"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, November 12, 2012

Another Week on the Island

Family and Friends,

First off, a story you can laugh at me for; well, long story short I've had a pretty bad rash for the last month. One that even Gold Bond three times a day could not battle. I'll spare the rest of the details, but imagine the worst rash you've ever seen and watch that person walk around all day. I bought some special cream, mom, it's tamed a little since then. No need to worry, love you.

Spanish lesson: when you say you like someone (as a friend) you say: "Me cae bien". Literally "he/she falls well with you". Me gusta is common for things that you like, but with people it is almost as if you are lusting after them. No, I have not made that mistake, but it is just nice to know for the following story:

Mario. Mario is Elder Andrade and my last ray of hope together. This change in how we do missionary work in the world has taken a toll on our success together. Instead of being the highest baptizing companionship on the isla, we are... quite honestly I think still the highest. But we haven't been having much success at all lately. It's been rough to put in full days and have nothing much to show for it at the end of the day. Elder Andrade is almost certain to leave in two weeks seeing as he will cumplir 9 meses en el fin de este cambio. Entonces, voy a quedarme aqui por seguro, tal vez. :P [complete 9 months at the end of this change. Then, I am going to stay here for sure, maybe.] But, the point is, with the raised bar and everything, it is harder for people to just pop out of the wood work for baptism. Anyway, back to Mario. Mario is the brother of Franklin, (11) a boy who decided not to be baptized the day before his fecha por causa de algo que dijo su papá [date because of something his dad said]. It was a sad day. But Mario (16) was curious from all of this going on around him--more skeptical really. So, we have made sacfrices to adjust to his schedule the past few weeks to teach him (since he is really our only progressing investigator). Things are great and he enjoys talking with us, he sees us more as friends than some insane teenagers wearing white shirts and ties when it is so hot outside. He even walked with us home once. Él tiene mucho confianza en nosotros, es muy bueno. Le cayémos muy bien con él [He trusts us very much, which is good. He likes us very much]. But, the problem is, today we woke up and on our way to wash our clothes he sent us a message saying he didn't want anything more with the church. He loves hanging out with us, but has been not feeling the restrictions of the "rules". He always keeps his commitments, which is awesome, but he is getting more careful about what he gets himself into. He is definitely converted to us as friends--he loves hanging out with us--which is great, but when you are working towards a lasting conversion to Christ, well, it could be more ideal another way. 

So, with all this rough stuff happening lately I have tried to start loving people more. I think the people here are nice, sure. But I couldn't say I really love them. They are helpful, they care about me (they were scared to death for my family when the hurricane hit New York, because I always used New York to describe where Pennsylvania was). But they are glad to know that my whole family was safe from the storm. I hope I can say the same about the rest of you, my friends. But, Mario is 16, just 3 years younger than me. And I can honestly tell you that I love him. I almost feel like his father sometimes because I get so worried about if he is choosing the right, if we taught him well enough that he actually knows what to choose. It is draining to love people that much, ya know. My mission lately has been just that though, the things that people willingly put themselves through when they love you is, to me, inspiring. To give you a better example, look to our Savior, Jesus Christ, and our mutual Eternal Father. "For God so loved the world", no? And Christ loved us so much that he willingly submit to bleed from every pore and be crucified. I have done nothing even close to that, but I have gotten a taste of that love.

Elder Andrews


caerse bien = to like someone/think they are cool; literally "to fall well with someone"
gustarse = to like something; when used for a person it means you like them romantically


Remember that the "raised bar" refers to the fact that the missionaries are to focus on only teaching. The members are to contact friends, family, and neighbors for them to teach.
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