Sunday, April 2, 2017

Week 44: In which I go on exchanges, consider moving a mountain, and share pictures of our apartment

written 27 Mar 2017
I Can Go the Distance
Well, another week has passed away. Wow. Doesn't feel like it. It's been crazy. We've been working super hard with a couple of people, and found several awesome new people with great potential! We've been working a lot with Fani, and she has actually started doing really great! She has been reading and praying, and has been feeling a little better. She often likes to dwell on all of her hardships, and sometimes struggles with depression. That has made it really hard for her to go to church, because honestly, she just doesn't want to leave the house for anything. She has done everything else, and has an honest desire to follow Christ more. She honestly wants to learn more and do more, but she often feels really bad on Sundays. We talked about church with her last time, and we testified that it would help her to feel better for the rest of the week. She wasn't sure at first, but after talking for a bit and explaining why church is so important, she said she wanted to go. We then asked how we could help her accomplish her goal. She told us to call her Sunday morning and see if she needed a ride. However, this last Sunday, when we called, she felt sick again and didn't want to leave. We'll keep seeing how we can help her feel better.

We went on exchanges this week! Twice! I left our area both times. Tuesday night, I went with Elder Leavitt (one of the Zone Leaders, an English missionary) to his area. The next night (I just packed for 2 days) I went with Elder Hunt (an English missionary still being trained) in his area. When I was with Elder Hunt, we started talking to a lady out on her doorstep. Her name was Virginia. However, after about 3-4 words, she looked at us and said "No hablo ingles." Startled, I looked apologetically over at Elder Hunt. Explaining that I spoke Spanish, I then proceeded to have what was practically a lesson with her. In a very condensed way, I taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel. As I asked her questions and explained our message, she began looking more and more intently at us, with more and more interest. She explained that she was, in fact, a Jehovah's Witness, but used to be Catholic. I asked her why she had changed, and she explained she had "felt it was closer to God." I testified that what we shared could help her feel even closer to God, and we later went back. We will be teaching her next Saturday. She was really, really interested in what we had to say.

Finally, part of my letter to President Lewis:

Sometimes, it seems like the task we have is a seemingly insurmountable one. Here we are, being asked to truly move a mountain! However, if I have learned anything about faith, I know that if anyone has faith to move a mountain, let them grab a shovel. We have to both put our heads down and dig, but still keep our eye on the goal. As we dig, sometimes we will notice that the mountain is indeed moving.

As for myself, as I look at the mountain ahead of us, it is too often easy to become overwhelmed. Sometimes, I find myself thinking things like: "We are trying to start a Spanish Group here, and we don't have any active native Spanish-speakers! We hardly have any non-native members who can speak the language well enough to go out with us!" Sometimes, I hardly know where to start.

However, I know that miracles happen. I have seen them. It would be a lie for me to say anything to the contrary. In Othello, I was awed to watch as Brenda changed completely overnight. Leading up to her baptism, she made many changes, and it was a slow and steady process. However, after receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the difference was night and day. I know for a fact that there is power in those sacred ordinances. She was a completely different person. We always hear that, and I think we sometimes think it is a nice thought, or maybe symbolic of something. However, the Gospel changes. It's as simple as that.

Even with a mountain of people to dig through, to invite, to teach, to testify to, and to help, I know there is one. I know that as we put our heads down and work with all our might, we will begin to see this mountain move, even if the progress is seemingly infinitesimal at the start. We must move this mountain, even if it is one prayer, one lesson, and one person at a time. I may be tempted to be discouraged, but it would be dishonest to myself if I gave in. I know it happens; I have seen it happen. The mountain can be moved, and it will be moved. We can do all things in Christ.

Oh, and never forget:
B0W T135 R C00L

Elder Adams
A Brief Tour

I created a short video to give you a tour of our apartment. However, it appears too big to send.
Here's Elder Tapia in front of the apartment:

Elder Tapia in our study room:

Living Room and Jesus Wall (a bit crooked, sorry):

Favorite treat:

Our Cocina:

Our beloved Room of Requirement:

The rest of our living room:

Our bedroom:

It's totally the nicest apartment I've lived in so far. It's pretty sweet!

Love you!

Elder Adams
Questions from Editor Mom:
Hola, mi hijo! - Hola, mi querida madre!
Hi, my beloved mother!
How's the new area? - Es muy, muy bonito. Estoy bien agradecido para estar aqui. Llueve casi todos los dias, pero no dura tanto. Tambien esta bien, porque tenemos carro y paraguas.
It is very, very pretty. I am very grateful to be here. It rains almost every day, but it doesn't last long. Also it's okay because we have a car and umbrellas.
How are you and Elder Tapia getting along? Is he helping you with your Spanish? Are you helping him with his English? - El es un compa excelente! Si, me ayuda con mi espanol, mas que nada porque no entiende todo en ingles, entonces a veces tengo que explicar frases de ingles. Tambien, claro, puedo ayudar con su ingles, pero la verdad, habla muy, muy bien. Si no sabia que no hablaba ingles, habria pensado que era fluente cuando le conoci.
He is an excellent companion! Yes, he helps me with my Spanish, more than anything because he does not understand everything in English, so sometimes I have to explain English sentences. Also, of course, I can help with his English, but the truth is, he speaks very, very well. If I didn'tt know that he didn't speak English, I would have thought that he was fluent when I got to know him.
What are you thinking about and reading? - The scriptures, duh. I'm just kidding, just kidding. I've been thinking about a lot of different things, honestly. Depends on the day. Today I was studying priesthood authority and how it is transferred by the laying on of hands. I was thinking about how while it clearly states that Christ ordained His Apostles, the New Testament does not make it clear that it was done by the laying on of hands. I searched for a bit and ended up finding a couple of scriptures in the Old Testament that mention how Moses conferred authority on Joshua through the laying on of hands: I can't remember the exact reference from Numbers, but one was in the last chapter of Deuteronomy. Sorry, I can't remember off the top of my head the exact references. I wrote them down on a piece of paper I use to collect useful references.
What are your favorite Easter traditions? Do you think you and your companion will have time to do anything like dye eggs or do something fun with your investigators/members? - I love dying eggs, going on a hunt, and most of all, eating candy. We probably won't have time to do something like that, but you never know. Perhaps as we're preparing for bed one of these days.
The obvious: Please tell us more about your area, your companionship, your apartment, the people you are meeting, and the experiences you are having, whether they are spiritual, funny, inspiring, or even just routine--in the main letter is fine for most of this stuff. - Well, yep. I stink at that sometimes, but I try.
Have you ever heard the saying, "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb?"--not sure it's applicable here. It snowed yesterday! How's the weather there? - It rains almost every day here, but not for very long at a time. Usually only an hour or so. It's not that bad.
Love you! Have a great day/week/month/year!
Elder Adams
Question from Editor Dad:
Curious -- Did you get the GPS and does it work?  Is it helpful?
Oh, yes! It definitely is helpful, and it definitely works! I don't always have to use it, but sometimes, it helps save a couple of miles. Those are a precious, precious thing to us, as we only have a limited number. 

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