Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 14: In which I make pepper omelets, find cheap food, and meet Anataly.

Hola, mi familia y amigos! Un chiste, pero solo en Espanol. Los siento si no pueden entenderlo, pero a mi me encantalo: Que hace un pez en agua? Nada! Hahaha!
Hello, my family and friends!  A joke, but only in Spanish.  I'm sorry if you can't understand it, but it delights me:  What does a fish do in water?  Nada!  Hahaha!  (Nada has two meanings: both "it swims" and "nothing").

Okay, sorry. That joke really only works in Spanish. If you don't speak Spanish, I guess you have to just take my word for it.

Man, time really flies, doesn't it? It's pretty crazy. I finally learned this last week how to make some pretty good omelets. The best thing is, we've got these peppers that the people here keep giving us, maybe as a show of our strength? I don't know. Anyway, we've got a few chile de arbols sitting around. We've also got some ghost pepper salsa (it's actually not that hot, but it is very delicious). So, I've been sticking either ghost pepper chile in my omelets or dicing a couple actual chiles and throwing them in. With cheese, it's unstoppable. I have also been really enjoying my lots of fruit (and, naturally, a few fluffernutters).

We finally found out about a place to buy food that is waaaay cheaper! We can get as much fruit as we want, and all sorts of awesome stuff! I mean, we have so many eggs now! It's so exciting! Actually, come to think of it, you can probably tell, if only by the fact that ever sentence in this paragraph ends in an exclamation point!

Here in the mission are so many opportunities to learn about ourselves and try to improve. I wanted to share an excerpt of the weekly letter I wrote to my Mission President, as it really illustrates this very well:

One thing I have noticed I really need to improve on is patience, specifically with myself, but also with others. Because I am better at some aspects of that divine virtue than others, I hadn't really noticed it when trying to identify what I should work on next. For example, it's very hard to upset me. I rarely have trouble being patient with my companion, but I have noticed that I have trouble being patient with myself sometimes. On a related note, I sometimes think to myself why certain investigators aren't progressing, or acting, or why it's hard to meet with them, or any number of things. While I always recognize their agency, I have found I often start thinking that I or our companionship had done something wrong. While it's true that sometimes we make mistakes, I am beginning to learn that despite our weaknesses, the Lord will always make up for the difference. If an investigator doesn't progress, and we have done all we can do, then they were not ready. We have done our part for now; if the Lord wills, they may be given another opportunity after they have been more readied.

We have had an interesting experience with a new investigator named Analy. Last Monday, we decided to knock her house. She had left her car lights on, and when she answered, we let her know. After she thanked us for letting her know, we proceeded to introduce ourselves and our purpose. When we asked her how she felt about God, she responded that she has been going through a rough time, and that she was starting to believe that God wasn't listening to her prayers, and maybe even wasn't there.

We then began teaching the message of the Restoration. At the end, she was in tears. She said that she know knew that there was a God and that he listened to her prayers, for she had prayed just that day for Him to send someone who could help her feel closer to Him and answer the questions of her soul. In that lesson, she promised to read the Book of Mormon and pray if it was true, and also to have another visit with us. Finally, she also accepted the invitation to be baptized.

It was incredible! From that experience alone, my testimony that the Lord is mindful of each of us and prepares us all grew by leaps and bounds. We had only just met Analy, and yet she already seemed ready to listen to our message!

However, it was not over yet. As often happens, it seems, when someone agrees to baptism, the trials are multiplied tenfold to stop them from making such sacred promises. The worst thing is, Elder Aguirre and I haven't been able to contact her at all since that first lesson. She has seemingly fallen off the face of the planet. To make matters worse, she has a relative in the house (we think a brother) who is not only not interested, but very hostile to us and to things of God in general. We have no idea if she's read at all, because she is never home. That experience has tried my patience greatly. I may not be impatient per se, but I have learned through that alone that patience is something that I definitely need to work on.

I love the great learning experiences here. There are so many awesome people here! It's really interesting to me that sometimes people don't even want to listen. I sometimes wonder if I would be the same way. As missionaries, we really are only here to serve people, share our message, facilitate understanding, and invite others to find out for themselves if the things we share are true. Thing is, I have a testimony that the message we do share is true. It's a message that has brought me a lot of happiness. All I want, and all any other missionary I know wants, is to see others experience that same happiness. I didn't choose to leave my family, my home, and people I love dearly simply on a whim. I didn't choose to follow this gospel on a whim. I found out for myself.

I love you all dearly, and wish you all the best!

Elder Adams

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