March 30, 2015 (Week 43)

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I have 3 stories.  I’ll start with the bad one.

The rule for us missionaries is that when an investigator stops progressing, we stop visiting him.  Progressing is when they keep their commitments.  They read, they pray, they go to church.  It is a little difficult to know when we should continue visiting and when we should stop.  Some are clearer than others.  Juan de Dios (John of God) was pretty clear.  He had stopped progressing from before I got there.  The only reason that Elder Granda and Elder Mora kept visiting him was because Juan was from the South of Chile, as was Elder Mora, and seeing as Elder Mora was senior comp., he wouldn’t let them stop going.  But he refuses to pray, he never reads, he has gone to church months ago but just once, and he takes everything as a joke.  We visited a few times, but we both felt it was time to stop going by. so we did.  That was in my first change in this sector.  Last week, we were walking, and he stopped us because he “had something to say” to my comp.  He then started RAILING at my comp, demanding to know why we stopped going by.  Like, he was shaking his finger, eyes bugged out, yelling.  Neither one of us had any idea what he was talking about.  We explained to him about him not progressing, but he started threatening to “talk to our superiors” (I would love to see him try this with President Wright.)  What was weird was that he was yelling at Elder Granda, but he seemed to be yelling about me.  Everything that he said, he was really saying to me, but when I asked him to say it to my face, he waved me away, saying that I shouldn’t even be there, listening to a discussion that I had nothing to do with.  I stepped forward and said I was not going to leave my comp (that is what he literally wanted me to do, was go to the other end of the block and wait) and he pushed me away, more or less violently.  He both decided it would be better to just walk away.  Second time I almost got into a fight in my mission.

Second one is really good.  Also in my first change here, in fact, within my first week here, we got an old lady names Victory Lobos (Victory Wolves.  Cool name) to go to church.  E´s Mora and Granda had been working on her for quite a while, but it still was a happy little success for me, because she reactivated really well, reading the Book of Mormon faster than I am reading it.  Her only problem was that she smoked, and she smoked a lot.  Like, a pack a day, at least.  Then she dropped off the map for 3 weeks, and we couldn’t find her.  When we finally did, we were ready to “dar palos”, but she told us that in those three weeks, 1) she had only not gone because she was sick (valid, she is pretty old and she has smoked her whole life) and 2) in those three weeks, she hasn’t smokes a single cigarette.  She pins her miraculous addiction recovery completely on the atonement.  She has been using some very constructive coping mechanisms such as self diversion (when she feels tempted she thinks straight and finds something to do in a safe place) and she has been burying herself in prayer, begging for strength.

Lastly, funny story.  Shout out to Jordan.  Firstly, some context.  In Spanish, the word for “prayer” and “sentence” both is “oración.”  Also to understand this, you need to know that in the back of the Spanish triple is something called the “GEE”, which means Guide for the Study of the Scriptures, which is basically like the topical guide.  And thirdly, you need to know that whenever we finish a lesson, we try to finish with a prayer.  Ready?  We have an investigator named Cristobal that we have recently started teaching again.  He has schizophrenia, making him a little weird.  He takes words very literally, and he considers himself poetic.  You can imagine how a guy like that reads the scriptures.  We were finishing the lesson, and we asked if we could finish with an “oración”.  He said yes, and stood up (not super normal, but fine.)  He was going to do it, so he took his Book of Mormon and went to the “GEE” and flipped to the word “Vivificar” because, as he put it, he liked how it sounded, and proceeded to read the first sentence for that term.  When he finished, he looked up and waited.  “Amén,” I said, and that was how we finished our prayer.  I hope that made sense, because I almost died I was giggling so hard when we were leaving.

(In response to the question if he has been drawing lately): I actually haven’t been drawing too much.  No time, I’m finding.  Makes me worried about turning it into a career, but I guess I’m forgetting that I will basically be changing out proselyting for normal life when I get home, instead of being a missionary for my whole life like how I feel, so it will all be fine.

(In response to his father talking about the Book of Mormon):  How about the parallel between our daily spiritual fight and the literal, physical fight that they had to go through?  When I was reading it, I found a lot of analogies that would be drawn for a family, a ward, the individual, and so on.  That part is a book of examples of how we can apply the doctrine that is taught up to that point.  It is full of doctrine.

(In response to visiting a place his parents went to on a trip a few years back that is in his mission):  I have never been to Los Dominicos.  Santa Lucia is the most common place for us to go.  There is that castle on the side of the hill, and close by an open market between the buildings with a lot of leather and cliche Chilean stuff.  I like visiting there.

I am actually fairly familiar with the food you are talking about.  It´s called Pastel de Choclo.  I love it.  I love even more Humitas (Humas).  They are basically the same corn, but steamed inside the husks of corn, then eaten with sugar or with tomatoes and onions.  I want to learn to make them because they are amazing, but they are seasonal, and we are leaving the season that we eat them.  I love Mote as well.  I have no idea what Huesillo is, but I know the other thing is boiled peach.

Elder Mathewson


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