Friday, October 12, 2012

92: Primavera 11

Hey family,

So as of now, I don't have any letters from you guys. I guess now that I have 21 months, there's not a lot to tell me. But I'm still going to give you an update of what's going on.

Wow, so cool. So last Friday, we went to President's house after writing. We had lunch and took a ton of pictures. It was so much fun. Elder Taylor, Elder Hobbs and I were joking around a was way funny. Good times. We ate chili cheese dogs and nachos. Good stuff. Then after that, Elder Fairbairn and I sat down at the piano and started jamming. He's a way good piano player, so I taught him a jazz base line, then we started messing around. It was so sweet. I haven't played piano like that in so much time. We played for like 20 minutes and didn't even feel it. A lot of fun. Everyone said it sounded cool.

After that, as a reward for baptizing 20 in August, we also got to see a movie in President's house, and you'll never guess what it was: Forever Strong. IT WAS SO COOL. I haven't seen a movie like that in so much time. They are awesome. After, of course President related it to the gospel, but honestly, I think it just made everyone kind of baggy. But it was cool. We had popcorn. It was a blast from the real life.

Okay, so that was awesome. Ummm. Then conference. WOW. I love conference. The first session on Saturday and the Priesthood session were definitely my favorites. President Uchtdorf's talk was my favorite. You've just got to enjoy life. It's way too awesome to waste being angry. Definitely learned a lesson from that. Remember O? The 17-year-old who got baptized about a month ago? Man, well, he had been waiting 2 years to get baptized. But he was wild, and a little prideful, so it got to him. Not even a month after, he got really angry and said he was never going back to church. He won't talk to any member, nor even look at us. Last time I saw him, he was going off to some evangelical church. Sad story. So why did that happen? He was prideful. He was angry at people for things they didn't even know about. They didn't act or do things the way he wanted, so he got angry. Bishop, members, us, stake president, he was angry with everyone. I really just don't understand it. He had the strongest testimony. He was powerful. But pride kills us. It doesn't let us change. Conference only helps us if we can look inward.

There was another inactive who went to conference. He had like 8 years of not going to church, so we visited him. Man, it was sad. We asked him what he learned, and all he did was start critiquing every one of the members. He could not see the good in anyone. He complained because between sessions, the members invited him to eat with the ward, but he said that they gave him a small piece of chicken, and that that's not very Christlike to give a small piece of chicken to a visitor. I thought that was so stupid. This sister had bought and made food for 30-ish people with her own money, and he was complaining because she gave him a piece of chicken. The members in our ward are so good. I have learned so much from them.

So really, I think I learned and realized an important lesson from these two stories. First of all, the gospel is for introspection. It's to look inside ourselves and see what we need to change, how we can get better. Pride and anger are so bad because they inhibit us from doing that. Then you just see the bad in other people, and Satan gets you. Two, you have to see the good in everything and everyone. If you have a bad thought or judgment about someone, you have to also think about something good about them. See how you can see the positive side. Sometimes it's necessary to see the negative, but you'd better not just be looking at that, ever. President Monson talked about that in the Priesthood session when he said that we need to see people not as they are, but as they can one day become.

Well, E. didn't get baptized Sunday because she was drinking a ton of coffee, but has been clean since then, and WILL get baptized this Sunday. We had six investigators in conference, and it is a pretty sweet family. We've been working with them a lot, and they are really close to accepting a date.

It's a lot of fun being with Elder Hobbs. He's my first gringo comp outside of the office. I feel like a legit, ideal, PMG missionary. We teach way sweet lessons, follow the schedule, run, work our butts off. It is just so awesome being a missionary.

Our zone had 29 missionaries in conference, and we have been putting a ton of dates. We've gone up from 6 to 15 since Sunday, and we're going to go put some more today. ¡Sweet!

On Wednesday, I went to Palmar II with Elder Taylor. (I love that guy. We had been in so many swim meets together, but never met each other. I don't know why, we have so much fun together.) Anyway, so we went up to San Jorge, my first area. Wow, that was weird. Blast from the past. I saw a ton of my first converts. San Jorge was closed down as an area a while ago because almost everyone went inactive. So now it's just part of Palmar II when they want to go up there. My first convert, N., from my fourth day here in El Salvador, is one of the only 3 people active from that area. She pays every Sunday to go to church, which is a huge sacrifice for them. So a girl from a couple houses down was having a lot of problems, and asked if she could live with N. She told her that yes, but only if she went to church with her. So the girl went to church, liked it, and now is going to get baptized. N. is very simple. She's firm. It's awesome. That made me feel good.

Well, the mission is awesome. Today I am completing 21 months. Wow. Well, take care.

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