Monday, November 2, 2015

Dulce o Truca

Teaching English Class
Happy Halloween! Dulce means "treat" or "sweet" and truca means "trick." And that´s what´s the kids say here on Halloween. It´s not as big down here, but some people dress up and go out. Here are some of my dulces and trucas:

The Area President, Elder Gonzalez, came and talked to the three Rosario Zones (Rosario, Rosario West, and Rosario North). He is a pretty funny guy. He had a lot of good stuff to say. He told us to do a lot of things our Branch Presidency said not to do. So we´re gonna talk with them and give them and "bajar la caña" a bit.

I was directing the music during sacrament meeting this Sunday, when this lady started breastfeeding without anything to cover her. She was sitting literally 4 or 5 feet in front of me, front row, not even behind any chairs or anything. There was nothing I could do. I tried lifting the hymn book so I couldn´t see that happening, but, when I did that, I couldn´t see anyone in the congregation. When I lifted my head up to try to look at other people in the congregation, I could see her out of the corner of my eye. If I was looking at the hymn book, I saw her over the top of the book. I don´t think I´ve ever felt more awkard or uncomfortable in my life!

Taught some insane less actives on Thursday. It was one of the most histerical lessons I´ve ever had. I prolly shouldn´t write too much about them, but I´ll say a few things.
1. The husband had memorized the drill that missionaries go through. He answered every question before we asked. "No I do not have my Book of Mormon handy, and no, I do not want another one because I´ve already got about 10." "I don´t say prayers in front of missionaries. I know you´re gonna ask me to say the prayer, so I´m telling you now, you (Elder Yaques) are saying the first prayer, and you (me) are saying the closing."
2. They literally believe anything anyone religious tells them (except that we shouldn´t work on the Sabbath). He whipped out his wallet and showed us his various cards. One of baby Jesus and the virgen Mary, one of Jesus on a cross, one from some Evangelist church, on that had the Jehovah´s Witness logo, and one that has a picture of the apostle Peter. He said "Call me crazy if you want, but, when I have these cards in my wallet, I always have at least 5 pesos in my wallet. You may think I´m nuts, but, it works. Do you two have any cards I could put in here?"

Two weeks ago, we went to a family of investigators to teach a lesson. We committed all 4 of them to baptism. The second oldest son has some sort of phobia complex, and is terrified of strangers and going outside. Elder Yaques promised him, that if he prayed every single day until we returned, he would be able to go out with us, and not be scared at all. So, Sunday, (yesterday) we stopped by to give him that chance. His mom answered the door. She started talking to us, unfortunately, I understood every single word. She said, "I´ve thought a lot about what you two have said to us, and, I don´t want to change my life right now. I also don´t want you to waste your time. So you don´t have to come back if you don´t want to. If you want to come back this week, you are more than welcome to and we can chat." 😢 Dagnabbit. Freakin Satan is a tool. We felt the spirit so strong during our lessons with them. I don´t know how Satan convinced her she doesn´t need this, but my guess is she hasn´t read anything that she´s said she´ll read, and hasn´t prayed either. And I know she hasn´t come to church.

Had several really spiritual lessons this week. Don´t want to describe them all. I would like to describe a few though.

Taught a less active youth. We shared Mosiah 3:19. His answer to literally every question was "Uhhh, Jesucristo." For example, "Franco, what does the natural man mean to you?" "Uhhh, Jesucristo." "Very good Franco. Jesucristo can help us overcome the natural man, can´t he?" Another, "Franco, to you, who is the Holy Ghost?" "Uhhh, Jesucristo." "Yeah Franco, they´re both in the Godhead, aren´t they?" But it really was a great lesson. He confided a lot of stuff to us, and then showed up to seminary later that night. It was pretty sweet.

Isabel is a golden investigator who, like all, has marriage problems that impede baptism. She got married, seperated, and started dating another guy. This breaks the law of chastity. So, we helped her figure out a few options, and then we, Elder Yaques and I, fasted. The next lesson we had with her, she told us that God is more important than her boyfriend and broke up with him. Heck yeah! We were so pumped to hear that! I testify of the power of fasting. If you need something, like really need it (not just wanting a Ferrari or anything like that), and fast for it, I testify that God will provide a way that is in accordance with his will.

Taught a less active older couple and their granddaughter. They used to be a really prideful couple, but, Pres. Zanni came to sacrament meeting, "bajó la caña," and they totally changed. They recieved us really humbly, and learned a lot from the scripture we shared, I believe it was D&C 107:8, or, it was D&C 108:7. Don´t remember which.

Taught Lorena, with Matias watching a soccer game off to the side. We shared a message about family prayer that Pres. Eyering wrote for the Ensign/ Liahona in September. When we started, it was obivious that Matias didn´t have a care in the world. If he could watch soccer or listen to us, soccer would win all day. But, by the end of the lesson, he was intently listening and focusing on what we were saying, and accepted the commitment we extended to them. We went back last night to cut his hair, and, when we shared a scripture, he actually turned off the soccer game to listen and bear his testimony about prayer. Which was cool cuz he is a die-hard Evangelist. And down here, die-hard means doesn´t go to church, by too die-hard to listen to the mormon missionaries.

Played some basketball. Never, in my entire life, have I ever once felt like a good, or even decent, basketball player. This week, I felt like Lebron. We played basketball with some of the young men and some teenage guys on Monday afternoon, and we wrecked. I felt like me and the two other American missionaries were James Lebron (me), Charles Barkely (Elder Cook), and Michael Jordan (Elder Wagstaff). Argentine´s, well, are trash at basketball, and Elder Yaques told me the guys we played with and against were really good by Argentine standards, and that Argentina is the best at basketball out of all the countries in South America. Oh well, I´m sure the way I felt playing basketball with them, is exactly how they feel playing soccer with me haha.

Carrot from the health nut down the street:
We started teaching an English class. It´s pretty entertaining to find out what people do and don´t know. They know some phrases from movies and whatnot, and try to put together what they know with the Spanish language rules they learned in school. I´m sure I talk just as humorously in Spanish as they do in English. But that´s fine.

Learned something that they said about 100 times in the MTC, maybe more. Out here in the mission field, we work as hard as we can to help bring other´s to Christ. We work, hope, sweat, and work some more to help other´s change their lives for the better by accepting the restored gospel and repenting. As stated by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2, converts are our pride and joy. But, ultimately, we can only bring ourselves. We have to be our most solid convert. Our selves are the only people we can actually force to have this unmeasurable happiness available through the Atonement. We can work all day, do everything the spirit says to do, and, yet, the only person we can truly change, is ourselves. We have to learn to love Jesus in a way that we won´t stop after the mission. In a way that we will be determined to push through, and endure to the end. We want to baptize hundreds, but that number won´t be of much good if they don´t stay active. Likewise, our service won´t matter if we don´t stay active for our whole life. If we just go ham for these two years, and then just stop. What good does that do? Answer: none. We really have to be our own first convert.

The weather has been nut´s here. Rainy and freezing one day, the next, humid and 95. That´s about all I got for this week.

Elder Brown.

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