Another Monday and I´m here writing to all of you back in the home land! This week started off strange. My district meeting started off with us casting stones (paper balls) at my zone leader. Each ball had a hidden message inside which consisted of an aspect missionaries might lack (like cleaning our apartment, having a part in our hair, etc.) or a message about how to improve ourselves from the scriptures. After we opened our stones we chose to either cast it into a pile saying we will repent and do what it says (like not being slow to rise out of the bed in the morning) or throwing it at a picture of Christ. Of course no one would throw theirs at the portrait of the Savior. It was a fun activity. I got the Christmas Stocking letter from Medford 2nd ward Young Women´s! What a treat that was! The latino missionaries love American candies. They all wanted some. Thank you so much Young Women´s for the gift! I also got the DearElders from Bro. Bennion and Sis. Hokanson! Thank you both so much and I really enjoyed reading your letters!
After the meeting that day we walked a ton and visited so many houses for appointments. Unfortunately not one person was home. My companion was kind of glum and I kept trying to tell him ( in Castellano, hence TRYING ) that he should just smile! This didn´t help much but then we stopped by to talk with a friend of his, who is Catholic, and always said she never had interest in learning about our church but she has interest in being our friend. We were totally shocked this time as we chatted outside her house on the sidewalk when she had a question about our gospel. I didn´t know exactly what but it lead into my companion teaching her a whole lesson and asking her if she will pray to know it is true. She accepeted and afterwards my companions attitude was completely changed! It only snowballed from there. Right after that we visited an older Lady named Susanna and basically asked her if she would prepare herself to be baptized in a few weeks. She said yes! We were on fire! So much so that we even gave a lesson and passed on a pamphlet to our Taxi Driver as he drove us back to our apartment because we were very late that night. How empowering in deed!
Imagine our joy when on the next day when we got a referral for a man who lived very close to the church. We visited him and asked him for a fecha (spanish for ¨date¨, for us meaning baptismal date) and he said he would be ready! 2 fechas in two nights! Bam! The next night. We visited Jose. An older man who has been to church many times and has always said he needed to study more for some reason before he would be baptised. We promised him that we knew he would be ready soon and then ANOTHER FECHA. 3 Nights, 3 Fechas! We had so much success these days! We are pumped for these people who made the decision and we fasted that they would come to church. Not one of them came. This was a bit discouraging. Apparently Jose was sick, the man that lived close (named Reyenaldo) was visiting his daughter, and no word from Susanna. We are always given trials but we have to persevere and endure and never lose hope. I have faith in these people and in the Spirit that brought us to them!
Saturday I finally got the opportunity for some real service ( besides cleaning the chapel ). We went to a members house and helped him chop down trees with a machete and clean up his yard. He was able to confirm a fun fact I learned from my district leader a week ago.
Fun fact: A pair of shoes tied together with their laces and hanging from the cables between telephone poles indicate that a nearby house sells Drugs in Argentina. The police don´t care.
My spanish is improving ( I hope anyway). I can pretty much understand my companion, but that´s because he´s from the capital of Columbia and he says they all talk slow there. Most people here my age talk way fast still. I´ll get the hang of it soon enough. I´m able to teach the lessons well though, so that´s good. It´s the everyday talk with the slang and variety of phrases that will take time.
Thank you all so much for your support! I hope everyone has an awesome week!
-Elder Trevor Jones