Sunday, April 24, 2016

April 2016 General Conference

March 30, 2016
     All in all it was a fun day today.  This morning Elder Bushman and I bought some breakfast burrito supplies for our district.  We want to the chapel 35 minutes early and when they got there, breakfast was all ready for them.  We got to know each other while eating.  there was only 1 companionship in our district that didn’t go.  After eating, most of us started playing soccer.  For the first time in many months I actually played.  I still and terrible at it, but at least I am in good enough shape now that I don’t get very tired.
Miracle #599: Even though our district activity was super last minute, it turned out to be really fun.
    The funny part of the day was playing soccer with 2 sister training leaders and 2 other companionships.  I was running up to try to steal/block the ball and one of the sisters kicked the ball really hard to presumably try to get it over my head, but instead drilled me hard right in the groin. She downed me pretty hard.  That was awkward. The work was alright today.  I am trying to bounce back from a week of no work at all.  It is pretty rough.
March 31, 2016
    Today was pretty chill.  This morning I trained with Elder B. again and afterwards we did our studies.  So far on my mission I have mostly been with missionaries who are newer in the mission than I am.  It is really nice to be with a missionary who already knows his job and who thinks and does things without being told.  Today it was a battle for me to stay awake after lunch when we did our weekly planning.  In the afternoon we had some pretty good lessons that were spirit led.  We have Brazilian investigators that are super hard to understand.  The don’t even attempt to speak Spanish and trying to understand Portuguese gives me a headache.
Miracle #600: For the first time in all of my time here, the Bishop accompanied us to a lesson.
    The funny part of the day was biking back from the boonies and both of us were just dead tired.  Elder B. was wrecked by the time we got home.  We had to do district calls tonight and that took our entire evening.  I am a big fan of the missionaries in our district.  They are pretty stellar!
April 1, 2016
    Today was pretty weird.  All of our plans went to crap, but it was a decent day.  This morning we helped the other district do a coercion, which is where a bunch of missionaries go together to contact someone’s sector.  We contacted in the sector of the sisters in our ward.  In an hour and a half, 2 people invited us to come in and share with them.  I am a little jealous because they were way cool people and we won’t be able to teach them.  Our lessons today were pretty good, but no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t find a single member to visit with us.
Miracle #601: Everything turned out for the last lesson.  We were a little bit late, but the sister got home late so it all worked out. We never found a man to go to teach with us, but a male coworker ended up visiting her so things worked out in the end.
    The fun part of today was visiting with our investigator and going through the baptismal interview questions with him.  He is almost ready and it is really exciting.  We found out today that Elder H. finally got his VISA to go to the states and he will be leaving in May.
April 2, 2016
    Well today was exhausting.  We must have biked for almost 2 hours.  I decided to fast today.  This morning we went to visit V. in the hospital and we gave her a blessing and a spiritual message.  After that we had to bike super fast to get a few bike parts before racing to General Conference.  We were a little bit late, but it was okay.  For the first session, I was wiped out completely but managed to stay awake.  We then rode back to our sector, ate lunch super fast, and I started my fast.  Then we had to ride hard to make it to a lesson and then race to make it to conference in the afternoon.
Miracle #601: For the first time and for my last General Conference, we are actually teaching lessons during conference weekend.
    The priesthood session was the best session so far for me.  The first 4 talks were stellar, especially President Nelson’s talk.  Then I hit a wall and fell asleep in the second to last talk. 
April 3, 2017
    Today was fairly decent.  It was very difficult to stay awake in the conference sessions today.  I tried super hard and was pretty successful even though I was dying at the end of my fast.  My stomach was literally growling nonstop for the last 20 minutes of the morning session.  I am really glad that I made it though.  Today we ate lunch with a really challenging family who always mocks us relentlessly by making rude and cutting remarks.  It is hard, but I have learned to hold my tongue in their presence. After lunch, we spent about 30 minutes talking with a few missionaries from the zone, including some of our district.
Miracle #603: Four of our investigators came to the very last session of conference.  I was happy about that, but a little disappointed that more of our people didn’t go.
    The frustrating part of our day was when one of our investigators dropped us completely.  It is still a sad thing for me when that happens because I care about these people and I know that our message will bless their lives. My take home message from conference was that I want to learn to be more sensitive to the Spirit.  My mission has helped me to identify the strong impressions of the Spirit, but I am still having difficulty perceiving the gently promptings of the Holy Ghost. I am going to work harder to develop this ability.
April 4, 2016
    Well dang! I am grateful that I trained the kid that I trained!  Today I went on divisions with a newbie from Paraguay. It was a really hard day.  During lunch he started tearing apart his former bishop and was ridiculously bragging about his home country despite the fact that everyone present was openly taken aback and offended by his remarks. 
Miracle #604: I learned the importance of showing genuine love and interest while contacting. I am not sure why, but today I worked well with the people, and for at least 3 of the people that I contacted, it noticeably changed their attitude towards the church.
    The funny part of the day was 1) having to fix the sister’s bikes again, and 2) when my newbie comp fell asleep during the entire lesson, I did not disturb him and the lesson turned out to be excellent. Someone needs to correct him, but I will talk to the Zone Leaders and let them handle it.  Another funny part of the day was when this same comp had to go to the bathroom so badly that he peed right there in the street.  He needs a lot of help.
    My mission president called me today to ask me about  the encounter with the president from the Santiago East Mission.  He told me that it was brought to his attention and he was concerned that his missionaries weren’t treated well.  Actually he was pretty unhappy about it.  I told him not to worry about it because we just laughed it off.
April 5, 2016
    Today was frustrating for me. This morning was good because we bought a cake for one of our sisters, Hermana De Carvalho. It is her birthday tomorrow and she is super stressed out right now. She is fairly new, from Brazil, and is leading a difficult sector.  It is interesting to see how leaders sure try a lot harder to help a struggling sister than they do a struggling elder. When I wanted to go home, my zone leaders criticized me and tore me apart and my district leader could have cared less. Thankfully, my mission president reached out to me and helped me through that tough time.  I was glad to reach out to encourage and help another struggling missionary.
Miracle #605: I think that our whole district considers us to be their friends.
    The frustrating part of the day for me today was setting up the day to do double divisions with tons of members and then having half of the plans fall through.  It is hard for my companion to understand my frustration because he is too new in the area to know the sector, and the people, and still to new to do the work of setting up all of the appointments. 

Just eating some cow foot soup.. it was kinda weird and it had hairs on it... mmmm

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