HOLA FAMILIA! How are things back in the good 'ol US of A?
This week I actually had a lot of problems. I was constantly seeing ways that I could improve, or in other words, ways that I was just messing up completely, and it got to me on Sunday.
We had a meeting with the Stake President, and he actually asked all of us as wards where were certain people. I had ignored my instructions to tell them they needed to go because I was so used to just seeing them there. Little did I know that the entire time that I was doing other stuff like reading Jesus the Christ or eating, Elder Ponce would answer that call to tell them and call every single person that needed to be there. I was called out actually, kind of, because the 1st counselor of our bishopric (still no bishop somehow) said that the people didn't know they had to come.
I felt terrible during that meeting. They had not shown up because I was just straight up awful at notifying people. I'm not gonna fail like that again. No way. Mess ups happen, but they shouldn't happen more than once.
Anyway, now that that's out of the way, I'll say some good things:
We have been finding new investigators! We're almost out, actually. We've baptized nearly all of them, or most of them need to get married. It's really dumb because we have 5 people that are just so strong in the gospel it's unreal, and THEY AREN'T MARRIED. They can't be baptized because they aren't married. It's so FRUSTRATING when they're like, super listo para bautisar, and then they say they aren't married. So hard.
But yeah, we've found many new ones, and I've started to get the hang of contacting on the street. We'll see what happens.
We were in a Zone Conference and we talked about a lot of cool stuff, but the thing most important to me was that it doesn't matter if people don't want to listen to us, they'll feel the Spirit and want to feel that again. It was a big help, because lately, I've been thinking that the people we meet just don't interest themselves enough to even want to join. (Or aren't interested. It's my Spanish brain taking over. The word is interesarse, which translates to: to interest yourself.)
Apart from that, I also learned that my Spanish is actually really good. One of the assistants was talking, and I was listening and he said some stuff wrong. For instance, after the words "so that" in Spanish, which is "para que" you have to use a subjuctive form. For example:
We need to go to the church so that we can meet them.
Necessitamos ir a la capilla para que podamos conocerles a ellos.
Normally it's podemos, because that's how it's conjucated, but because of para que, it's subjuctive.
Anyway, after I realized that he was making mistakes, I started realizing that EVERYONE that wasn't a native made mistakes. I told my companion that, and he said:
You realize you speak better spanish than the American Assistant right?
I was blown away. I asked him again and he said:
You're more fluent in the language. Sure, you get gender confused, but if the gender sounds wrong, it sounds much better than if you get the type of conjugation wrong. The gender is understandable, but if you say para que podemos, that just sounds like you don't have any clue of how to speak Spanish.
It completely changed my outlook on how I speak Spanish Just completely changed it.
I'm fluent in Spanish! WOOT! (For the most part)
okay, that was a good thing. What else happened that was good........
Dunno. We actually had a lot more bad that good in terms of investigators. My District Leader told me to tell my investigators to go alone to church, instead of have someone take them, and just like I thought, no one showed up. I was humble enough to follow the District Leader, because that's what he told me to do, and even though I KNEW no one would show up, I still did it. I felt good on the inside because I was right, and that I followed, but at the same time, I felt just awful because EVERYONE that had a fecha now has to change to a week after. We had 5 baptisms planned in december, and now we're down to about 3 POSSIBLE.
That happened, and I learned that I probably need to reemphasize the importance of the church. Maybe they didn't come because they just don't understand why it's so important. It's not the DL's fault. He's actually right what he said. If the investigators have a ride, they can just say that they didn't have a ride and not go to church. They have to show their faith. This week we're going to reemphasize that with everyone we've got that needs another fecha.
Finally, I learned that to be a missionary, you can't be easily beaten. If you have trouble standing back up after a rough push, you're gonna have a tough time on your mission.
The first month or so of hitting the field was just rough. I've learned now that if you want to survive the stresses and be a good missionary, you've gotta suck it up, grab your scriptures, fill your agenda and just get your rear in gear. It's really hard. Really really hard.
This mission is probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, but I can honestly tell everyone right now that I've learned more in these last 4 months of my life than I have in almost all 18 that i lived in the US.
Yo quiero mucho cada uno de ustedes.