Monday, April 7, 2014

Conference Weekend

This week was General Conference! Cool experience actually. I really enjoyed it. It´s crazy to think that this was the second of 4. I´ve seen half of the General Conferences I will see on my mission. It´s just nuts.

Anyway, I actually have a pretty funny story about that:

So, we wanted to show General Conference in our chapel. We don´t have Satellite, so we were going to hook up a computer to a projector, and then we were going to hook it up to an Ethernet connection that was in the sacrament room.

We hook up everything and wouldn´t you know it, the Internet doesn´t work.

Great, so at least I know how to fix it. I head back to the secretaries office to look at the router and stuff. I end up running back and forth in the chapel for around an hour trying to fix this stupid router. (Missed the first 2 talks of the morning in fact)

Didn´t fix it, and so we left to go watch it somewhere else. However, as we go with our bishop, he tells us that the Internet worked for him that same day. So we went back the next morning.

I first checked to see if the internet was working in other rooms; and it was. So then I go to put a connection that worked into a connection to the sacrament room, but it still doesn´t work. So that means that the cable that goes to the Sacrament room was broken. Great stuff. That meant we had to switch EVERYTHING over to the baptismal font.

We get it all switched, and I plug in the computer to the Ethernet, and STILL nothing happens. It´s around8:45 when I´m starting all of this again.

So now I´m running around in a suit trying to fix this Mexican router again, and I find out that there´s only 2 cables connected to the router that are working. I get rid of those cables that aren´t working and start running around the chapel again just to see if I can find where the internet is so detestingly hiding itself. I unplugged and replugged the two working cables into all the connections possible and I just kept running around the chapel refreshing the two computers we had set up.

At 9:00, after around 30 minutes of just sprinting in the chapel all over to switch cables, I come to a solid conclusion:

Of the 7 cables that they had connecting to the internet, only 2 actually worked on the inside.

After plugging into the internet router, the cables to connect to the computer connected to a port that was built into the wall. These ports had other cables that went up into the ceiling of the building and through the walls to arrive at the other ends of the building. Well, these cables, which are inaccesible by all means, were broken. That meant it was impossible to fix the internet and get it working.

Great. So now I just wasted an hour and a half sprinting around and trying everything possible just to end up not needing to do it.

We put conference on a laptop through wi-fi, and then we leave to go to appointments.

When we return for the final session, a man had come in and changed the cables on the inside. He fixed it and the internet was in all of the rooms now.

It made me so mad that he fixed in 10 minutes what had taken me an hour and a half to figure out.

Great day that day. Just fantastic.

Anyway, yeah. That´s my mission story for general conference.

Today Elder D, my companion, took his people to the line this week, and so I got to talk to Elder C, the other North American secretary that was in before I was.

When he showed up, I started talking to him about my work here in El Barrio Central. This is what he told me:

What you guys do is something that no one else does. No one understands what exactly happens in the offices. No one understands that when there´s a call from the offices, it takes precedence over everything. No one gets the idea that there are people that just frustrate you because they don´t do as they´re told. No one understands that you can´t focus on your work in your sector because you can´t stop thinking about how you´re going to solve the problems in the offices.

Basically, no one gets that you can´t just "do better" in your sector. You can´t just "have more faith" and then have a bunch of mirales happen. Not as a secretary anyway.

Secretaries do not have good numbers, and don´t baptize a lot because they just straight up cannot do what is required to get it done. It´s not possible for you guys to make lesson plans, and because of that, your teaching tanks. You can´t really get anything done in the sector sometimes because of how little planning you have to get it done.

He went on to explain that as a secretary, he really didn´t worry about his numbers or baptisms or anything. He knew that his focus was not on the sector. He told me it was important to focus on the sector, but the offices was really our major assignment, and therefore, the requirements that are binding on other missionaries are not as binding on us, because we cannot do everything in our power to accomplish them.

After talking with him, I just instantly felt much better. Now I get it. I´m not actually a bad missionary. Heck, I´m not even doing bad at all. It´s just that we can´t expect to have a ton of success when we´re working in the offices.

Now don´t get me wrong, this doesn´t mean I´m just gonna be like OH HECK YEAH! NO MORE HELPING PEOPLE! Of course I still want to help them out. However, this does mean that I´m not going to just be digging my own grave all day. I´m just gonna work and do what I can, and then realize that right now I´m not supposed to have a ton of success in my sector. I´m just supposed to focus on the offices.

It was a great piece of advice. I am now much happier because of that.

The picture I´m sending is one of me when I was sleeping during personal study. (Not really. But it´s pretty darn funny. It´s like those little kids that fall asleep in hilarious positions just because they´re so tired.)

That day, we had walked all day, and had around like, 2 appointments total. It was a really hard day, and I was just so tired that I took a shower, grabbed the BoM and started reading in Pearl of Great Price, and before I knew it, I was waking up from Lehi´s Dream.

That´s where your moneys going everybody! It pays for my naps! Turns out, the mission is just a bunch of really spiritual naps! How great is that?

Alright, well, I think that´s about it this week. See you all later. Have a good week.

I miss you all as big as a tree. And I love you as big as a big rock.

Elder Carter

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