Monday, January 11, 2010

Villegas- Week #81

Return to the Field

Hey everybody!

Well it is back to writing on lame keyboards…I was really spoiled in the office. This week has been GREAT! Although it has felt like I left the offices months ago. I love Villegas! It is the Promised Land! The land of milk and honey! I thought I had seen some humble places…but it has been kind of interesting teaching someone whose house is made out of cardboard and there is only room inside for a bed. Her name is Monica by the way…she came to church, but says that she doesn’t want to be baptized for another 2 years…so we will be working with her. Also, almost everyone here is from Paraguay. Like they all moved here for work and are building their houses still, so it is a really humble area. Really humble. In Paraguay they have an indigenous language called Guarani…I don’t know how to spell it but yeah it is funny because all Paraguayans know how to speak it pretty much. Well, back in Merlo I picked up a few phrases from some members and I have been practicing them here haha. I use the same exact joke for everyone I meet and every single person laughs when I say it, and Elder Thomas laughs every time too because it works every time. All I know how to say is, “I am a boy with a lot of money”, and “I love you, pretty girl.” So I always start out asking if they know how to speak it, and they say yes, then I tell them I speak it as well and say, “I am a boy with a lot of money and I love you, pretty girl.” It gets them every time. I love saying it most to the little old ladies because they usually say something after like, “Finally, I’ve been waiting for you to come find me. Take me to the States.” The old men usually laugh when I say it because they didn’t think I actually knew how to say something. It sounds more like English than Spanish to me, so it is easy to pick up. One hermana told me that gringos always speak Guarani better than other Latinos. So we will see what other phrases I can pick up. It is a great way to get into houses to teach.

It definitely has been interesting going back into the field. Monday we stayed in the office and went to the mission home for a going away dinner for Elder Fox and me, so Tuesday was the first day of work for us. Then on Friday I had to go back to Ramos for a District/Zone leader meeting, so we lost all day Friday as well. I have been feeling pressure like crazy to work hard. Seriously the mission has changed since I went into the office. What used to be a great week is now below average, and even without those two days of work we still taught more this week than I used to before my office time. It has definitely been an emotional roller-coaster, especially when the sister missionaries in your district are kicking your trash. I just say to myself I had two less days to work haha.

So Elder Thomas is doing great! He only has about 7 months in the mission, but he is doing great. The biggest hang-up this week was his confidence level. He had to lead the area since I didn’t know anybody, and he was nervous I think. He did great, but he gets down on himself sometimes. When I got to the area he told me this transfer was going to be hard and that we weren’t going to have as much success as past transfers because there were no prospects for baptism. All I could say was, “We are in Villegas….there are always baptisms.” So we started the week out meeting the members and investigators and I can now say that there are a TON of people that could get baptized this transfer. We had five people come to church with us on Sunday and two of them now have baptismal dates. The first is Alvina. I guess it is like the feminine form of Alvin. She has been going to church for a while, and was about to get baptized but didn’t show up for her interview. So we are trying again for this weekend! I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard. All you need is your interview? Ok we will have it on Thursday and you can be baptized on Saturday, how is that? Great! So we already have a baptism planned for this weekend. Our other date is Lucas, who is 9 years old, who has come to church twice already, but they had only taught him once and never challenged him to baptism. His mom is a member and his aunt just got baptized last transfer, and his family supports him, from what we can see. So we also set a date with him for the 23rd. So we have two dates right now, and are trying to find some more people who are going to be ready this transfer.

Something pretty interesting happened to us yesterday as we were walking in the street. We walked by some man reading a book, and upon looking closer I realized that it was the teachings of David O. McKay…interesting, so I thought it was a member…false…just some guy reading it. So I asked what he was reading about. His answer: “How families can be sealed together forever through the sacred ordinances of the Holy Temple.” I looked at him for a second and said, “will you be baptized?” ahaha just kidding, we taught him and turns out he has been going to church in Paraguay for 2 years but moved here and lost contact with the missionaries. Now he wants to come to church with us. Go figure. The Lord is working miracles here. Wow that hour flew by; I guess I better wrap this up. I love this work, and I love you!

Elder Gilmore

p.s. We had a confirmation this week and in Sacrament meeting the Bishop got up and announced that I would be doing the confirmation...what? I didn't even know the person...but whatever it was definitely a missionary moment. so I confirmed someone!

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