Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 34: "Catching Fire"

Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, to what has been easily the craziest week of my entire mission. Which is saying a lot, after Smurfs, Llamas, Drunk Guys, Good Comps, less-good Comps, Construction and Combustion, and the unforgettable investigator who prayed to Barack Obama.
Yes my dear friends, even crazier than that.
Which is interesting; because it started out relatively plain, last P-Day....
In the sense that we didn´t do much besides go home and sleep for 2 hours and have a Family Home Evening with the Bishop. It was fun!
Tuesday we had Zone Council in the morning about a half an hour away in Progresso. We learned about a lot of ways we can improve the search for ¨New Investigators¨ Mainly by...Contacting.
I won´t lie, my love for the keen game of Cat and Mouse that is Street Contacting has waxed a little cold. But in the Zone Council I learned a lot about how we can make it more interesting by using the many different recourses we have in the church.
Have you ever tried to get someone interested in the Gospel by using the Hymnbook? Go ahead! Try it! You might be surprised...

We then went on divisions, my companion was sent an hour away to Monjas while I stayed in Jutiapa to hold down the fort with Elder Antonio. He´s from Mexico and he´s been in the mission for a month, and we ran around the city all day working like dogs...and it really paid off! We taught Marian, (Who will be baptized this coming week) and the Lopez Family (who still are GOLDEN!). When the day was over, it was not hard to sink into the pillow and go to sleep.
And it was a good thing that I slept well, because Wednesday just about killed me.
Scroll up and take a glance at the title of this week: ¨Catching Fire.¨ This is not just a reference to the heat of Jutiapa, it is indeed a reference to Suzanne Collin´s Contemporary Fiction novel.
A ¨revolution¨ of sorts broke out in Jutiapa.
You see, there are two parts of this area, city and mountain. The more densely populated area is the former, and the rural, more humble, would be the latter. The ¨Mountain People¨ came down on Wednesday morning with all the intention of being heard by the Well-to-Do´s of Guatemala.
First, they blocked off the Highway from Jutiapa to Progresso, with Buses, and vans interlocked in two different areas, as to prohibit all motor-powered passage.
This posed a problem, as Elder Antonio and I needed to get through the barricade and out to Monjas. There simply was no other option, we needed to walk.
From Jutiapa to Progresso we went, under the midday sun, and it was a killer! All the cars on both sides of the barricade were in a hiatus, and all the passengers had resorted to the same scapegoat as us. We crossed both sides of the blockade, walking right past the Police and the Mob, with their AK-47´s and machetes...
When we reached Progresso we were able to take a bus to Monjas and meet up with our companions an hour late.
Elder Vieira and I wasted no time getting back on the bus and heading down to Jutiapa....where we walked the length of the barricade again. Only this time the heat had risen, the tensions between the ¨pacifistic protesting¨ and the enforcement of the law had risen...but once again, my companion and I walked right past them and to the house of the Stake President, whose wife had arranged to make us lunch.
It was a huge plate of spaghetti and a tall glass of Coca Cola (I find it interesting, I drink more Coca Cola in my Mission than I have in my entire life....).
When we got back home, we began calling people to confirm our scheduled appointments.
¨Don´t leave the house Elders!¨ was the first thing we heard from Brother Mendez, ¨The police just threw tear gas in the park (next to our house)¨
The protest sparked in the City´s central, and a good many people were in the hospital, men women and children.
So we stayed home.
But we couldn´t have timed it better. The rebellion didn´t amount to anything and by the next day it was all cleaned up...
For the rest of the week, the work went relatively slowly...Many appointments fell through and it’s getting increasingly harder to find Investigators who will progress...
But that´s how it goes! The week had its other moments of craziness (including a drunk-nudist running behind us in the street) but nothing else quite matched to the rebellion.
The Lord takes care of his missionaries!
And what a great calling it is to be one!

-Elder Monson

Baptism of Esau whom Tyler taught in San Juan.  Tyler was so excited!

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