August 24, 2015
This week was pretty hard.
Tuesday: We had a district meeting in Arroyo because apparently none of the other missionaries have keys to their respective buildings, I have no idea why. But it was good. Then we went out to Campo (which is like the neighborhoods outside of the center of the city) and we were super unsuccessful. We had awesome lessons planned and could've added like 3 new investigators if we had been able to teach those lessons. But nobody was home. We planned to teach a less active but she wasn't home because she works crazy hours apparently. So it was a really unsuccessful afternoon, especially when our dinner appointment got cancelled. This was extremely disappointing because we don't get fed a lot, like maybe 3 times a week. And we have 2 set meals with investigators and these ladies cook some mean meals. Like man they are so good. But, we didn't get to eat dinner with her on Tuesday. So we ended up coming home and visiting with people in our neighborhood. We ended the night by hanging out with the Cora family, who are like the missionaries best friends. They're so fun and just easy to talk to. Always a good way to end a bad day.
Wednesday: We went out to another small town that is in our area, but doesn't get a lot of attention because we don't really have many ways to get out there. This was also a somewhat unsuccessful experience. As you can tell, we didn't have a very great week. We had a list of a bunch of less actives to try to find in the area but when we found the houses, they either weren't there or they didn't exist. One address was completely bogus. Like we found the area it should be in, but when we asked neighbors, they said that the house doesn't even exist and they've never heard of the people we wanted to talk to. And then in a different area, we found a house of a less active but the lady living there said she had never heard the name and that she had been living there for like 15 years. So basically the references were bologna. Then we came back to our neighborhood and had appointments lined up, but either the people had to cancel when we came by or they weren't there. We just have a really hard time finding people home.
Thursday: It was a pretty laid back day, because we spend like half of the day doing weekly planning for the next week, talking about all of our investigators and less actives and how we want to teach them. We did some work and visited with some people after planning, and then got picked up by President Ramos (our Branch President) and he took us out to his house in Guayama. We had to get special permission from President Boucher to do this since it's out of our area and that's really sad because it was super fun. Oh and he took all 4 of the Arroyo elders. We got there, and he lives on a hill in what looks like the middle of the rain forest. But it's not technically the rain forest it's just really green. Anyway, those are unnecessary details haha. He cooked rabbit for us. Rabbit. And it was good. It was actually a really, really good meal. He has like a rabbit farm with like 20 rabbits and some of them are gigantic and were kinda freaky. It was a fun night and he has a really cool family.
Friday: We went back out to Campo to try and visit the people we couldn't get to on Tuesday, but again missed some of them. But we did get to teach a lesson which gave us a new investigator. Then we found some people who were a really old contact but we were able to set up a return appointment for them so that was cool. Then we went to dinner at Laura's and that was the best part of the day. She made some really good rice and beans and some kind of meat and it was just really good. But right when we got there, Borries introduced me and her grandson Javier came running up to me and gave me a huge hug. And then after dinner he was combing my hair as I shared a little thought with them. He's a funny little kid. But a really nice family. Then we came home and I packed up to go on an exchange in Salinas (which is like the next city over).
Saturday: I was with Elder Nielson on Saturday (funny huh) and it was an interesting day to say the least. We only got to go to like 3 lessons because we went to our first lesson and we were there for wait for it....... 2.5 hours. SHE TALKED SO MUCH. She talked about politics and racism and German Jews and all kinds of random stuff. Neither one of us could get a single word in. She just talked and talked and talked. I was getting kinda annoyed so I tried really hard to get a message in. We wanted to commit her to read the Book of Mormon, so I had to kinda raise my voice (not in a mean way) and ask like 4 times if she would read the Book of Mormon. It was so hard. Luckily she spoke like 4 languages and talked in English. But it was crazy. Then we went to 2 more lessons and they went really well and after we were done, Elder Nielson told me how impressed he is by me and my Spanish and my willingness just to go outside my comfort zone and talk. Like my Spanish is getting pretty good. I'm beginning to be able to understand all the different dialects which is awesome. So Spanish- it's getting better. I'm really able to express myself pretty well now.
Sunday was cool because we had 2 less actives come to church again. I was really tired at church though so I didn't understand much of what was going on. I did give some good input in our Priesthood lesson though. We went out and tried to teach some lessons after church, but most people weren't home. We did find one guy though, who is a contact that they've had for a long time but are never able to find him because he's always drunk. But he came up to us in the street and asked us if we could help him with his drinking and then we set up an appointment with him for next week. So that was good, hopefully we can actually find him and help him.
But really the mission is going well. It's hard and we've kinda gone through a dry spell but it's forcing us to find new ways to work and get in contact with our investigators. My Spanish is getting so much better and I can see it improving every day. Now that I can understand more, I can feel the spirit in the lessons better. I love the spirit that I can feel in our lessons and especially in Spanish. As we've visited with people, a common thread in everyone's lives is that faith is so important, especially when we have trials. In 1 Nephi chapter 3, we love to share this story because Nephi prays while he has trials, but he doesn't pray for Heavenly Father to change the situation. He prays and asks for the strength he needs to change the situation himself. He had such strong faith and that is a great example that we have found to share with people.
Anyways, that’s about it. I hope everything is going well at home!
Oh, and there's supposed to be a tropical storm/ hurricane coming over Puerto Rico tonight and tomorrow so that'll be exciting. I really hope it hits hard because that could be so fun. Maybe give us some opportunities for service.
I didn't get many good pictures this week. Hopefully I'll get more this next week
Love you all,
the ocean is pretty