New companion. Every sector that I have been to has had it’s challenge. In El Castillo, it was the enviroment. It was dangerous, and I was a little shocked at times by what I saw. In Tobalaba, I was imediately surprised by the size of the sector. It was huge, and I was not sure that I would have the energy to keep going. In Chayavientos, it was definitely the ward. I hope to never have to be in a ward where people are actively trying to destroy missionary work. However, every one of those sectors was okay, as at least I felt the support of my companion. However, what happens if I do not even have my companion? I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Elder Velázquez, but I think that it will be for different reasons than for why I was so pleased to be working with my other companions. He is a very angry person. During the first few days, he didn’t say a word to me except in critisism. We would walk in the street, me trying to keep a conversation going to pass the time, and him in a grumpy cloud. I mean, you can actually feel the aura around him. He gets angry about things like: using the personal singular pronoun “I” (it is egoistic), saying what I think we should do as a plan (I am not taking into account his feelings), and looking at him weird (he feels like I am criticizing him) among other things. He doesn’t want to do language study because it is a “selfish waste of time” (which is actually his opinion with the majority of studies), and he isn’t happy, no matter what we are doing. Then, we get to where there are other people, and he puts on a good face and smiles and laughs and is a completely different person. I do not know exactly what to do with him. He was 1 or 2 changes more than me, has been District Leader, has trained twice and leaves before me, so he doesn’t take my advice and opinions seriously, and usually just gets ticked at me. I try letting him lead the sector, and he gets ticked at me for the way I am trying to be patient.
I do not want to overly criticize Elder Velázquez. He is a good missionary. He knows the basics better than me, and has a strong testimony. I feel like I need to change. I need to learn to understand him, because I am still too impatient and prideful. Most of what he does, I think can be explained. Perhaps part of his problem is that he is just not a happy person, and the fact that he tried to overcome that and put on a good face for the investigators is admirable. I disagree with his methods, however I admire his desire. And he contacts like a machine. I have a lot to learn from him.
My flight date. I now have an answer. It was not too easy to find. I wanted to make the right decision, so I decided to carefully plan out how I was going to go about finding my answer. I started by listing all of the pros and cons of both choices. I found that this became a little repetitive, so I simplified the list to just one set of pros and cons. I then took the pros and cons and carefully analyzed every one of them in my journal, to find out which one I really felt was important, and which was not. When I finished that, I had an intellectual answer that I felt pretty good about. I then started my preparation for my spiritual answer by fasting to have the 3 things that one must have to recieve an answer from God, according to Moroni, which were 1) real intent 2) sincere heart and 3) faith in Christ. During my fast, I really tried to meditate in what those three things meant for me, which was really hard, because it was about 35 degrees out. I weighed myself afterward, and had lost about 5 pounds from that fast, probably just from water loss. Then, on Sunday, I took the sacrament, and managed to receive a feeling of remission of my sins, and felt that I had received the Holy Ghost. We got home, and I went right to my room, by myself, in my suit to keep a formal feeling, and I began to list to my Father what I wanted and what I had done up to that moment, including the answer I had thought of. I did this out loud, in English so that my companion didn’t understand me and it was still private. I finished asking God to give me a confirmation of what I had already recieved, explaining the way that I expected to recieve an answer. I finished the prayer, and felt nothing strong, but did get a soft, distinct feeling of peace and love, as though up to that moment, my Heavenly Father had just been silently listening, and when I finished, he smiled and said that what I thought was alright. I will be coming home the 9th of May, 2016, arriving the 10th of May.
I bought a poncho. I’ll send you pictures. It is like wearing a big, scratchy blanket.
Love you all.