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Monday, November 17, 2014

Week #21: Moments..spiritual and fun...

Question: With your birthday and Christmas coming up? Anything special you want?
Answer:  I want you to make some beef jerky and send it.  Sure you can buy some but I would rather you make some and send it my way.  [Editor's Note:  While beef jerky on the Traeger is incredibly good, I don't think it would last long without the preservatives for the 3-4 week journey and associated heat and humidity.  But if anyone else is thinking of sending anything...beef jerky is the only thing Elder Wilcox has specifically asked for.]

This week has been full of moments, spiritual moments and fun moments, that I am grateful I have had the opportunity to experience and record.  Sometimes it is those small and simple things that allow us to continue with hope and faith and a knowledge that we are where we are supposed to be doing what we are supposed to be doing.

Saturday morning, the zone leaders had planned to come down to the area to help us out a bit in teaching and whatever else was planned.  As it turned out, the majority of our lessons for the morning were with people in the area who speak english or are learning how to.   The zone leaders are both native spanish speakers and I imagine they felt a little bit awkward or even a tad bit useless as they tried to follow along in lessons in English. In some ways I guess they had the chance to understand just how we gringos felt the first several months in the field when we simply could not understand a thing in Spanish, but still had to teach and carry on.

A little bit later in the day we had a baptism planned.  It was a little bit different than all of the other baptisms I have had up to this point. Juan Jose is a youth I have been teaching all of my time here in La Verde.  We had set the date for the end of this month but once he had his interview with the district leader he said that he wanted to do it this this week.   So we did it with the condition that we don't make a big event out of it and it was a small baptism with only us, the zone leaders and the President of the Rama in attendance. In many ways it was all the more spiritual, and probably one of the most spiritual baptisms I have attended.

As we finished with his baptism the hermanas of Pedregal (Hnas Woods and Dalton) had one as well. It could not have been anymore different from the one we had just had. It was a family of a mother father and a little baby. The hermanas had been teaching them for a while and they had finally gotten them ready to be married and baptised. The couple was married first, and this was really cool to see.  Immediately after the wedding was completed they changed into baptismal cloths and were baptised.  There were 75-80 in attendance which is  almost twice the attendance of Sacrament meeting for our branch.   It was super cool to witness, and makes me want to find and focus on some families.

This week was really just full of blessings. As we went about our normal sunday rutine of picking people up and going to church we only managed to get two investigators to come to church.  It was a little sad but at the end of sacrament meeting I turn to my comp and ask him, "hey do you want to have the zonen leaders do the interviews for them right now?" (the ZLs came down to check on the branch as well that day like the day before) he said yeah and by the time 2nd hour of church was ending we had 2 more dates set for baptisms. Awesomeness!
Now for some of the little funny moments of the week.

  • One night when we were over at the Zone Leaders and Elder Hernandez asked us how to say "how much?" in English and my comp told him "what are you wearing?" He repeated it into the phone to the hermana he was talking to.

  • Elder Portillo our old zone leader in Las Palmas is now one of the assistants to President Ruiz and has a car. One of the nights this week we were heading over to their house and when we got there we saw him and his companion standing outside of the car looking it all over. He had hit a dog on his way home and was looking for blood. (dogs are like rats here)

  • My companion has a really bad ingrown toenail right now (that isn't the funny part) and had shown it to the mission nurses.  They they didn't like it so they told him they were going to stop by the district meeting on tuesday and perform surgery.  During the meeting they took him into one of the rooms of to the side as we continued on with the district meeting.  The next thing you know we heard him screeching and wailing as they stuffed cotton in between the skin and the nail of the toe.

  • The night of the Wedding and baptisms we went over to Mcdonalds to celebrate (yes McD is the hub of celebration here for the Missionaries) there was someone else there who was celebrating their birthday. Elder Hernandez had been playing the violin for the wedding and had it with him so he started to play the violin in the middle of Mcdonalds for this person.  The REU McDonalds is very high class!

  • My personal favorite took place a night this week when I was just dead tired and fell quickly asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.  At about 11 at night my comp hears a crazy loud crash on the roof of the house. He calls to me and yell asking if I had heard it. I was fast asleep and as he became more scared that I didn't answer my mosquito net caught in the wind of my fan and looked like a ghost or some person (he said the next morning). He started to yell and then pray and I think even rededicated the house. Through all of this I was still sleeping and the following morning he told me about it all I just laughed at him. When we went to investigate what the loud noise was that had started it all...a coconut had hit the roof.

I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to be here in Guatemala and serve these people who I love very much.  I have a terrific companion and get to associate with other missionaries both Elders and Hermanas that show much love and dedication in their sacrifice and service each and everyday.

"Make a commitment that the next time your are taught by one of the servants of God, you will heed any prompting, even the faintest prompting, to act, to do better."  
 -Henry B. Eyring

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff Tong Dong. Our we consider are neighbors dogs as rats too.