Al la grande lo ha sido una semana loca!
Well everyone, first of all i want to apologize that i didnt get my letter out last week, its quite a tragic story... not really, it was just really dumb haha. So last monday we went out to write and everything at this computer cafe we always go to in catarina, and i wrote my letter and everything and it was all hunky dory. buuuutttt when i tried to send it, the internet went out. So i couldnt send the letter and we had to leave to go to work, and i havnt had time this week to send it until today, so i hope i didnt cause any heart attacks in the family for my wellbeing haha.
Well if curt hasnt already translated the subject title, i have some pretty big news. IM TRAINING! yes its pretty crazy, but like i told you all, this past wednesday 40 new misionaries entered the mssion, so there needed to be 40 new trainers, so i was picked to train Elder Rivera here in Catarina. We split catarina into two areas and im here with Elder Rivera in "catarina 2" and my old comp Elder Galvez is with another gringo Elder Barnes from texas in the other part of catarina. So thats the pretty big crazy news going on down here. i was kind of nervous at first because im training a brand new latino elder who has only 2 weeks of training in the mtc when i am pretty good at spanish but not perfect, and when i still feel like im learning a lot myself. Elder Rivera is from El Salvador, is 20 years old and is basically the only member in his family. his parents and brother are members but inactive, and really dont care that hes out on the mission, so i really respect him for being out here, and for his strong testimony that he has. the hard thing is that because his family has been inactive for his whole life, he doesnt know a whole lot of the doctrine or missionary work at all, so literally i am having to teach him everything, from the schedule, how to study (and what to study), how to teach, how to contact, how to talk to people like a normal person and how to work as a missionary. So to say the least these past few days have been incredibly stressfull and to be honest at points i dont feel like i can do it all with the pressure of teaching, finding people to teach and to baptize all while i am still learning how to do it all and i have a companion who has close to no clue how to do it. All i can say is that i am learning a ton of patience and love. i thought i was a pretty patient and loving person before, but this training has taken it to a whole new level, and i feel like im learning as much as Elder Rivera is. The words that dad tells me keep coming to my mind, all growth comes outside of our comfort zone, and right now i feel like not only am i not in my comfort zone, but i have been taken in a car about 20 miles outside of my comfort zone and dropped of in the middle of nowwhere, (or taken to guatemala with a different culture and language for 2 years haha). I feel priveledged that president trusts me enough even with my lack of a lot of experience to be training, and its most definitly not easy, but i am really learning and growing, and im sure over the next several weeks i will learn and grow a lot more.
This week we had an experience where we were teaching this family about profets. we were teaching really simply with demonstrations, examples and pictures and everything so that they could understand because the truth is they are not the brightest crayons in the box. I thought we had taught really well and we asked them questions and everything and they said that they understood, but then at the end of the lesson, the wife started to relate an experience where some guy she new started praying a lot in his life, he was able to heal people of thier sicknesses and bacame a profet because of that. So we started to say that god only calls one profet at a time on the earth through revelations like moses and the burning bush etc. Then she said that every religion has a profet and that through prayer anyone can become a profet, so clearly she didnt understand, so i asked her (and her husband) id they believed that there is only one god, and they said yes, and i asked them if they believed that god only has one path or true gospel "religion" and they said yes, so i explained that becasue of that, there should only be one profet on the earth that teaches the true doctrine of god. i thought that was the simplest way i could teach that in a way they could understand, but right after that the wife said, "what about the god of pharoah? and the God of the wind and the air and the sun? they all have thier own doctrine and truth right?" honestly i had no idea what to say, and the thought came to my mind "these people are literally crazy." i was so tempted to get angry and frustrated and end the lesson and leave when Elder Rivera just came in and bore his humble testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and that the one and true god has called his profet on the earth today to lead and guide his people. a feeling of peace just came over me, and all those feelings of frustration left, and i just felt extreme love for these simple people. they may not know a whole lot, and maybe are a little confused, but they are children of god and my brother and sister. I just looked them in the eye and bore my testimony of the profet Thomas S. Monson and the truthfulness of the gospel. there was a feeling of peace in the lesson, and they were deeply affected, and i could see that the spirit had touched them. the spirit was so strong and we just ended the lesson and left. it was a testimony to me that it isnt important what we know, or if we have all the skill in the world to teach and use intelect to prove or argue our point or argue the truthfulness of the gospel. What is important is if we have the love of christ for our fellow man, and that our testimonies are the most efective way to bring the spirit to touch the hearts of others. Probably nothing will happen with this family, but i know that i said the truth and that they felt the spirit and in doing so Elder Rivera and i did our part, and what they decide to do know is up to them. That was an important lesson that i learned this past week.
Other than the big news of training, im doing good, im getting over a week long cold and cough that i had, but im good and working and supe tired haha. i hope you all have a good spring break and everything! i cant believe its been a year since i recieved my mission call! thats pretty crazy how time flies. I pray for the best for you all, and until next week, Love you and carry on!
the first picture is with my dad Elder Clyde, and my son Elder Rivera
the second is with my dad/trianer Elder Clyde
the third is with my zone, Tecun Uman