Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Letter #58 - March 1, 2011

Hey Mom,

I'll start off by telling you what happened in my week,


Today we had another lesson with this person that I think is really funny. Okay so she's pretty old, and her mom recently passed away. This woman is kind of contradictory, but I think that she believes in God still, although I think the problem is that she's angry, since her 94 year old mom passed away. We tried explaining to her a little about how this life isn't everything, and the purpose of our mortal existance and how it's only a part of the plan of salvation, but she was pretty set in the fact that her mom was a box of ashes in the graveyard, and nothing more. It was kind of interesting, as she claimed to believe in the words of the bible, but she had her own opinions. It was interesting, I guess that's all I can say.


Today we had district meeting, and since it was the last one of the change, we had to go into Rivera. Instead of leaving the night before, and since we wanted to have PDay in Vichadero, we just decided to take a bus early in the morning to come in. We left at like 6:00, so we were up a little before that. We came in for the day, had district meeting, and then we came back all in the same day. I was tired, but not enough to fall asleep on a big loud bus in a bright environment with people talking and the radio on. Ugh. Needless to say I fell asleep pretty quick that night.


Today we had a lesson with Jorge, the guy who's baptism we have planned for this week. In our lesson, he got really emotional as he expressed his gratitude for us, and for all that we do to spend time with him, teach him, help him gain a testimony, and bring him to church. He also said that when we leave, he hopes to stay in touch with us through mail or through 'that garbage system of staying in touch called email' it was super funny haha. We also told him that we were going to have his baptism on Sunday, and he was in agreement. We also had a meeting with our Branch President to make plans for the baptism, and he was totally against having the baptism on Sunday, thanks to the horrible planning of two elders before who had a baptism on Sunday. They had not started filling up the font on time, and they didn't get started until 1:00, keeping the members waiting for over an hour after church ended. Apparently it wasn't a very spiritual experience, and I can see why. Anyways, after talking about it for a very long time, he finally gave in with the exception that if we screwed up, both of our heads would be on a platter sent off to President Heaton haha. But, he caved and we got our way, so it was good in the end haha.


Today we had another ward activity, this one not planned by us. Our branch president wants to start having ward activities every other week, although he decided that he'd plan this one. So, we just showed up, with the instruction that we had to share a short message. We prepared something about the Book of Mormon, which was probably about 15 minutes long, and then there was a game that Pres and his wife had told us about that they wanted us to do. Basically everyone sits in a circle and there's two ties that have to be tied before passed on to the person sitting beside you. Before passing on the tie, you have to tie the 'cat' tie once, and the 'mouse' tie twice. It's not a real knot, but you have to do that until the person with the cat tie 'eats' the person with the mouse tie. I had done it before, and it was alright. It actually went a lot better than I thought, and everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. Afterwards there was a bit of food. It ended up being a really good activity.


Today we had one lesson that was really good and worth mentioning. It was with this girl named Fabiola, and it was someone that we had just talked to in the street a couple days before. She used to go to some other church, had listened to the missionaries a long time ago, has a couple kids, and is really friendly. It was really cool. Other than that, I guess we had planning and planned out the baptism and everything.


