Monday, December 14, 2015

Honesty


December 2, 2015
         Today was a fun p-day.  We had a zone activity at the President’s house.  While there, we all played volleyball and at ate a ton of pizza.  Even though we were all sick from eating way too much greasy food, we all had a blast playing together as a zone.  I really like this zone that I am currently serving in because it is united and we are all good friends.  The only problem with the activity was that the president’s house is super far away and on the way back, the bus took forever to come and pick us up.  We go home later than planned, but it ended up working out okay.
Miracle #480: Every single missionary in the zone made it to the activity today.

         The funny part of the day was how many things went wrong.  #1. An ATM machine ate my one and only personal debit card.  #2 P-day ended late due to public transportation issues. #3 My tire got driven through by a nail. #4 my pants ripped right after I fixed my tire.  #5 We got back to the house late after a frantic 8 mile ride in under 30 minutes.  My legs were burning so badly because it is really hard to keep up with on my mountain bike with my companions speedy road bike.
December 3, 2015
         Well today was pretty good.  This morning we had companionship inventory. We came out with everything that is bothering us and it was good for us.  Today was supposedly completely booked, but practically every real plan fell through.  We ended up contacting most of the day.  My companion basically does the exact same contact every time which makes the job very dull. I have learned to change things up a bit and have some fun when contacting.
Miracle #481: When we had an appointment fall through, we went to go contact.  We picked a spot and knocked on the first door and a very nice woman answered and talked with us for quite a while.
         The funny part of the day was when my comp tried to invite an investigator to baptism, but he was so unclear in his invitation that she had no idea what he was asking her.  We got a few good chuckles about that afterwards.  Also when we did our division reports, I was really blunt about my observations and when the zone leaders called me tonight to talk to me about it, they said, “Well that was one of the most honest reports we have ever gotten.”  There really isn’t much more to report for the day.  I’a doing a little bit better in my personal goals and I hope that I can keep improving.  Tomorrow we have 4 hours of contacts planned so that will be fun.
December 4, 2015
         So today was exhausting.  We started out doing a service where we scraped off a super think layer of paint from bricks with wood chisels.  I worked hard and got super sweaty and sore.  In the afternoon, we did many hours of contacts. The whole time I was running on fumes and could barely think straight.  It was a dang good thing that the last 3 hours of the day were planned lessons.
Miracle #482: Not a single one of our lessons fell through today,  and, even though I was wiped out, I didn’t fall asleep in any of them.
         One of our companionships called us today because they are really struggling to get along.  They wanted to do an emergency division tomorrow and we suggested that they prayerfully try to solve the issue with a companionship inventory.  If that doesn’t help them, then we will do the division with them tomorrow. 
         The funny part of the day was trying to eat healthy and then being so hungry at the end of the day that I ate a giant plate of cookies a member gave us.
December 5, 2015
         Today was pretty good.  We had legit lesson in the morning with the Quinteros family, and for the first time, we actually planned the lesson well.  I’ve tied to plan lessons with Elder M., but it doesn’t work well.  Anyway, the lesson went super well and the spirit was there in a way that it is normally not.  Planning well brings the spirit!  After that we ate lunch and started fixing bike tubes.  Recently we have had a lot of fiascos with popping our tires.  I ended up putting on 5 patches.  After that, we did a few visits which turned out to be really good, and then we did a division for the afternoon to help a companionship in our district make it to a baptism and a super important lesson.
Miracle #483: In the lesson we set a baptismal date for the elders, for 3 days before they finish their mission.
         The funny par of the day was meeting up after the baptism. One of the elders is super disobedient and takes advantage of people if they let him, so directly against the rules, he stayed late after the baptism to say goodbye to the people of his old ward.  (The baptism was held in his old sector.)  My companions was with him, and he knew the rules, but just kindof went along with him and didn’t really worry about getting home on time.  He also didn’t even make and effort to speed up the process or take an faster bus, or call to let us know what was going on.  As I waited and waited in the other elder’s house, I got really hungry so I ate the elder’s food.  When he got home he was really ticked off at me.  I said, “Well I waited until after curfew, but I was hungry and normally I would be home to eat my own food, but I was here, waiting for you instead.”  We ended up getting home a full hour after curfew.  I just want to put that day behind me.
December 6, 2015
         Today was great! We had lots of investigators at church so we were happy with that part of the day.  Once again, I struggled to stay awake.  I can’t figure out how to stay awake.  After church, we went home and had a companionship heart to heart that helped us get along for the rest of the day.  We aren’t the best of friends, but we get along well enough.  We had a super lame choir practice this afternoon, but then we visited a bunch of people afterwards.
Miracle # 484: We had practically all of the kinds of lessons that a missionary can teach today. 1. New investigator 1. Future investigator, 3. Contact lessons, 1. progressing family lesson, 1. division.
         The fun part of the day was getting firm with an elder in our district about some issues for this upcoming p-day.  He wanted to do divisions so that he could say goodbye to some people.  He planned it all out without telling his companion so his companion got upset and refused to go with him.  I called the elder and told him that we could do divisions with him if he would be obedient to the mission rules for the next week. 
December 7, 2015
         Today was pretty dang fun.  This morning we had a service project with the other District leaders in our zone where we basically just moved dirt for a few hours.  After the service, we did divisions. It was way fun because even though we contacted pretty much all day long, we talked a ton.  I haven’t talked to someone like that for a long time so it was a great change of pace for me.  We even had a few pretty good lessons.
Miracle #485: I didn’t have any problems in lunch today with a super grumpy lady in our ward who usually is hard to get along with.
         The funny part of the day was in said lunch.  We though the husband was in the house but in another room, but in the end of the lunch she told us that he wasn’t home.  Yikes, this meant that we unintentionally broke the rules.  I looked at Elder J. and just said really quickly, “Well thanks for the lunch hermana, but we have to be on our way.”  The other funny part of the day was having absolutely no success whatsoever while contacting.  We tried contacting the house that appeared to have people in them, in other words the windows or doors were open.  Either everyone chose to ignore us (very probable) or were leaving themselves open to being robbed. The people who did answer us didn’t want a thing to do with us, so we just wished them a Merry Christmas and went on our way. 
December 8, 2015
         Today was rough.  I just cannot talk to my companion.  We did have 2 really great lessons today that started the day off well.  In the first lesson I felt super invigorated and just testified hardcore.  The lady that we are teaching is really great, but is living with her boyfriend  so that poses a bit of a problem.  The spirit was super strong and it was weird for me to feel the authority of the message that I was delivering. (Weird because it doesn’t happen all that often for me.) Anyway after that really good lesson, we contacted forever and didn’t find anyone.
Miracle #486: We were biking past a house and I was prompted to contact it.  The people tuned out to be super receptive.  I realize that this miracle is repetitive, but it is still a miracle to me every time it happens.
         The funny part of the day might have been a smiling dog that we saw.  It really wasn’t a very funny day at all.  I was just trying so hard to set a good example for my companion all day long without being mean about it.  

