Here are some pictures from this week:
This is us with the Bishop of our ward and his family. Augusto cfuentes es como se llama el obisbo.
Last week was kind of uneventful, except for a street contact that we had. We went to the house of Julio Nestor de las Salas. The first time I talked to him, he said he wanted to know who was the wife of Cain--because, if we were real preachers, we would be able to tell him. Also, he thinks Jesus lived for 44 years. The second time we taught about tithing, because he had a misconception about money in the church. Then his daughter walked in, (who is actually really interested in the church, and has read up to 2 Nephi, because she found a Book of Mormon at her friend's house. He pulled out 1 Cor. 14:34-35 and told her she needed to leave and shut up because we were talking about the gospel. Then we chewed him out and told him we wanted to talk to her too.
The next visit he started the lesson with the prayer for, I'm not kidding, like 10 freaking minutes. Like for realz. They're gonna call him to pray at conference, it was that long. Except he tried to preach to us in his prayer--haha, he spoke a lot about apostasy.
He had one line in there that was pretty interesting. He said, "Please bless the breasts of the mothers of these two young men, that are here to preach the word of the Lord." So there you have it Mom, your breasts have been blessed.
This week, conference was pretty awesome. It was really sad that we hardly taught for two days. But listening to conference was awesome because I found all the answers to questions I have been having. I loved Elder Bednar's talk about sustaining the leaders. This conference was very special to me to see these great men stand up there and talk. It was the first time that I really saw the angel behind that face speaking straight from the Lord. They might be old and frail physically, but when I see that angel standing tall behind them, I can testify with all my heart, that there's no one talking but the Lord.
I'm definitely learning a lot. And having great experiences. I've learned a ton about listening. As a Missionary you have to listen to the person, then to the spirit to hear what they need. Every problem out there has a solution with the basic answers Christ gave us. It's really much more simple than what we make it to be sometimes.
The Blue book is true. Hallelujah, gloria a dios. Amen
Q & A:
1-When are transfers?
Transfers are every 6 weeks. They tell us Monday night and Tuesday we leave early in the morning. Tonight is transfers. Elder Cavero has been here for 6 months. We think he might get transferred.
2-Have you been transferred yet? We are excited to hear if you are going to get a new companion, or if you will move to a new area. Change always brings growth.
I'll find out tonight!
3-Where did you watch conference?
We watched conference in the stake center. Saturday there were 30 people there, 15 were missionaries. 7 of us white Elders watched it in a separate room in English, in our suits. I guess it's a rule that for conference we have to wear suits, but that rule is gonna change this year, because our mission won't require people to bring suits anymore.
4-Any requests for your Birthday or Christmas package?
I know you love me lots and want to send me lots of stuff. I love you too, but I really don't need anything. I feel like I have way too much stuff. I feel a little guilty when I look in the closet at all of my shoes--they will last my whole mission. Then I look at my companion's side, who has never bought a new pair of shoes the whole time he has been here. He finds used pairs of Elders shoes that leave the mission. I bought him a new pair of shoes, because that's just no fun. Point is, I really don't need anything. Just send a dope picture of Braden in the kayak going down some rapids!
5--How did your first interview go with your Mission President?
We have Interviews every 3 months, or 2 transfers. Mine was about 45 minutes. He started with a bunch of questions--"Are you using Facebook?" "Did you buy a cell phone?" "Do you have a girlfriend in your area?" Um NO. Then I asked a few questions.
He explained something really cool. He showed me his family tree, then turned it upside down so he was on top. He explained that in the mission we focus on the missionary, and not the numbers. If a missionary works really hard, he might get 40-50 baptisms in the mission. But if we focus on the missionary, he has a conversion in the mission. Then when he goes home, he stays faithful all of his life. He'll marry, have kids, and they'll have kids, and they'll have kids...And if he is a good father, they will all be educated in the gospel. After 5 or so generations, this missionary has like 100 baptisms. And maybe half of them will serve missions. But it all starts with the missionary. That's why when you are having trouble with your companion, and your numbers aren't so great, the most important part is to just help your companion. Help him grow his testimony. Every missionary has more to offer. The goal of the president isn't numbers. It's conversions.
6-Have you been able to live off of your mission allotment, or have you needed to use money from your debit card?
I haven't used any money, except when I bought shoes for Elder Cavero. If I buy nice stuff, I'll get robbed, cuz I'm so white!
A little chit chat:
Mom--I LOVE that you bought Elder Cavero new shoes! I would be totally happy if you quietly bought something for every companion. Share it all. Give it all away. Sure love you!
Mas--Any other questions you have for me?
Mom--If transfers are today, How do you feel about getting a new companion?
Mas-I'd be ok with a change. I don't really love not being able to make final decisions. I'd like to be able to teach and help other Elders a little more.
Mom--Do you ever think about home?
Mas--Yea, every once in awhile. There are little weird things that make me think about home. But not too often. I mean, other then my Mom of course, which I think of every minute of every day!
Mom--Nice, that's the right answer! xoxo
You are going to be a great leader. And training is awesome! Because greenies don't know any different than what you teach them. So you can make the work hard. It's really great.