Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 15: In which I go to meetings, teach Jesus, and cool down a bit.

Hola, mi familia y mis amigos! Hoy es un dia divertido. Estoy muy, muy animado por una leccion que tenemos esta noche. Yo espero que estera tan espiritual. Estamos ensanando un investigador nuevo que se llama Jesus. Yo se, pienso que es un poco... diferente. Normalmente, a menos que en Ingles, personas no estan llamados como eso. Pues, estoy muy animado por el! Si esperaran, puedo decirle la historia completa en Ingles, pero en un rato. Tambien, estoy tratando a aprender mas Espanol! Probabamente estoy cometiendo muchos errores en esta propia nota. Pues, no me importa. Estoy tratando. Yo  trato constantamente para hablar con mi companero en Espanol, pero es un poco dificil a recordarme, especialmente aqui en los Estados Unidos! Inserio! Pues, yo se que muchos de ustedes no entienden mi Espanol (tambien las personas que puedan leer en Espanol, porque mio es horrible). Entonces, voy a continuar en Ingles.
Hello, my family and my friends!  Today is a fun day.  I am very, very excited for a lesson that we have tonight.  I hope that it will be very spiritual.  We are teaching a new investigator whose name is Jesus.  I know, I think it is a little ... different.  Normally, at least in English, people are not named like this.  Well, I am very excited for him.  If you wait, I can tell you the complete story in English, but in a minute.  Also, I am trying to learn more Spanish.  I am probably committing many errors in this particular note.  Well, I don't care.  I am trying.  I constantly try to speak with my companion in Spanish, but it is a little difficult to remember, especially here in the United States!  Seriously!  Well, I know that many of you don't understand my Spanish (also, the people that can read in Spanish, because mine is horrible).  So, I am going to continue in English.

So, now that you've all had a taste of my rather sketchy and imperfect Spanish, I'm going to revert to using my own beloved mother tongue.
Well, there were quite a lot of meetings this week. Because of all the meetings, we had to have our companionship weekly planning session on Thursday, a day early. Elder Aguirre then had a training meeting for the District Leaders on Friday, and we all had our Zone Training Meeting on Saturday. So, the end result was a ton of meetings and training sessions. Also planning. But it's alright, it was super cool. Also, we went to Cafe Rio after the Zone Training Meeting. That place is actually pretty good.

Elder Aguirre is pretty cool; I personally feel everything is going pretty well. He's from Vale, Colorado. He pretty much never talks about his interests, though. He's just so focused on the work! Some things I've learned are that he came right out to the field directly after high school. He has wondered about being an architect, but wasn't sure it was the right thing for him after taking a few lessons on how to actually do it. He did some wrestling in high school, and is very physically fit. He is very well-versed in both Preach My Gospel and the scriptures. We don't have a ton in common, but he's a great guy, and we get along just great.
We've ended up having to stop teaching a lot of people I've already mentioned. Natalie, Ricardo/Marina, and Kenia have all become impossible to contact. Natalie and Kenia have been avoiding us, and Ricardo/Marina are just never actually home. They are all super awesome people, though! Analy, whom I talked about a bit last time, I do have a bit to talk about. Interestingly enough, though, we haven't seen her once since our first lesson with her... more on that story later. Basically, she knew we had been sent by God to help her out, and decided she wanted to be baptized.
By the way, Sister Clive, the wife of the Ward Mission Leader, has a snickerdoodle recipe that could seriously compete with any others I have tasted. They're a lot softer and chewier, but they just melt in your mouth. I may conspire to send a few recipes back, since I also now have one for sweet sticky rice w/ mangoes. Yep, we got served that. It was delicious. The people here are so nice! We've had apples and pears shoved in our arms. They make excellent snacks.
We've been really working on finding more people that are open to give a little room for our words here. It's not easy, but it's really a great aspect of this work. We've come across an awesome lady named Raquel and a guy named Jesus (I already mentioned Jesus in the Spanish bit). Raquel is super cool, and has a great family a little further down by the river. We've shared with her the message of the Restoration, and she seemed really interested. We've gone back a few times. We're hoping to be able to teach her again tonight, when we can maybe help her resolve some concerns she might have.
Jesus is a really cool guy. He's pretty humble, and he had an experience a few years back where he was in a coma for several days. At one point in his coma, he saw a really bright light and heard a voice tell him his time had not yet come. When we shared with him Joseph Smith's account of his own experience in 1820, it really resonated with him. Jesus apparently got out of jail relatively recently, and isn't sure about a lot of religions because of how many seem to be only worried about getting more money. He saw so many religions all about gaining more wealth, and started wondering if any of them were true at all.
We just told him that he's absolutely right, and that's one reason that a restoration of the church of Christ was so necessary. Jesus said that he now really wants to read the Book of Mormon to know if the things we shared are really true, and find out for himself. He also said that if he gets an answer that they are true, he will want to be baptized. He then invited us back for tonight. Now, here's the mind-blowing part: Jesus is Analy's boyfriend. We're going to be meeting them both tonight, and I know that we didn't just run into Jesus for no reason. It wasn't a coincidence. He was fixing a car in front of Analy's house, and we felt for some reason we needed to talk with him. Maybe, we thought, we could find out what happened to Analy.
Well, that's the coolest story from this week. This week has mostly been walking, looking, and meetings. Oh, and a bit more walking. And meetings. And walking. At least we got another bike now. Hopefully it can be fixed up and we can start using them soon. Also, I'm suuper glad that it doesn't get past 100 degrees on a regular basis anymore. Walking in that kind of heat was awful. Now, it's a lot more temperate.
So, that's my week! Onward! Love you all a ton!
Elder Adams
Special this week: Ben answers some questions from Editor Mom:
What are you studying/reading during personal and companionship study times?
Oh, all sorts of things. It depends on the day. I always try to read in Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon, though. Sometimes I study a Christ-like Attribute from chapter 6 of PMG (a great chapter, by the way; you should totally look at it with Dad/on your own this week!). Those are really cool. Also, chapter 6 has a little hidden gem at the back: a little evaluation you can give yourself to know what Christlike Attributes you need to improve on! It's super useful. You should definitely look into doing that.

How much Spanish do you speak--do you speak Spanish all the time, including to your companion? How comfortable is it at this point?
Meh, it's alright. I'm at the point where I can hold my own in a conversation; a bit better than I was at German before my mission. We speak Spanish together a fair amount, but we're also actually discouraged from doing personal study in our mission language. We alternate a bit. We are constantly around English missionaries as well, so we have to speak English more than I wish. We also often enough actually teach in English; the people we teach sometimes speak it fluently and prefer to practice it, but the rest of their family only speaks Spanish or they would rather go to church in Spanish. We don't speak it all the time, either, but we do try to speak it a fair amount. It's super important, too.

How's the weather? Is it starting to cool down?
It was pretty hot for my first 6 weeks here, but it has definitely cooled down since then.

Are you staying organized, so it will be easy to pack up and move when you get transferred?
Actually, relatively so. I just cleaned up my desk a bit this morning, so it's no longer a tornado disaster zone. Everything else is actually quite ready to pack up and move at a moments notice. Neater than at the MTC, that's for sure!

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