Monday, May 16, 2011

Letter #69 - May 16, 2011

Hey Mom,

Well, I'll start off by talking about my week,


Well, okay today after our PDay, we went out and did some work from the missionaries in centro. We did divisions this time (where we switch companions) since they had a couple of planned lessons to go to, and not enough time haha. I went with the newer guy (he's been in the field a couple months) and we went to some people. We only had one lesson though, and it wasn't really spectacular. It was good though, I like doing divisions.


Yesterday we had to get up at 5am in the morning to come in to Rivera for PDay. Today, we also had to get up at 5am to go to Tacuarembo for a zone conference. TBo is a city that's in another department (which is also called TBo), just south of Rivera. We went there (a couple hour bus ride) because zone conference is the big thing where president comes and talks to a pretty big groups of missionaries. The church rented a huge bus for us (we almost filled it anyways), so we took that down. I slept for most of the way. The conference was primarily about the Plan of Salvation, with the focus being on families. We talked about and the importance of the premortal life, creation, fall, atonement, and eternal life. It was really good. President and his wife both talked to us. We also played a game where we looked for scriptures, and stuff like that. We also ate lunch together, where everyone got a pizza, and then the people who had their birthdays in the last little while (which included me), got a certificate for icecream (woohoo). Also, all the guys starting and ending their missions bore their testimony, and that was pretty much it. It ended at like 4, but we didn't leave back to Rivera until 6 so that people who had worked in TBo could go and visit some of the members and converts in their areas.


Today we had our District meeting here in Rivera, which got bumped back a day because of the zone conference. Anyways, today we basically talked about how it's important that our bishops meet our investigators, and especially the ones that come to church. Also, today I got the second half of my package from the Schlachters. In my letter, they mentioned that they had sent some candy, and they wanted me to tell them whether or not I got it. Since I didn't get both of them together, I was a little concerned. However, this week I got it, so I don't have to tell them it got stolen haha. I need to write them when I find the time. After district meeting, we came back to Vichadero, arriving at like 6 and then working for a couple hours.


Today was our first full day of work this week, which was pretty crazy considering that it was Thursday. The member that we were supposed to have lunch with forgot, so that was pretty inconvenient. Fortunately we had some food in the house, because around noon, everywhere closes for a couple hours so we couldn't buy anything. Tonight we had another lesson with the lady that worked in Jorge's house. It's been impossible to find her, and we really want to set up a lesson with her with our branch president, as I think it'd be really helpful. She told us when she's free, so hopefully we can set something up.


Today we had a pretty interesting experience with one of our recent converts, Anita, the ex-evangelical lady. Today our branch president told us to go by her house so we could set a family home evening with her, since she didn't answer his text. So, we go up to her house, and instantly it goes bad. We hear this freaky Evangelical chanting prayer thing going on from insider her house, which makes you totally feel all wierded out inside. Anyways, I didn't know what to do, so after some debating, we decided to go to the door. I totally thought that she was switching teams again since all her family doesn't like that she's LDS and stuff. Anyways, we go up to this door, and she has a mini church congregation in this one room in her house that opened to the outside. I stood in the doorway, and saw this one pastor lady praying (I think) in front of like 8 or so other woman, including Anita. I was so distraught. Anyways, we waited outside for like half an hour, and then it closed up. Most of the woman left, without saying anything to us, and then Anita did too. She invited us into her house all nice and stuff. We kind of asked questions, and she explained what was going on. Basically she rents out a room in her house (I think someone used to live there), but this one super small church here is going to start renting it from her every other Friday. Since they were going to her house, they invited her to join them. She acted like it was totally normal. Like I know our church doesn't forbid people from going to other churches, but this seemed to be a little too off. Anyways, she said it was fine to have the family home evening that night, which we did. We showed up late (we told her beforehand that we had another lesson), but there was a couple members there, and it was all well. I'm not really sure what to think, but it was definitely an interesting experience haha.


Today we had another pretty interesting experience. We were walking on the way to this lesson, and this guy was walking the oposite way towards us in the street. I saw that he had a Bible in his hand, but I planned on just walking by. Well, he stopped us, and tried talking to us. He was just a pretty over-enthusiastic, under-educated Evangelical man. He attempted to tell us that our Bible was different, and to do it, read from John 1:1-5. Just based on the edition of the Bible (Spanish has a couple revisions every once in a while), there was a couple tiny differences, although it meant exactly the same thing, and I acted like it was exactly the same (We both had the same edition of the bible, but different revisions, I didn't figure he'd be smart enough if I explained it to him though, so I just pretended there was no differences). He also told us that us (LDS), Catholics, and Jehova's witnesses are all going to hell (how he determines exactly who barely cuts across the line is beyond me), and told us that there's some scripture somewhere that says that (although he didn't know it), and that we've all been tricked (and of course, unable to prove that). He also wanted us to go and talk to his pastor, who was more educated than he was so that he could show us why we were wrong. It was a disaster on his part, as I knew more than he did (and the fact that I was right to begin with). I told him I appreciated his efforts for doing what he thinks is right, but we weren't going to go to his pastor as I already knew everything that he'd tell us, and why he'd be wrong. It was pretty interesting haha.


Today we had church, after what seemed a very short working week. We didn't get to have many lessons, so none of the investigators that we're teaching came to church. However, I think I've mentioned how there's this family which includes Marcos, Erika, and their two boys (both parents got baptized like a year ago, and he's recently reactivating). Anyways, their 14 year old son, Andrew, came to church for the first time since I've been here, so I think that's a little start with him haha. In the night we also found this family of ex-investigators which seems to have a lot of potential, so that's cool. That was pretty much it though.


Today we got up at 5am again to come into Rivera for our PDay. Today we all went to a park where we cooked hamburgers and we played some soccer. I've actually been pretty sick the past few days (my comp got it before I did, and now he's on the upswing while I'm still sick), so I didn't play that hard or run that much. I'm also dead tired haha. After that, we came in and did some shopping (I bought a fake Germany Jersey), and looked for some more stuff to send to you guys. Now, we're at the cyber, and that's pretty much it.

Anyways, I really got to go. Thanks for the email and update, I didn't respond to much, but I printed it out to reread better later.

Love you,

Elder Fikus

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