Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Letter #99 - December 12, 2011

Hey Mom,

Here's what's happened during my week,


Today after our PDay, we went to the church to help clean it. Our Bishop had asked us to help, which I wasn't too thrilled about considering I don't really think it's our job. However, it ended up being not nearly as bad as I thought, and it was a good chance to improve our relationship with our Bishop. We basically just swept and mopped all the floors after putting up all the chairs. He also gave us food after =)


Today we didn't have our district meeting, as we had a special zone conference on Thursday (which I'll talk about). One of our lessons today was with Alejandro, the guy who came to church last Sunday. Today we taught him about baptism, and he accepted to do it! We talked about the potential days that he could get baptized, and he chose next Sunday. That gives us like 10 days to make sure he knows everything and is willing to commit to everything. I hope he makes it.


Today was a little bit different as I did divisions today with Elder Morris. He's a group younger than me, so he got to the CCM when I was about to leave. I haven't seen him very much since starting the mission. Today he came into Mercedes (as he's in another town) to set up a little bit for Zone Conference. We set up the church, making sure everything was good, and we also had to go do a couple other errands. Almost nobody was home today when we tried to have lessons, so that was kinda a bummer, but in the evening we played soccer again with this family that's starting to come back to church. E' Morris played soccer on some University team, so he's pretty good. It was a lot of fun. Tonight President Heaton, his wife, and the two assistants showed up while we were playing soccer (at the church), so we helped them out for a bit unloading stuff that they had. President always goes out to dinner, and Elder Morris and I were hoping that he'd take us with the APs (most common), but one of the APs (assistants to the President), Elder Price, started the mission in my area and they had left to go visit converts so President and the H'na went out with this Stake President (who Pres Heaton had a meeting with) and his wife. So, I just missed out on dinner haha. Also, the APs stayed at our house, so that was kinda cool, sleeping on old blankets, towels, and unfolded cardboard boxes. It didn't look super comfortable but we didn't have anything else and they said they do it all the time haha.


Today was zone conference, so all the missionaries from the Stake of Mercedes and Paysandú (including Elder Bryant, my last comp), came to Mercedes for it. There was 40 of us in total. The theme of the conference was becoming more like the Savior. There was some power point presentations and we used the scriptures and stuff, and it was all really good. It was really spiritual. Lunch was also good. It was chicken milanesa sandwiches, ice cream for dessert, and pop. There was guaraná, which I hadn't had in quite a while, so that was really good. After lunch, Pres Heaton dressed up like Santa Clause and all the missionaries went and sat on his lap (the sister missionaries got to sit on a chair beside him haha) and got a treatbag from him haha. Something else that they do at Zone Conferences is make all the missionaries who are starting and ending their missions share their testimonies. So all the missionaries who are at their first or last zone conference get to share theirs. Since zone conferences are every two changes now, and I only have one change left, I was one of the missionaries who got to give his 'farewell' testimony. I talked a little bit about how I remember my first testimony that I gave when I was new, how I'll really miss being a missionary after going home, some things that I've learned over the mission, my actual testimony, and a little advice for all the people who have lots of time left. I cried, of course, but I managed to keep it under control thankfully. That was basically it for the conference. After it, our zone did a white elephant gift exchange, with a limit of $5. For my gift I hid a chocolate bar and nougat bar in the box and put a fake 1000 peso ($50) bill over it. I hid the actual gift by placing the goodies at the bottom, and then cutting out pieces from another box to duplicate the bottom, covering the gift. I thought it was pretty clever, and I think it worked well. I ended up with Pringles and an alfajore, which was probably one of the better gifts. Zone Conference was awesome, it was really spiritual and a lot of fun.


Today, almost nothing exciting happened other than planning. The only interestingish thing to say is that I saved a kitten out of a tree, which I didn't even have to climb to get for a person.


Today we had a pretty interesting lesson with someone. So I'm sure I've mentioned Jacquelin, who's been taught a ton, but isn't married and has gone back to another church where she's stayed for the past year. On Wednesday we went to her and she said that she wasn't interested in continuing to listen to us. However, I gave her some stuff to read, and told her to consider it. Today we went back to her, and she once again told us that she didn't want to keep going. I got her talking a bit, and she explained some of her doubts and problems, which we started explaining. In the middle of a somewhat longer explanation, I asked if we could just come inside, which she accepted. I was sooooo happy. I'm almost certain that she won't get baptized with me here, but I just don't want to lose her to this other church. We had a good lesson with her. She SO knows that we're right, I'm not sure why she won't just accept it. Today we also had a lesson with Shirley and Natalia, inviting them to church tomorrow. They've come quite a few times, but it's not looking so good as far as baptism goes.


Today was Stake Conference, so the Temple President and his wife, and President Heaton and his wife, came up here, so that was pretty cool. We had two investigators in church, Alejandro, and one other guy. We sat waaaaaay in the back, so we couldn't hardly hear anything. Thankfully there was air conditioning and fans though. It was really good, and there was a ton of people. Afterwards, my comp and I managed to stick around long enough afterwards that Pres and Hna Heaton gave us a ride back to our house in their vehicle, and Pres did a mini-house check (thankfully I'm a clean person), and talked with us for a little. He's such a good guy, it's really nice being around him. Today for lessons we had one with this inactive family, who's actually sealed in the temple, who our Bishop wanted us to go by. It was pretty cool that we went by today, as today was the last day that the dad in the family was there. He's going to Haiti to do a peace mission, and today was his last day home. That's not the first time in the mission that I've found someone on their last day home. I told his wife and kids to write a note for him in a Book of Mormon that they had, and then told him to take it. I think that'll be really cool if they did.


I've been needing a Prep day for this whole week. I took advantage of the free time and wrote letters, did laundry, and did some other stuff around the house I needed to do. We got lunch, and then came to the cyber, where I am now.

Alright, well that's it for my email. Thanks for yours, I enjoy hearing about everything that's going on up there.

Love you,

Elder Fikus

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