Thursday, October 21, 2010

Letter #39 - October 21, 2010


Thanks for the letter. I'm writing you Thursday because our PDay got pushed back a few days because this week is changes and President had all these meetings or something so the changes are actually like 5 days early. So anyway, it winded up that my PDay this week is today, Thursday.

First I'll tell you about the past couple of days,


Today we did have our thanksgiving dinner haha. I ended up spending like 400 pesos (20 bucks) on it, but it lasted both me and my comp for two meals. I forget if I told you but I bought a rotisserie chicken, instant potatoes (we didn't have much time), stuff for gravy, stuff to make fruit salad jello, buns, and some instant dessert stuff. It was pretty good although it really did not feel the same as you can probably imagine.


Today we had district meeting, and I did not get the package. I'm not sure why or not but I could maybe call the offices to see what happens if you don't fill out a customs form. I might just have to be a little more patient, although I'm really awaiting my scripture markers to start marking my spanish scriptures haha. Afterwards I did divisions with Elder Nielson. The reason I'm doing a lot of divisions is because my comp is district leader, so he can do them with people in his district when he wants to. Elder Nielson is one of the guys that was in my CCM group, and he's really cool. Anyways, we had a lot of fun on divisions. It was also cool because together, we did just fine, and neither of us have very much time in the mission. It's cool that we could work together without a 'senior comp' who knows more Spanish to help us out.


Okay the guy who I had given the priesthood blessing to had died like 2 days ago (like the day after I gave him the blessing or something, everyone keeps saying that I 'killed him') so today was his funeral. Actually, speaking of, it really didn't really surprise me that he passed away. I just didn't have the impression that he would live, and I think what that spiritual and helpful experience was needed for his family before he left. Anyways to finish divisions, we had intended to meet at the funeral home and go to that with my comp, but it turns out we got the wrong time, and missed it. It might have been better though, I'm not sure if the people would have been like 'well that was nice that they came, they came and visited us the day before' or 'what are they doing here? they didn't even know him'. Today for some reason it seemed like we worked particularily hard, although it probably was just we did a lot of walking haha. Also tonight we had ward council meeting, although I've had two since the last email and I don't really remember anything specific.


Today we had a lesson that I had prepared for, it was for this one person from another church. I remember her telling me something that she said that she believed and so I looked up 5 scriptures from the Bible that were contrary to her belief. Anyways, she thinks we're nice people and everything but still says 'I'm not going to your church'. Anyways, it ended up being a really good lesson, we didn't even fight or anything. I didn't pull out the paper but rather turned the discussion showing her like one or two into believing what I had said from what she had thought. That was pretty cool. Today was also our english class, although this day only one person showed up, and not the two from the week before (he had to work) so that really sucked. I think we'll have more people this next week though.


Today we found another guy who was super strong in this other church, who actually was just about to get baptized. We had a really interesting first lesson with him, which went from him being super cold to finally accepting the pamphlet (even though it's not the bible) and giving us some Christian music CDs to me and my comp. That was kind of cool. The follow up lesson will be in another day. Today we had to go to do a baptismal interview because my comp is the district leader, so we went to another church. While there, I heard that one of the latino missionaries had an english hymnbook, since he speaks pretty good english. Anyways, I looked through it and it was SO weird. I can't even describe how wierd it was. I haven't seen a hymnbook in anything other than spanish in like 8 months so that was kind of different. Also today we played soccer with the kids of the area, and today we had a really good game. The crowd was a little older so it was slightly more intense so I enjoyed that.


Okay, so mission had bought everyone an oven, and today was the day we were supposed to get it. We had to wait in the house for a while today, to wait to get it. They gave us a pretty broad range and so we had to be safer than sorry. Turns out it didn't even come so we just left, after discovering that everyone else waiting in their house never got theirs. After that we had to go to another area again for a baptisimal interview. Anyways, we got there which took forever to get to and it turns out for some reason there was no water so the baptisimal font was right empty. Anyways, so, we hung out and talked to the missionaries who were there also and then went back to work. Today we had an interesting lesson with this woman who was kind of frustrating. She said that she hasn't really been happy all her life, although she doesn't want to change. She was mad at God for not blessing her without qualifying for his blessings. I was pretty close to snapping just because this woman was sitting there whining and looking for pity when I told her if she wants different consequences for her actions, she has to primarily change her actions before she can expect changes in the following consequences. She didn't want to, and would rather complain. Ugh.


