"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." 2 Nephi 31:20

Monday, October 1, 2012

Perserverance, Patience and Prayer

Family and Friends,

This week had the biggest successes, the biggest downfalls, the biggest trials, and the biggest triumphs. Miracles.

Started the week with 50 pesos (roughly less than 3 dollars) and a few cookies. 

First off, we had prepared 6 investigators. They were all ready to be baptized! But... during the week 4 decided they were going to back out. It was hard to see the changes they had made get thrown out the door and have them deny everything they had already told us they believed. 

Then, we played House. And by that, I mean Dr. House

On Tuesday, I had a similar trial. I almost made it a whole month without having fish! But, I fell victim--fish may be the worst thing in the world for me--or so I thought. I started feeling sick right after we ate at that house. Elder Andrade still didn't believe that fish made me sick--but the fact that I was weird and showered twice a day. I don't enjoy sleeping in my own sweat, ok? But, we were both wrong. After a few days of fighting through it, my bones started to ache. More than just wear and tear from walking, cause it was my back, jaw, arms, and even teeth. So, we called the President's wife. They thought I had dengue--more commonly known to you as the West Nile Virus--which is quite a serious matter here. But, after a blood analysis, everything was fine. (P.S. The best way to describe the feeling is like shin splints. But everywhere on your body.) So, long story short, I have possitively been diagnosed with RickettsiaTo tell you the truth I have no idea what that means. Long story short there is that somehow a flea entered into my blood stream and has been having fun screwing things up inside my body. More than just a few too... Which is super lame cause I put on more bug spray than anyone else and don't touch the dog that lives with us--it is the Member's on whose roof we live on. But, that's how I got it. 

But, because we worked through the sickness each day we were able to have two baptisms this weekend. One of which was Oswaldo, who I had the opportunity to baptize. He had been struggling with the Word of Wisdom and thought it was funny at first. I stopped him and just told him flat out, "Look, if you don't stop drinking, we can't baptize you." He just said Oh and hasn't had a drink since then. He really is great though. 

Also, with members yesterday at Comida we were talking and because of my runny nose my accent is atrocious and I switched "murieron" for "mudaron" when talking about my parents. So, looking the members right in the face very calmy I said that my parents had died (instead of moved) a month before I left on my mission. I got blank stares and the room went silent. They asked me where I was going to go home to then and I just said that I'd figure it out when it came. They were amazed. I was confused. And sick.

But, I got my first pieces of mail! Which helped a lot this week especially. And, THE POUCH WORKS. Who knew? I have something to show the Assistants--my letters with American stamps! P.S. Kari, you folded them well enough I suppose. 

Anyway, I will get to watch Conference this week in the "Gringo Room"--kinda like the Tiki Room, just less exotic. It is where we watch it in English. So, hopefully that will be great, as always. Although I wish I could watch it with my family. So, take advantage of that for yourselves! Please watch General Conference this week with people you love! I'll take my picture of my family.

Also to note: Whenever I tell people I am from Pennsylvania, they think of Transylvania. It literally happens every day. 

Machetes are to Mexico what guns are to America. Elder Andrade thought it was insane that I had guns at my house (it is illegal to just have a gun here) which is why he was freaking out when Oswaldo told us he used to sleep with a gun every night. Elder Andrade was afraid. I didn't see anything unusual there. 

I've only seen a butter knife twice here. When we eat meat they give us a spoon. And you think eating with chop sticks is rough! Try cutting the chewiest meat you could imagine with just one spoon!

We as missionaries are not allowed to drink Coca-Cola, just cause. And we aren't allowed to have iPods, and can listen to ONLY Hymns. So, Derek, your iPod has been sitting in the mission offices since the first day. But, my Zone Leader promised me his CD's when he leaves in two weeks, so hopefully its all good.

You hear a LOT of American music here, which is rough because you feel a little guilty hearing it as a missionary--new Taylor Swift and Katy Perry and who knows who is singing the other stuff. But the absolute worst is hearing Maná. I say they are the Dave Matthews Band of Mexico, and their music sure fits with the tone of Mexico. Pretty lame now, but It might be cool 2 years from now.

Anyway, I love you all
Elder Andrews

Comida = lunch in Mexico (literally "lunch")
murieron = died
mudaron = moved
Gringo = American (or foreigner)

Note: William, Caleb's oldest brother, can empathize with Caleb since he, too, usually only got a spoon to use at mealtimes when he served in the Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission.
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