More Missionary Work


November 25, 2015

         Today was educational. I really learned first-hand that it doesn’t matter what time I wake up, I am still wiped out at the end of the day.  Today I got up an hour and a half later than normal and it didn’t make any difference in my fatigue. This morning we went on a bike ride with a member from our ward and had a pretty good time.  We just biked a huge random circle and ended by hiking up a hill to go see a very catholic statue of the Virgin Mary. 

Miracle #473: We convinced a future investigator to also accompany us on the ride.

         The fun part of the day was making myself (more accurately trying to make myself) bread from whole grain flour.  The only problem was that the bread refused to rise.  It ended up being pretty tasty, but pretty heavy.  I also tried a new way of drinking mate using grapefruit.  It was fantastic, so I ended up buying a grapefruit for every day of this next week. 
November 26, 2015
         Well today was iffy.  It was one of my few “lazy” missionary days.  By lazy I mean that we wasted too much time in people’s houses.  It wasn’t a bad day at all, but I didn’t feel very good about it.  We had an enormous lunch today and it left us in a food coma.

Miracle #474: We got a member to drive us out to the far part of our sector, saving us a 15 km ride.

         The funny part of the day was nothing really. I didn’t really have my head all the way in the game today, so the lessons were mediocre at best. I need to prepare myself more on a personal level for the lessons. 

November 27, 2015

         Today we were on divisions.  I learned that I can love any missionary if I put the effort in to see their hearts.  It was a good learning opportunity for me.  We had a weird day today.  Many of our plans fell through but new plans seemed to appear.  For example, when one cita fell through, we were invited to an elder’s quorum meeting.  During an hour where we didn’t have any solid plan, we dropped off a kid at the chapel and by chance the primary was practicing their program and desperately needed a pianist.

Miracle #475: V. and his family all have noticed and recognized many blessings that have some to their lives since they started meeting with us.  They accepted the goal to be baptized on January 16th!

