November 28,2016Howdy y'all!
This week we saw the blessings of going to work.
|Fall in Arkansas, it's breathtaking,|
especially when there's fog in the morning
Monday night after we said goodbye to Elder Anaya, we returned to the chapel and finished Pday. We didn't have a car, so around 5:30 we started walking home, and it was already almost pitch black outside. About 1/3 of the way home, Brother Bowler from the English Ward happened to be driving by, so he gave us a ride home. It was a good time, he had a giant log in the back of his tiny sedan, Elder Sotomarino had to sit on it. I love the South lol.
When we got back to the apartment we were waiting for a sister from the Spanish Branch to bring us dinner, so I thought it was an opportune time to visit a less actives who is literally our next door neighbor. Her front door is an inch from our front door. Since we didn't want her to think we were piles for not visiting her last transfer...we told her we were both new to the area. Then she told us about how she served a mission in 🇸🇪 Sweden. I then told her we were the Spanish speaking Elders, and she told us she wants to learn Spanish. She is a professor at Arkansas State University so she is very busy right now with Finals and the Holidays but she told us she wants to meet with us sometime in January. Heck yeah.
Then we walked to President Hernandez's house in the pouring rain. It was amazing. No one understands why I love rain so much haha. It's because I've lived in the desert for 6 years after twelve years in the Garden state. President Hernandez is a straight up champ. He is so strong in the Gospel, and such a help for us. We talked with him about what our vision was for this transfer, and it got us pretty pumped.
After that we visited J. Oh J... Every time we visit him it's the same: Have you kept commitments. No. Why do you want to meet with us. I want to stop drinking and change my life. If that's what you want, keep commitments. But it's hard I have work. You were playing FIFA when we came in. But I'm drunk right now. Yeah we know, stop drinking. We are really going to buckle down if we are going to get anywhere with him, or else we will have to drop him.
Tuesday was tough. We were finding all day with no set appointments. It rained all day and was super cold. But we had three solid lessons. The lowest point was when H and D dropped us. D sent us a text saying they didn't want to meet with us anymore. We were planning on having a lesson with them that night, WITH A MEMBER MIGHT I ADD. Having a member lesson fall through is always a toughie, because member lessons are far and few for us here. I did everything I could to try and ask if we could meet one more time, just to talk, to understand what happened, I LITERALLY BEGGED HER TO LET US MEET ONE LAST TIME. She wasn't having any of it. She straight up said: "There no way to better understand it than that we simply won't be going back to church or doing the meetings anymore. We are going to keep looking until we find the right church." But honey you ain't gonna find the right church anywhere else! Look no further than right here! Agency. Such a bummer sometimes. I got really sad because I started thinking about what I could have done better, then I realized they chose not to accept the Gospel, I didn't choose to not bring it to them. Then we had dinner with President Hernandez. Once again, love that man.
Wednesday I honestly don't remember what happened. Wait yes I do: our new Greenie arrived in the field. Que lindo. Elder Barnes is Elder Janes new companion. Have I not told y'all about Elder Janes yet? Man love that kid. He's the kind of person where you meet him and you're glad you did. You feel better after you talk to him, he truly radiates Christ-Like love. He's the new District Leader. Elder Barnes is older than everyone in the District except for Elder Sotomarino, but he's the least experienced missionary haha. He's super quiet, but I've made sure to make him feel welcome.
Wednesday night we had dinner at Sister Watt's house. I ate a TON of spaghetti. Then after dinner we went and taught a less active, and he made us eat Tortas. In Hispanic culture it is very disrespectful to say no when people offer you food, so we had to accept. I thought my stomachs was going to explode. The whole lesson he talked about his trials, such as poverty and drug addiction. He then started telling Elder Sotomarino that I was an example of a spoiled Gringo with lots of money who had it easy because he thought I couldn't understand Spanish. I then spoke up and basically said "You don't know me bro." I said we all have different trials and hardships that others don't know about except God because he knows us perfectly. He had assumed I was from a big city with lots of money, but I told him how I was from a town smaller than Russellville and the financial struggles our family has had in the past and he was super surprised. He ended up apologizing.
Thursday was Thanksgiving. It's weird to think that over a year ago we were in Tijuana Mexico as a family eating Carne Asada Tacos for Thanksgiving dinner. For lunch we went to Brother Bunton's house to have Thanksgiving lunch. It was delicious. They do Thanksgiving right in the South. The Pecan Pie was to die for, it reminded me of Momma Small's homemade pie. Side note, the mysterious case of Brother Bunton: Brother is one of the most interesting people I have ever met. He's a genius, and the sassiest white man you will ever meet. He is a convert to the church. He gets a kick out of telling missionaries how he swore, in his own words, "a blood oath to never let missionaries inside his house", whenever they come to his house. He screamed in one missionary's face years ago that he would never read the Book of Mormon, and now it is his favorite book. He converted because the Holy Spirit spoke to him one day and said: "Listen to the missionaries, they have my seal of approval."
After thanksgiving lunch, we all shared what we are thankful for. Here's what I shared: Through the course of my life, I have had the privilege of knowing tons of simply awesome people, which is fortunate considering how many morons there are in this world. I have an incredible family, two Christ-like parents, and five older siblings who have all stayed strong in the Gospel and chosen the right. I have amazing people to call my friends. I have a true and loyal best friend in Elder Stallings, I made incredible friends at BYU and in the MTC, and here in the field as well. The person I am most grateful to know is Christ.
Friday I got permission to take a three hour nap from the mission nurse because I literally could not stay awake during weekly planning. That was nice. Saturday the Spanish zone had a fast and that night we set 5 baptismal dates. Enough said, that is a straight up miracle and testimony of the power of prayer and fasting. Yesterday I fell asleep in Sacrament meeting and everyone made fun of me.
That about sums it up, Love y'all! Church is true, Book is blue, if you're tired don't complain I guarantee I'm more tired than you.