lot. I mean, a LOT. And growth hurts and it´s hard. But it is always worth it, and God always helps us.

Elder West