Monday, May 30, 2016

el 30 de mayo

first off, happy birthday shout out to russell and a nicaraguan happy mother's day to all the mothers on the email list. i love you all. thanks for all you have taught me, and know that you are all part of the reason that i am here on the mission.

this week was an interesting rollercoaster. i have come to find out that when i feel good about the week, i have to double check my pride. after all the things that have happened in the mission, there are few days that my "good feelings" result in actual good things. we started out thinking that all would be okay and that we would finish the week with success, but we didn't. we let our confidence take us to heights we were supported to go to, and we fell hard. from a high of a baptism and seven investigators in church, to a weekend with a baptism and only one investigator, it was a hard pill to swallow. but i have finally learned the lesson, and it won't be repeated.

this week, hermana pastora pulled out the strings with the good food. one day, she made my favorite dish, jalapeño chicken, and i was overfilled with joy. (picture attached.) we thought we were going to have to move houses today, but like any smart man, president russell wants to barter the prices down before he accepts the first offer. we have another month in the house of hermana sughey, before we really do have to be out. i look forward to the adventure of moving out, and two weeks later being home!

this week, we had the opportunity to go and look for some old investigators and find out some of their biggest doubts and concerns again. we found out that we were taking something for granted: their religious background. come to find out that several of our investigators have little or no religious background and so all this time we have been spitting information at them and it's had little or no impact or better yet, it's been a turn off. but we changed our game plan, repented, and away we went. 

this week, i had to up my game in the scripture study. i have to the goal to finish the doctrine and convenants before i finish my mission, which means five pages every day. and with only have thirty minutes of study time to dedicate to that, it's been great to see how the studies really have changed. i am also nearing the end of jesus the christ  and it really is a book i recommend to all. it's long, and daunting, but you will not regret it. a favorite comes from doctrine and covenants 58:2-5

::blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven. Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation. For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand. Remember this, which I tell you before, that you may lay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow.::

the lord does not promise us to take away our trials and tribulations, but yes, he does promise to lift us up. in these moments, the saints were in the process of moving to ohio and moving eastward. there were many more trials and difficulties coming their way, but the crowing glory was given. to be able to see the first modern day temple raised must have been an amazing moment.

today was interesting, we are going to celebrate mother's day with all the family members of the landlord, because she is about the age of my mother, but has never been married or had her own children. we will be her daughters today. :)

hermana vasquez is someone that i get to know better and better each day. there are rare moments were i know the whole story because it's not something that she tells me. you have to listen to every comment and be careful to link it all together. like a big puzzle. she is the youngest of five living siblings on her mother's side. her father has had a rough love life, having had two girlfriends get up one day, take her three children, and move away, never to be seen again. she doesn't like to read, but loved being mischevious in high school. she and her best friend were enemies for two years before they decided to be best friends than best enemies. she worked for a call center type company before coming out and loves, loves, loves button ups. she's the most interesting companion i have had, and i absolutely love her. this is a picture of the district. zls, us, then the other two elders. elder lopez (guatemala), elder carbajal (honduras), me (the only greenga), hermana vasquez (honduras), elder antuna (dominican republic), elder patzan (el salvador).

the older lady, is a crazy one. she's angie's mom, and has been coming back into activity. she made us food, something that i have come to notice as a sign that the members are starting to love you and recognize you as a servant of the lord (please read matthew 10 for all doubters.) this week, she gave me and sister vasquez an engagment type ring, but if worn on the right hand, just looks like a pretty ring. i love the nicas; they are just so crazy sometimes...
love you all! until next week,
hermana graves

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