Monday, June 20, 2011

23: Refugio 2

¡Hola Buenas!

So first to answer questions.  I live in Refugio in a yellow house just above the park.  Basically we have a open space in the middle, with a bunch of rooms surrounding.  Here are a couple pictures.  We still don't have running water.  Yes, we still have a cook and a laundress (in this case it's the same person).  Her name is Angelita.  She talks really fast and her food is okay—an adventure.  On Saturday she cooked us chicken hearts and lungs.  I'm not gonna lie.  I'm not a fan.  It tastes like...I don't know.  It just has a texture that's either really...textury...or it's really hard and rubbery.  I ate about three, then gave the rest to my companion.

Also, on Tuesday we went down to visit some recent converts who are very, very powerful, family Ruano.  The husband was already a member before, and the last pair of elders baptised his wife and two kids (there are three girls, the third is 6).  They had references for us, so we taught them, and after ate tamales and jalea.  Jalea is mango juice with sugar, boiled, and wow, it is good.  The tamale was so good, and it had chicken in it that I really enjoyed.  About half way through the tamale, I pulled out a piece of meat that was really weird looking.  It was a yellow piece of meat with three skinny bones sticking out.  Then it dawned on me that it was a foot.  I was pretty surprised and just stared at it for about 10 minutes.  Then Hermano Ruano said to his wife, "Hey, Elder Bailey found a chicken foot in his tamale."  "Pues que suerte!"  ("What good luck!").  Yeah.  It wasn't actually that was just...a chicken's foot, a lot better than the lungs.

Also this week we had a multi-zone conference in Santa Ana.  It was pretty cool.  I learned a lot.  Pretty sure the president almost cried.  He only has a couple days more, and then he's gone.  I've only had two very short interviews with him.  Since I got Elder Gonzalez as a companion, I keep in close contact with the president and his wife.  Let's just say that Elder Gonzalez has a good heart when we're actually teaching, it just takes a lot of prodding to get there.  And I mean prodding.  Yesterday I spent 40 minutes at his bedside telling him to get up and work. 

It is pretty cool because I am so patient with him.  It's pretty sweet how much I've learned to control myself and keep the spirit.  But I received a lot of revelation this morning when I realised that the reason I've been getting all the hard companions was so that I could learn patience, improve my Christlike attributes, and learn to always be obedient.  I was reminded of the talk that President Uchtdorf gave, where he said that we have a mighty work to do and cannot come down.  And that is what I've learned.  I have a work to do, I have my standard to keep, and I cannot come down to please and get along with other people.  That doesn't work.  I need to stay up with the standard and be an example.  It's more difficult, but better for us in the long run.  As a missionary, I need to be exactly obedient to the rules.  This is key.  People can still baptise when they're disobedient, but they're going to have more problems in the long run.  I just hope that I can help my companion in some way, because he really is a good guy.

I'm also learning a lot about the work and how to do it.  I pretty much do everything.  I plan, make all the decisions, and keep my companion going.  I'm not going to lie, right now I'm not getting a lot of results, but I'm learning how to accomplish and achieve these results better and better every day.  Right now we only have one date.  Her name is Marista.  The family Herrera have kind of been put at a standstill.  They don't want to get married.  They understand baptism and everything, and want that, but don't want marriage.  The reason?  Her first husband died, and as long as she's not married, she gets money every month for that.  Also, I believe they aren't really sure if they want to be together with each other...married.  We're going to try a couple other things out, but really, I don't know.  I really hope we can find a solution, and we pray for them every day, but we'll see.

Meanwhile, the work in Refugio is slow.  We're doing a lot of contacting, but not really finding people who are way positive, and when we do, they're always really busy with work.  The majority of our branch is lazy or inactive, so that makes it hard to find people.  But I'm learning, coming up with new plans, improving the way I work.  Hopefully, I'll be able to begin to get results.  So the mission is hard.  But at the same time, I've grown and improved so much that it's worth it.  I've learned so many lessons.  I only hope that soon I will be able to find, and know how to teach well, and actually help these people find the happiness that this gospel offers.  It's also an adventure.  A lot of weird things happen to me.  But that's not the point is it?  The point is to bring people unto Christ.  And if we remember that, we have reason to press forward.

I'm going to go now.

Elder Bailey

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