This week was fairly uneventful as far as progress in the work and getting things moving within the ward. There are not very many people who come to church in this ward and so it is hard to get investigators to want to stay and be a part of an empty chapel. The bishop is AWESOME though and we just have to stay positive and keep the members excited and optimistic. I have learned that one can drown out my hurt, frustration and sadness by focusing on the emotional and spiritual state of others. I can be lifted by lifting others.
As a Zone Leader, I am in charge of making sure all the missionaries are giving it their all and that they are all getting along as a companionship. I had the opportunity to help a companionship that wasn’t necessarily struggling, but we picked up on the warning signs. We did splits with these elders and I worked and stayed the night in the area of the other elders while Christiansen stayed in our area with another one of the missionaries.
I was able to help out this new missionary and show him things he can do to stay happy and motivated and maintain the Spirit in his life and in the work. We had ZERO appointments and so I told him we were just going to knock doors for 9 hours straight. So about 7 hours in, things were not going too well. We got shut down quite a few times and weren’t having much luck and I honestly felt a little frustrated with God. Here I am in an area I don’t know as HIS leader trying to fix this problem so that HIS work can go forth and that HIS children could know the gospel and so that HIS missionary could be strengthened.
I looked one way down the street: empty. The other way: not even a good-for-nothing dog. I looked up to the dark sky and just tried to feel what I was supposed to do, wondering why I didn’t already know. The words “Did you ever ask, child?” came to my mind and I immediately knelt down on the pavement at a bus stop and prayed that God could guide me. I stood and just started walking.
We walked for a few blocks when I just decided to knock a door. A Colombian man answered and before we could even say something, he just said come in. We taught him and his wife, who is Chilean, the Plan of Salvation and as I testified about the possibility of an eternal family through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I felt the Spirit as I have almost never felt it in my life. It wasn’t like some crazy Moses on the mountain experience, but I knew He was there and I know they knew He was there. And they accepted a baptismal date.
Elder Christiansen and I are getting along great. We couldn’t be two more different people, but I think that makes us a good team. We both bring something to the table. We have been focusing hard on exercising and getting up early to try and get him ready for his homecoming because he has less than two months left in the mission...I could use a touch up as well I guess.
I love Chile. It is cold, windy, and sometimes the people are just as cold. But there are also many good people here who have allowed the light of Christ to grow in them over the years by making good decisions, preparing them for the Gospel.
"Lemon pie in bed for a sick kid." (Elder Rich has been suffering with impetigo again, but he said that he was able to get treatment much faster this go around.)
"A sweet Rolls Royce here in Chile, who knew?"