September 30, 2012

Gummy Worms and Cream Cheese

I feel like a kid again. I am officially in love with gummi worms. I just bought a half a kilo at Chedraui (not at all a waste of money, thank you very much) and I've already almost eaten all of them. They are good. Also, another rediscovery by your favorite missionary teaching in the most remote part of Mexico is cream cheese. My Guatemalen companion (who is awesome, by the way) explained to me that something that he quickly learned on his short mission (he only has six months) is that cream cheese tastes good on anything. Through careful investigation and research, I have thus far been able to conclude that this theory is correct. Surprisingly enough, cream cheese IS good on gummi worms (if you think this is weird, just consider that I've eaten the heart and liver of a chicken and been told that it was a "treat." Oaxaca changes people). 

Anyway, I'm gonna give you all a quick run down on the week because it's picture week! Yay! Anyways, this week was great. Lucio got baptized and despite the fact that I had to make a program on the fly (Elder Piña did not give me the program template that we had worked out), it all ended up pretty professional and everybody felt good. I was happy for him. He showed me the can he has to already start saving up for his mission. Second of all, Flor and Charbel are still awesome. They should be baptised on Thursday so that Charbel can go with the young men on a campout. They are super pilas. Flor even gave us a good reference. Which leads us to number 3 on good things for the week: We finally found 10 new investigators!!! This has been tormenting me for weeks now, the fact that I couldn't comply with President's obviously inspired goal for the mission. Everybody else seemed to be achieving it and achieving it generally seemed to be accompanied by some sort of miracle, yet I could not do it. So this week we did it. And yup, it came with a small miracle.

On Sunday, we started the day with six new investigators already in the bag. We needed to find four more in one day. We found one in the morning after Church (an atheist that Elder Piña and I had found who had expressed interest in the Book of Mormon but whom we never returned to visit). We still needed three more. But we had some fixed appointments with two families that we had contacted earlier in the week. I was confident it was possible. The first family (of four) wasn't there. The second family (of seven) didn't want to listen to us except for the inactive mother. I started to get nervous. Time was running out. But I kept my head. There were three old investigators that lived in the same house that we had found in the area book. WE went to visit them and.....they didn't want to listen. So we asked for a reference from a nearby member and he gave it to us! Yay! We went immediately to visit them. The father of the kid opened the door and immediately started yelling at us. I didn't listen to much, but he said a bunch of things about us not having the truth, trusting men more than God, and hypocrites that go to our church. Essentially, it wasn't an uplifting or encouraging 5 minutes. Didn't really make us want to go contacting, that was for sure. So, feeling a little desperate, I pulled over to say a little personal prayer. I didn't want to be the only companionship in the zone without enough faith to meet the goal. I begged God for three new investigators. I promised Him that I would do whatever he asked of me. The first thing my companion said after the prayer was, "We could go contacting, even though I hate doing it." So we went to knock doors. On the first door, which was partially opened, we saw a man in a hammock. When we knocked, instead of getting up, he called for somebody in the house. Nobody left. Not encouraging. We waiting a little bit more and finally a girl opened the door. We presented ourselves and asked if we could share our message with her right now. To our surprise, she said sure. I thought, hey, it might not be three, but it's a start. It's one. We sat down and started to talk. Right as we were about to begin, the mother in law of this girl walked in. We invited her to listen. She, too accepted. But then she went into the house. We thought she was going to stay there. She didn't. She came back out with her sixteen year old daughter and all of the sudden one new investigator became three. And La Hacienda 1 found 10 new investigators in one week.

The point of all of this is that God hears and answers sincere prayers, first and foremost. I prayed a lot this week and I felt really good doing it. God always answers, that I know. Second, God will bless us if we make the sacrifices. I didn't have to ask for references or talk to people in the street or endure a drunk guy's conversation. None of those endeavors turned into new investigators. But I did them because I wanted to do God's work and not mine. I did what I didn't want to do because I knew it was what God wanted me to do. And you know what happened? God blessed me with what I wanted above all, 10 new investigators. Didn't come from my efforts. They came from His. I'm just glad they came. 

Anyway, here's a quick review of the picture: I went to a museum and took a lot of pictures, I baptized, I ate food with people, I contacted a really cool, really rich house, and I don't remember what else is there. I love you all and I will keep praying for Tyrel! Hope he does better!
Elder Johnson

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