Hello There Everybody!
This week was defiently interesting to say the least. We taught a bunch of lessons and found 7 new investigators! (Some of them were old investigators of other missionaries, but they are new to us.) One of the hardest things about this sector is that it technically is not a town. It is not a permanent place for people to live. All of the houses and such are all owned by the mine Cobresal. So when someone lives here, it is for only like 2-3 years at a time, maybe more, maybe less. So our Area Book is filled with investigators that dont live here anymore. We are basically the Rest Stop of the mission. We prepare everyone to recieve the gospel in another city.... El Salvador hasnt had a baptism in over 3 years.
(Sorry for the novel here. Be patient. If you begin to read, read to the end. If you dont want to read it, that is okay too. Its mostly my own emotions.)
On another sad note. I was yelled at pretty hardcore by my companion this week. It started earlier in the day when I found out that she was using the mission funds, not personal funds, to buy her brand new digital camera. That is a lot of money, and we are only supposed to use the money from the mission for specific things that are outlined in the Missionary Handbook. I wasnt sure if she knew the rule so I explained a little, and she got REALLY upset (the guilty taketh the truth to be hard), she told me that she knew the rule, but that it isnt really a rule, and that President knows that everyone does it, and that I could tell him if I wanted but it wouldnt change anything and I couldnt change her decisions. So I got really quiet and just let the matter drop..... But I could tell she was irritated with me.... So later I gave her my last cookie and granola bar because she was complaining about being hungry. I thought that fixed it.... But no....
Later we were leaving a house that we had entered REALLY late. Like 9:45. I was hesitant to even go in because of how late it was. But we hadnt been able to contact this person for a very long time. And we didnt even have anytime to teach them. So we just talked a little. And I didnt inturrupt and say the time, because last time I did that Hermana Borges yelled at me later as well. I just thought, Okay, we´ll leave the house and walk REALLY fast to the apartment, because we were pretty close. So we left and we both took off. I explained really quickly that we didnt have the 10:30 buffer time because it wasnt a lesson, and I thought that we were on the same page. So I was walking really fast, and she was just taking her time. I got a Little annoyed that she didnt seem to want to follow the rules. And she was obviously still peeved with me. So by the time we got to the gate in front of the house, I thought she might slap me. She was yelling how I was crazy, how I was going to end up killing myself, and how if I didnt relax and show love once in awhile everyone would hate me, and I would hate me, and I would have a horrible misión. Then she threw down her bag (we are in the apartment now) and dropped to her knees and still yelling some pretty mean things, she stopped and said, Lets pray and plan for tomorrow.
I sat in shock for a minute, I didnt want to pray with these feelings. I knew that whatever work we did would not have the spirit. Because of how angry she was, and how sad I felt. She continued saying somethings about how I could continue on this path and hate my misión if I didnt at least try to be happy, or I could change, because she has never had this problem in her misión before. I am happy to say that my response to all of this, at first it was apoligetic and confused, and a Little defensive, but by this time I hadnt spoken in a few minutes, I was just kneeling on the floor across from her and listening. My response became, ¨Im so sorry. Thank you. Im going to work on that.¨
After I said that she couldnt seem to have any other epithats to throw at me. So she prayed. It was a very angry prayer that indirectly addressed all of my percived shortcomings. And then afterwards planning for the day after took over an hour. I did all the planning by myself while she sat in silence and took off her makeup.
I dont think I ever prayed as hard as I did at that moment and the whole day after, and every day since. I recieved the impression to just ignore it, and continue doing what I´ve been doing. Just trying harder every day. Because this one incident doesnt have to be the downfall of our companionship. This was just one day. The rest of the week went really well. I do admit it is hard to feel the Spirit in our times when it is just the two of us. Because I know she doesnt want me here. But we are both here, and both learning and growing. And I really have grown to love her, and appriciate her. My approach to everything right now is love, and the words, ¨Thank you. Im going to work on that.¨
I know that through my prayers, God has granted me a Little more humility and a Little more charity, to be able to sit back and listen to an angry list of my shortcomings and now feel angry. Not feel like I have to change her perspective and respond to what she is saying. Just to have enough emotion to say, Thank you. Im going to be better.
Sorry for the novel. I dont talk to a lot of people here. It feels good to get that out of my system. For the record, Hermana Borges, is a beautiful person. She has really wonderful qualities and a very strong testimony. She has and will change the lives of many people in her misión and in her life. I know that she is a daughter of God with unlimited Divine Potential. And I love her. And with that love on one side of the companionship, we will get through this Transfer. She doesnt have to like me, to agree with me, or want to work with me, for me to love her, to agree with her, and for me to have a desire to work with her.
But with faith and now that I talked with the Sister Training Leader and President about some rules that I knew where being broken or at least bent a little bit, our numbers have started to go up. Thing in El Salvador and our relationship are progressing. I wake up every morning ready to help her and the Lord with everything that I can.
Also as a thought for the week, the little things dont really seem like a big deal. But they are. For example, we needed to buy bread this week. And bread here is about 2,000 pesos. And we had 1,990. We needed 10 more pesos. That is like needing an extra 15 cents. And we didnt have it with us. So we had to leave empty handed. We dont ever really know when we are going to need that extra 10 pesos. Its like the commandment to read the scriptures and say your prayers every day. It is a small thing. Only 10 pesos a day for your spirit. But do you really want to get to the door of Heaven, or encounter a temptation and find that you only needed 10 more pesos to pass? It is by the small and simple things, that great things are accomplished.
My Ponderize scripture for this week was 3 Nephi 18:24, ¨Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine until the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up – that which ye have seen me do. Behold, ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed.¨
Jesus the Christ was perfect. In every way, shape and form. And there were days when he was tempted. When he cried out to the Father for strength to do his will. When he fell on his face because he couldnt seem to go on. And he was hated. This perfect man, who ALWAYS taught by the spirit. ALWAYS had charity and love and diligence and faith, and all of the other things we need to be perfect. And he was hated.
When we strive to follow his example and be the best that we can be. We are going to be tempted. We are going to cry to the Father because we just cant anymore. And there are people who will hate us for what we believe. But we will always have Christ as our light out of the darkness, if we pray as we know he has prayed, we will always have him with us.
I know that this is a long email that sounds like one endless complaint. I even considered deleting it. But I feel like I need to share this experience, this week with you all.
I truly feel blessed, extremely happy, and content to be here in El Salvador with Hermana Borges. I am growing in ways I didnt know posible. I have more of the attributes of Christ, at least the beginnings of them, than I did almost 5 months ago. I love the misión. I love what I am doing. And I am so very happy to be serving my God.
So, go forward with faith. Press onward saints. ¨Shall we not go on in so great a cause?¨-Joseph Smith.
Love you all. Hurrah for Israel!