For some reason I was really really tired this week, like “first week of the mission tired”! I kept thinking… what in the world is wrong? why am i so tired? And then I realize, it’s probably because I ate A LOT of sugar this week!! Haha. Did you all know I’m allergic to sugar? And wheat, dairy, grains, nuts, and everything else that tastes good!! I’m definitely going to try and cut off the sugars this week, but its super hard because my companion loves the sugars, as do I!
Also, remember how I said it was raining like crazy here and we were worried about it flooding? Well it didn't flood, but I now live in a mud bog. It's been really interesting trying to get places on our already pathetic rust bucket bikes through dirt trails and roads that our now giant mud pits. I will be an expert in all bicycle related evasive maneuvers involving dogs, handlebar riding, and mud cycling by the time my mission is over! Many different missionaries told us I would need really tall boots in my mission. My mom ordered these sweet boots from horse.com, they're for mucking out horse stalls on a farm, and in my case, they are for getting anywhere in our area without sinking through the earth or being covered in mud. Thanks mom. Sadly, they are very nice boots (even covered in mud) and everyone who sees them says "hey, those are really nice boots! I like them"! Which in my area translates to "hey, those are really nice boots and if you don't get away from me fast, they will be mine!!!" I'm constantly paranoid that someone is going to jump us one evening and demand to have them! Haha.
But anyway, besides that, the week was fantastic. We talked with the Family Quevedo this week and it looks like they are going to wait to be married after all. Jorge, the father of the family, has a lot of fear about rushing things to much because of his past marriage experience. Elder Wihongi and I have tried to guide them to have more faith and to just go for it but they are firm, it seems, in the decision to wait. I believe they have also started to get annoyed with us a little too because of how much we are pestering them to get married. We have heard stories about some missionaries who would be to aggressive and incessant with their investigators and it winds up pushing them away from the church and not towards it. We don't want that happening with them so we decided to drop it for now and just be their friends and support them as they progressively move forward. We feel fervently that in the near future they will be married and Augustina baptized and they will be an active amazing family here in the church. For me and my comp It doesn't really matter if WE get to baptize them or if WE get to take credit. It’s the Lords work and they are the Lord’s children. I'm just thankful I was able to meet them and share the gospel with them. They are my friends now. We are happy that they have progressed and we pray that that will continue and that the gospel will become a part of their eternal progression.
Our Good friend Luis is still Progressing!! Slowly but surely he is progressing and though he cant really hear us at all because his hearing is going or read the book of Mormon because his sight is diminishing and the letters are to small, He has been feeling better and better every visit. And his smoking habit is improving, cigarette by cigarette. It’s a kind of funny and not the usual way of teaching someone, but because he can’t really understand most of what we say, in our halting Spanish, we have become his friends. When we’re with him, our time is spent cheering him on, making him laugh, trying to motivate him and trying to help him know that we are here for him and love him and, more importantly, that our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ love him.
The Family Fernandez is finally showing some signs of progressing as well. We finally got to talk to the Hermana and we were able to bear our testimonies and share our beliefs. We also took the opportunity to teach her that the church she belongs to is wrong and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is the only true church on the earth. We invited her, as we have done a million times before, to read the Book of Mormon, to pray to our Heavenly Father about it and find out for herself it is true. She finally agreed and said “Well if i read this book, I’m not going to do it because i like you guys or because i Like how your church smells (apparently our church smells good! Just FYI)! I’ll read it and if I find it to be true I will be a member and not a fake member!” Ha, we stopped in our tracks and practically yelled at her that that is EXACTLY what we’ve been asking her to do!! We are hoping this will be a big step for her in coming closer to the waters of baptism. It was kind of funny and a little uncomfortable in how we approached this lesson with her. As a missionary, sometimes you have to go slow, sometimes you have to back off and sometimes you have to be brutally honest. This was a “brutally honest” time for us, as we lovingly destroyed the church she belongs to! I spoke very directly about the gospel, why I know its true, and why she needs it in her life. We were very direct but it’s because we love her and her family. We want them to be happy and we know that true happiness is found when you seek after and follow our Savior Jesus Christ.
We also performed a Heroic Act Of Service, Like super heroes almost. We were heading to our area and a man called us. With not even an instant of delay we slammed on our breaks and swooped into the rescue. The man said “help! this lady has fallen and she cant get up!!”. WE looked over the fence into the yard of the house he was pointing to and saw an elderly lady sitting in her door way. We asked her, over the fence, what we could do to help? She said “Can you get the keys and open the door?” Why, of course, random citizen. Step back! And with the assistance of my faithful sidekick Elder Wihongi, I scaled the fence and landed, light as a feather, on the other side of the ….Like Batman! I then began the mighty search for the infamous keys and i could not find them…haha…Not so much like batman! A little crowd of similar elderly people had gathered to watch my heroics and they were all yelling at me, in Spanish, saying…”the keys are in the door! The keys are in the door!” but the lady had like a million doors in her house and apparently I was looking at every door EXCEPT the right door! My Sidekick Tried Helping me by telling the crowd that i didn't speak Spanish, I only spoke Chinese! haha. A few minutes later I located the keys and opened the impenetrable gate, thus saving the day. Before they could give us the key to the city, we got onto our faithful rust buckets (bikes) and rode off into the sunset to the sound of five old people yelling words of praise (I’m assuming) in spanish.
We did have one very odd thing happen this week. For some reason a bunch of the missionaries in our district decided that Elder WIhongi and i weren’t happy or excited about our area. They said we were “dis-animated” about our area or something like that. So they organized a district wide meeting to help Mercedes A (my area) to boost our morale. Haha. Their hearts were in the right place, they were just wrong. It was a very confusing experience because, up until that moment, i had thought that i was very “animated” and excited!!! hahaha. It was probably all the sugar induced tiredness that made them think we were “dis-animated”!!
On a whole this week was amazing and I learned so much!!
I love you guys,
Elder Ren Porter
This "road" is actually not that bad, compared to some of the other ones!