Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 19: In which I teach Jorge, fall off my chair, and receive skulls in the mail

Pues, esta ultima semana ha sido fantastico! Estoy tan animado por la proxima. Estoy seguro que muchas bendiciones veniran muy pronto. Hoy, quiero ablar de muchas cosas, pero espisificamente de una persona (realmente dos, porque tambien quiero hablar de mi companero), una corta historia chistosa, y un evento. Lo siento a las personas (como mi madre) quien hablan bien espanol. Por la mayoria aqui in Wenatchee, personas hablan espanglish, entonces es possible que mi espanol no es bien correcto.

[Well, this last week has been fantastic! I am very excited for the next. I am sure that many blessings will come very soon. Today, I want to talk about many things, but specifically about a person (really two, because I also want to talk about my companion), a short, funny, story, and an event. I'm sorry to the people (like my mom) who speak Spanish well. Mostly, here in Wenatchee, people speak Spanglish, so it is possible that my Spanish is not really correct.]

So, first off I'd like to tell you all about Jorge. Jorge is a super cool guy; Elders Aguirre, Call and I met him at his mom's house (remember Leonor?) Monday when we were coming back for an appointment with her. She unfortunately wasn't there, but Jorge was. After talking for a few minutes on his porch, he expressed to us how he wants to make good choices in his life, but just doesn't know how to overcome the obstacles in the way. We simply shared with him our own testimonies of how our message and the Gospel of Jesus Christ can really help him to know how to overcome those obstacles. After all, that's our job as missionaries!
When we went inside, we just taught a simple lesson on prayer. At the end, he offered a really heartfelt prayer to God pouring out his soul in thanks and in pleas for help. It was pretty powerful. He then thanked us for coming and helping him and invited us to return. We set the appointment for Wednesday.
When Elder Boren and I came back Wednesday, he was there waiting for us. He immediately invited us into the house and we started the lesson with a prayer. He then eagerly engaged as we shared with him most of the message of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had a lot of really awesome questions for us, and we did our best to help him with those. He had some doubts about prophets, but we felt inspired to share Amos 3:5 with him and invite him to pray about the truth of Joseph Smith's call as a prophet. He accepted. When we were setting up a return appointment, he said that he wouldn't be free the next day because he was going to go to church, but that he wants us to return this week. We then set up an appointment for tonight. We'll see how it goes! I hope we're able to help him out with his questions and help him find his own answers.
Now, it's time I talk a bit about Elder Boren. Yes, Elder Boren, who recently came from Sunnyside training a new missionary. Elder Boren, who's from Dallas, TX and really likes photography. He's looking to be an electrical engineer after his mission. He's already been to a semester of community college. He's a great missionary, and an excellent example. He has a lot of knowledge about the Gospel and about missionary work. He's on the quieter side, which is very different from Elder Aguirre, but honestly, it's super awesome. When he speaks, he knows exactly what he's saying. We've started talking a bit more as companions, and I personally feel this next transfer is going to be a great one.
It was actually kind of funny: during studies this last week with Elder Boren, I was rocking back and forth in my chair while discussing the needs of our area. However, I quickly learned from experience the errors of my ways. You see, I am a bit too heavy to safely be rocking in a rolling chair. As a result, the chair started to heave in a backwards motion with just a tad too much force. I had a good 4 seconds for the realization of my imminent fate to register. After about a second, my face registered sudden concern in the middle of talking about the area. About a second later, my eyes widened as I started leaning forward in an attempt to balance out. By the third second, I started to go down like a damaged zeppelin while murmuring "Oh noooooo." Finally, the chair fell backwards, swiveling, directly into the wall. Thankfully, no damage was done to me, the wall, or the chair. However, it was quite loud. The other elders asked me afterwards why they heard such a long series of clunks, grunts, and expressions of surprise. As it turns out, it wasn't actually me swinging a cow around hitting things. That would be silly. It was a chair, not a cow.

This last week, I got a few packages from my family and friends. I even got one from the Activity Days girls from my ward back home (it's basically like cub scouts, but for girls). Thank you so much, it was so fun to get those little notes from home! It was a bit humorous to see the expressions on the other missionaries when they saw that one of the packages contained 3 realistic chocolate skulls.
Finally, we had the amazing opportunity to hear the chosen servants of the Lord speak this last weekend during my first General Conference here on my mission. One thing I learned is that we should really focus on the simple things. We shouldn't have "itching ears", even for things in the Gospel that it's not time for us to understand yet. We should just focus on building our faith in the simple, glorious basic truths. We should find joy in those truths. If ever we doubt, that's all right! Just don't ever forget that first love, that first testimony.
I know that The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple and brings joy. I know that it has been restored through Joseph Smith. I know that by the power of God given to him, Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, which I know is another testament of Jesus Christ. I know it is true. I add my witness to those of the prophets, those of other missionaries, and those of countless others. I know that innumerable blessings and immeasurable joy can come through this restored Gospel. I love this work, and can't wait for the next week! Hasta la pasta!
Much love and good wishes,
Elder Adams
P.S. I forgot my camera this week. Sorry.
[Additional questions from Editor Mom.  Note: In recent weeks, the mission president's wife had posted a pretty complete picture of who is serving where in the mission, and with whom.  The editors of this blog recreated this "Transfer Board" in an effort to better understand what's going on throughout the mission.  Elder Adams refers to this below.]

Q: Tell me about your new companion. (You knew I'd ask this.) :-) 
A: Well, judging by Dad's letter, you probably know more than I do. ;-) For real though, I'll tell you a bit in the weekly email.

Q: Any luck finding people to teach?
A: Well, actually, yes. We're still mostly doing finding, but we were able to start teaching someone. I'll tell you about them in the email.

Q: Are you following the rules and getting up on time?
A: Psh! What do you think? Of course I am! Siempre!

Q: Have you gotten your packages?: socks, boots, and the other one?
A: Yes, yes, yes! Thank you so, so much! They were all so awesome! It's a bit funny how it all worked out, though. The other missionaries in the apartment had never seen gourds used for decorations I don't think, and were pretty weirded out by them. They just saw weird, slightly moldy, warty vegetables. Then, when you sent the next package with the chocolate skulls, we didn't immediately realize they were chocolate (or even edible). So, basically, I got a package with some weird random moldy vegetables followed by a package with 3 skulls. Finding out we were supposed to eat them was actually even funnier.
Finally, to add to all of that, we found out you've been recreating the transfer board and stalking us. ;-) It was just kind of funny to see everyone start trying to connect dots and starting to feel slightly uneasy about things. I mean, there are four of us, one of me, and 3 skulls... It's been super fun. :-D

Q: Can you believe that over 1/6th of your mission is over? (The time will go by faster and faster--I promise.)
A: Believe me, yes. I don't exactly want to think too much about it. It's even weirder to realize that I have but one summer left.

Q: Have you thought about how you might use your talents to bring people to Christ? Don't be afraid to plan a special activity that members can bring their friends to, for example.
A: Yes, it has occurred to me. We haven't yet found an opportunity to do exactly that yet, but there have been a few really good Choripan and Carne Asada cookouts which have been... delicious. Also with non-members and presentations about how the gospel can bless people's lives and things. So at least that! I've mentioned it a few times, but not that much.

Q: Did you enjoy conference?
A: Hmm, I don't know. I think there were too many speakers and not enough singing.
Psh, of course I did! It was fantastic! I had so many opportunities to learn. It's super intense, but also really a great opportunity. I suppose I can talk a little more in the main email.

Love you a ton!

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