Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Week 17 - I'm getting fat

First off, shout out to Brother Bennett and Brother Lowder, my mission prep teachers. Doing the practices are the things that have helped me out the most.
One night we sat on a bench to eat a sack dinner. I left my bag on the ground. The next thing I knew there was a dog with its mouth in my bag and it ran off with my bread! DOGS ARE VULTURES.
Right now, to just spice up life I’m writing a poem about dogs and reasons they bark. I’ll publish it in a week or two.
More about dogs: Those two dogs I wrote about forever ago that follow us everywhere, when they follow us, all of the dogs in Coyhaique go crazy and we can’t hear people when we are talking to them. And other dogs attack them, so they try to hide behind us, which means we get an angry dog up in our grill. So we are still throwing rocks and locking them in our fence so they can’t follow us around all day. We call them Dill (brown one) and Squirtle (black one).
Today, we did some chores to get my visa coming along.
We are teaching two menos activos English for service.
It’s now week 6 in the cambio. I’ll find out if I’m getting transferred on Monday of next week. Pretty sure I’m staying. It is also week 12 of my training. After this week, I will be fully trained! Spanish is always coming along. Sometimes when I’m speaking English, Spanish words slip in which is pretty frustrating and cool at the same time. I had a conversation about the political viewpoints of a project for water and electricity going on in Aysen, in Spanish. I understood enough to get the gist of it.
So many times this week, I have crashed onto my bed at the end of the day. My feet and back kill me from walking all day, but I feel happy because we are doing good things. Missions are hard. I’ve never walked for about 9 hours every day before.
Many times throughout the week, I feel down or super happy. When I’m down, I know that means I’m going to have an awesome experience pretty soon, or the Spirit is going to comfort me, or I’m going to feel energized. God is so good. Life is always really good, or only going to get better.
An investigator said she wants to be baptized and is going talk with her pareja to see if they will separate or get married. But she didn’t come to church.
In a conference talk we were listening to, I heard the line, "it will all make sense in the end." The Spirit comforted me with the amount of success I’ve had in my mission to this point. I know that God fulfills His promises He has made to us. It will all make sense in the end.
In our zone leadership meeting we all shared our testimonies of Christ at the end. So powerful. All representatives of Jesus Christ testifying of Him and all living in a selfless manner and keeping their temple covenants equals POWER. Tangible power.
On Sunday, as I took the sacrament, it felt like I was in the temple. Even though I can’t go for two years, I felt like I was in the temple during the sacrament. It felt that way because I thought about my covenants throughout the week, about Jesus Christ, and I prayed for help to be prepared to take it and renew my baptismal covenant.
Yesterday, we taught a woman and her son-in-law. His wife left for Santiago for emergency chemotherapy. We showed up to teach them about the restoration and baptism. But the lesson went a different direction. They unloaded to us all of their stresses, doubts, financial burdens, and everything that is just weighing them down. Then the asked us, US!, what to do. We are just two 20 and 18 year old boys from Utah. But the spirit magnifies us in our calling. We just listened to them and shared with them comfort and strength scriptures. I felt the spirit testify to them when I spoke.
I prayed and asked God to bless me to know that He is aware of me. We were waiting to see if a door contact would answer, and I looked at a wild rose bush. The leaves were so detailed. There was little fuzz, divots, they were so green, and the Spirit struck me and told me: “if God has SO MUCH concern to design and detail a little wild and unkempt rose bush plant that is growing outside of a fence in southern Chile, then HE IS AWARE OF ME. HIS SON.” He will not forget or forsake us. Just like he detailed and designed that plant, he will do the same that much more for my life.
We were walking the other day on a street, and there were some teenaged gangsters sitting on a bench. They called out some stuff at us, and the only word I could hear was "Mormons." They must have that that Elder West was going to keep on walking and that he would be embarrassed. And they would have a good old laugh and then slap and tickle each other. But NO. Before my mission, I was passive a bit, but I have now come to have some red personality in me. When they said that, I was not going to let them mock representatives of Jesus Christ. We hadn’t talked to enough people that day either. I walked right up to them and they started laughing. I shook their hands and told them why we are here and what our message is about. They all turned out to be like 14 or 16 years old. They laughed so hard to blow off their discomfort. I felt guided to tell them that God loves them and he wants to give us guidance in our lives. They just laughed and said that is the kind of stuff their grandma believes in. I could tell one kid was uncomfortable. He probably had good parents teach him. He will remember that experience with us. I could tell that they were all really uncomfortable. But I felt power in that moment because I defended the truth. I looked at my companion Elder Lawton, and I saw a man, a priesthood man. And none of those "cool" kids could even touch that. This is the Lords work. I testify of that.
1 John 4:4

Elder West
Jacob's missionary planner with a President Hinckley quote