Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Well, another week has flown by. We had a great week from last Tuesday to Sunday. We had more progressing investigators than we were able to visit every other day (which I think is the optimum amount of time between appointments with pilas investigators). Our days were therefore always full of incredible lessons and we had a very achievable goal of having 16 investigators attending church. We were excited and full of faith that our goal of 8 baptisms this month would be almost easily achievable. However, on Sunday even the most firmly committed investigators were unable to attend, causing their baptismal dates to be bumped back to April 6th.
This was a discouraging development to say the least. I think that God wants to try our faith though. I very much feel that our goal of 8 baptisms was made by the Spirit, therefore we can achieve it. I know we are doing all we can and are being obedient, therefore I know we will achieve it. Now, instead of being able to easily baptize 8 this month, it will require a miracle. I feel like this situation is similar to when the Lord lessened Gideon's army to be sure that everyone knew their victory was due to Him and not to their own strength. Our number of possible baptisms for this month has been greatly reduced, but I'm trying to keep from doubting so that we can be blessed with the miracle we need. It is scary to not know how we will achieve the goal, but, I assume that Nephi felt similarly when he was commanded to build the ship. I love what the Lord says to him in 1 Ne 17:13. Sorry, you'll have to go look that up. I've only got it in Spanish.
"Y también seré vuestra luz en el desierto; y prepararé el camino delante de vosotros, si es que guardáis mis mandamientos. Por lo tanto, al grado que guardéis mis mandamientos, seréis conducidos hacia la tierra prometida; y sabréis que yo soy el que os conduce."
[And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.]
Anyway, we're proceeding with faith despite the opposition.
Also, it seems like are area seems to be more full of slightly crazy people than usual, which is actually really fun. This week we had an encounter with a man who, on the first visit wanted to give us food so we could eat with him as he finished his dinner. We refused as delicately as possible as he wanted to buy us tamales (aka street food, which we're not allowed to eat). However, he flat out refused to accept any of our excuses, saying "how can you expect to be able to invite me to church if I can't even invite you to eat?!?" We managed to extricate ourselves from the situation by convincing him to buy us some bread instead. We also talked to an old guy who was sitting outside of his corrugated steel house and told us he "only believes in science" (yes, exactly like in Nacho Libre - Link) and then tried to stump me by asking me what the biggest tree in the world was. Despite having gone to Stewart State park at least 32 times, I'll admit that I was only able to come up with Redwoods, not Sequoia. That was embarrassing. Also, a woman who said she was dead for 7 days and one of our investigators who (with his wife) was supposed to be baptized this Sunday but who, on Wednesday, backed out because he didn't want to give up the little bar he had in his garage. In our last lesson he even got up when a drunk guy staggered over to give him a bottle of vodka. A great example of how true faith is more than just a testimony that the BOM is true.
Anyway, I'm doing great and hope that you all are as well.
Love, Elder Cannon
P.S. here's my random picture for the week. This is how we get water. We buy big bags of pure water for 5 Quets (62.5 cents) and then can use the small bags whenever we want. You just tear a corner off with your teeth and drink the water inside. When we're out of the house we can buy a small bag for .50 Quets whenever we feel thirsty.
P.P.S. The "I'll go where you want me to go" member missionary video that was shown during the worldwide conference on June 23, 2013 really is incredible.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Well, not a ton to say this week. Sunday was hard as not a single one of the people we were going to baptize on the 30th attended church, which is tough because they have to have at least three attendances before baptism. We're still working hard though, and having a good time. Speaking of having a good time, I've got a new favorite Gmalan dish, tocón. Mom, you have to look up a recipe and make it. My old favorite was pepián, a great tomato and chicken soup thing, tocón is similar, but made out of green vegetables, instead of red, it has green peppers, tomatoes, etc. It must be eaten with real Guatemalan tortillas though. Elder Huish and I are going to learn how to make tortillas before this change is over. Wow, I'm really hungry now.
In other news, my companion and I were struck with the dreaded "bu" this week. "Bu" is pretty much an integral part of serving a mission here in Guatemala. Let's just say that I came closer to throwing up during a lesson than I have ever done before and my companion was also pretty close to having some major problems in another way. We're feeling better though, and I'm fine with suffering if it means I get more blessings. Wohoo! Blessings!
Yesterday I was a little baggy; Elder Huish got permission to go to the BYU website to enable President Brough to renew his ecclesiastical endorsement. It's definitely easier to stay completely focused down here in Guatemala, but then there are always those little distractions that pop up. As he's only got one full change left, it's made me think about how much I love Guatemala. It really must be so hard to have to leave after coming to love every little detail here. I've come to love the people, the culture, the food, the language, the houses, the bakeries, the tiendas, the buses, even the metal doors that everyone has (I'll have to get a picture of one of those, they're kind of a big part of my life).
Ok, our internet went out so we went to eat as a district while we waited for it to come back. We went to the only place available, a super scary comedor (cafeteria) near here. That was one of the diciest eating situations I've ever experienced. However, we did eat with a really drunk guy who didn't want to leave us alone and we taught him how to say "fried chicken" in English. Anyway, I'll probably be super sick tomorrow. That food was definitely not clean... Oh well...
Talk to you all in a week... (if that food wasn't too dangerous)
Love, Elder Cannon