Monday, June 27, 2011

24: Refugio 3

Hello from El Salvador!

So this week we got to say goodbye to President Lopez and his family.  We had a huge multi-zone meeting with a bunch of the zones close to us.  Each zone got to sing a song for the president and his family, and we sang...I don’t remember, but it wasn’t very good.  Let’s just say that my zone tried.  But the meeting was really awesome.  First, the president talked to us about how to have success.  That was a cool lesson.  After him, Hermana Lopez told the story of how they met.  So funny.  Basically, they never really dated.  Instead, the president just said, “Listen, I don’t really think dating is worth it if we’re not going to get married.  So if you want, we can plan on getting married on (this date), but if not, it’s not worth it."  So basically, it’s just like a baptismal commitment.  It was a great talk because the whole time the president was back behind her shaking his head and smiling.  Then the president gave us his final speech, and boy, was it spiritual.  I think everyone in the room was pretty struck by the spirit.  Yeah, pretty sweet.  So after, they told us that this once they were going to change the rules and that we could all give the president and Hermana Lopez a hug.  It was cool.  A lot of people cried.  I’ve decided that the mission definitely makes people a lot more emotional.  I would never have cried before my mission.  But now... yeah, it’s weird.

Well, tomorrow we are going to have a new president, President Cordon.  On Friday, we get to have a conference with him.  I’m kind of excited.

So my area is way difficult.  I came into the mission thinking I would baptize 100 people.  But now I’m realizing that there’s a lot more to it than just baptizing.  I could just baptize, and there are people that do that—but I don’t want to do that.  I want to convert.  The whole point of the mission is to bring people a happiness that I know they need and to help them learn and receive the ordinances necessary to achieve exaltation.  And that is really hard, especially here in Refugio where there is a lot of apostasy. 

This morning I was reading in Mormon 5 that the Lamanites would have so much suffering because of their iniquity, and that there really would be a lot of iniquity.  I testify of that.  There are a lot of problems here in El Salvador, and especially in Refugio.  So it’s hard.  The branch is sleeping.  None of the members really like to work.  It’s difficult.  And I’m not really getting results, but I am learning a lot, especially since my companion doesn’t do anything. 

I’m learning how to run everything, and I get to keep trying out new ideas to see if they can change things.  While nothing has really worked yet, I’m going to keep trying.  So it’s kind of good and bad.  I like being in charge and running things, but at the same time I’m not really getting any results.  Well, I am learning a lot.  The work of the Lord is not easy.  The diablo [devil] is working hard against us, but we’ve got a better team.

So it’s going in El Salvador.  I should have my first baptismal date on Wednesday.  I’ll tell you how that goes.  Hope all is going well back home!

Elder Bailey

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