October 7, 2014
Wow, big week this week. After writing last week Elder Gonzalez and I headed over to Zaragoza so that I could say goodbye to the people there. I’ve included some pictures of Ricarda who we baptized back in August. Her piglets have gotten really big and have lost some of their cuteness.
We also visited my favorite eternal investigator, Danielito. He’s pretty crazy (and pretty tiny). He doesn't want to get baptized because he says he's already been baptized three times and that's probably enough to be safe. Our attempts to teach him about authority have proved fruitless. He is worried that he'll get sick by being baptized in the cold water of the font (that's actually a fair concern as it happened to Hermana Ricarda), and that he has a lot of mujeres [women]. I'm guessing that's a definite lie. Anyway, I'll be sad to leave him.
I also said goodbye to la familia Gamez Hernandez. That was pretty hard. I love that family so much and they were sad too, asking if they would at least be able to call. I hope I'm able to stay in touch with them. It’ll be hard as they don't even have email. In the night I said goodbye to Patzicia, eating elotes [corn on the cob with the husks pulled down to form a “handle” and served with salt and lime juice] there for the last time.
Leaving the aldea of the famlia Gamez Hernandez
As far as my changes go, my fervent prayers were answered and I didn't go to the coast again, in fact, I stayed as close as I could to my last area. I'm now in Comalapa, Chimaltenango. To get to Comalapa you just have to get off the highway at Zaragoza, drive through it, and then keep going another half hour. In other words, I get to see Zaragoza several times a week (every time I have to go to Chimal). Anyway, I'm happy about it and it makes me laugh how I had to take my suitcases all the way to the capital just to take them back again.
Comalapa is very similar to Patzicia. There is lots of corte (thank goodness). My district now consists only of me and my companion (Elder Fulmer) and two sisters. I don't even know what to do with my time now that I don't have to make so many calls each night.
Elder Fulmer is in his 2nd change here (still in his training), so in missionary lingo that makes me his step dad (his second trainer). He super pilas, although he knows almost no Spanish. Still, we're working hard. Upon arriving in my new area, Comalapa, Elder Fulmer told me that we basically had no investigators. The only progressing investigator we had we dropped after my first lesson in the area as she rather explicitly told us that she didn't want anything. Still, I know that the Lord wants me to baptize this month. Elder Fulmer has already learned very well how to be obedient and diligent, but still hasn't had a baptism in his mission.
We immediately started looking for new investigators. I think the Lord has prepared me for this assignment. My last area, Patzicia and Zaragoza was quite close and very similar to Comalapa. Through a long series of incredible miracles, I saw that area transform. It went from having maybe 3 or 4 investigators every week to having 10 or 12. My time there culminated with the 6 baptisms the last week, two full families. Coming here right after that great experience has given me hope and faith that we will find families just like that here in Comalapa and we will baptize them. Our first week here didn't go so well. We had low datos [statistics] and no investigators attending. However, we've kept working hard and kept on looking with faith. At 8:40 last night the miracle happened. In a dark, rather scary alley, we found an incredibly pilas family of 5. It's cool to think that through faith we really can have miracles like that all the time.
Conference was incredible, as always. I absolutely loved Elder Christofferson's talk on agency and accountability, as well as Elder Holland’s talk on poverty. His talks are always rather spiritually exhausting since they are so powerful. Another of the highlights was Elder Bednar's talk on why we do missionary work. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/come-and-see?lang=eng I recommend it to any of my nonmember friends as it explains very nicely why anyone would be so crazy as to leave work or school for two years to go walk around all day in some faraway place.
Suitcase full of corte