I think I’m starting to understand a little more of what it means to be lost in the work. We have a lot to do here. We have found so many new people and had so many places to be, in fact, that we completely forgot about a few of the people that are pretty important to visit. Whoops. The worse one was an old couple who normally we visit on Thursdays, but we completely forgot. Like, it didn’t even occur to us until the next day when we were walking by for another visit. We yelled at the door, and when the lady came out, she was super mad at us. The couple is pretty poor, and too sick to do much. The lady is a pretty sad sight. She is the crookedest lady I have ever seen in my life. Her whole face is bent, with her one eye all screwy because she lost it in an operation, and with a short leg, making her walk kind of curled over onto one side. Normally, she talks to us with a lot of love, softly, with a quiet little smile, but that day she was furious. Apparently, they had been waiting for us, which made me feel pretty guilty. And, to make it worse, we promised them the sacrament that week, and they didn’t come. Last time we talked to her, she was still a little mad, even though she was joking about it. I think it’s going to take her a while to get over it.
We’ve also been leaving some people. That is pretty common when there is a change in a sector. There was one less active that we finally left that my comp was pretty sad about, and I a little less. Her and her grandaughter at one point progressing quite well, but they suddenly stopped, and we couldn’t seem to get them motivated again. We literally tried everything, but they just weren’t interested. This last week, I’d been thinking about bringing up leaving them, and Elder Burnham, one of the elders in our pension, said the same thing. When Hno Araya also said that we should consider leaving them, Elder Granda started agreeing with us. We went to her that night, and talked with her, and she basically told us that she wanted us to stop coming by, and Elder Granda said, “That’s fine. Maybe we´ll just start going by… only once a week.” I was pretty frustrated. While we were leaving, I pointed out that we had received 4 witnesses that said we should stop going by, and he just wouldn’t do it. The thing is, is we just don’t have much time. She wasn’t going to come back with us, and we have so many people who are actually searching for their salvation, that spending it with a woman who gets “annoyed whenever we visit,” probably isn’t the best use of our time. He got really mad at me, and wouldn’t talk to me for a while, but later he apologized and we talked it out and I really don’t think we’re going back for a while.
We have a few problems we need to work out. I’ll admit that I have a big hand in it, due to my own pride and selfishness and lack of charity. Basically, its all cultural differences. As my first latino comp, I get frustrated by the things he does that don’t slide into my own happy little North American sphere. For example, he teases a lot, touches a lot, and spends a lot of time playing himself down. Or, in otherwords, he acts a little childish. What I am finding is difficult is accepting that. Those things bother me, but not because they are things that are bad. He doesn’t do anything wrong. They bother me just because they do, and because I’m a little grouchy all the time. Or, in other words, if anyone needs to change, I do.
I do have some pretty good news. We found the Apostate less active lady again, and we had a really good lesson with her. We were visiting another family, and they couldn’t see us, so we decided to visit their neighbour, the apostate. She let us right in, which was a surprise, gave us a glass of water, and chatted. It was tense, but I had decided before going in that I was not going to get mad this time, so when she started getting warmed up and attacking the church, it didn’t bother me. The thing I loved about the lesson was the differences in us and her. I had to pray twice during the lesson, but we stayed composed and patient and listened more than talked. She, on the other hand, was pure spirit of contention. She tried everything. She tried to belittle us, which is hard to do when we were already praying for humility, she tried to make us sound stupid, which is hard to do when all we did was ask questions, she tried to confuse us by attacking a lot of different parts of the church, but when all we did was listen to her, one could tell that even to her the things that she was picking on had nothing to do with anything. And when we started actually testing her, boy did her little sparks fly. “How is your scripture study?” “I don’t study the scriptures, and I don’t believe in the Book of Mormon.” “Do you believe in the words of Jesus in the bible?” “Of course.” “What do you think of when Jesus says in the bible that you have to study the scriptures?” Wow, did she get flustered. We did it with the basic stuff of praying and going to church as well, when she cut the lesson, saying she needed to go giving a lame excuse and saying never to do that again, meaning do a lesson like that, I think. So we just bore our testimonies, basically testifying in contradiction of the base of everything she said that the church does wrong, and because it’s a testimony she couldn’t even say that we were wrong. Even though she got mad, I still call that lesson a success. We made her doubt her apostate beliefs a lot because we pointed out that they contradicted each other, and I didn’t even get mad. In fact, more than anything, I felt kind of sorry for her, because despite her repeating her being happy, it’s rare to see someone so angry and confused as her.