Monday, February 24, 2014

2014-02-24: "Forget Yourself and Go To Work"

Hey guys another week down in beautiful Guatemala! This week went by really well and we worked like dogs to get our goals done... but even though I am extremely tired, I FEEL GOOD!

Tuesday we had Reunion de La Zona so the whole zone got together and we met in the stake center for training with Presidente Watts, Hna. Watts, and the assistants.  We learned lots of things that helped us out, but one of the biggest things that they talked about was personal conversion.  Presidente said that he has accomplished his job, and the missionaries have accomplished theirs if they go home a completely changed person for the better after the mission.  He said that your main mission as a missionary is to help change other people's lives by introducing the gospel, but the second purpose is to change my own life.   So that when I go home I will be a man with a plan, ready to weather any storm that life throws at me, and to complete my purpose here on the earth as well as prepare your future after this life.  I really enjoy these conferences because I always learn something, and I know that Presidente is a man called of God!  I know that servants of the Lord are called and inspired, because Presidente always has something new that helps me along, and he has the power of revelation that I know for sure. 

It is kind of funny because just 6 months ago I would never have imagined myself sitting in someone’s living room and grown men and women are talking to me like I have known them their whole lives. They trust the missionaries so much, and even though I am an 18 year old boy, I feel like the Lord magnifies whom he calls.  I feel good.  I don't know... I feel a change.  I feel happier and that I am helping others. 

Gordon B. Hinkley had a quote that his father sent him in his mission that was "forget yourself and go to work" and that is true, for the first time in my life, I have forgotten about myself and I realize that I am okay with that.  I have never been happier in my life.  Haha but I still struggle with anger... That is one of my biggest downfalls and I will have to watch myself and check myself for the rest of my life just to control my anger... but I am managing.

The rest of the week went by fairly well, and the goal for the mission was to find 20 new investigators in 4 days, and we did just that.  Using the techniques and approaches in the book we are leading the zone in new investigators with 21!  I love the work, and when you are actually working hard time just flies.  We leave the house in the morning and before I realize it, we are back in the house at 9 PM planning for the next day.  We are getting into so many peoples houses and meeting new people everyday. 

So I have a story for you guys.  So we were in Potrero Grande sitting in a lesson, and after we shared the lesson, after the prayer, this lady just starts crying, and we ask "whats wrong?" and she starts to explain to us about how her husband bought a pistol and it was in the cabinet in their house and she said something that made me laugh: she said "My husband bought the gun, and I don't feel safe in the house.  I FEEL THAT GUNS ARE OF THE DEVIL." and inside I laughed to myself and told myself " Well, if she knew how many guns our family owned, she would probably think I was a son of perdition."  Haha well we just consoled her and went on our way, but that was funny and I was waiting all week just to tell dad this.

Well have a good week and I love you guys!

Monday, February 17, 2014

2014-02-17: Various Levels of Purity in Gold

Hey guys I am glad to hear things are going well back home for you guys!  That is good that you guys are going to the temple together with the youth in the ward.  They changed the rules for zone activities here so we will be going to the temple every other month than every six now.

Well this past week has been a journey!  Monday after I wrote home I started to feel a little headache come on.  But I shook it off and we went shopping and did our normal stuff.  But we went home and got ready to go to family home evenings.  But I started getting chills and the headache got bigger.  We went to the home evenings, but we finished the day and by then I had a huge headache.  I went to sleep and Tuesday morning I woke up with pain in my stomach.  I go into the bathroom and take my morning dump and Niagara falls comes out of my butt.  I mean pure water.  So I get ready and shower but the pain keeps growing and I feel really sick.  So I keep having super bad diarrhea until it is time to leave the house.  By the time we leave, the headache came back and I still had to poop really badly.   At lunch I didn't eat, but instead I barfed in Hermana Jacqui’s toilet.  I barfed up pure blackness!  So we go back to the house and all day I just barfed, pooped water, and napped.   I wake up Wednesday and I feel better so we leave and we go work.  But near the end of the day, I started barfing again.  By the time Thursday comes around I feel good.  So it turns out I got food poisoning from Subway because every time I barfed, undigested jalapeno from the sandwich came up.

Other than that everything else went well this week.  Working hard, and finding new people because it turns out that people that were ready to take the big step don't want anything to do with the church because of commitment problems with marriage, or leaving behind cigarettes and drinking.  That is one of the problems that we have now days.  No one wants to take responsibility.  Many things hold people back, but they won't take the responsibility to change their own lives.  