         The funny part of the day was probably seeing how slowly Elder F. rides his bike. If he were my permanent companion, we might struggle a bit, but for one day we lived. I got some really good feedback from him and now have some things that I can work on.  I was really happy because Elder M. doesn’t give me things to work on personally to improve and change.

November 28, 2015

         Well today we didn’t get too much done.  I wasn’t all to excited to get out the door today, and my comp wasn’t helping to encourage me to get to work.  It’s hard because everyone has hard days where we need an extra push or pull from our companions.  I feel like I am on my own a lot of the time.

Miracle #476: We finally got back to the basics of missionary work by doing contacts and I realized that I miss it.  We were able to help someone with their multicultural homework.

         The fun part of the day was probably going to a park for a stake activity where they showed  “Meet the Mormons” to the public.  It seemed to me like another waste of time, but they asked all of the missionaries to be there.  It was a waste of time.  A fun waste of time, but a waste of time nonetheless.  Well there isn’t much more to say. A slow day of contacting that ultimately was entertaining.

November 29, 2015

         Well today was alright. It was a little bit of a let down to see the people who didn’t go to church, but at the same time, we were happy to see several other people who went to church that we weren’t expecting. Lunch today was fun because the family we ate with is pretty wealthy by Chilean standards and they had a real piano.  While they were preparing lunch, I was playing piano so I didn’t mind waiting. After a super long lunch, we just contacted until our only real planned lesson.  The lesson was with my family of miracles, V’s family.  They were also the funny part of the day to me.

Miracle #477: The Mom from the family told me that when I talk about God, it seems to her that my face shines and makes her think of an angel.  I never thought that anyone would ever tell me that.

         The funny part of the day was when we were with V’s family, who didn’t go to church even though they promised us that they would.  We taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ which includes the principle of repentance.  While teaching, we taught the importance of asking God to forgive our mistakes and in the closing prayer, V. asked to be forgiven for not going to church and promised that he was going to go next week.  It was a legit prayer!

November 30, 2015

         So today was good.  This morning was rough because it started with morning contacts a 7:00 am.  After the contacts, we had a good morning lesson with a less active member about the birth of Christ.  After that we started to plan our district meeting tomorrow with the topics that we studied.  I wasn’t feeling good about the lesson so I wanted to change it.  Elder M. didn’t care either way, so we changed to a new subject that I felt much better about.  We planned a lesson for the district meeting.

Miracle #478: We had divisions today and we contacted a lot of the day and even met 2 really good future investigators.

         The funny part of the day was that as we were contacting, we didn’t find anyone who was moderately interested, it was either “go away, I’m busy” or they were super interested.  It was also funny that Elder P., the elder I was working with, couldn’t ride a bike.  We just decided to rough it and go on foot. It was so slow.  Elder P. is a talkative elder so we had a blast on the division.

December 1, 2015

         Today was really a good day.  The morning was especially good because we had a good district meeting even though it was semi last minute in the planning.  After that we had interviews with the president. I went into the interview a little bit tense, but in the end I came out feeling a ton more at peace.  I set some good goals to work on personally.

Miracle #479: My strict regime of keeping up on our area book earned us top marks when it was reviewed by the assistants.  (Thanks to Elder Leon)

         There were a couple of funny parts of the day such as when president mocked my tie and told me that I shouldn’t wear it because it had a suit of playing cards on it.  I just said, okay I won’t wear it again.  Today in the evening we visited with V’s family and it was great.  Afterwards we went to a new investigator where she shared her past experience with the missionaries, which she said was a good experience.  Then she went on to tell us that the missionaries would come to her house to play play-station with her 10 year old son.  YIKES!  But, thanks to them, she let us in and we talk her a real missionary lesson.

         The goals that I set with President to improve myself are:

1.    Talk less about myself

2.    Put more effort into my personal prayers

3.    Finish the Old Testament

4.    Waste less time in lunches and lessons

5.    Not let my negative emotions affect others
All of my shoes have fallen apart! I am waiting for replacements in the mail from home.
Stitching coming apart.


Piano Week


video
November 18, 2015

Today was very tiring.  We decided to bicycle all the way out to the river at the end of our sector so we had to do all of our buys early this morning. We got everything done and had a little bit of down time which I used to exercise and prepare everything for the week.  My comp chose to take a nap, and honestly, by the end of the day, I wished that I had made that choice. I was running on fumes.  It was a pretty good p-day overall.  We also go news of our new district.  I am not the DL of Elder Diaz.  He is the same elder that I have been around for more than half of my mission.  It is funny because he was my DL at one point.   He is now training a gringo.

Miracle #466: I actually found whole grain foods today.  Chileans usually eat while bread and don’t use whole grains, so this was a surprise find for me.