Today we had the baptisimal interview of Jorge, so E' Torres came in again to talk to him. Of course, everything went fine and there was no problems. That took up the morning, since we had to go get him, go to Jorge's house, etc. We also had a lesson with Anita (our recent baptism) and her daughter Claudia, her daughter. Last time that we had a lesson with Anita, Claudia ran away back into her room before we even got to the front door. I was really surprised, but today she even sat in on everything, and was actually pretty positive. I'm not sure what happened, or why the difference, but it was good that she's willing to sit in the same room as us haha. Today we also had soccer, since we couldn't have it on Thursday since there was the ward activity. Something happened that involved Mario, that 13 year old kid that didn't get baptized when his brother Bruno did. Anyways, a couple times he said some bad words, and we told him he had to stop or we were going to kick him out. After that, this one time he pushed my comp from behind with both hands, an obvious dirty foul. Nothing happened other than the call, but at this point I wasn't too impressed with him. A little while later, when he screwed up and got frustrated, he shouted out something else he shouldn't have, for like the third time that game after what he did to my comp. Since I was right there and I had had enough, I yelled at him and told him to leave. He was kind of just standing there not listening, and I was yelling at him telling him to 'Leave!'. Eventually he wandered off the field slowly. I told him to leave the church, like we had done with the other two people that we had kicked out the previous weeks. E' Smith kind of stopped me, and asked me if that's what we really wanted to do, considering that if we kicked him off, he'd probably never come back. He even has come to church the past couple weeks, and there was a little hope for him, so my comp didn't really want to do it. I was mad, and told him there shouldn't be a double standard. We made him leave. As he was walking away, I told him that the rules were the same for everyone, we had given him warnings, and that if he wanted to play like that he wasn't welcome at the church. It was pretty intense, and soccer was kind of awkward after that for a little bit until everyone loosened up. He hung around outside the gates of the church for us to finish, and as we were leaving I told him that I was sorry for yelling, but I had to kick him out for breaking our pre-established rules, but that I only kicked him out for that week. We'll see, but I doubt he'll come back.


Today we had church, and it was also Jorge's baptism. It was a little stressful, and we went over to fill up the font pretty much as soon as we got up so that it'd be full of warm water well before we needed it to be, so we wouldn't have any problems with that. However, Jorge can't walk well, no member at church had a car, and the person who he knows who will take him around wasn't home. It was kind of important that he be there for his own baptism, and we ended up calling our one member with a car who was late for church but about to arrive who agreed to go by his house first where we were to get him. Branch Pres was going to do the actual baptism, but I got changed into white clothes too because I was going to him him get in and out of the font, and potentially out of the water too haha. We actually picked him up to carry him in and out, and Pres helped us a lot with the whole taking control of the situation. We made sure that everything would be prepared during church, so that we were able to start almost immediately after church ended. Despite being super stressful, everything went great and we had no problems. After that and lunch, we went out to work for the day. As we were walking in the street, we were walking up to this group of guys that was outside with a parked car in the shade, listening to music and drinking. They yelled at us to come over, and we were walking right up to them. We had the option to turn down a road, but I think it would have looked super rude, and since it was like 2:00 the town was dead. Last minute I decided to just go up to them, and even though it wasn't an ideal teaching situation (us two, 5 drinking guys and a girl haha), it ended up being a really funny conversation. They were hilarious, and it was nice to know that my Spanish was good enough to be able to have a conversation like that. I was quite happy that we had gone over, and I left entertained. They were actually really nice, and weren't like mocking us or anything. We also had something funny happen, when this guy invited us into his house when we clapped it. There's a military base thing in Vichadero, although I have no idea why, and this guy is someone that works there in like the exercise program or something. For whatever reason, he felt compelled to put on the exercise DVD for the program that he does. It was a Jane Fonda exercise video, which was super 80s styled and really weird. I'm not sure what led him to want to show us that, but that was on in the background for the first 15 minutes of our conversation haha.


Today was not our PDay, since it's Tuesday as it's changes this week, although E' Smith and I both assumed that we were going to stay together another change. We had plans to work the day, but when we made a phonecall at lunch to get our changes early (we need to in order to get time to pack), we were informed that E' Smith would be leaving and I'd be getting a new comp. We were both pretty surprised, and a little disapointed, but after that he had to spend most of the evening packing. My new comp is going to be Elder Atkinson, who's going to be going into his fourth change (a little less than six months in the mission). So, looks like I'm senior comp, I get the responsiblities, blame, and have to teach and lead a guy with less time in the mission than me. I'm kind of looking foreward to it actually, although I think I would have liked if E' Smith could have stayed another change. So, today we couldn't really work as my comp had to spend the afternoon packing to take a bus to Rivera Tuesday morning.


Today we had to take another 6:00am bus to come here to Rivera. We got here, dropped off all of E' Smith's stuff in a missionaries house, and then went to the church. We played soccer for a little bit, went and got lunch, and now we're at a cyber. We have PDay together, then we go to bed, E Smith's bus leaves at like 4:00am, and then my comp gets here at like 6:00 or so. Changes are always so fun haha.

Elder Fikus

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