I am reading this book called “Teaching No Greater Call” and it is really good about changing my ways of teaching and becoming better.  It encourages me to keep a journal of teaching ideas and stuff that sticks out to me.  I saw a gold store the other day.  And I was trying to think of how I could use gold when I am teaching investigators.  Gold is a very valuable thing in the scriptures.  Many things of value in the scriptures have value in gold.  And there are varying levels of gold purity.  We are kind of like gold.  We cannot let any other impurities enter into our gold, because the lower our purity the less value we lay up for ourselves in the life to come.  

The investigators we found this past week are doing very well and they are progressing so we will see what happens.  The highly effective missionary methods are working by the way... Thank You!  I love you guys and have a good week!

The following was taken from an email from Hunter's companion.  His description of Hunter's bought with bu is worth adding here:

Last Monday, my comp ate a subway sandwich that we think gave him food poisoning cause on Tuesday morning he woke up feeling super sick, and could hardly even get out of bed. He started feeling better around lunchtime so we went to lunch, but after eating, he threw up in her bathroom. But he kneeled down to do the throwing, and it splattered off the toilet seat and covered him in throw up so we had to walk back to the house with him looking like a big piece of hawaiian throwup. He cleaned off and everything but we couldn't leave, he just got in bed and slept. He only threw up 2 more times, but he did it in our shower the last 2 times, so that was off limits for me for a couple days. And he also had bu. If you dont know what that is, think of two potty words, one that starts with b and the other that starts with u and you'll get it. Anyways, by Wednesday he was fine, so we were able to work and leave and all.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2014-02-10 New Companion-3rd Gringo

Hey guys,

Well this past week was good.  Monday and Tuesday we were just packing up Elder Farr's stuff for his change.  Then we went and said goodbye to certain members that fell well with him.  Then on Wednesday, we showed up to change conference all worried.  Elder Farr's assignment is 4 de Febrero which is an area right next to the one that he was at before Palencia.

All week I was thinking "I am getting a Spanish companion"!  But my assignment is with Elder Hakanson from Owasso, Oklahoma.  It is unheard of to be with more than 2 gringos in the mission here.  Some people go their whole mission without a gringo comp... Apparently I look like a Latino so I am okay to put with the other gringos.  Elder Hakanson is a cool guy and we get along great!

After changes the whole week I just showed the area around to Elder Hakanson.  We are working with the members and investigators, and it seems like challenges pop up whenever someone gets close to the point of entering into the straight and narrow.  We have a baptism plan set for the 22 for a boy named Christian so hopefully that goes through.  Christian is the only person in his immediate family hearing our message because his oldest brother is a member, and we are trying to reach out to the rest of his family.  

All in all good week and we are trying to work hard and do all we can here.  I love the work here and time just flies... it is hard to believe that I have been gone for 6 months... I love you guys and have a good week!
 Elder Vincent and ELder Farr.

Friday, February 7, 2014

2014-02-03 Change is Hard, But We Must Trust.

This past week was good, but a little crazy.  We received word from Hermana Watts that we needed to pack up the house we are in and move down to another house in the La Joya.  So all week we were calling back and forth from the ZLs to the office trying to settle the problems that came up such as getting the keys to the other house and setting up the utilities for the other house.  We moved some stuff, but there is still a lot of the big stuff to move down this week.  We were studying one morning and a man with a wheelbarrow, and his son came up to the front of the house and started to cut the water valve to the house, so we had to settle a bill for 1000Q+ for unpaid water bill because we didn't know it wasn't included in the rent.  Other than that we worked like normal this week, but all week I was thinking, that I was leaving the area... but yesterday we found out that Elder Farr will be leaving and I will be staying for my 4th change here in Palencia.  This SUCKS!!! I wanted so bad to be with Farr for one more change, but I guess that we are splitting after 2.  I don't feel like I have fulfilled my purpose with him for some reason...  I was thinking that us being together would be for a grand purpose like changing a whole family, or something like that.  And we did do a lot of great work here in Palencia together...  But maybe our purpose of being together was to become friends?  Haha kinda sounds ridiculous, but I kind of feel that it is supposed to be like that...

To the Farr Family: I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve alongside your son.  He is a great guy, and I have had the time of my life here in Palencia with him.  I have really grown from being with him and learning from his example, and I hope that I have made as much of an impact in his life as he did in mine!

Well have a good week and I love you guys!


Elder Farr’s letter:

Vincent Family,

May I be first to say that you raised a champ, daily I am deeply grateful for the chance I have to be serving with your son. I really cant thank my heavenly father enough, we learn things from all comps but he really has help changed me into the elder I want to be. We did have our times of failure and success but always he had a smile and that’s one thing I could do better at. We had some really fun and funny times. Some of which might not be missionary worthily but we aint perfect! It’s a little sad to have a change and me moving on but as well so is he. He will be a great elder. You raised a stud as I would say and can really feel the Christ like love when you are around him. Thanks again for raising him. I give you all the thanks and love I have! Thanks for it all. With love Elder Farr!