So, like I said when I emailed you really fast on Monday, today we got to go to the temple again! Attached is a picture of my companion and I in the entrance. I almost have it down in Spanish!
Well, it has been the first week and a half of the new transfer. We are working hard, especially with a couple of young men, Alejandro and his friend David, who randomly showed up to church on Sunday without us even teaching him! He heard Michel, the Young man of the ward (Moderna is a ward, not a branch :) talk about how great it was to go with the missionaries, and now he wants to too! We told him that we have to teach him first so he can have something to say :) It has been hard to find him to teach him though, but he has the desire!
Also, a week ago Thursday we went to help a member cut down a tree. With a Machete and a Butcher`s knife. Yep. It is all we could round up. They just make stuff work here in Mexico, even if it’s not the ideal :) Alejandro found us we were heading over to help, and offered his help. And he was a HUGE help. He is great for being so willing to help out. He not only waits for others to say hi to him or talk to him, but he tries to present himself and help in whatever way he can. (Or maybe life in Moderna is just boring ;P).He is progressing a ton and hopefully my comp and I can help keep up the excitement of these two young men!
The Ward keeps on having problems. As in, the members all hold grudges of some sort against one another. It really makes it hard to help investigators feel comfortable in the church sometimes, as you don’t feel a lot of love amongst them.
What we learned from the visit from Elder Piper hopefully can help us out and know what to do. He opened up for questions, but instead of answering one by one, let us ask like ten questions, and then from the questions that we had, taught what he felt that we needed. It was cool. The majority of the questions had to do with changing the behavior of other people, such as ward leaders, investigators, etc. So he taught what we had to do. We have to start by making sure they understand the Doctrine (things that are always true, i.e., we are children of God, God has a body of Flesh and Bone, etc.) correctly. Once they understand the doctrine, they can understand the principles (faith, repentance, prayer, Word of Wisdom, etc.), and then they can apply those principles to their lives. Doctrine and principles never change, but the Application of them is different in each circumstance. He also taught us how to help the investigators apply these principles to their lives, which includes helping the investigators teach us the principle, so that the Holy Ghost testifies of their own words, and is the real teacher. He taught that we need to help them rely on God and the scriptures to answer their questions instead of always the missionaries. It is really interesting and I am excited to put it into practice. I don’t even know if what I wrote makes sense, but it is basically what I learned with the visit from Elder Piper.
We also tried to directly teach the Apostasy and Restoration to our, oh so Catholic friend Blanca, and it got kind of heated. She declared that there was no mention of Joseph Smith in the Bible. That morning I had read in the Book of Mormon of the Isaiah chapters of the book of Mormon that prophecies of Joseph Smith, so I declared that it did, and tried to find the reference in her bible, but it didn't have the desired effect.... it talked about a voice as if from the dust and a sealed book, and I testified that it was the book of Mormon, but she didn't even want to consider it. I felt super.... passionate to try to convince her but her heart was closed. Even after the lesson, she invited us to eat cake! She just wants someone to talk to, I think, and isn't really interested in the message...we really need to just stop visiting her, but my comp hasn't wanted to. That was my reference to Bible Bashing in my last email :)
Our investigator Martin is still drinking... with us he declares that he wants to change, he agrees with all the commandments, but still won’t stop! Maybe it doesn't help when we aren't united when teaching....my companion had a headache while we taught the Word of Wisdom lesson, and after I finished testifying of the Word of Wisdom, Elder Hernandez asked him if he would keep the law of Chastity. He corrected himself, and Martin said he would live The Word of Wisdom (and he said he would live the law of Chastity too, half joking), but it didn't help the teaching situation.
(That is the picture with the minions. It says Unity at the top, and the minion on the left is testifying of the Word of wisdom, and the minion on the middle asks if he will keep the law of Chastity :) It’s a statement on teaching with unity in a companionship :)
And a super spiritual Experience! When I logged on to send a quick email to let you know that I wouldn't write until today, I saw a message from Mandy. She said that she was struggling trying to find answers to her prayers and feeling the spirit and that she felt super lost, and even though I shouldn't have, I took some extra time to write her back. And I am glad that I did. I was able to share my short testimony of Heavenly Father, refer her to some scriptures and give her some counsel. Apparently, I ``literally saved her life`` for answering when I did. I know that the Heavenly Father is watching over us, that he gives us opportunities to bless the lives of others, and that his timing is perfect.
Well yeah, that is my week pretty much. I’ll be able to write more on Monday, not too far away.
It was great to hear about the camping trip and I LOVED the pictures. I was also super entertained to hear the Provo is finally winning football games. It’s nothing personal against Thomas though :) I can imagine it would have been really funny to have been with Karen during and after the game :)
Hope you can have some success as well with the dove hunt! I actually have thought about it a few times, and wished I could go. I know I am not good at all, but it is great spending time with you (Dad) and Steve!
Well, talk to you next week,
Love ya lots!!!