Tuesday, July 12, 2011

26: Refugio 5


I’m writing you today because today we are going to go to Tazumal—it’s a ruin.  We’re going as a zone, and they aren’t open on Mondays, so for this we have P-day today!  My companion’s really grumpy because he just wants to sleep and doesn’t want to go to Tazumal.  He wanted his P-day Monday, and was literally banging his fists on the table Sunday when the zone leaders told him this.  Then he basically told them that he wouldn’t work Monday, and didn’t.  We missed a lot of important appointments, so I’ve kind of decided to just not set any important appointments this week.  Luckily, all the members know and are willing to do splits with me while another one stays in the house with Elder Gonzalez while he sleeps.

But I have found a lot of cool people and am excited to start teaching them...in a week.  I had a cool experience with an inactive.  His name is Amner, and we found him through a member, Hmo. Ruano.  So we had an appointment with him at 7:00, and he lives a ways away.  It was raining a lot that day—like rivers.  Literally.  Hmo. Ruano came and picked us up in his truck and we drove down a long, dark dirt road.  When we got there, there was lightning everywhere and Amner didn’t have power.  So we ended up trekking in the dark and rain and lightning for about 5 minutes to get to his house from where we parked the car.  This guy, Amner, is really humble.  He’s had a hard life.  He fought in the war about ten years ago and lost a lot of friends.  He also went to the states for a few years and had a really rough time there too.  His wife and kids aren’t members, and his kid has a sickness.  I’m excited to teach them.  He wanted me to look up a missionary who changed his life, and I figured I’d give it a try.  His name is Adam Gibbons Kimball from Utah.  He was a missionary here about 10 years ago.  So you techno geeks, see if you can find him, then let me know.  I need to reactivate this Amner.

On Friday we had interviews with the new President.  He is so awesome.  He’s from Guatemala, was one of the Area Seventies here, and is so cool.  I’m way excited to work with him.  He gives really good advice, and speaks English when he has to say something important to me.  He’s also really tall.  The tallest Latin I’ve ever met.  He’s seriously like 7 feet, and really skinny.  Also, he served his mission in El Salvador a long time ago.  He is changing everything around and it’s getting a lot better.  He’s having the leaders focus more on goals and encouraging rather than on chewing people out, and wants converts. 

So after that I went on a companion exchange for the rest of the night, and went with Elder Hobbs, from Idaho.  He’s got one more change than me and is a good missionary.  We had a lot of fun and got a lot of good work done together.  We found a way positive investigadora.  She told us she felt far from God and really wanted our message to be true, and told us she wanted to pray with a sincere heart even before we read Moroni 10:4-5.  Too bad she lived in Santa Ana because she was awesome.  I really wish I could find people like that in Refugio.  It would be so sweet.

On Saturday I got to go to the temple again (the president changed the rules again and said we could go one time every week).  So I got to go with the familia Herrera.  They brought about 20 people.  It was so sweet.  They loved it, and after we walked out of the sealing room, Oscar (the husband, almost) told me: "one year, one year."  It was so sweet.  There is definitely a spirit in the temple that is different from anywhere else.  The El Salvador Temple is so sweet.  It is definitely a good looking temple.

Later that night, I got to eat chuco with the familia Herrera.  Chuco is like atol, but acidic.  It’s like...black corn, with a couple pinto beans....really acidic.  It was definitely an experience.  It tastes so weird, and it made me so tired that night.  I slept like a baby.  But chuco is actually pretty big here.  There are restaurants that only sell chuco.  It was actually pretty good for what it was, it’s just that I prefer sweet food.  I’m not big on acidic I guess.  But wow, that family is so cool.  I think they’ll get baptized the first of August, but we have to set a date with them first.

Also there’s the family Lopez.  The mom and two of the kids were already baptized and were inactive, and the dad wants to be baptized.  I asked him what he wanted the most, and he said that he wanted to feel free from his sins.  I took them to the temple too on Saturday.  They had some pretty sweet experiences.  Later that day we taught them too, and sang ¨Families can be Together Forever."  They were just staring into each others’ eyes....aaw cute.  He just needs to find a job where he doesn’t work on Sunday.

Then there’s Eduardo Lobos.  Here’s a picture with him that he took from his phone.  He received the missionaries a year ago and knows that the church is true.  He knows it, but only doesn’t want to get baptized because he’s heartbroken.  Last year, Eduardo had a girlfriend and they had been dating for four years.  He wanted to get sealed to her in the temple.  Then the girl dumped Eduardo, and Eduardo has been heartbroken since.  He knows the church is true, wants to go to the temple, but just doesn’t want to get baptized because it pains him.  So yeah, I’m trying to figure out how to help out Eduardo.

Sunday I went on splits with the stake high priest who was assigned to our branch.  He’s lived in Orem before, so wanted to talk to me about Utah in broken English.  It was cool.  Made me a bit baggy.  We taught a family of women, the familia Albarez.  We brought them the sacrament, but they didn’t have any bread, so we ended up using a cookie that I had in my backpack.  Pretty sweet sacrament.  The mama was sick, so we got to give her a blessing, then the others said that they wanted a blessing as well.  I got to give two of them, in tu form.  It was actually pretty cool, and there was a strong spirit there, it was so strong I probably could have cut through it with a knife.

So the more I learn and understand Spanish, the more meaningful and cool this mission is.  I have a lot more spiritual experiences now that I can understand and explain.  I still have a long way to go, but it’s pretty good.  It’s better than a lot of other gringos who’ve been here for longer than me.  I just finished reading the BOM out loud in Spanish.  That helped a ton.  The BOM is pretty sweet in Spanish.  I would read it every morning for a little bit.  Well, I’m starting over again because, let’s be honest, that book gives you power.  I’m also trying to memorize key scriptures because I really struggle finding scriptures and using them to help investigators because I don’t know them well enough.  That’s something I kind of wished I would have done before.  So really, I’ve already said this before, but I’ll say it again.  If you haven’t yet, get to know the Book of Mormon.  That book can change lives, but you just have to know how to use it.  It’s like any other tool.  A crowbar or lock pick set can be really useful tools, but if you don’t know how to use them, they’re good for nothing.  The same with the BOM.  Learn it.

Yesterday, I got to eat conejo [rabbit].  It’s been one of my goals in the mission.  Turns out that rabbit is really, really good.  It tastes like chicken...but better.  It was so good.  Probably one of the best things I have eaten here.  We got to eat it with Hermana Flores.  Here are some pictures. 

Also, attached is a picture from the Fourth of July.  We played volleyball and ate hot dogs.  Let’s just say the hot dogs here aren’t nearly as good as in the states, and the ketchup tastes way different.  But it was still a lot of fun.  We spoke English, sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” etc.  Good times.  There’s some sweet people in my zone.

Yesterday, I also got to eat arroz con leche with the familia Herrera again.  Mmmm.  So good.  Unbelievable.  Mmm.  Yeah.  It’s good.  So off to Tazumal.  8 days more with my companion.  Sunday will come.  Sunday will come (the talk by Elder Wirthlin).  


Elder Bailey

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