Monday, January 25, 2016
So this week was an improvement on the last one since we actually had people in church and put a baptismal date with a guy named Omar. Yet we are going to have to postpone the date because he didn't show up to church... but he didn't show up to church due to his work schedule and I can't help but take it easy on him because he is incredibly poor...
The goal this week is to find A LOT of new people, specifically potential priesthood holders considering we want a ward in Pueblo Nuevo. The dificulty that we are facing at the moment is that the vast majority of the men here are either devout and incredibly prideful evangelicals or slobbering drunks.... There are other potentials that are simply never home being worked half to death, often times in other towns. Side note; take it easy on the illegal immigrants, you can't even imagine the kind of work load that was piled on their backs for so little pay in their home countries.
Today I had probably the best p-day of the mission yet. We went on a little hike to a waterfall with some converts. It was great because have been dying to get into the Guatemalan backcountry. I also had some fun gathering and eating a fruit called kushing, a fruit similar to cocao considering the parts consumed are seeds found inside which are sucked... and delicious. Yet I left a little frustrated in that there was a lot of garbage around the waterfall. Although I believe that I avoided all of that pretty well in the photos.
I was pleasantly surprised to find mangos in the market this Thursday! Naturally, I bought several and ate almost all of them until I realized that they were making me sick... The next day I spent a couple hours vomiting. I was later informed that they made me sick because they were not matured naturally but in some ghetto chapin method. I don't really feel like eating mangos now. The pleasant part is I was on divisions with Elder Carrion, a very positive Peruvian who kept me laughing and working.
In preparation for the coming of the new mission president, president Ruiz has been cleaning out the mission a little bit. I really hope that what he is doing helps the mission in the way that it needs. My testimony of obedience is developing all of the time and as a consequence that of integrity as well. Practice what you preach and keep your promises, especially the ones you have made with God. The church is true and Christ lives. -Elder Davis
Monday, January 18, 2016
Sometimes the mission... is hard....
This week was likely one of the most difficult up to this point in the mission because all of our most positive investigators have stopped progressing or given in to old habits. Not to mention the members of the Pueblo Nuevo branch don't seem to be interested in the missionary effort. The absolutely golden family of Balis Velasquez that we have been working with has proven to be a little more difficult than I was imagining it would be. Balis, the head of the family and deciding-factor in whether or not the family baptizes responded incredibly positively after a powerful lesson accepting the commitment to pray about the truthfulness of the church. We visited his home thew next day; he was not home but his wife told us that he had woken her up in the middle of the night telling her about a dream that he had. In the dream he found himself in the chapel sitting next to us as a man in white stood at the pulpit bearing testimony of what we had taught him and declaring that the church was true. My companion and I were naturally extremely happy and asked his wife (Dtzuli) what the dream meant. She answered saying that they needed to be baptized! Yet when Balis returned home,confirming the dream, he told us that when he was younger a local evangelical church had helped him overcome some marital problems and that he had wanted to be a pastor. He told us that he could not deny some of the good experiences that he had in this church. We explained to him that Christ supports those that seek him earnestly even if they may not be looking for him in the right places. Thus, we went over the restoration with him again and found that he had doubts about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Now it is just up to him to pray and accept the answer that he has already received, satan uses the pride to keep the people from accepting that the truth...plus he didn't attend church because there was a dance (which many of the members attended as well)... As for our other investigators, they have been falling back into old habits, listening to angry pastors, or simply avoiding us. Right now it feels like we don't have anything, although my comp and I have evaluated ourselves and found some things that we are going to change, so let's hope we see some good changes in the future.
I am banking on the new mission president to be a little more strict; the disobedience in the mission makes me sick, and it is something quite contagious. While on divisions with my ZONE LEADER he insisted on taking a 2 hour rest and slept in until 10 the next morning. I am not good at putting the hammer down, but I told him that what he was doing wasn't correct, as nice as I could,,, yet in the end I realize that being nice just dosn't work sometimes. It is especially frustrating when the entire zone decides to stick around and playsoccer for 2 hours after zone meeting rather than get to work. in protest I didn't play and was made fun of, and in the end of it all our zone is number one in the mission right now. I know that we can do SO much better. In mission Retalhueu popularity and consecratiuon don't go together. I want desperately that my fellow missionaries understand why they are here and what they are doing. One of the greatest challenges for my faith in the mission has been the lack devotion and in the mission its frustrating when I realize that I am not making the impact I need to be. ugh... poco a poco, right?
Well thats the gig, its not the happiest one but in spite of difficulties i know that the church is true the lord will see his work completed, especially through making the weaknesses of his servants strengths if they will but humble themselves in faith. I love you all. -Elder Davis
P.S. I got my package :)
Monday, January 11, 2016
BAPTISMS... and my birthday...
This Saturday we baptized Esther, Maritza and Luz. It was a great experience and a struggle as well whereas we had to assemble this portable font without instructions ... I absolutely love these three women and thanks to their faith and diligence I believe that we are going to baptize many of their family members which are listening to us as well. The rough part is that the members of the family weren't able to attend church this Sunday... yet I believe that we are going to baptize them the last Saturday of this month. We are going for 7 baptism this month; I am confident that we are going to do it. The most promising of them all is a family of five, the family of Balis and Dztuli. They moved into the same house as our converts just a week after we had found them, by "coincidence" we found that Balis is the brother of a recent convert in the branch here and began working with him today. This house of 25 people is pure gold... speaking in terms of potential, it is actually incredibly humbling.
I had a great birthday/baptism celebration Saturday after the ordinance with the whole family of the baptisms... there where so many kids... It was a lot of fun and we ate some really good popusas, fried chicken and cake.
This week we will be focusing on this huge family and finding new ones, We are working hard and seeing the fruits of our labors. Yet I still know that we can do better. I have been pretty tired this week whereas my comp and I have been a bit sick, and I have been a bit dehydrated. It is difficult when the heat ruins your water and the only clean water is bought or boiled...
My testimony of selfless service has grown a lot recently and I can truly testify that the less you think of yourself the happier you will be. I still find myself thinking too much of my interests and being a perfectionist with my Spanish, but I am getting better all of the time and I am loving my investigators! The church is true and Christ is the perfect example that we should always strive to follow. ¡Cuidense! -Elder Davis
Monday, January 4, 2016
Happy (sweaty)New Year to freezing Rexburg!
The celebrations of the new year were huge this week and different than anything I have ever experienced. There was an in interesting mix of drunks, drunks, drunks, and some tomales topped of by an overwhelming amount of fireworks.... If some of the videos I took are small enough in file I will throw them into the email. As you can Imagine I was offered tomales by everyone and there dogs, that was a bit. I will tell you right now that I am sick of tomales, as good as they may be. Afterwords we enjoyed an incredibly huge firework show given by... everyone! The most illegal fireworks you can imagine are sold on every corner, lit by infants, and incredibly entertaining to watch. The entire sky was lit up by fireworks and the streets were filled with smoke coming from deafeningly loud firecrackers... so in the end the new year made for some good memories and a lot of fun.
We have three baptisms this Saturday, those of Ester Maritza and Luz. I am so stoked for these baptism whereas I have come to sincerely love these three people. It's also pretty cool that I will be baptizing them on my birthday!
We have found several other very positive investigators and the area of Pueblo Nuevo is finally starting to show some life.... This email was pretty short for lack of time because we went rollerblading an hour and a half out of our area... I love you all and the church is true!