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Monday, September 7, 2015

Week #63: Potatoes and the Small and Simple Things

Every time he sends pictures he has a different tie and umbrella...and they never match.

     So how goes the work of the Lord? Well we are starting from the bottom and working up. That is to say that when I got here there was nothing and more or less still is.  Right now we are first trying to find people to help and to teach.  The people here are few and far between that actually want to talk to us....which is really weird for the coastal areas but that has a lot to do with the many evangelical churches here that preach the live long day against us.  Not to worry though Elder Tufuga and I get a kick out of all of the new rumors we hear about Mormons, and work daily to dispel them all by our work, our service and our example.
     The area of Magnolia, Coatepeque is a small little sub division of the county that has been largely forgotten by the big city or at least that is what the people say as they talk about how bad the roads are.   Coatepeque is a fairly large city but not as developed as Mazate which is probably the most developed city in the mission.   The people here have a wide range of jobs and lifestyle from farm work to cubicle jobs!  Like everywhere all work to better their lives, and provide for their family. Our hope is that we will be able to assist with this by bringing The Gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives.

     This week has been a little...rainy to say the least. I think I can connect a little bit more with the mission of my mom after this week.
      I don't remember much of if any of the stories that my mom told me of her mission but I do remember one.  She once said that in her mission she pealed a lot of potatoes. This week I played tribute to that memory. We had been working under the rain for a long while visiting less active members of the church with some of the members. When the night was just about over we began to walk back to the house. Since the two of us are always hungry, as we passed by a street shop selling Papas Fritas,  I couldn't  resist.  But they were taking forever to dish out the fries. So... I went to work peeling potatoes as we waited for our fries. We ended up being there for about half an hour and in that time I ran out of potatoes. I'm sure everyone thought I was crazy peeling all of the potatoes right there by the side of her tienda but I did and I did them all.
   I imagine that this area here is actually a lot like Spain. Europe is renown for the straight up rejection you face on a daily basis as a missionary. Though in this last week I didn't know If I was in Guate or en Spain. I don't think I have ever been rejected this much in my life. Everyone from the oldest of what seem to be the sweet little old ladies to the youngest of kids were running from us and slamming doors in our faces all week long.  There were some times where I began to greet the people only to be cut of mid Buenas Tardes. I was like wow....

   This week I have been thinking alot about the members of the church and just how different we really are from many others.  You can see so easily how differently we are. I think the truth in this difference lies in the small and simple things. We can see countless examples of how small and simple things bring great things to pass and really we are built on our foundations of small and simple things.
    Before coming to the mission my testimony of the church was based on these small and simple things that I could see in the the stuff the church teaches and the programs that it has. I am grateful to say that my testimony has definitely grown since then but none the less I love these small and simple things. Now having grown a little bit more and having seen a little more of the world I can see this difference ever greater. I can see the blessings of the talks we give in church, the primary, simply reading the scriptures, and so many other programs. If you dissect any of them you can see the good habits and skills that help each and every person. These programs instill good habits. Take the idea of reading the Scriptures daily. Just from this habit we learn: the value of books, we understand that we should be continually learning, we learn to read daily, we even learn to apply what we read to our own lives. Most important we learn to incorporate daily moments of spiritual thought, reflection and devotion into our lives.  Think of all of these things and the many more that we learn from this one principle, we are taught from birth in the church.
    Now take any other you can think of and do the same.  Given the chance to think of any of these things in the same light we can see the many small habits we develop. All of these small things compound to form who we are. There are many sayings like you are what you eat, you are who your friends are and they are all true in a way but the principle behind them is the greater truth. Our habits form us. Small things build up a couple of pages read a day. a small act of service everyday. The small things we do really do add up over time and have the biggest impact on our lives.
   Habits are like The Juggernaut (pop-culture reference here, why not spiritually and super heroes). All we have to do is start and they will drive us and be our driving momentum and once started and in motion they become thoughtless even easy to do. The only thing we have to do is start and let the momentum carry us to be a new better person the first time is hard but every time after is easier until it becomes hard to stop. Though I guess their is a word of caution, I mean after all the Juggernaut is a bad guy in the movie, so it only holds to reason that this same thing holds true for the bad habits as well. Though in all ways we are our foundations. Our habits good or bad will take us to places good or bad.

I love your all!  I will write next week!

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