My companion was not talking to me all week, so he naturally exploded at me during weekly planning. I have developed a kind of slow take to these explosions, which come frequently. I ask a lot of questions to find out what he is trying to tell me, even though he finds it aggravating, and I try to find out exactly where the root of the problem comes from, and what things I actually have to change and what not to. The problem in this case was comunication. Once I felt that I had reached the real problem, I told him how I felt and what I would do, and asked him for help to do it. He would not give me help, and kept insisting on something very superficial and un-important. I did not feel like that I needed to always be the one that was compromising, especially when what he was asking me to do was a style of working and was not necesarily wrong, nor even un-effective, and he just wanted me to change it because he did not agree with it. So I told him no. He got mad, things got a little heated, and I finally told him exactly what I felt about him. I think that I handled the last part poorly, but I think that I learned the importance of being honest. When I finally told him VERY frankly what I felt, he initially became hurt and defensive, but he felt that what I had said was true and he calmed down and even in the end thanked me for saying it.
We had interviews with president. He did the interviews during the Zone Training Meeting, which was not normal. We have that meeting regularily, but normally it is a little bit more casual. This time, we had to come in suits. He got the zone leaders to make a list of the order of interviews, and Elder Velázquez and I were put dead last. I think that that was wise by the part of whoever did that. We may or may not be the companionship with the most problems in the entire zone, and we needed the extra time with President. After interviewing us separetely, he brought us together and told us that he was going to give us some commitments to do to help us with our relationship, because he felt that, frankly, what we were doing sucked. He asked us to stop criticizing one another entirely. We now should say something positive that the other did during the day as the last thing that we say together. He also asked us to tell the other during the day something that we are trying to improve in ourselves, and ask the other for help in that thing. I felt a little guilty. I had already been doing what he asked us to do, but I feel that I had become quite critical with my companion, and often pointed out the things that I felt were wrong. I was trying to help, but I could see that no help was being given.
The help I asked for was with contacting. Last week, I contacted around 5 people daily. My goal was 10, so this week I kept the goal the same and set some plans for how I would do better this week. I have two plans: 1) when we plan our day, we typically write a person for every hour with a back-up plan. Our area is not that big, so we often set plans to meet with someone that lives far away from our original plan, making us have to walk a lot. In this time of walking away from a visit, I have to contact 2 people. Preferably, they are the first 2 people that I see. 2) the scariest place for me to contact is in the trains/buses. Naturally, my plan is to start contacting there. I have to contact 1 person every time I go onto a train or bus. I hope that if I can start doing something that scares the willies out of me, it will be easier to do something that isn’t so scary. Or, in other words, I start contacting on public transit, and I will find it easier to contact normally. Pray for me. I am finding that it is quite a bit harder than anticipated. I should have been contacting today, but I never did, getting choked up in fear.
I have noticed a few themes as I have been contacting more. It seems like we are contacting the same 4 people over and over again. There is, “Sorry, I am too busy to stop for a moment to speak with you two about Jesus Christ and how He can make me happier,” then there is “Hi, I’m Juan the Catholic, who is disilusioned by my own beliefs in the Catholic church, but am not willing to even think that maybe they aren’t the true church because I have always been Catholic,” and even better, “Hi, I’m José the evangelist. I am not 100% sure what I believe, but I am willing to try to tear down your beliefs to defend it,” and of course, “Hi, I’m Carlos the athiest. I believe in myself and the marajuana that I am smoking.” We haven’t been having too much success.
Veronica, the woman that had a baptismal date for the 5th of March, has been receiving a lot of opposition ever since she started listening to us. Twice this week, she told us that she can’t listen to us because of the negative things that she has heard said about us in her Pentacostal Evangelical congregation and her own family, and that she is scared. The first time, we convinced her to keep listening to us, but the second time we gave her a pamphlet with our number and told her that when she was ready to pay the price that it took to receive all of the blessing that one receives in the only true church, to call us. Our intention was to leave her and keep finding other people, but we under-estimated the power of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia, because she called us within the night twice, first asking us to come to help her stop feeling scared, then telling us not to come because her son threatened to leave her house if we came (he left a long time ago. Empty threat). We will be visiting her tonight.
Love you all. I am doing the best that I can. I write you a 10th of what is going on, we are so busy.