Saturday, February 27, 2016

"Flash" Transfer (week 14)

Okay, so BIG news this week. Elder Ortolano got "flashed", which means that he got randomly transfered to another area with one day's notice. It's usually because of an emergency and in this case it was because My New companion Elder Rojas hurt himself while using the bikes out in the "Campos" (farm fields and far out skirts) and he needed to go somewhere where they don't use bikes! And guess what? We don't use bikes in my area, because if you used bikes here you´d totally get robbed!! So i got a new companion this Tuesday. He is from Spain and he barely speaks any English, which has been interesting, because I barely speak any Spanish! Ha! But it'll be good for me because it'll basically force me to learn Spanish. He's been out for 17 months. We have had some difficulties though....
1) I realize now I don't know my area as well as I thought (ha) 2) My companion speaks SUPER FAST spanish. It's so fast that sometimes even the people here don't understand him. 3) I had to run my area and that involves describing Investigators to my new comp and also actually getting to the lessons. 

Though its really embarrassing that after 6 weeks I still get lost in my area I´ve kind of accepted the fact that I´m like a baby horse trying to walk for the first time. For example, every time we have been out looking for the houses of our investigators Elder Rojas always asks me "are we close"? and I say back, "Uhh....No clue Elder Rojas!" haha. I pray for Elder Rojas every night to have patience with me. Elder Rojas is still getting use to our new area. He is used to being in the more rural/farmland area of our mission and There is alot more gang work (trying to make friends with and teach dangerous gang members) than he is use to and alot more garbage and alot more noise and alot more trees. I'm used to it though. I love our area. We have a pretty big area.  There are some really rich areas and there is some really poor areas as well. the Poor areas are more effective to missionary work and that is usually where we find investigators and the Cheto (rich) areas are almost dead zones. Especially during Ciesta (the argentinian nap time). 

We have had some good lessons this week though and Im super excited to see what happens in the next couple of weeks. I've learned alot already from Elder Rojas and there is a whole lot more to learn from him I know. Yesterday was especially exciting because we had 5 investigators in church.

There are cookies sold here called toddys and they are really good and our pinch (group/house) is not the best at working out in the morning like we should. We usually just stretch and stuff, So we made a contract to workout and our incentive is that we get to eat toddys. 

My mom said that some people on Facebook were worried for their missionaries because a few elders had complained that they didn't have enough money each week to buy food. This was kind of funny to me. There is NEVER enough money because we are a bunch of guys who use money foolishly!!! But that's our fault, not the missions fault. i'm good though. I get enough because I dont need cheto stuff (expensive stuff) i just buy the off-off-brand and live off it. Also it doesn't matter what I do or eat because I always lose weight. I ate three square meals a day (with thirds and fourths every meal) at the MTC and I still lost 2 lbs in the MTC!!! So don't worry about me mom. I'm fine. 

Also, I'm not playing the piano in Sacrament anymore because the bishop told his wife that she had to play because I need to sit with my investigators. Which is true, but it was pretty funny. The bishops wife told me she and I HAD to switch off playing every week and now the bishop told HER she had to play every week (no switching off). It was a little uncomfortable. I felt like I was caught in the middle of a tug-o-war. Haha. I did tell her that if she ever was sick or needed help, that I would fill in for her. I guess I have to say the same thing Cole said a few months after he got to Tahiti....thanks for making me stick with the piano mom and dad, even though I complained and complained and complained!!!!

Something important I learned this week was concerning goals. I've set many goals for myself to improve myself and I realize now that it is also important to make goals that improve my strengths as well as my weaknesses. It can become discouraging to always pray that Heavenly Father will show me my weaknesses and I know He doesn't want me to be discouraged. We have all been given different strengths and gifts and we should pray to know what those are as well. Being able to know some of my strengths gives me hope and encouragement. I can build on the gifts I've been given and use them on my mission and to bless others around me. Then when face to face with my multitude of weaknesses, I feel my Saviors love for me and His desire for me to work on those things as well. But somehow, being shown my weaknesses, while tempered with some strengths, fills me with hope rather than discouragement. Overcoming weaknesses seems do-able, rather than impossible. As my mom ALWAYS says "I can do hard things". I can work on improving my strengths, while also working on improving my weaknesses. It makes me think of a poem I had tacked onto my ceiling at home before my mission. I read it over and over again. 

By William earnest Henley

Out of the night that covers me, 
Black as the pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
For my unconquerable soul. 

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
 I have not winced nor cried aloud. 
Under the bludgeonings of chance 
My head is bloody, but unbowed. 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears 
 Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years 
Finds and shall find me unafraid. 

It matters not how strait the gate, 
How charged with punishments the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate, 
 I am the captain of my soul. 

I love you guys. Ill see you when is see you.
Elder Ren Porter
Me and Elder Oakes (both sitting down) and my new comp Elder Rojas and Elder Schoonover (standing behind us)
Me signing our house contract to workout everyday so we can buy Toddy cookies

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