Monday, March 12, 2012

Catching Up

Sorry I've gotten behind again.  Here are some more excerpts from more recent letters from Joshua:
Elder Champion (Fremont, CA), Elder Balcón (Concepción, Chile), Elder Jones, Elder Lacambra (Barcelona, España)
27 February 2012
I got frustrated with myself a couple times this week. When I mess up as a missionary I feel SO bad. For example, there´s this dog next to our house who ALWAYS goes nuts barking at us when we pass. (All the dogs hate us but this one even more so). Finally I started making a habit of making a juke at him and sending him running. Felt good until this week when the owner saw me and asked me to stop. Elder Balcon was impressed with how I just apologized and didn´t argue about how annoying and stupid his dog is, but I still felt HORRIBLE that I tarnished the missionary name to someone.  It´s so hard being an imperfect person and trying to be like the epitome of perfection, Jesus.
The view from Joshua's desk
20 February 2012

I'm starting to see what a person looks like who can make it to baptism. We have a few wonderful people who are keeping commitments and want to change, too, so it´s exciting.
We´re teaching with a lot of power and feeling the spirit really
strongly as we teach. I wish I wrote down all my experiences in a
journal, but honestly, I´m always so tired and when I have extra time
I like to study Spanish or Preach My Gospel. But I should share a cool
experience I had with Elder Lacambra when we went to Santiago to do our visas.
We were coming back waiting in the metro when this guy looked at us, and started talking to us. He said, "You always go preaching two by two, like Jesus taught. I looked over at you guys and I just felt a peace.  Where can I get one of your books?" We chatted for like ten minutes before we had to switch metros about the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. We got his number and address and sent it to the office. His mom is sick in the hospital and he was going to visit her when he ran into us. It was my first real experience running into someone who was 100% prepared and sincere. It was a big help to my testimony that we are here to find people and that God is in charge of this work. One of the coolest moments of my mission.
I'm getting more creative. We've stopped knocking doors in the
mornings. We just go out in service clothes and offer yardwork to the
neighbors to try and serve them and win their confidence. It seems to
be working.
I love when we teach how when I feel prompted to say something out of the natural order of things or not strictly part of the missionary
lessons, many times my companion says it, many times with the same
words or examples. When that happnes, I know the Spirit is guiding the lesson and teaching, not us. Very cool.

13 February 2012

Joshua is not allowed to share names and details of the people he is teaching.  But here are general descriptions with no names.
A young man who's been attending church since a Christmas Party.  He and Josh have a lot in common, music and politics. :)
A single mom with a son Joshua's age and two 2 year old adorable "terremotos" as Joshua describes them.  Her prayers get more and more beautiful every visit.
Another woman we found because I felt strongly impressed that we had to turn back and contact her as she was watering her plants. She's super happy and animated and she adores us. Her youngest son has been playing futbol with us. Seriously, I love soccer now because we can invite TONS of jovenes who actually come and then we can start teaching them the gospel.   We actually started teaching her friend and her husband because they were there when we showed up (she thought we were coming an hour later). Nothing happens by coincidence in the mission. There are always little miracles.

6 February 2012
Seriously, the Mexican seems to be kicking in because today everyone
kept telling me how well I played defense (bajo), even my Chilean
companion, who usually likes to yell at me when we play futbol. I'm
finally the wall you always wanted me to be in baseball hahaha.
We´re working hard but we've been doing fewer contacts. Our sector is OLD and "re tocado" as we say.  The people here have seen lots and lots of missionaries. We´re trying to work with the members and focus on the investigadores we have. That said, we always find some good people contacting, even if the vast majority ignore us.  It´s a hard balance. We alternate between being very powerful testifiers and inviters to more casual, happy jovenes who just want to share a prayer.  I know we just have to follow the Spirit but man it´s hard.  I'm excited for the investigators wé´re working with. 
Seriously, I feel like I´m finally understanding the Atonement, the
plan, everything.  I said and did all (well, tried to haha) the right
things, but now I actually feel it and "get it" to some degree. I
actually feel like I know Him and love Him, and that he´s not just a
teacher, prophet, the founder of our faith, or the Son of God anymore.  He´s actually a person who knows me and has a relationship with me.  And it´s true, the more we understand the Atonement, the more we want to share the Gospel with everyone.
Can´t believe I´m a fourth done. That´s NUTS. Part of me feels like,
Wow, I´m so tired already, but mostly I feel scared that my time is
very, very, short.

30 January 2012
I thought today- I´m tired of being sick, I´m tired of being hot and sweaty and dirty.  But then this new investigator we found last week found me in the street and introduced me to her mom and her sister and talked about how they all want to come to church and needed to know when and where the meetings were. Felt SOOO good. We really work for those little moments. The mission is often hard, but in the end, you really only remember the good times. Pretty much like life I guess.

1 comment:

cynthia said...

I love that sweet Joshy!!! He is a good missionary!
I hope he is takeing lots more pictures then we see here, although these were some good ones!!