Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 42: My $1,000 Mistake...‏

This week I’ve been a little bit on the forgetful side…I don´t know what’s gotten into me, I seem to be learning more and growing more than I ever have my entire mission, but in spite of that I´m slipping up more times than I ever have in my whole life.
Why would that be?
Who knows…
Let´s do a case study and see how things went down:
Saturday: upon finishing my Internet time for the week we the Secretaries went on another adventure to the Waterfalls of Mixco. The hike was precarious, but the rewards that awaited us at the end were priceless. The waterfall was simply incredible, a steep cascade that tumbled down into a tropical river…something like Paradise Falls from UP but…not as big. When we returned we showered and went to a baptism for Elder Trone and Elder Mendez. They baptized a couple, husband and wife, and the service was something gorgeous.

Our church is very family-centered; the second principle that we teach as missionaries is “The Gospel Blesses Families.” A Christ-Centered Home is invaluable, and a gift that I am eternally grateful for in my own family.
Sunday: It´s funny how the day of rest is the day that we work the hardest! But it was overall a really good day. Baltazar came to church, even though he had to work (He said, “I need to put God first, and then he´ll bless me even more!”) He´s really progressing and is very excited for his baptism! We ate lunch at the house of the Elder´s Quorum President, President Sandburg. He´s from Texas but is living in Guatemala with his family as he works at the American Embassy. Their family was awesome, and I got to teach them in English! We watched the church´s Easter Movie “Because of Him” and discussed the things that are possible through Jesus Christ.
So it was a good day!
Monday: ….
It was a…
Allow me to explain: As Financial Secretaries we have a Petty Cash Box, it contains 10,000 Quetzales (About $1,300), and we use it every week to give out reimbursements to the Missionaries. Every Friday we print out a report of where all the money went to and order a check from the church to fill up the box again.
On Mondays we get the approved payment and we can print out the check for President Stay to sign during our weekly office meeting.
That´s the exposition for you…that´s how things usually go…this week was different.
You see, there´s a little box on the church´s website that selects if your payment will go to a check written out to the missionary, or to the missionary´s credit card. The default setting puts it on the credit card.
And I didn´t think to double check.
Word to the wise: Always double check.
So when I came to the computer on Monday to see that there wasn´t a check made out to Elder Tyler John Monson, the panic began. As it turns out, I had sent a 1,000 dollar payment to my credit card. I had no check to show to President Stay.
Panic started sinking in as we began the opening hymn of the office meeting: “Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel” (at this point I would have preferred to have said wheel run me over and leave me out to die alone on the plains of Wyoming, like that child that always gets sick on Oregon Trail). I had a pit in my stomach, and with thick beads of sweat dripping down my forehead I had to face the facts: I needed to tell President Stay, there were no other options.
In the Office Meetings we go around the circle and everyone is given the chance to talk and give their reports of the past week. Today it was my great misfourtue to go first.
“Well, umm…President” my voice quivered, “We did a lot of stuff this week but I kind of messed up, I accidentally sent the weekly check to my personal account instead of to a written check. My companion is talking to the area offices to try and figure it out…”
I braced myself for a wall of rage.
President Stay just smiled and said, “Okay…how´s your Cyst doing?”
He was more interested in me as a person as opposed to the mistake I had made.
I was completely floored.
What a great man!
With time we were able to obtain a new check that had been done correctly and the problem was fixed…now it seems a little bit petty…but I learned a lot from President Stay and his Christlike Patience.
Tuesday: We had the last Zone Council of the Change today and it was interesting…the Assistants pretty much just yelled at the whole zone for not contacting or baptizing very much this last month….it was…fun.
Wednesday: We taught Baltazar today about the Law of Tithing and he understood everything. Even after we had said the closing prayer for the lesson, he kept asking us questions about the church, and really opened up to us! It was a great lesson!
Thursday: Today we went out with our Ward Mission Leader, Hermano Factor to go and visit a relatively new investigator, Floridalma. She lives right next to a return missionary from El Salvador and asked if we could come and visit her. Her family is from the mountain area in Kiche, and she came here to the City to live alone and see what she could do with her life, right now she works at a Call Center. The first lesson was about two weeks ago, and it was nothing spectacular. But when we came back the second time, she had read the entire Pamplet about the Restoration and wanted to know more! She bombarded us with questions about the church with a sincere interest! Today we taught her about the 3 questions of the Soul and introduced the Plan of Salvation.
“Have you ever asked yourself, Where you come from, why you´re here and where you´re going?” I asked her.
“Yeah!” She responded, “I think about that a lot! But I´ve never found the answer…do you guys know?”
I smiled, “Why, yes, yes we do….”
Friday: Today we prepared ourselves for the great Transfer Meeting. Elder Trone is going to leave the offices, so that´ll be sad to see him go. His companion is freaking out because now he has to teach a new guy everything…hahaha.
Saturday (again): we went to the Central Park of the City of Guatemala (with permission from the Assistants of course because it´s outside of the mission). We got to tour the national Palace that was full to the brim of Guatemalan History, the Conquistadores and the Mayan heritage, it was an incredible experience!

Which brings us back to…now.
So yeah, Thanks for reading my really long letter for this week!
-Elder Monson


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