Monday, September 23, 2013

pictures, and another awesome week

my district. it's been the same for the last two changes

 i've lost a bit of weight... my clothes are huge

I still haven't found a scale, but I don't need one to know I've lost a ton of weight. How much do you think it is dad?

En cuanto a advice from Brady, I haven't cooked since I got here so I don't know. Every lunch is from members, and we have a dinner contract with a lady from the ward. That's what I love about this place, we even have a contract for a lady to wash our clothes for us. and it's way cheap. In fact each morning a man hand delivers a washer to our second story apartment for the things tht only we can wash, and picks it up 3 hours later. How much does it cost? $2 haha.

This week was great but hard. something happened every day and we didn't have a single full day of work. Plus we found out that something happened to Derwin. He and Joyce were saving up money for the wedding when his boss saw him reading the Book of Mormon and he fired him and didn't pay him what was owed. So with them and Susana, it's easy to see the opposition that happens to each investogator with a sincere desire to get baptized. But I know that these children of God will have the opportunity to get baptized in the future.

This week has been riduculously hot all the time. I think it's because it hasn't rained. And that reminds me when you told me about how it keeps raining and flooding at home, when it rains here it doesn't do things halfway. Last week we got caught outside in the rain by a big arroyo. I don't know what that is in English. But anyway, it turned into a river with like 5 feet of water, and there were trees going past and everything. The rain here is crazy, I understand why Partick recommended not bringing an umbrella. They're useless.

As of right now, we're stuck in this awful spot of having 0 investigators that are progressing because almost no one came to church yesterday. But I have faith that we are going to have 3 baptisms this Saturday. It's a family that have been investogating for years, and they were all set for the interview a couple of weeks ago but we decided they need more preparation. But now we think they're ready. So pray for the Familia Nuñez.
Well I don't have a lot of time this week, but I love you. I've been doing really well down here, and focusing on develpoing charity and using my talents in the work instead of worrying about my weaknesses. WE had interviews with Pte Searle this week and they were great. He's a great guy and an excellent president.

Elder Wilson

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hello family!

How are things in the old UT? I realized this week that I miss seeing the mountains there. But I´m doing great! To answer your questions Dad, my weight is good. I´m going to weigh myself today because I´ve had some trouble finding a scale around here. But I´m practically skinny, my shirts are really big on me. Haha just kidding about being skinny, but I´ve definitely lost a bunch of weight. My feet are fine, they don´t hurt or have blisters or anything. Actually I have a weird blister on top of a toe that I have no idea how I got it. It´s not on top but on the tip of the 4th from last toe.

My clothes are doing good, they cover my body nicely. They are baggy but it´s okay. As for the language, I understand almost all of what they say but I have a bad accent that´s hard for some of them to understand. But the language doesn´t really impede me too much anymore.

I don´t know why I remembered this but the other week something hilarious happened. We were in a lesson with a less active and I kind of spaced out a little. My companion asked a question, the guy talked for a while and then my ompanion looked at me to say something. So I had no idea what was going on and I asked "And what do you think motivated God to restore his church?" and the member looked at me funny and says "Well that´s the same question that your companion asked, and what I said was..." It´s really funny now but not so funny then hahaha.

Susana finally came back home, but with some bad news. They had to operate on her arm, and she has 6 months of recuperation. That includes not getting wet, and you can´t baptize by immersion without dunking the arm too. So she´ll have to wait. Joyce y Derwin assisted church again this week. They´re doing great. The difference in them after they came the first time is huge. They have this light, and when we meet them they have questions for us about they church that are great questions. This week they had a lot of stress, and they told us that it was because their baptismal date is approaching (28th) but they don´t feel like they´re progressing. So they have a real desire to move forward. They need more money to get married, so we´re going to do an activity with the ward. The ward has a great desire to help in the missionary work, and we´re just working on getting them to be able to do it. Because it´s hard to share your testimony with a friend, so we´re encouraging them to do it. We need new investigators, and we´re determined to get them through references.

My companion helped me to see a problem that I´ve been having this week. Basically, I´ve been focusing too much on the things I needed to improve upon, and because of that I wasn´t progressing very well.  So I´ve been working really hard at focusing on my talents to rely on them while I build up my weaknesses.  But I love the mission, it´s the best. Sometimes I have these nightmares where I get injured and have to go home for a while, and the whole time I just want to come back to Barranquilla. And then I wake up and feel relieved that I´m still here. Even though I´ve been sweating for the last 2 months straight. Well that will be all for today, I love you and hope you´re all doing well.

Elder Wilson

Monday, September 9, 2013

This week was very difficult. On Tuesday I had to go to the doctor because a vein in my eye exploded. Don't worry, everyting's fine, but we missed all our appointments that day. And when that happens it's hard to catch up. So we weren't able to teach many lessons this week, partly because of that and partly because we didn't plan very well. Oh plus we did exchanges the day of the national soccer game, and I was with the missionary who has some issues with desire to work. It was also raining that whole day, so when we stopped in at a member's house to talk about a lesson we were going to have there, he said he was sick and that he couldn't go out. So we watched the soccer game, and then after he said he felt all better. So I was a little upset because I didn't want to lose any more visits that day, but it's okay. We've repented of losing time and have planned a little better this week. Also Colombia won and is now #2, so if Argentine loses we'll be #1. So I'm praying that Argentina loses. Haha no I'm not.

