Alright, first about being compañero mayor. It was interesting, being responsible for my own area without the knowledge of someone else. Planning is extremely difficult because I don´t have too good of an idea of where I should go during the day. Also, revelation most of the time doesn´t hit you like a "duh, that´s what we should do right now," so I´m learning a lot more about acting on faith. It was cool to not be the worst at Castellano though, and I noticed what it is like to train. For instance, whenever I don’t understand something I turn and look at my compañero to translate. When I was with Elder Kelly in my area he would do that to me, and the confusing part, I understood almost all of what was said. The spirit definitely blessed me with the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues. Something I did like about spending the week with Elder Kelly is that his trainer does 100 contacts a day or something like that and so he was still accustomed to doing that. He showed me how to just go up and talk to people. It still is hard for me to do them but I have seen that they work.
One example is that we were walking by someone in the street and he was looking at us the whole time as he walked the other way. I have determined now that whenever somebody is staring at us we need to go talk to them, so I did a 90 degree turn and walked straight to him and started talking. He basically gave me his direction so we could go by his house sometime, and that never happens. Can you say, prepared? And that´s not all, while we were talking to him a lady came up to us and started talking about how inactive she is and how she has desires to go back to church and how she carries her triple combination with here that the missionary who baptized her gave her with his testimony in it.
So despite feeling inadequate, we had some success during the week. I did that for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and then Friday night and Saturday I was doing divisions with Elder Dewitt in our district in his area. He has 8 months in the mission but he only has 3 weeks in his area and didn´t have a map, so we got lost a lot. But I did learn that Christ is directing this work and that the spirit will guide us to those who are prepared to receive the gospel in our areas. I went to his area without anything for the rain, because it was hot all day, and then it suddenly started raining. So naturally I got soaked that night. During that time though, after I was good and drenched, we were stopped trying to figure out where we were and how to get to where we wanted to go. If you know me well then you know that when I am in a miserable situation (such as being completely wet) I lose my inhibitions and act out more. So we were standing next to a sewer ditch (uncrossable) and a chico was walking on the other side. So naturally I yelled across the ditch asking where a certain street was. He showed us and then walked across from us until we found it. Then my companion started talking to him and it turned out he lived right in the direction we were headed, so we asked if we could enter and share a message. He accepted right away. Next we proceeded to teach, but we did so horribly. It was a complete mess. But he was so interested that he was basically teaching us how to teach him. We invited him to the church but couldn´t remember the address, we invited him to be baptized but couldn´t remember the next date he could have his baptism so he went and got a calender for us. I also felt the spirit strongly and the thought came to my mind "This is one of my children. Teach him." People don´t come more prepared to hear the gospel than he is. Now here is the miracle. After we left it stopped raining and I know why. It rained so that we would find that boy of 19 years, because if I hadn´t been miserably soaked and had lost my inhibitions, I wouldn´t have yelled across the sewer ditch asking for directions. I would have stood there and maybe glanced at him while my companion pondered some more. That is how I know that Christ is directing this work and as long as I am doing what I am supposed to He will guide those who are prepared to me in a way that I will meet them.
We do have an oven, but it is horrible. We don´t have a clean bake pan, so I used a pot. Now we don´t really have a pot because yes I did bake the apple cake and the center was actually not bad, especially with dulce de leche on it, but the sides and bottom were charred black, thus leaving the pot charred black. So yeah, I hope you can´t wait for me to return so I can cook for you... This week we plan on buying hamburgers and going to Pablo Nogués (Area in our District) to watch "The District: 2" with the other Elders in our District. A lot more ice cream parlors are opening up and we found one that is pretty cheap, so we might pass by there too.
It is raining, but during the week it was hot and humid and I was sweating. It seems that I am doomed to always be wet here in Argentina. But I still love the clouds everyday. Honestly they are better than a painting. It is also cool that I am understanding the members more. They are hilarious here! For example, we were in a meeting with the branch presidency and the president received a text from a member and didn´t want to respond so as he was closing his phone he mumbled the spanish translation of "eat it." Presidente Musmano, que capo.
Okay, if you are looking for something to study, try this:
The leaders in the mission have been receiving training this past week during the day on how to improve their teaching. Read these chapters and verses and look for a pattern that we are implementing now in the mission on how to teach.
- Lord is teaching =>D&C 50:13,15,17,19,21
- Spirit is teaching =>1 Nephi 11:2,4,10,14,16,21
- Nephi is teaching =>1 Nephi 15:8,10,11,12,15
- Aaron is teaching =>Alma 22:7,10,12
Love you and am praying for you,