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Monday, April 20, 2015

Week #43: Transfers come and go - happy still in Rio Blanco

Like every other week in the mission changes are fun interesting crazy and just a little bit hectic at times.
So as most of you know we live out in the boon docks. in my area and so for us transfers are usually a little bit more chaotic than the other areas in the mission.  As last Monday ended we still hadn't received word on the transfers, but I was told to pack anyways given my likelihood of having changes.  I was told to do the "just in case packing" as they say and so I did.  Then Tuesday morning rolled around and we called for what seemed like the 20th time to find out about the changes.....and they still didn't know but they were sure to give me some more just in cases instructions.  These instructions included getting the last of my stuff together and heading down to San Pedro just in case we had changes. Being so far out in the mission for our zone and the other two that are close by means that when transfers come around we charter a bus at 4:00am in the morning to go by every one of the zones and pick up those that have changes so that we can make it to the transfer meeting in Reu in time. Finally at about 7:00pm we received the changes, amazingly enough after all of the waiting and packing and craziness, I did not end up having changes!  We got a good laugh out of all of it, and then started to go around all of the members in San Pedro so that Elder Amundson could say goodbye to everyone.
             Out of everyone in the zone only three Elders had changes; Elders Amundson, Quiroz and Mecham.  But we don't really count Mecham as having changes, after seven and a half months in his first area he took a fun little bus trip down to Reu for the change meeting and then came right back up to leave San Antonio San pedro and go right next door to Chamac San Pedro. What a trooper! I dont know what his mission call said but there must have been some kinda smudge on the call that said he was called to the Guatemala Retalhuleu Mission San Pedro zone.
             So all and all the zone didn't really change to much and once the changes were over Thursday came around and we got right back to work. Which involved an amazing planning session that would make any mission president proud, followed by a noche de hermanamiento in Chuicaval with some odd 10-15 investigators alone.
             The next day we set out with a plan. But ended up not following it in the slightest as lesson after lesson called out to us.  Literally there was a point in the day after we had just helped one of the members mark some eggs, mate some chickens, and were heading off down a path to try and start on the day we had planned when all of a sudden we heard someone yelling out elders to once again send our plans out the window. Days like this just kinda remind us that we are not here to do our work but rather the Lord's work, and by the days end we had found some really amazing new families to teach, had several references to contact and another less active youth to help go on the mission.
             As the next day rolled around, again our plans went out the window and God's plan went into action. In the morning we taught the grandmother of several of the youth that we are teaching and the sweetest spirit settled over the lesson as she poured out her heart to us. Crying over all that was happening in her life and the life of her family and then the sweet comfort of the spirit as we testified of the ability the true Gospel of Christ has to change the lives of every person that receives it.  As we closed the lesson with a prayer we could see that the things we had said had brought a little peace to her soul. I hope in the next little while she will be able to come to church with her grandkids.
          Then the best day of the week rolled around. A day that used to be filled with naps procrastinated homework and Church has really changed here in the mission. I think I even finally understand the torment I put the majority of my teachers through during my CTR years in the church. Right now we have five joven investigators ages 10-14 that are all about as rowdy and restless as I was when I was their age.  They want to do just about everything but go to class. However being as they were I totally knew how to handle it. Takes one to know one right?! After a quick call to the house I had some candy brought over to bribe their obedience and some videos to teach them with. I rallied them all up with the candy and then brought them into a classroom where we taught them using the bible videos and mormon messages that Mom and Dad just sent me. By the end of class we had them all ready to be interviewed for their baptisms which we are planning for this next week.
    The amazingness didn't even end there. Here members are super pilas on Sundays and just about every sunday they go pair off and teach the less actives that are in the branch. This week we had the pleasure of going and teaching with President Vasquez. He brought us to one of the first members of Rio Blanco and we sat and visited with him for a while and then he brought us over to a non members house. As we got to the house we didn't think that anyone was there. It was raining outside, all of the doors were closed and it was nice and cold. but as we started to talk a door opened and a little kid invited us inside. We talked with him and his family for a while, taught them a bit but more so just really got to know them. After a little while they invited us into the kitchen for a little bit of Cafe (here cafe no es cafe. they have something called morCaf which is actually like a hot chocolate make out of corn and other stuff - not sure what the other stuff consists of) as we were in the kitchen talking to the family the same kid that had initially invited us into the house had changed his clothes and walked into the kitchen in his Sunday best, excited about what we had said and kinda wanting to be like us. He didn't have a tie on though so I called him over to me and took my own tie off and put it on him. The smile on his face said it all and after all that we had been talking about with his mother, she was super happy about the example and love that we were giving her son. I have now doubt that she will a super fiel member of the church soon and her kids as well.
       Well I'm still up here in the altaplano  for the next six weeks - I will not be leaving and I have to say I am very happy I am not leaving.!

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