Thursday, July 24, 2014

Week 54

July 22, 2014

Wow, it's already late July. That’s rather frightening. Another fast month... moving on...

In the 3+ months that I've been in this area, it's been relatively free of the crazy weather phenomena that I experienced in Villa Canales during my first two changes. Actually, I take it back; the fog here can be pretty incredible. Anyway, a few days ago I was able to check another thing off my bucket list. We had just entered a house and began to teach when it began to rain. We were starting to teach about the Great Apostasy when the rain suddenly became deafening. Seriously, the roof was made of lamina (I think it's like corrugated steel in English) which only added to the effect. We lost any ability to communicate and ran to the door to see what was happening. It turns out that there was a freak hail storm, not the normal small almost snow like hail that we get in Medford, but real "this could do some damage" hail. It was pretty exciting. The pieces of hail were often larger than marbles. Literally. I wish I could have gotten a picture as proof. It looked like popcorn popping as they bounced of the lamina roofs. One hit me in the wrist and it actually hurt a fair amount. I could have gathered up some of the hail and I would have been able to use it as ice cubes. The sad part was that it damaged the corn pretty badly, but I think in the long run it should be fine. 

Ok, side note, one of the hermanas in my district just shouted out how one of her friends who is on a mission just wrote to tell her that she just baptized a conjoined twin, as in, just one of the two. The other wants nothing to do with the church.  That's a pretty great story but I'd like to see a picture before I fully believe it.

I had an interesting experience this week. My companion and I were having a first visit with a member and her nonmember husband. For various reasons it was an extra important visit and I was really trying to do all I could to teach the best I could. Halfway through the lesson I thought "wow, I'm really teaching this lesson well. I'm asking good questions, the investigator is giving me exactly the answers I want, I'm making good comparisons, etc. So why isn't this lesson going better?" Then the Spirit gave me chicote and I realized that I was being pretty prideful and that all my well-practiced rhetorical strategies really weren't helping at all. What I was lacking was the Spirit. It was pretty cool as I stopped teaching rather pridefully and instead just humbly testified. The Spirit immediately came back. A little bit later the husband asked a somewhat contentious question and I launched into the answer with all the scriptures I had learned to prove my point and the Spirit withdrew. Then I realized what I was doing, quickly repented, and started to teach more simply and it came back again. It was a very clear lesson of trusting in the Spirit and not in our own abilities.

As far as our area goes, we're still fighting with setbacks and disappointments. I really want to give a good example to my district, showing them that we can have success here and getting them excited to have that success for themselves, but it just doesn't seem to be happening. I think that the faith of our district might be a little low, at the very least our expectations are. It's hard to fight that discouragement but I trust that we're doing what the Lord wants us to even though we're not perfect,..

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