Family and Friends,
This week has kind of been a rollercoaster of ups and downs. I've had some of the best experiences of my mission so far and also the hardest.
First off, this week he had a branch activity called "Noche de Hispanidad." So we invited all of our investigators and branch members to this activity we were going to have. We had it inside the chapel, and we had people from our branch make different foods from their countries. We had food from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile, Panama, Peru, and a bunch of different places! After we ate all of our food, we had dances from their different countries, and we also played some games with the children after that. I was only able to see a traditional dance from Mexico, because we were busy serving and helping to prepare the food. But we saw a lot of investigators there. Two of our investigators, Manuel and Ana Calix, were able to come and the Sister Missionaries also brought a few of theirs as well! This Noche de Hispanidad was a huge success, and super fun. At the end they had a few partner dances and all of the couples in our branch got up with their wives and children and danced. It was super neat to see!
For the hard part of my week, we had to drop one investigator that I truly loved. His name is Don Raffael and he is such an amazing man. He was probably one of the first people I have ever taught on my mission, so it was super hard to have to do that. He wasn't keeping his commitments and wasn't progressing, so we decided it would be best to give him a break for a while. Hopefully there will be chances for us or maybe other missionaries in the future to teach him again. But when we were in his house, letting him know where we stood, my voice started to crack and I was on the verge of crying basically the whole time. It's so hard to see someone you love so much not have the same happiness that you have, and not progress.
Okay so another great part about our week is that we had the chance to hear from Elder Arnold of the Seventy this week. We actually had the chance to meet with him on two separate occasions. So he and his wife are practically fluent in Spanish, and so they had a meeting with all of the Hispanic branches in the Mission. (So only two or three). But we had that on Sunday after church. And something really cool, he promised us that in six months, these branches will be wards. If we each do our parts and invite others, then instead of having zero Spanish wards in our mission, that we would have two or three. The next day we also got to meet with him with all of the other missionaries on the eastern seaboard. Before the meeting started, I also had the chance to finally see Elder Haslam. We got to talk for a little bit and we talked about Bingham and about Lacrosse. But after that we had our meeting. It was probably the best church meeting I have ever been too, and I learned so many good things from that. One thing that really caught my attention is the very last thing he said before he ended. He said something along the lines of "You know, every time I got out on an assignment to see the missionaries. President Monson always meets with me. He always brings me in and tells me, make sure you tell them how much I love them." Then he said. "So, I need to let you all know that President Monson loves you. He thinks about you, prays about you, and loves you all so much." It was really powerful. I'm so grateful that we have a living Prophet today to guide and direct us.
I'd like to share a few more little thoughts really quick. I heard a story a while ago, and it really got me thinking. I've been thinking about this for a long time, and maybe y’all would like to hear it too. I don't know it exactly but I'll do my best to paraphrase it. So there are two men sitting in Heaven after their deaths, and they are waiting outside of an office room. The door opens and the first man is called into the room. In the room, he sat down. And there was a man across the table that started talking to him. He said. "So tell me how you know Jesus Christ." The man responded "Well, His parents were Mary and Joseph, he was born in a manger." Then the other man said "Yes, but tell me how you know Jesus Christ." The man answered again "He grew up, taught the Gospel, was baptized when he was thirty..." The other man said "Very good, but how do YOU know Jesus Christ." The man responded again "He was crucified when he was thirty three, and after three days he was resurrected." After that, the other man said "Thank you, you may leave now." The first man left the room, and the second man was invited to enter." The second man entered, and the man started to ask the question "How do you know...." but he was interrupted by the second man, who fell to his knees and said "My Master!" That really has had me thinking these past few weeks. How well do we know Jesus Christ. Do you just know about Him? Or do we truly know Him.
That's all I have for now, I love you all so much, and Happy Thanksgiving!
My plate of food during our activity
Me at our newest convert's house, Hector.
He has a snake collection going with over 40 snakes!
Me holding one of Hectors puppies.