Monday, November 26, 2012

November 26, 2012

Sorry this letter is coming so late.  We went to Tapalpa again today and got back a lot later than we should have.  There are a lot of things going on around here out of my control that shouldn't be that I am going to try and take control of this week.  Whew.
Ok.  Well, it was a great week.  Remember J?  Well, his whole family is listening to us intently now.  We put a baptismal date this week with his sister in law , his neice S, his son J, and J's girlfriend D.  When we teach over there, they bring out all the chairs and stools they own and sit in a big semi circle in their living room while we teach standing.  It feels pretty awesome.  We actually had lunch with them on Wednesday, which is when we met D.  She told us she wonders some times if God really does exist, so we had her pray and ask if he did.  She felt the spirit really strong and was there the next day while we taught the plan of Salvation to the whole family.  She had a ton of questions about religion, it blew my mind a little bit (she's 13).  Questions like "Why do we naturally not want to do the will of God?" and "If this life is about falling and getting up again, why don't my parents let me make mistakes?"  She's super interested and we answered all her questions.  She really felt something that first visit and knows the church is true, but her mom is super catholic and she is scared to tell her that she is listening to us, so we are praying really hard for her. 
J is 13 and has never wanted to listen to the missionaries in the least until now.  He is a really smart kid that has been mixed up in the wrong crowd but wants more peace in his life.  We taught him in the chapel one day, and by that I mean I taught him the whole restoration in about 12 minutes while Elder A was in the bathroom.  The poor man was having problems that day.  But anyways, he understood everything really well and has been super excited about everything.  He's reading the Book of Mormon and praying and he said he wants to get baptized because he knows it will make him happy. 
We had an activity Saturday morning.  We invited all the youth to come with us and be missionaries for a day.  We did a little training in the morning, made them their own name tags, and then they came with us to proselyte.  Only 4 people came, including J and C, who both weren't members at this point.  But it went well.  Except that J and one of the other kids that came, Z, are enemies and really hate each other.  So before we did anything, we had a little lesson with those two about the Atonement and had them sort out their problems.  They forgave each other and were companions for the day, and were best friends by the time the activity ended.  That is the power of the Atonement.  It is infinite and eternal and can work miracles in our lives if we are humble enough to use it.  It was a great experience to see this immediate change between two people.  The activity was really fun, we didn't have a lot of appointments that day so we spent a lot of time contacting people in the streets, and by that I mean making 12 and 13 year old kids contact people in the streets.  It was a great way to help J strengthen his testimony--testifying that our message is true to a bunch of random people he doesn't know. 
We had C's baptism that night.  J, J, V, and S came.  It went well.  Elder A baptized her and I did the confirmation yesterday in church.  It was a great experience.  She really felt great when she got baptized (obviously). 
When we went to a Cyber cafe to print out the programs for C's baptism, the girl helping us asked us if the baptism was in Sayula.  We told her yes and explained who we are and what we do and put an appointment for the next day.  She said she would like that.  We went over to teach her and she is super escogida!  Her name is J, and she told us that she is looking for spiritual guidance in her life and that no church that she has gone to has really satisfied that.  We taught her the restoration and it all made sense to her.  We put a baptismal date for December 29th and she accepted it and said she would come to church this week (the lesson was Sunday afternoon).  She is in college and lives in Ciudad Guzman during the week, so we only will be able to teach her Saturdays and Sundays, but hey, I am not complaining.  I love it when God just blesses us with someone like that out of nowhere. 
We have been having challenges with our Branch President.  I am not going to go into details, but he doesn't treat the members with a whole lot of love and is making it really hard for this branch to progress.  And when we give him suggestions, he gets mad and thinks we are trying to challenge his authority.  It has been a struggle.  Pray a lot for him to change his heart.  He is the man with the keys to run this branch, and we have to act under his direction, but the way is doing things really has been difficult to deal with, both for us, the members, and the investigators.
Today we went to Tapalpa with the Zone leaders.  They slept over at our house last night, 4 of us in two beds, in other words, nobody slept.  We hiked to a waterfall, but it took 2 hours to hike there and back, and with the travel time that it takes to hitchhike to Tapalpa from here and the two meals the members insisted on feeding us, it was a long day.  But I took some really cool pictures that I'll send you some time. 
It was a big week. If C's brother I really works hard this week, he could get baptized this saturday.  Speaking of which, I am going to need white pants and a white tie for baptisms.  There isn't an extra pair here, and I probably won't survive the whole mission without baptismal clothes.  What would be the best way to get them?  Could you send me some, or is that out of the question?  Let me know.  Also, Dad, email probably is the best way to send music to me.  Thanks!  Also, that memory card you sent me in the package didn't make it past the mailroom, so I bought one here. 
I love you all!  Pray for me a lot this week, there is a lot of work to do here.  I love you all a lot! 
-Elder Pew