We were going to have a baptism this week, but they told us last minute that they were actually going to have a vacation. Basically what we found out is that she doesn't have a desire. I think her husband might be causing some problems for her baptism because she acts different around him. She's excited when he's not there and she doesn't talk when he is. But we're going to keep working to get her to strengthen her desire.

The hermana Susana that we found the other week, that's a golden investigator, had her baptismal adte fall through. She fell off a 4 foot ledge and broke her arm, and has been in the hospital for more than a week. Saan really works hard to prevent baptisms in any way he can. So it's been hard since we haven't been able to visit her, and she couldn't com to church 2 weeks in a row. But she's so great I think she still has a strong desire to be baptized.

We've been teaching a lady Joyce and her partner Derwin for like a month, and they hadn't come to church. But we felt like we couldn't drop them since we hadn't done very good at helping them make friends with a member. 

 So this week we taught every lesson in a member family's house, and they came yesterday. And I never understood before the mission how important it is for investigators to attend church, but they told us before we even asked that they felt so good, so peaceful while they were there.  It was awesome to see how the Spirit works through church attendance.

My testimiony in that the Spirit can teach through us was also strengthened through them. We watched the Restoration video on Saturday, and Joyce asked us yesterday why if the church is true there was so much opposition to the saints. And I felt prompted to share with her 2 Nefi 2:11, and it was perfect. We used it to talk about all the thuings that have happened to her the past month on sunday mornings when she tries to go to church. Satan always opposes good. And she also related it to her scripture reading. It was awesome to see that.

This work is very hard. A lot of things happen that make me feel like I'm not doing a good job, and it makes me sad to see when investigators can't overcome the obstacles to their baptism because they lack true desire. But I know that it's the Lord's work, and that he gathers his elect through us if we work our very hardest. And at least we work hard here to improve in every way. I love you all and I'm so glad for the example you set to the family and to your friends who live without the joy of the Gospel. My companion always says "Quiere ser feliz? Sea Mormon." It's the truth. I pray a lot to know if there are experiences I can share to help you all. I love Jesus and I'm so grateful for his sacrifice for all of us individually. I love the people here. They do a lot of really funny things that sometimes we joke about, but I love them for it. My only hope is that the Lord knows that he can trust in me to do his work for him here. I strive every day to show that to Him in my actions. Sometimes I fail but that's why we have the gospel, to turn strengths into weaknesses.

With lots of love,
Elder Wilson

Monday, September 2, 2013

pictures and FAQs

 view from outside our window. not very special

Susana and her neighbor at the family night we had. The pic isn't very good to see what the house looks like, but it's super typical. Except this house has more stuff than most. Usually it's super barren. But they're not too small and like 10 people live in each one usually.

First I'll answer Dad´s questions. We don't really tract at all. We walk to apointments and street contact along the way, but hardly ever tract. I guess it's different here because no one stays insidde. They sis in chairs outside their houses for the heat so tracting is really street contacting.This week we taught only 16 lessons. But we als had lessons with converts and members to train them in missionary work, but still our munbers are really low in the lessons we teach. But we are making a lot of progress. We also lost time this week since me companion is district leader and does baptismal interviews. So that's our goal. We are also working on contacting more, since we are having to drop investigators for not progressing and we need new ones.

I don't eat a lot of fruit as fruit, since it's always as a juice, but I really like lulo and granadilla. All the fruit here is great, i'm going to miss it when I get back. The exercise is difficult at 6:30 in the morning, but we've been jogging and it's so easy down here because there's a ton of air. And I don't know how many miles I walk. At least more than 5 or 6 every day, but I don't know how much more than that. I've lost a lot of weight but I don't know how much because I don't know where to weigh.

As for the blessings, I don't know where to start. First off, I walk all day but I never got blisters, my feet don't hurt, and I have energy to keep going. Some of that probably comes from my Rockport shoes, but the tread is already wearing off from the bottom haha. But the shoes are great. And the blessing from the Lord is greater. Spiritually I've been blessed with happiness. I know a lot of new missionaries get really frustrated and some cry and miss home and all that, but I've been blessed to never have that. I've been blessed just with a desire to work until my weaknesses become strengths (2 Cor. 12:9).

One specific thing I've learned is setting goals and working towards them. Because when I got here I felt like everything in this area and companionship was being done wrong. But I learned to identify specific things to improve and set goals to improve them. Because if you just feel like you need to change everything, you'll do nothing. Trademark Elder Wilson, that was a powerful phrase right there.

I haven't specifically felt mom's presence, but I know I'm surrounded by ministering angels (DyC 84:88) and I'm sure she's one of them. Discouraging things to us are that no one assists sacrament meeting because they work, and that chastity is dead in this city. I feel like half the new mothers are only 17 years old or less. Also the ward mission leader needs some work, and the ward missionaries are inactive.

But none of that matters because it's the Lord's work, and we are his humble instruments. Susana didn't come to church this week and we're not sure why since we haven't been able to visit her yet. Joyce and her partner didn't come either, and we were planning on dropping them but we felt like we didn't do good enough at helping them have a member friend, so we're going to try one more week. Plus there was a fight with smoke bombs and everything going on in front of her house when it was time to leave for church.

We had a great reference family this week, where the dad read until omni in 3 days and then came to church and asked questions in class and everything. And he had to make some sacrifices to come. We haven't met with him yet since church yesterday, but I'm sure he felt the Spirit. Except for maybe when he got into an argument during Gospel Principles about the origin of sin and adam and eve with some old guy. It was hilarious because that's the question we always avoid to avoid contention.

Well more or less I'm out of time, but I'm glad to hear you're all doing well

Elder Wilson