Wow the weeks FLY! I say that every week but seriously they do. This week was fantastic but super tough.
I didn’t give a lot of information last week about my area. I’m in Las Huertas. It is a TOUGH area with not a lot of success. We have about 40-50 people in church on Sunday’s. There are about 300 in the ward so there is a TON OF INACTIVES!!! A lot different from in the States. The missionaries before us had our ward and another ward and they spent most of their time in the other ward so we were left with little to nothing in terms of people to teach. We had to really start from scratch as we are both new to the area. It’s been really tough but we are working hard and scrapping to find some more people to teach!! We teach about 10-12 people a day (mission standard is 10 a day) and knock about 12 doors (mission standard is 6 per day.)
So Tuesday was a packed day! I had the devotional for our District Meeting and taught about the Christ like attributes of diligence and how if we are diligent it will show in our success. We taught a bunch of in-actives Tuesday, and I got the opportunity to anoint for a blessing. The lady we blessed has a lot of struggles and has a daughter that is 14 and she reminded me a ton of my little sister. We then taught one of our new families that we have found. They are a family of six with four small children. This is the familia “RS”. We found them last week and have taught them three discussions. They didn’t come to church yesterday because its been really cold (like 60) and so all of their kids are sick.
Funny story, Tuesday night we were knocking doors and four like “super gangster bros” answered. I was scared and told my companion we should leave because I was really nervous. He didn’t listen and asked if we could come inside and teach them. Surprisingly they said yes, Ha!! When it came time to do my part of the lesson I totally choked because I was nervous and didn’t want to show these guys how “gringo” my spanish was. The night ended teaching a man named Alejandro. Alejandro is awesome!!!! He has been to Church twice and that night I got the opportunity to ask him to be baptized and he accepted!!! So awesome!!!!!!!
Thursday was super tough. A ton of doors and a ton of contacts and a ton of hardcore Catholics which means rejection!! On Thursdays though they have an event called, “dia del barrio” its like Mutual but for the whole ward. That night they had a huge fiesta and it was so fun! Dancing, eating, and spending time with the members. It was funny though because they played a mixture of songs that ranged between classic Mexican music, and then Bruno Mars songs and American music. There was actually one song that was from the USA that they played that had a bit of profanity but no one really knew what the song was saying so they just kept dancing!
Elder Hernandez and I call Friday’s the “Day of the doors.” We knocked so many doors and got rejected so much. Super tough day, but still good!! I just wish people would accept this Gospel!!!!
There is a talk by Elder Holland and he says something like “…why cant’ the only problem missionaries have is getting pneumonia from standing in the water of a baptismal font all day and night.” I WANT PNEUMONIA!!
During one lesson this week the people we were teaching talked SUPER FAST so I couldn’t understand a thing. I have found that when you don’t understand anything you go through some phases. There is the fake listening phase, then the stop trying and start thinking about how you can try to get involved phase, then the check out, phase and when this happens you start to get super sleepy!!! So when my companion was teaching this active family I just kinda fell asleep for a couple of seconds!! Ha! I felt so bad and tried so hard not to. Luckily it was only for a few seconds then my companion kneed me.
We ate at the bishops street taco stand again on Friday. This time we got soup. Funny story. They had this Chili Sauce on the table and it looked pretty good so I put quite a bit in my soup……worst decision I have made on my mission yet!! I took the first bite and about died. SOOOOOOOO HOT. But obviously I couldn’t just not eat my entire lunch, especially as a missionary. So I had to just man up and down it. I drank like a gallon of water with it. My lips, tongue, stomach, fingers, everything just hurt. I have had a stomach ache ever since!
We have gotten a few new investigators this week through contacting and one we are super excited about. She had the question, “There’s a million church’s which one is true?” WOW! Obviously that is perfect for us as missionaries. We taught her and she loved it and we have set a Baptism date with her. Saturday, most of our lessons and investigators cancelled, so we had a lot of member lessons and contacting. That night we were walking by this soccer field and the ball got kicked out, so I thought this was my chance to show this group of local kids how Americans can play soccer. So I did a little rainbow move and went to kick it back to them but I totally kicked it the wrong way down the hill and lost the ball!! They were so mad, I can’t even tell you. I felt horrible. I just told them I was American and had never played soccer in my life!!
Sunday was good, lots of meetings and we had a training with the ward missionary. None of our investigators or less actives showed up. It’s very hard for people to come to Church because they can’t afford the bus, and the hills make it super tough to walk. It’s been raining a lot too so the streets are like rivers. It’s pretty fun. When we were driving back from Church with a family that I have become super good friends with them and their two little boys (even though I have no clue what they say to me) we have somehow become friends. When we were in the car one of the little boys kissed me on the cheek. Haha! His mom got super mad at him.
All in all it was another great week! I am loving it and it gets better everyday. I love this Gospel and love serving people. That is honestly my favorite part, just the opportunity I get to help people out everyday. There is no better feeling. I miss everyone back home!!!! I hope you all have an awesome week!!!!
Love Elder Woods