February 9, 2015 (Week 36)

Elder Granda and Elder Guerrero

Elder Granda and Elder Guerrero

Our old district

Our old district

I don’t know if I told this story, but we found a false Christ one time too.  It was in my old sector, when we were visiting a less active named Pachi, when I was pretty dang new.  We were talking to her outside of her house, in a more dangerous part of the sector, fairly late at night, so the only light was from the fire in a metal barrel that they were using to cook sopaipias.  While we were talking, we were approached by this guy who was a little… rough.  It was hard to see everything, but I could see he was either missing the top of his jaw or he was holding his mouth weird and missing all of his teeth, most of one hand, and he walked with bad limp, making him stand crooked.  He came up to us and said “When Christ comes, you won’t recognize him.”  We told him we think we will.  He told us, “No, you won’t.  Know why?  Because I’m Christ.”  We told him that’s nice.  “Would we like any blessings?”  We told him no, we were fine for now, because we knew that we should pray to the father for help, not to the son.  “See?” he said, “You won’t recognize him!  Do you have 200 pesos?”  (200 pesos is exactly what a single cigarette costs here.)

I had to give my second church talk in my mission yesterday, and the theme I was given was missionary work.  I decided to basically talk about the theme of missions being a struggle.  My talk was basically me just reading a series of scriptures and talking about them in front of everybody, instead of my traditional method of reading a carefully prepared talk.

Congratulations, Cameryn (Elder Mathewson’s cousin).  Now you are through the temple and THERE IS NO TURNING BACK BWAHAHAHA!  She’ll be a good missionary.  Of course, that is true for anyone, if they are willing to throw themselves into it a little.  That is pretty cool that she is about to go.

One of the Elders left from our ward.  His name is Elder Gerrero, from Mexico.  He had served as a Zone Leader for 11 months in this ward, and he got sent to the opposite end of the mission.  Funny how that works.  He was pretty cool, but I only felt so sad that he was leaving, because I only knew him for 1 change and these last 6 weeks FLEW.  Granted, I think that I am discovering in that that one of my weaknesses is loving people.  Having Charity.  I really do struggle with it, especially when they are different than me.  It’s probably normal for a gringo to like another gringo more than a Latino, but that doesn’t mean I need to be like that.  Part of the problem, too, is I have trouble giving my whole heart to the work here, even though we are having a ton of success in this sector, because part of me can’t stop thinking about how fast time goes and how things shift in the mission, and how it hurts to make friends out here because you have to leave them whenever they get called to a new sector or we get moved.  I plan on putting this problem to lots of prayer and fasting and study, and see if I can be more charitable and less selfish by the end of this change.

We finally got a lady to attend church.  Her name is Norma.  She is from Ecuador, not too far from where Elder Granda lives.  She came and she loved it, but she has a few problems, the biggest two being that she lives with her boyfriend from Columbia who is quite a bit younger than her, and that she wants to be baptized in the Catholic church.  But, as she said, although her progress is slow, it’s there.  We have a few other people that we can see lots of opportunity, and it is amazing in this sector how well tracking based on the old lists in the Area Book works.

Elder Granda isn’t district leader any more.  He is taking it a little hard, thinking that he got down graded.

I’m fine.  I recognize it as part of the growing experience, and I am grateful for every challenge.

Elder Mathewson

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