April 1st, 2013
This week has been pretty good week. People just have a really hard time with any sort of commitment here so when Sunday rolled around and the 10 people that said they would come to church didn't show up, I was disappointed. But I really love working hard and I am trying to work harder and do better every day.
My companion and I have had some really sweet lessons this past week. I love when you don't feel the Spirit at first but then you say, "Heavenly Father, what do you want me to do/say? How can I be you're hands?" Then you find yourself saying things and doing things that could only have been done through the Spirit. A mission is weird; you have to be completely selfless. If you're not then the people who let you down hurt you too much and you cannot give your whole heart to the Lord. I have really liked giving everything of myself to Him.
One day this week we were out finding and we walked by this old man sitting on his porch in a wheelchair. He was about 90 years old and didn't have one leg. You could tell that he was beyond competence so we couldn't really teach him anything. I turned to my companion and said, "Let's sing him a song." So we grabbed our hymn books and sang Oh my Father. He then started smiling a toothless grin and quietly harmonized with us. The words were so touching and the Spirit was so strong I had tears running down my face by the end. I couldn't teach him anything but he taught me what it feels like to be truly Christ -like. What a tender experience!
On a more funny note, this week we got rained on twice, both within the same hour of each other. Since there is no warning when it rains we just kept walking. It was pretty funny and refreshing. Everyone we talked to after that thought we were crazy though. Our Easter was pretty good! I have looked everywhere here for peeps but they are nowhere to be found.
I have now had quite a few traditional dinners here so let me tell you what they eat. Beans, rice, peas. the WHOLE chicken...the WHOLE chicken. Yucky! flying fish, breadfruit, something covered in mayonnaise and a salad that will never have dressing. I'm still getting used to the food. The drinks are pretty gross. They have maube and sorrel. Both taste like cough syrup. One drink that I have had that I liked was called a tamerin ball. And coconuts! The fruit is good here.
We have been working with some really great less-active families here. One family is called the Toney's. Sister Toney is a single mom with 5 kids. They are really poor and she has two boys and three girls. I love this family so much. The mom and the two oldest girls were baptized about a year ago but Sister Toney doesn't feel like she can come back to church because she is having chastity issues. They just weren't taught very well so we are basically starting over with them. I love them so much and I know that they can do it! It's just going to take lots of time and effort.
April 8th, 2013
Bonjour! comment alle-vous?
This week went by sooo fast! Conference was so great and I got a lot of answers to my prayers and to questions that I had. We watched in in the branch building in Rendevous. Missionary work here is difficult. Every one is either really new to the church or really old, so they rely a lot on the missionaries. It hard to get people to come teach with us and we have never gotten a referral. This is not a state mission. Think of it as a European-type mission. But the great part is that everyone has a belief in Christ! They just don't understand why. My companion and I are working really hard to bring back less-actives to the church and to get investigators. I know that our hard work will eventually pay off since we have a righteous desire and are fervently praying to The Lord.
In our area, our Mission President wants us to eventually turn it into it's own branch. So we really have been trying to strengthen the members. I really do love it here. I'm always sweaty and gross but I'm starting to get a nice tan! We have a car that we drive and have to be in every night by 8 p.m. So I feel very safe.
In between the Sunday sessions we went over the the senior couple's (the Olpins) apartment and had lunch, That was really fun because we were with everyone in our zone.
The conference talks were so wonderful. It felt like everything was about families! It made me really want to be prepared to raise a righteous family actively fighting against Satan. FHE family prayer and family scripture study are SO IMPORTANT. I never realized that until I came on my mission. Satan doesn't want you to do those things because they bring him down so much.
We have this new investigator name Rorick. He is about 30 and has a son and is engaged to his girlfriend. He is actively seeking to find the true church. We talked to him about the 1st vision and that he can know these things are true by the Spirit. He didn't know how to recognize the spirit so we told him it was a feeling of enlightenment and peace. He then told us a pretty scary story that happened to him last week. A demon came and asked him who he was. He told him he was a son of God and felt an overwhelming power within him when he said Christ's name. Long story, short, the demon then ran away and he felt really empowered. I felt the Spirit when he was telling that story so it was true and most importantly he has experienced the Holy Ghost and knows how to recognize it.
We had one investigator named Lawynda who loved me and had a baptismal date. She said that she never wanted me to leave. We found out that she was breaking the law of chastity and then we taught her about her divine potential. She didn't like this and didn't commit to live it. A couple lessons later we decided to tell her that she cannot get baptized if she isn't willing to change. Unfortunately, I was the one to tell her the news.