Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Que tal mis compadres?!

This week, I changed my exercises. They are harder now. Tuesday morning I drank too much water before and during my exercises and then felt sick. Haha. Go hard :)
Claudia and Catalina are going to Puerto Montt this week for a doctor appointment. We are feeding their cats. But their house is at the end of a road full of possessed dogs. They all hate us, and there are, no joke, like 13. Once we get past them we have to go through a gate and 3 more dogs. One is nice. One is small and mean. And the other is black and big. It is a touchy situation. The nice one jumps at you because he is glad you’re there, the small mean one tries to bite you, and the big black one gets right up in your grill. With him, it is weird. It is like pet or get bitten. And it has an ugly snotty nose, it is dirty, mangy, and has flea holes in its fur. Pet or get bitten. Don’t look, just pet. And then gag :)
I had an intercambio with Elder Linton this week. He is from Wyoming, has a year in the mission, played soccer and worked construction. He is a good missionary. We worked all day long and didn´t teach a soul. So tired. I hurt everywhere. But I was happy. I felt we should knock a house and we found a former investigator. We made other great contacts. To end the day, we were tracting by the beach front. We stopped for 30 minutes and took pictures and just watched the ocean because it was a really long day. Then on our way home, we ran into a family from Argentina vacationing here. Their accent was thick and I felt like I hadn’t learned Spanish for a bit. Also with Elder Linton, we were in the church checking for references on the internet. A guy knocked. We looked at each other, then answered the door. He was an inactive member, 25 years old. He asked us for a plan of salvation pamphlet. Then he asked us if we could teach him the lesson because he had forgotten it all. WOW. Not a coincidence that he walked by the church and knocked at that exact time. To add to it, I had just finished making lesson 2 diagrams to help teach visually the night before. I used them to help.
The next day, we went to the doctor because Elder Weech was in a lot of pain. The nurse put us under house rest for 5 days, but we could still leave and teach citas.
The daily verifications in our mission have changed. They are more focused on helping our investigatores progress towards baptism, and on the wellbeing of the missionaries. Yesterday, the mission fasted together for a 100 baptisms in a month. That is the mission goal this year. 100 baptisms in a month. That is basically one every companionship. Last month we had 40ish.
The situation with a girl we are teaching: Her baptismal date is for Feb 6. We need about 6 citas with her in 2 weeks to teach her everything, and she needs to complete all of her compromisos. To this point it has gone great. But her dad, who is inactive, seems against the church. He took her to the beach when we had a scheduled cita. Don’t know if that was on purpose or not. We need his written permission for her to be baptized. She will go to Santiago in 3 weeks for a surgery. She will come back and needs to have her baptismal interview soon. Glad I have Elder Weech guiding us through this. We are doing our best to use the members to help open up her dad. We are doing our part and trusting the rest to the Lord. We don’t want a baptism. We want a happy active family that will help this girl in her conversion for the rest of her life.
We taught a man and his pareja the other day. We taught the law of chastity. We found out he is leaving for a month to visit family so his fecha will fall. But we will still be working with them. During the lesson we were able to ask inspired questions. I felt the Spirit really strong. They are hesitant to get married. They didn’t accept a date to be married, but they said they would think about it. I know they felt the truth of our testimonies and what we taught.  We worked and worked to get them to accept a date for marriage but wouldn’t. Just then the neighbors started booming ¨knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door¨ by guns and roses. I smiled to myself. Super true. These people are so close. Tyler Anderson also came to my mind.
Elder Weech is in a lot of pain. Right before we taught the law of chastity lesson, he asked me what we were teaching when we had just talked about that like a minute before. He is improving, but I took the lead in that lesson.
I gave a talk yesterday on sacrifice. I did my best so I know God will make up the lack of my Spanish ability and help someone. I felt the Spirit as I gave my testimony. Afterwards, I was feeling down and self-conscious about my Spanish. In the second hour class, I read Doctrine and Covenants section 100. It calmed me down. Verse 1 comforted me about my family. Verses 12-13 and 15 helped me a lot too. I know God loves me and is helping me.
I love this work. I know God is real. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. And I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored church that Jesus Christ himself established when he was on the earth. I know it is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder West