Monday, June 13, 2011

Letter #73 - June 13, 2011

Hey Mom,

Well, I'll start by telling you about my week,

Monday,

Well today after having our perfectly fine PDay out in Vichadero, in the night, we recieved a phone call telling us that we had to be in Rivera the next day. That meant getting up at 5:00am again to travel. Ugh, it freaking kills me, we don't get enough sleep as is haha. But yeah, there was some special conference we had on Tuesday that we had to be there for.

Tuesday,

Well, today we got up at 5:00 and travelled in to Rivera. In the morning, we had our district meeting, as usual. They did implement the changes where we only meet with our districts now, instead of our zones. That meant that we got together with only like 8 missionaries, instead of the usual 24 or so. It was way different, and I didn't like it as much as I like seeing all of the other missionaries. So yeah, the three districts all met in three seperate chapels here in Rivera instead of all going to the same one. It was fine though, today we basically just all had the chance to talk about our areas and what was happening in them. After DM, we ate lunch and then had the special conference that we came in for. President Heaton came up with one of the assistants (E' Martin) and they did a presentation about weekly planning, and how to do it more effectively. I was kind of surprised that President came all the way up from Montevideo to Rivera to meet with just us for the conference, as stuff like that isn't really that common. After the conference, we went back to Vichadero, and had a couple of lessons. One was with Martha and her family, which lasted an hour and 45 minutes, and all that we taught was the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy. I couldn't believe it, we frequently have lessons that are way too long and it bothers me. But, she's getting baptized on the 18th, so I just need to relax and have patience haha.

Wednesday,

Today we had a rather interesting lesson with the lady that came to church two Sundays ago, Patricia. She's the one that had listened to missionaries before but didn't get baptized because she wasn't married, but now she supposedly is. Well, after the lesson we had to do, we're like 95% certain (okay, I'm 95% certain, my comp is 100% certain) that she's not married. It can't be proven that she isn't, but she doesn't have a certificate, photos, or anything, and defended two people just living together when we explained that she had to be married. So, I think that we're pretty much done with her. I'd actually like to go back to her at least once, but I think baptism is out of the question for her. Today we also had a lesson with Cristofer and Carla, the two kids of the innactive lady who are planning to get baptized as well. It was good, they don't have any problems with anything (being just kids), but we have lots to teach so that they can get baptized haha. In the night, we had a Family Home Evening with Marcos and Erika and their kids (Andrew and his brother). We didn't really plan beforehand what we were going to do, but we had a talk from the conference picked out that we were going to pick at. That's what we did. We basically told Andrew that he had to get baptized so that the family could go to the temple together and get sealed. It seemed like a prettey intense lesson, but maybe that's what we needed.

Thursday,

Today we had lunch with a lady in the ward, who's been the member the longest, and who is probably the oldest too. She's the one who I find super sweet and funny. Anyways, I don't think that my comp really likes her. What happened was my comp got talking about our baptisms, and she said how they don't count, how they're not going to stay active, etc. My comp was pretty offended. I just kind of laughed and shrugged it off, as she's just like that and says that about everyone. But my comp started to fight back a little until I stopped him, and then he basically just sat there in silence the rest of lunch. Today we also did service for a member. In a lot of places here, people have ditches kinda in front of their house. Well hers wasn't really flowing well, and so we kind of helped her dig it out a little bit so that the water would flow down, instead of just building up in front of her house. I think there was a blockage further down, so it didn't do very much, but it was still nice to do it for her anyways, as she's a super good member and appreciated it. Tonight in the night, we went to our branch president's house, and we got talking a bit about the ward. We talked about where it's at, and what we could do to help it grow. We ended up setting a meeting for the following day, so that we could brainstorm ideas and present them on Friday.

Friday,

Well since this Tuesday we had our special conference with President about week planning and how to do it a little better, this week we did everything that we had been taught to do, and spent several hours planning the week out. Also, today we went to the home of an innactive lady named Fatima, as a missionary who had finished the mission had sent something to us to deliver to her. I've gone to Fatima's house several times in my 5 months or so that I've been in Vichadero, and every time I feel like the situation is more and more hopeless. Something super important to her is that missionaries are super friendly. So, of course, she loved my companion. A couple of her sons (?) who live with her are the age of baptism, so my comp is convinced that we should work with her a lot. I'm not totally convinced, but I'm willing to give her another chance. I guess we'll see. Today we also had our meeting with President. In the morning, I wrote out a couple of goals and ways to accomplish those goals out and gave the sheet to President. He seemed to really like it, and I think that he's kind of getting a boost of energy again with the whole situation, so hopefully that leads to some results.

Saturday,

Today we had a pretty intense lesson in the morning. Joissy, the daughter of Patricia, commited to being baptized, and came to church two weeks ago but then skipped. She's been in a ton of lessons, but she doesn't really say what she thinks as there's a ton of people. So, today we planned to have a lesson with her in the church, without her mom or Martha's family. We got her in the morning, and she came with us and her best friend, Karen (one of Martha's daughters) to the church. I don't actually remember the details of the lessons, but it was one of the most powerful lessons that I've had on my mission. She basically said that she's done a lot of things wrong that she wants to erase, and we talked about the Savior, the atonement, and the promises of baptism. It was super spiritual, and it had me silent for most of the morning. Shortly after the lesson, Martha sent us a text saying that Joissy and Karen had passed by her work, crying, and appologizing, saying how they recognized that everything she had been telling them was true, and for their own good. It definitely had an impact. Today we also had soccer, as we've started doing that on Saturday. As it was last week, there wasn't too many kids, and a lot of them were girls, so it wasn't too intense haha. We also had one lesson in the evening that was pretty good. We went to an innactive family's house, and there was quite a few friends of the kids there. One of them had a mom who had passed away, and they had a lot of questions about churches and stuff, so we spent quite a while teaching and explaining.

Sunday,

Today we had church, and today we only had 4 people. Marta, Brema (her daughter), and Christofer and Carla came to church. They're all getting baptized on the 18th, woohoo. Joissy didn't come, as she was way out in the middle of nowhere for some rodeo and dance, but we did have those other four. Originally, we were going to baptize Cristofer on the 25th with Joissy a week after the other three that are getting baptized on the 18th, but since she didn't come to church, it didn't happen. So, we're baptizing Cristofer with the group. To be able to do it, we had to teach him a lot of stuff today, as our days next week are pretty limited.

Monday,

Today we got up early in the morning to come into Rivera again. We'll be spending a few days here, so we came in today to have our PDay here. After arriving, we didn't do anything, as there was no district activity, as zone activities are kind of out of the picture now, which I super miss. We just hung out in the house of the missionaries here in Rivera that we're going to be staying with, until we came to the cyber.

But yeah, I guess that's my weekly email. Thanks for writing me and for the updates. I'm glad that everyone is doing well. Thanks for everything,

Love you,

Elder Fikus

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