Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 17: My Favorite Things

Dogs didn't bite, nor did the bees sting....I just kept feeling sad. So it looked like I needed to remember some of my favorite things So I wouldn´t feel so bad....
Also, because there´s a white paper package tied up with tape on the bottom of my dresser with my Christmas presents all stuffed inside and it takes all my willpower not to tear it open and make the holidays come early.
Because, about now, I need a pick-me-up.
So while I was on divisions with a tri-lingual Brazilian (he`s fluent in Spanish, Portuguese AND cool is that?) Elder De Carvalho, we were ready to think outside the box. While my companion`s blueprints for the day was to have us knock on doors all day while he conducted baptismal interviews we changed it up: taking all the pamphlets and Books of Mormon we could scavenge we set up a table on the side of the main road, right next to a popular Tenida (there like a thousand little shops all over everywhere, they`re like tiny little service stations with even lower prices....America needs this) and waited for the golden investigators to come to us....a stark reversal of roles. As a person passed we would contact them and try to set up a visit.
After about an hour of little to no success (would you like to learn more about Jesus and God to give you eternal happiness? oh...its just your salvation at stake, nothing too important...)
We dropped down to the truly desperate stage: Knocking on doors.
aaaaannnnndddd....we got nothing. Zilch, Zero, Nada, Nope. Although I DID learn some new words in Spanish that I`m never allowed to repeat.
The week continued likewise with failure stalking me like obvious paparazzi. My feet started feeling magnetic against the cobblestone roads, every time I blinked it was a new day...and I had nothing to show for the last one.
¨Raindrops on roses....and whiskers on kittens¨ I began to sing to myself at every downhill slide and failure..¨Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens...¨ another doorstep, the investigator doesn`t want to go to church.
¨Brown paper packages tied up with string...¨ I have a white paper package waiting for me, sent by a family that loves me more than I know. And that`s a blessing that I can enjoy.
¨These are a few of my favorite things.¨
My companion and I sat down last night for a very long time....until around one in the morning...and tried to resolve things. This week had been a bad one between us, and, I know that the Lord`s not going to going to send us the people he`s prepared if we`re fighting and have bad feelings between us. And all I know is....things ought to be getting better from here.
So look for the good in the world. Its there. Even if its hidden behind rainclouds and all those other cliches. Do your best...your very, very best and the Lord will carry you the rest of the way.
Its like what Samwise Gamgee says, 
Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something. 
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam? 
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

So let´s go to war.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 16: Oh, there you are Perry

At the zone council this Tuesday, Elder Walters went to every elder and sister sitting at the table,
pointed at them and said, ¨Elder, (or sister) _____, ¿Quien es? (who is he)` He made his way around the circle and when it was my turn I was barely able to reiterate the ¨Un Hijo de Dios (child of god)¨ that everyone else was able to sputter out....which is true, but I didn´t feel fufilled.
Yes my friends, this week I had a nice identity crisis. The age-old question that has lingered in the heart of every man since the dawn of time....WHO AM I. And for a while this week I kind of forgot...the chains of resentment and tolerance had kind of made me irritable.
Who Am I?
But on the bright side...I`ve had a good deal of welcome ¨alone time.¨ Mostly in the mornings from 6:30 until 8:30. I`m counting the extra study time a blessing, it gives me time to read more and more of ¨Jesus the Christ¨ by James E. Talmage I`ve gotten to page 450 in two weeks and have soaked in every word. After breakfast I enjoy a nice session of Companionship Study on my own, fighting off the vexing inklings that bother my brain every time I pass over another picture in Preach My Gospel that shows two missionaries studying and working together in unity.
There you are Perry!
So I took things into my own hands.
If the Robot was malfunctioning, I was in line to reboot èm.
I tried as hard as I could to do what I was able to, plan everything, contact everyone and set up all the visits we would go on in the following thing was for certain, I was not about to waste more time..
So as I put my shoulder to the wheel I started to experience more joy. This is the work of the Lord! This is his kingdom! I was ready to go and build it up!
And it was then that I started to find myself again. I know who I am, I know God`s plan! It was like in Phineas and Ferb, where the boys spend all day without their beloved platypus and finally after it all gets wrapped up, it walks into the back yard, ¨Oh, there you are Perry!¨
I started to laugh again and experience joy so...that was pretty neat.
Elder Tamayo and I

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week 15: A Bug`s Life

¨Good night, sleep tight....¨ affectionately says the anti-protagonist Gru as he tucks in Agnis, a newly adopted orphan, ¨....don`t let the bedbugs bite. Because there are literally hundreds of them...oh, and there`s probably something in your closet.¨
Yes, the bedbugs really do bite....and then it itches like crazy.
This week I went to war. Both physically and spiritually. Since the beginning of this Cambio I`ve been getting eaten alive every night by tiny malicious I went and bought some SERIOUS, heavy duty sprays and doused my mattress with bug-killers, and lathered myself with bug-repellent as I climbed back under the covers.
I woke up thirty minutes before my alarm....and felt a good dozen of bugs crawling and chowing down on my flesh....Let`s just say that this Halloween I got myself a new fear.
After soaking my mattress and cleaning my sheets again I think I`ve finally finished off the little devils...or at least, I HOPE that I did.
I also HOPE my area can survive another three weeks until the next cambio, when my companion goes home....I know, I shouldn`t say that but...San Juan is in bad shape, and the Robot has thrown in the towel and wants nothing more than to coast to the finish line. We taught a grand total of 5 lessons this entire week...and two of them were in a graveyard.
 Why in a graveyard you ask? November 1st was Day of the Dead! Essentially, It`s like Memorial Day in the states, but people come and have picnics with the dead guys.
As a district we went to the graveyard and did some contacting, singing and consolidating. We explained the Plan of Salvation to a good majority of the people and sang hymns in front of this GIANT statue of Jesus.
 We did some good seed-planting for future missionaries to reap.
But for now not a lot of reaping is going on in my area. I`m trying as hard as I can to motivate my companion to endure to the end but....his dedication has definitely taken a nose dive....

This is San Juan... please pray for our area, we need all your prayers!