Today was Sunday, so we went to church. It kind of sucked because hardly any people went. It wasn't empty, it was just a smaller crowd. Today while proselyting, we ended up finding this super cool family. They were just sitting outside drinking mate and my comp and I went up to talk to them. I was kind of hesitant because usually people who are just doing nothing with their family don't want interruptions but it ended up being this really good lesson. We have another lesson with them next Sunday.


Today we had the follow up lesson with the guy who gave us the Christian music CDs. It was kind of a question and answer session where he asked questions that I think he thought would stump us but I ended up just making him look stupid. I thought it was an okay lesson, because I managed to answer everything he asked at least decently and make him realize how flawed his beliefs were. Specifics I can remember is how he said 'we changed the bible', 'their bible contains everything we need to know', 'the bible is complete, you can't add to it' and just stuff like that. The best part is, I managed to show him everything with the bible. He actually just got baptized in his church like the day before so I felt kind of bad. However, when we were walking away my comp felt really bad for this guy because I had just like crushed his faith and everything he thought was right when he had come to us with his prepared questions he knew 'what to ask the mormons incase they talk to you'. He had read through the whole pamphlet on the restoration though, and underlined everything. I had noticed some comments he had made so I made sure to specifically answer those. In the end, he still didn't accept the book of mormon or want to investigate further. It wasn't a fight though, I testified to him and everything but in the end, he left shattered but unchanged and still wouldn't accept us.


Today we had another district meeting, and I still didn't get my package, so that was kind of sad. Today my comp and I also made brownies for this family home evening that we were going to have with this one family. Someone there had brought a friend from another religion. It ended up being a really awkward lesson. There was this poor one guy from another faith who was actually really quite knowledgable, and for being from the religion that he was, I'm surprised that he actually made sense but it was like all against him. All that pretty much ended up happening was we all were targetting this one guy who of course got his back up against the wall thanks to the sitation and we didn't really get anywhere. We didn't fight, we didn't pull out the bibles, and we didn't accomplish anything. The thing was, he was so wrong and had beliefs so contrary to the bible, but it's not like me just bashing his beliefs to nothing would have done anything. It was just weird. He has a Book of Mormon and everything but it just ended up being wierd.


Today we had a pretty slack day, although it wasn't our fault. Today we had to wait in our house for our oven. Since it came in two parts (the big propane tank and the actual oven) we had to wait for pretty much the whole afternoon. We did manage to leave for a little but we just chilled out in the house and I did some stuff I was meaning to do. Thankfully the oven actually did come today though. Today we also had another baptism to go to. This one went through haha. Also tonight we got our changes. I'm going to be staying here in Salto, and Elder Squires is leaving. My new comp is Elder Hammon (or something like that). He is one change lower than Elder Squires.


Today was our PDay, since we didn't get it Monday. We went over to this one guys house who is a RM from our ward and ate pancakes there. It was really cool. After that we went to the church to hang out and play soccer, then we all went to lunch and then we went to the cyber.

Other stuff:

I have to tell you something that I can now do. Okay, you know how like everyone can spring to their feet from their back on the trampoline? Well I can do it on regular, flat ground (without using my hands to push off). The day that we went to the baptism (Saturday) one of the missionaries did it, and I told him he had to teach me. I ended up getting it on my second try. I don't even think he really had to tell me how to do it, all that I had to do was try. I was pretty excited because I've wanted to do be able to do that for like the past 10 years and at somepoint in life I developed the ability, and discovered I could do it today. So yeah, pretty exciting.

I was going to explain how Salto is different than Montevideo, primarily for working but I forget what I've told you haha. Basically people are just more chill here because it's a smaller town and not the huge capital city. Here it seems like we have a ton of people to visit and not even close to enough time. However, it seems harder to set specific times with people, so we end up just going from place to place until someone is home. It's kind of inneffective and frustrating, but what can you do?

Well, that's pretty much all that I have time for. Thanks for the letter and prayers. I hope you guys all have a good week.

Elder Fikus

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