Making Progress! If each week gets this much better, the sky is the limit!
Hey guys! This past almost week has been great. my spanish has been improving, and although it is very difficult, the locals tell me that i have been making progress. to start off, my companion is elder jackman. He´s a great guy, and weve been having a blast together. we probably have one of the tightest districts in the CCM (Centro de Capacitacion de Missional, or Missionary Training Center in english). I'd love to tell you all about each one of them, but I'm short on time. One thing is that there is an elder Jason Money in my district, who will be playing quaterback for the Utes after his mission (shoutout to the Betzolds)
So,, elder jackman and i had the opportunity to go out and proselyte for the first time. I was scared because our spanish between the two of us is muy muy mal, but I gained a powerful witness of the gift of tounges that day, that the lord will bless me to express his word with my obedience and willingness. in just over an hour and a half, Elder jackman and I had made about 20 coontacts, made 5 referrals, and gave away 2 book of mormons (or books of mormon, for those of you that are a little overly litarate and also enjoy the movie "the best two years.") it was so awesome. It was also similar to that movie in that we taught three people that were almost fluent in english, two of which had lived in the USA. everyone hated us because nobody else had met anyone who spoke english. One of these people was a girl named stephanie, who was looking for an apartment while she was studying medicine. she was from california, and was perfectly bilingual. We taught her about the restoration of the gospel, about our church, and finally about the Book of Mormon. The spirit was nearly overwhelming as I testified of its truthfullness, and it was funny how as soon as Elder jackman pulled it out of my bag, she was practically tearing it out of his hands, she was so anxious to read it. Jackman and I both felt that we had made a very lasting impression on her, and somehow we both feel that it might not be too long until she joined the faith.
We met two other people that spoke some english, and got referrals from as well. one was an 18 year old boy who had about 4 piercings in each ear and was riding down the road on his skateboard. we almost didnt talk to him, but as soon as we said hi, he stopped and came over and started talking to us. we walked around with him for a while. we talked a lot about his family, and his life down in Columbia. eventually we got on the topic of how families can be together forever, that through Heavenly Father's plan, we could be forgiven of our sins, and one day return to live with Him again. Tears came to his eyes as we bore our testimonies to him, and he promised that he would read the book, and pray to know if it was true. I felt a great sense of compassion for this boy, who was our same age and similar in so many ways, yet so different in appearance and style. I only wish I could have had more time with him, because he seemed like someone I really could have helped.
The last two people were a couple of toothless workers who did not know a bit of english. their spanish was hard to understand, becuase not only were they unable to annunciate anything, but were barely whispering due to their smoking hacks. However, they both lit up when they heard about our church. its too bad we didnt know the address or location of the church, because the lady on the right was begging us to know where it was and promising to be there. She was really something special. I assured her that more of us missionaries would get in contact with her, and she readily gave us her number. i hope to know someday how she turns out.
So the good news is that we only had a couple of knives pulled on us, and one gun. (just kidding mom). There was, however, one lady who yelled at us, calling us "niños tantos," which, being interpretted, means "stupid boys." that was actually pretty funny, and we were laughing as soon as we were out of earshot. Overall, it was a great day, and although i am nowhere near fluent in spanish, i cannot wait to be out in the mission field, serving and teaching God´s children and bringing them the hope and joy that this gospel has brought to me.
Today is a bittersweet day. all the latinos that were here had to leave, because their two week semana was over. Last night, before bed, we were all hugging and taking pictures and fiesta-ing like it was cinco de mayo. Afterwards, they all stormed our dorm room and sang "God be with you ´till we meet again." These guys were awesome, and although their tuning was far from perfect, they almost had me in tears. These kids, who didn´t have much more than their knowledge of the gospel, had shown me more love and appreciation than hardly anyone had except for maybe my family and circle of close friends. I can´t wait until the day that I really do see them again.
That´s about all the time I have. I just want anyone who is still reading this to know that I sincerely have a testimony of this Gospel. If it werent for that, I would have come back to idaho by now, because although it is a great experience, it is definately one of the hardest, if not the hardest, things I have ever done. I love you all, and i am sorry if i didnt write you back, but they are really hard on us and ouur emailiing. Ok gotta go now. #stdm100#pbs