1. When do you feel the closest to the spirit?
A. Probably during my personal study. That’s when I feel really close. It gives me a lot of personal motivation for the day. Also, I really like the evening lessons with members and investigators. That is when the spirit feels really strong and powerful. From 2-5:00, the day is hot, we walk a lot, people are not home from work, so that part of the day can be pretty rough. But later from 6-9:00, is the best. People get home from work, people are interested in listening to us, and we have a lot of spiritual experiences. Bro Sessa, who has been less active in the church since he was 15 yrs old, is now working on coming back. We’ve been teaching repentance, and each time we teach the spirit is really strong, and he shows us that he really wants to change. The other spiritual lesson from this week was with Sis Pacheta. We met her from a member referral—the last temple president from the Bogota Temple. He lives in a really big, nice, rich building. We were there this week and had a great lesson with her.
2. What inspiring things have you learned from your personal study:
a. This week was Carnivale—we had to stay inside all day, everyday, so we had LOTS of time for personal study. And we’re going to be in all day today, and all day tomorrow. What really touched me this week was my study of the Sermon on the Mount. I have a couple of videos that another missionary gave me. I watched like 40 videos, of Jesus Christ and his life. Then I read the sermon 2-3 times. And I read it out loud in Spanish, so I could memorize some of the scriptures there. There are a couple of scriptures there that really touched me. About humility, Jesus taught so much about humility. “Whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also, and if any man will sue thee of the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy coat also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh of thee. And to him that would borrow from thee, turn thou not away. Love your enemies. Bless them that curse you. Do good to them that hate you. Pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you. That ye may be children of your Father in Heaven.”
I really like that part, because if we do these things, we will be the children of God, because children of God do not do the opposite of this. Those that do the things the of the Lord are of God, and those that don’t are of the devil. That really touched me.
Watching it in a video—the turn the other cheek, there is a scene where they are punched in the face. Whoa. It really happens.
Also, in Matthew 6, “Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” Talking about laying up treasures in heaven and not on earth.
“Consider the Lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin. Wherefore, if God so clothes the grass of the field…will he not clothe you, oh ye of little faith.” So don’t worry what you are going to do tomorrow, just focus on today. But “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”
These things really touched me. I thought about what I am doing, how I’m progressing spiritually.
3. What did you learn about training a new missionary, that you didn’t expect?
a. Looking at my trainee, I saw a lot of the funny things that I did as a new missionary. It was entertaining to watch him try everything new, starting humble, then later getting a bit rebellious. The biggest surprise, was probably the trouble he had with his knee, that that he ended up going home. That was a very sad day for both of us.
b. I found that I worked a lot harder when I was training, and I really liked that. I really stepped it up. It was like starting over, and they were my rules, so we did everything how I wanted to, so that was awesome! : )
4. Who do you feel closest to in your ward, and why?
a. There is a member named John, he lives here in la Playa. He served a mission in Bogota. He is really funny. He helps contract the bus, and we joke every time I see him. When he smiles, it’s a really an addictive smile, so you have to smile too.
b. Also, we feel close to the recent converts, because they always talk to the missionaries. The active people seem scared to talk to us. When we ask them if they will meet with us, they get suspicious, and say, “What do you need to meet with us for? I’m active.”
5. How do you fill your time everyday?
a. In this area I have been planning things 3 days ahead of time. When we make appointments, it is for 3 days out, because we are full for three days. We have every single hour planned. But sometimes the visits fall through, or people aren’t there. So we just going looking for someone else. We always have something to do. If an appointment falls through, we will walk to the to the next house, and rely on the spirit to tell us where to go.
b. Sometimes, if we have to look for new people, we will go knock on doors, or talk to people on the street, but that’s not very common. And it’s not very effective. Usually, we talk to the members and ask for references. But for last resort, we talk to people in the street. The doors are all open, so we don’t really knock, we just stand outside their house and say, “Hey, come here,” and then we talk to them. We ask them if they want to learn about the gospel, about Jesus, and they say yes.
c. The best people come from member references. We also have indicators for every person we talk to in the street, so we do it, and record it. We have a goal of finding 10 new people to teach every week. They could be references or contacts, if they have a 1st lesson, and then they accept a 2nd lesson, then that is considered a new person.
This week we have been in the house the whole time, so we’ve had LOTS of time to think, lots of time to study. I almost went crazy on Saturday. Sunday was better, but now we have all day today, and all day tomorrow. All of these Colombians are nuts—everyone is partying for Carnivale, and everyone is in the streets.
|Elder Saona, from Peru|
Elder Saona is doing a lot better this week. He is getting more excited about staying in the mission. I made him do the starfish and eat Nutella, so now he wants to stay in the mission. Hahaha
I tried writing songs, and coloring, and lots of other stuff, but I can’t do it. God told me that, that stuff is for after my mission. He took those talents away so I can focus.
I like when you send me questions. I can record during the week, then we have more time, and I will get you the answers you want by next week.
Love you guys, hope you are all doing good.