         The funny part of the day was getting to the “river” and seeing the poor abused little thing. There was a ton of construction work and pollution. The fun part of the day was just riding along a back road and suddenly spotting a Narnia-like entrance into a field. My comp wasn’t all that excited, but for me, having not seen nature in over a year, I was pumped. I had to walk in and explore. 
November 19, 2015

         Wow, today was good!  This morning we had to go to the church to do some computer work.  I got the opportunity to practice piano for 45 minutes or so and it was great.  I practiced a fun Chirstmas piece that I and working on.  I sure did get frustrated with my lack of dexterity.  I have lost a LOT of my ability and it bums me out.  Other than that, I tied to let my comp lead the sector today.  I have tried a bunch of different things to help him, but I think that the best thing is to just let him figure it out on his own.

Miracle #467: One of our investigator’s, V. and his family, continue to grow closer to God.

         The funny part of the day was probably being on foot all day and realizing how slow it is and how much it sucks.  We spent the whole day close to our house so it didn’t make sense for us to ride our bikes. We were able to throw cards and make lots of contacts. 

November 20, 2015

         Well today was interesting.  This afternoon we had to do another baptismal interview and once again my comp was chosen to do it. It is no big deal, the Latins just have an easier time communicating with another Latin.

Miracle #468:  The miracle was when we were biking along and I spotted someone whose lesson from today fell through.  We were able to set another one up for later this week.

         The funny part of the day was what my comp decided to do as plans B,C,D,E, all fell through.  Instead of just working in the area where the appointment fell, he decided to bike around randomly for 20 minutes.  I did a pretty good job of not showing any irritation.  I also had a fun time being the primary pianist today when they had a program practice. 

November 21, 2015

         Today was pretty great.  This morning I got to do my first real baptismal interview and it went really well.  After that, we had weekly planning and comp inventory.  I think that we got things worked out once again.  Today mostly ended up being filled with stake stuff like choir practice and adult session of the stake conference.  It was really hard for me to sit through choir practice because no one has a clue what they’re doing and the director can’t read music.

Miracle #469: This sector has incredibly receptive people.  We went to visit a contact from last week and she had already read the first 14 chapters of the Book of Mormon.

         There were several funny parts of the day.  The mission office got robbed during the time that the choir was practicing.  This is in the same building so that is tragic because no one heard it.  One of the senior couple Elders broke the glass on the door because he was so upset.  The organist for the stake conference happened to be the wife of said elder.  She got held up taking care of the situation in the office and missed the stake conference, soooo I was asked to play for conference cold turkey. When I started playing, I didn’t realize that the organ’s volume was turned all the way up.  When I played the first note, I literally jumped off the seat and then immediately thanked my lucky stars for the few organ lessons that Sister Winston taught me.  It turned out fine in the end.

November 22, 2015

         Well today I learned a lot.  I kindof has an aha moment when I realized that I need to be more loving with my companion.  I am going to start treating my like I treat the people we teach.  Today was stake conference so it was a decent day.  There isn’t a whole ton to tell, but this week ended on a good not.

Miracle #470: We have almost he entire first half of the week booked.

The funny part of the day was when someone deflated my tires as a prank.

November 23, 2015

         Well, I liked today. Sort of. We did divisions with a very sick Elder Diaz and I had to just sit in the house with him.  I didn’t like the day becaue of that, but staying in the hose did allow me to read The Book of Mormon for close to 4 hours.  I actually finished the book in this marathon session.  In the end, I felt an overwhelming sense of love and appreciation for the people who gave their lives and followed the Lord so that this miraculous book could be in our hands.  I was so overwhelmed and thankful. 

Miracle #471: Once again I was able to test the promise of the Book of Mormon and strengthen my testimony even more.

         The funny part of the day was drinking 3 liters of mate.  There is not much to do when you are stuck at home all day long.

November 24, 2015

         So today was all right.  This morning we had a really good district meeting that I am pretty sure that everyone liked.  The day of work in the sector started a little late because we had to receive our new bunk beds.  They are awesome solid wooden beds that don’t squeak when we move.  The best part is that our room now smells like wood.  All of our planned lessons fell through today so we did a lot of useless contacting in a very unreceptive part of our sector.  It was an all right day talking to my comp because we talked about the scriptures. 

Miracle #472 The only two things that didn’t fall through were the most important visit of the day and the most important division of the day.

         The funny part of the day was probably being a zombie all day from being tired.  There were a couple of times today when my knees randomly buckled and I almost fell down from exhaustion.