Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 17

I still have my apples, and my cold milk, so I'm happy:D

Another week down! This week was very interesting indeed because I experienced heavy rain for the first time while out working as a missionary. The first day it rained, we were walking a long distance to where our meal with a member would be and a huge storm and cold front hit us super fast. It had just been around 95 degrees and sunny, so we were wearing short sleeves and didn't have any rain gear. Within minutes the temperature dropped to around 70 and it starting pouring like crazy. I've seen tons of heavy rain throughout my life living in Oregon and everything, but the difference here is that there isn't any drainage system, so the streets literally turn into rivers. We got soaked after seconds so after that we didn't even care anymore. Although Elder Toledano stopped in a shop to ask for plastic bags to put his messenger back in. I trusted in mine since it's supposed to be waterproof, but with how heavy the rain was my stuff got a little wet, so from now on I'm going to at least put my scriptures in a little plastic bag just in case it rains super hard again. We then proceeded to "wade" through the many "rivers" along the way to get to the members house. It was actually super hilarious and fun. I wish I could have taken pictures to show you all, since literally there was one sidewalk that has stairs and the water was so heavy that it looked like rolling rapids! There were a bunch of kids playing in it too! Anyways, we finally got to their house and we had to dry off and they gave us flip flops to use since our shoes were soaked. The rest of the week it's been mostly overcast and rainy, but the hard part is that it's still been fairly hot during the rain other than that first storm. It's not fun to have to wear a rain jacket in 90 plus degree weather for sure.

Pancake Sunday!! (it's a tradition I started for myself :P)

My knee has improved a lot, but it's still been bothering me. I've been icing it every morning and night and taking ibuprofen the days it hurts more. I think it's starting to strengthen back up because it's more of a soreness now after a long day of walking rather than pain. I have faith that it will all work out and I'm willing to put up with a little pain and soreness to continue serving the Lord because I owe EVERYTHING to him. These challenges are nothing compared to the suffering Christ went through for each and every one of us. Also missionary work never has been easy as I have learned from the scriptures, but it is always worth it. 

For example in Alma 26 Ammon talks about his experiences with his brethren:
30 "And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some. "

This scripture doesn't describe all their many afflictions, which were immense, but they knew that their efforts would be worth it because even if they could bring only one soul unto God, their joy would be great. Here I am today doing the same work as these valiant Book of Mormon heroes. My efforts and long suffering will all be worth it because as I've learned on my mission, the greatest convert we have as missionaries is ourselves, then our companions, and then our investigators. If I just keep striving to press forward with faith, then I know through the Lord all things are possible; my joy will be full and I will be a successful missionary despite how many baptisms or spiritual experiences I have. That's not what matters. What matters is that I'm serving the people with all my might mind and strength.

Ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches for breakfast are the best!

The rain made our progress slow a little since we had to spend more time changing and drying and everything, but we continued pressing forward and were able to teach a lot of lessons and help our investigators progress. Right now our area is really exciting because we have around 10 investigators with baptism dates, which mostly consists of two families. The challenge has been getting them to church. One of the families had an emergency with a family member and had to leave for a few days, so they couldn't make it. The other had already made plans to leave town and visit a family member who lives alone. I'm glad that their families are so important to them, and I have faith that they will be able to make it to church this week for sure:)

It's really no fun doing laundry when you don't have a dryer and it's raining...but we make do

Today marks my first day as a "normal missionary" (meaning I finished my training)!!! Also last night we found out who all is being moved around this next transfer and to my great joy, I'm going to stay here with Elder Toledano, my trainer, for another transfer!!:) I'm super excited to continue working here with him because we have experienced so many wonderful things, and I know there will be many to come. Also we have been gettijng really close as a companionship, which makes everything run smoother, and plus we just enjoy the missionary life more when we are telling stories and laughing together (or at each other). Of course that doesn't mean we don't still work hard. In fact, I think it helps me work even harder because it helps me keep a positive attitude and share that with others. This morning I read in preach my gospel about how to have effective study, and I realized how much my desire to learn has grown. I remember how it was hard sometimes to stay awake during personal study, let alone understand the scriptures and learn principles from them. Now I truly treasure all the time I have to study the scriptures and I know that's due to the fact that my love for the gospel has grown. Daily scripture study, prayer and church attendance really are the essentials and I testify that they will grow our faith and love for the gospel, as they have been doing for me.  

This stuff is the best!! It's pretty hot though, so beware!

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