Sunday, June 5, 2011

Letter #71 - May 30, 2011


Well, time for the weekly update,


Today after our PDay, my comp and I came back to Vichadero. Since we arrived at like 8pm, and we only work until 9 and it was raining and miserable and we didn't have any set lessons, I just let my companion unpack. I figured that he had to do it at some point, and it would be smarter just letting him do it while it was late and rainy instead of some other time that he'd try to find the time to do it. I don't think I mentioned very much about my comp, so I suppose I could do that now since I know a bit about him now. His name's Carlos Rodriguez, from Colombia, 23 years old, been in the mission about 11 months, a good worker, was baptized in the church three years ago (was Catholic before), and talks a lot in lessons haha. It's kind of different being with a Latin, as he connects a little better with the people and has mastery of the language, although he connects a little worse with me (than an American for example, just cultural differences, it's not like there's problems). So yeah, that's where I'm at and a bit about my new comp.


Today we just went to a bunch of our investigators as we had been out of the area a couple days, and Elder Rodriguez needed to meet some of them. In the lessons, I tried to let him talk to the people a little bit, just to develop a connection between us, as he's not some foreigner haha. I still try to keep control of the situation and not let it get way too off topic, but I think there's definitely an advantage being with a Latin, so I tried to take advantage of that. We had something super funny happen though today that I have to mention. Okay so there's this guy who's like 50 or 60 or something and takes care of his old and in pretty rough shape mom. So it's always just them two in the house, and he usually reluctantly lets us in even though he isn't really interested just because he's bored or lonely or something. Well it was less-than-prime working hours, and we went to his house. When we knocked, he finally came to the door, looked through the window, saw who it was, said something to himself and went back to bed. Well his mom got curious who it was, and came to the door. Her hearing and sight are both not very good, but she opened the door to talk to these people who had showed up. I tried starting a conversation 'hey, how's it going, etc. etc.' but she didn't understand me. Then, she asked who it was 'the missionaries' 'what?' 'the missionaries' 'what?' 'the missionaries' 'what?' I looked at my comp (a native spanish speaker haha) and told him to talk as she didn't understand me. He tried a couple times too. Okay, the word for missionaries in spanish is 'Misionaros', which she didn't understand. Finally she attempted to guess and said 'Ingenieros?' (engineers) Hahahahaha. She then told us that she didn't have any work for us to do (as if engineers go door to door looking for work). At that point we gave up and left haha.


Today we had our district meeting, instead of on Tuesday. We had to come in as it was the first one, so we got up at 5am again to travel back into Rivera (after having only one day in Vichadero). Today we just talked about goals and stuff, and what we're supposed to do (in our companionship, district, and zone). It was alright. Since I was freaking broke from having to spend like 900 pesos ($45) travelling back and forth for my comp and I, we just bought hotdogs on the line again. I can buy 5 small hotdogs with ketchup, mustard, mayo (although I ask for it without), and cheese or crispy potato strings (I don't know how to describe them) for $1.50. Don't ask me how they make money. And no, I don't think they're health regulated. Anyways, after that we came back into Vichadero for a couple hours to work. I guess something that happened was we found this innactive girl in her house. I think most of her family was actually baptized too, although she was the only one who talked to us haha. We'll see if we can't get her going back to church.


Okay, probably like three weeks ago I mentioned this one super, super, super, super good lesson that we had. Since then, we had gone back to this woman's house occasionally, but it was always just her grumpy Catholic mom who answered, so we didn't do it that often. We had been trying to find her for a while though. Anyways, today we went back again, and we finally found her. I was super happy. Bad news? She's moving. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! As if. If there is a positive side, I guess I can stop worrying about it though, and move on. It sucked, as I just thought that she would have been a super good investigator. She even said how like her kid (who's like 3 or so) started praying like how we had taught them. But yeah, I guess that was one lesson we had today.


A couple weeks ago we had a lesson with a guy named Italo who used to listen to missionaries, and he came to church, although we found out shortly after that he couldn't get baptized as he was living with this girl with whom he's not married (Spanish grammar haha). Anyways, he hadn't been able to come to church the past couple of weeks, as he'd been working. Today we had a lesson set with him, and we went to him with our bishop. It was pretty good, as he said that he'd go to church, and I wanted that someone from the ward would show concern for him for not having gone to church the past couple of weeks. We also had another lesson in the night with a lady named Marta, who's the one who I ranted about the one day for all the pathetic ways that she's hidden and tried to lie to us. This time, she was there with her daughters, one of their friends, her mom, and another friend who's the daughter of an innactive lady. Anyways, we had a pretty good lesson with them, inviting them to church and everything. They all said that they'd come (as they have the past two weeks).


Today was the big day, as it's the day that determines who actually comes to church and who doesn't. Italo, no show. All other investigators, no shows. Marta, her daughter, the two friends and the mom of one of them, shows! Woooo! We had 5 people in church today, all of which have accepted to get baptized. Woohoo haha. So that made my day. I think that 4 of them had actually gone to church before, but this time they're all going together and they're going to get baptized, as the plan goes. Today we had a lesson though that made me pretty upset with my comp by the end. So this one lady let us in, who had her daughter who studies in Rivera but comes in the weekends to visit with her. So my comp kind of introduced himself, I helped the daughter with her English homework haha, and then we (well, actually, my companion) taught, and then drilled them with commitment until they finally accepted. Grand total? 2.5-3 hours. Like wow, PMG (a missionary guide thing we use) says that 'rarely should a lesson last longer than 45 minutes'. My companion managed to quadruple that. And worst of all, he didn't let me talk hardly all of it. The mom dropped 3 hints on how we had been there for so long, and the daughter said twice how I wasn't talking as my comp didn't let me. I kind of freaked out on him after, although it's not as easy to say and imply everything exactly the way you want it to when you're not talking your native tongue. I probably shouldn't have mentioned it, as I'm trying to forgive and forget, but I was just so burned. Worst of it was he totally justified it, saying how we need to follow the spirit, sometimes we forget why we're here, how PMG is just a guide, etc. Freak I was mad, I rarely say anything to anyone, but I just couldn't keep it in. So yeah, that required some cooling down. Up until that point, we'd gotten along quite well. Blah, yeah.


Today we had our PDay, and today we decided to come in to Rivera. The reason is because they might be instituting some new rules or something where we can only do activities on PDay with our district (like 6 or 8missionaries) instead of the zone (like 26). That might be instituted next week, so we had to come in before they did to have a good, last, activity. I called the zone leaders before and told them how we were coming in and that I wanted to play soccer on the artificial field and then go to coissa noisa (the brazillian buffet restaurant). Plus, all of the missionaries received their little monthly allowance, so we could afford it haha. So, today we got up at 5am again to come into Rivera. What did we do? Play soccer for like 2 hours and then go to coissa nossa. When I found out that we were playing soccer I was super happy, I needed it haha. I seriously think that I'm actually addicted to soccer. So we played, went to the restaurant, and then went to the cyber, where I currently am.

Anyways, I guess that's all that I have to say. I had time to respond to your email and everything. I feel kinda bad, as we've been in the cyber a little too long. Oh well haha. Anyways, thanks for the update on everyone. Other than that, thanks for all you do, I plan on getting my package to you guys sent off today or tomorrow.

Love you,

Elder Fikus

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