Well to start off, yes i am writing today, tuesday, because yesterday i was sick. long story short is that on sunday we were out teaching and contacting and we ended up having a lesson with these hardcore catholics who were all about matthew 16:28 and just wanted to bible bash even though they didnt know the bible for crap. so we had a wonderful lesson with them where we basically just told them that as Santiago 1:5 says, that through prayer we can know the truth, so if they truly want to know the truth they need to pray with faith and god will answer. It was an interesting lesson to say the least, and to top it all of, they gave us this wierd guatemalan drink that didnt sit well with my stomach so i had an intersting day yesterday visiting the toilet often. So that is why i am writing today. Since i am writing today as well, i need to be shorter so i wont be able to say all that i want too.
the main thing for this past week has been a lot of internal thinking. Working with Elder Rivera has been a huge struggle for me, and on top of that, the other missionaries that we live with and that are in our district have not been making the greatest desicions lately and Elder Rivera has wanted to join in with them. I dont want to make it seem like they are doing horrible things, but are breaking mission rules and doing things missionaries shouldnt be doing. I have been putting all of my efforts into working hard, teaching Elder Rivera in the best way that i can and doing all that i can to be a good missionary, but these past few days and weeks i have felt pretty lonely when trying to stand up for whats right and being obedient in front of other missionaries and especially for Elder Rivera. I never thought i would have to be doing something like that in my mission, but like always i am experiencing and doing things i never thought i would have to do in the mission. The hard thing is that i feel as the trainer of Elder River that the kind of missionary he becomes reflects upon me and my work effort and ability to teach him and to help him become a good trainer, but as i have expressed in other emails, he doesnt really like to listen to what i say, especially in regard to the rules and how to teach, and he likes hanging out and taking after the other missionaries that arent doing the right things which is all the more difficult for me.
All of this is going on while i am trying to work hard and have success in my area, and right now we are experiencing a down time in the area without any really positive investigators or possibilities, and the people we find dont want anything. So i have been thinking about what i can do to help elder Rivera as well as having success in the area, and i have been thinking about the advice you all have given me. I am realizing as you al have told me, that i cant change people. I can do all that i can, but in the end everyone has their agency and can choose for themselves. I have been trying and trying over and over to help Elder Rivera. teach him the gospel, teach him how to teach and how to be a good missionary and to obey the rules, but again and again he does not do what i say and even does the opposite at times. Like i said before is that i feel so responsible for him and how he turns out to be as a missionary that i get so stressed out about the things he does (or doesnt do) and that the kind of missionary he turns out to be reflects the kind of missionary i am, and i am trying so hard to be a good missionary and to be a good teacher. But, what i am learning is that all i can do is the things that i can do personally. i can read the scriptures and study, i can follow the rules. i can get out and work hard and preach the gospel to the rest of my ability and the rest is out of my control. Elde Rivera has to make his own desicions, and if at times they arent the best, as long as i tell him the truth and the right things to do, it isnt my fault. I can teach him and be a good example for him, but if he doesnt want to learn or to follow, i cant do it for him. I can preach the truth of this gospel, but people can choose to reject it, i just need to do my part and open my mouth. I think im coming to terms that with Elder Rivera its going to be a struggle and we arent going to be a perfect companionship, and that maybe he isnt going to make the best desicions and that i cant change him. But i am realizing that i can change who i am, what i think and what i do to be a good missionary, to work hard and to preach the gospel and in turn become a better person a better son, brother, friend and future father and husband in the future. that is what i want, and i can only achieve it if i have my own personal conversion here in the mission and do what i need to do.
Once again thank you for all your advice and love and support. it means a lot. Sorry i cant write too much more, but i am feeling better right now, and like i said i am trying to do the best i can and overcome my own personal weaknesses to become the servant my Heavenly Father needs. I love you all and hope you have a great week and that you can find a job Curt!
Con amor y el amor de nuestro Padre Celestial,