Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Quick note from the missionary mom: I don't know why Katie is the only one who can comment on Dall's blog. If any of you out there know how to fix that, please let me know. :) Here's this week's email!
How's everyone doing? Just so you know the shift key on the keyboard I'm using doesn't work very well so I might give up on capital letters partway through the e mail. This week has been a good one as usual. We've continued going on alot of divisions with the ward members and it's really helping us to get alot more visits in than usual. Ilda was baptized on wednesday by Elder Moberg and the service went really well. I have the pictures from it but I'll have to send them next week. We also found out her name is actually spelled Hilda, but the h is silent in spanish. Anyway, things had been great with Beatrice and Marcos up until yesterday. Beatrice has a hard time trusting Marcos, and thinks that he'll go back to his old ways some time down the road. We were sharing a message with them yesterday after church when things started to fall apart. The truth is that the Spirit wasn't doing the teaching, and there were alot of opinions thrown in to the lesson and not so many scriptures and invitations to learn from prayer and reading about the Savior's teachings. That's the worst possible approach in missionary work, because a couple of nineteen year old boys are never going to be able to change someone's life on their own, the Spirit has to be the teacher. Anyway, Beatrice and Marcos ended up in a fight. Marcos said he's tired of trying to gain the trust of his wife if she's never going to give him any credit for the changes he's already made for their family. I felt horrible after the visit and I definitely learned my lesson, that if the Spirit isn't doing the teaching I need to stop, or if it's my companion who's talking I need to say something to end the lesson or reinvite the Spirit.
Anyway, Jose our recent convert wasn't at church last week which was the Sunday after his confirmation and it stressed us out a little bit. He showed up on Saturday for a ward family night, and let us know that he was sorry, but was unable to come to church because he hadn't been able to get ahold of any food for almost a week! He had a little bit of fruit and some water but when Sunday came he literally didn't have enough strength to travel to the church. We got him very well fed at the ward family night and he was in church yesterday. It was a very humbling experience. He's been a great example to me of obedience and diligence, because he studies the commandments and the scriptures to know everything he can about the way the Savior wants him to live, and he doesn't even dare do anything outside of what the Lord wants.
For the past week I've been working on the Christ-like Attribute of Virtue, and the two weeks before that I was working on Faith. I learned alot about the fact that Faith is a principle of action, and we really don't have Faith if we aren't acting upon it. I learned that Virtue is a great gateway to help with other attributes. If our minds are pure and centered on the gospel the Lord can mold us into what He wants us to be alot more easily. I've also gained a testimony that each of these attributes are gifts. We can try to develop them on our own but we won't get far until we humble ourselves before the Lord and always pray for his help to become what He wants us to be.
So we have a new rule in the mission that each companionship has to contact at least 200 people a week. That's not a ton but it's more than we've been doing. They also encouraged us to make the contacts short and not to try to persuade people to let us come share a message with them, because the ones that feel the Spirit from just the invitation and don't need alot of convincing are probably the ones who will end up getting baptized. It's been pretty fun contacting this way and we've already found alot of really awesome people.
I don't know remember if I told you all the story of the crazy guy on drugs that we met my first week here, but we ran into him again this week. This time his hair was combed, he wasn't sweating so much, and he wasn't on drugs. He came up to us and asked us if we could lend him a peso. I was a little relieved that he didn't recognize us but it was all a little bizarre. Anyway, hopefully he used the peso to buy some food.
I can't remember if I told you about Frosty's artistic abilities, but he's an amazing artist. He was actually fifth in the world for portraits in 1993 which is pretty sweet. Anyway, Beatrice and Marcos have this little picture of the Savior in their house that I noticed the other day that they had cut out of a magazine. It's really small and kind of worn out, but I asked if I could borrow it to make a copy. I showed it to Frosty the next day and he offered to duplicate it for me only bigger on like a regular sized paper. He said he's tattooed that picture on four or five people. Haha. I accepted his offer of coarse and told him I'd keep my eye out for anything I could give him in return. He told me not to worry about it but I'm going to try to pay him back for it somehow.
Anyway, hopefully I'll have some more happy news for you all next week, I'm sure I probably will. Thanks for all your support and I love getting all your letters and dear elders and stuff! I'm writing you all letters to send home but I have no idea when they'll end up getting there. I love you all!
Dad- That's sweet about the neighbor's cars! They sound like some pretty sweet rides. I was walking past a car inspection place the other day and they were running the cop cars through for their yearly inspections. They were checking the brakes but it was a little different than back home. They just had three or four guys squatting down and watching the tires as the driver would take off then slam on the brakes. They gave him a thumbs up so I guess that car passed. Thanks for the reminder about the Spirit. I gain a stronger testimony of that every day. They actually told us a story in the MTC about someone who interviewed some recent converts to ask them about what first got their attention with the missionaries. They all said they didn't really catch any of the first lesson, but they felt something good so they invited the Elders back to their homes. That's really the only way anyone can gain a testimony. Thanks for keeping me updated on Tanner and Fui. Tell Tan I got his dear elder if you could please, and I'll see if I can get him a letter out before he ends up leaving for his mission. I can't wait to find out where he's going. I can send the pictures at a bigger size and I'm probably going to start doing that. I can also get them on to CDs to send home once I start to run out of memory on the camera but that should be a while. Thanks for everything dad. I love you.
Mom- Yes all the pictures I've sent home are still on the memory card. I do have two of them also by the way. So your teaching a lesson about writing supportive letters to missionaries? Sounds like a great topic. For me I love it the most when the fam really tells me how their doing. Not so much the things that are happening around our family but how they've been and what they've been up to and more sincere things. I also love hearing about little kids and funny stories. I love hearing from all the aunts about the cousins and I love getting little funny experiences in the letters. Anyway that's just my opinion. You can let brother Sessions use anything from my e mails that he might want to put into the news letter thing. He started to send the news letters to me also and I like reading the missionary experience section. I got the package you sent with the young women! Thanks I loved the treats and especially that aluminum water bottle it's sweet. Let them all know I loved it please :) Thanks for letting me know about Taylor's farewell. I didn't even realize it was already time for him to leave, and Fui's almost ready to go too! Time is flying by. I'm writing some letters for all the people who send me dear elders and I'll probably just send them home to you for the ones that live close if that's ok. I'm including the picture of Ruben's baptism and I'll have the one from Hilda's and Liliana's next week. Well anyway, I love you mom. Thanks for everything and have a good week!
Denny o- Den you had tons of sleep overs this week! Lucky. That's awesome that you got to go to the bees and blaze games. That's too bad the blaze lost major time though. It sounds like you've been having a sweet time with the fam and your friends. Love you denny, thanks for your letters!
Nay- I can't wait for your letter to get here! Hopefully it will be soon. Sounds like that tournament was pretty fun even though you guys didn't have alot of success. That stinks about keish though! Any news on whether or not she'll still be able to play? I can't believe your done being a junior already. Your senior year will fly by, especially if you don't stress out about alot of things. You're going to have a blast. Well I love you Nay, sounds like you probably had a sweet memorial day. Have a good week too!
Shash- That's good that your tooth finally fell out! you'll have to let me know how much money you get from the tooth fairy. To answer your question there isn't Memorial day in Mexico, which is too bad because we always have alot of fun with the fam so these guys are missin out! Anyway, Love ya sloosh. Have a good week.
Dig- Mom and Dad let me know you were out of town. You'll have to let me know how your trip went! Love ya diggy. have a wicked sweet week!
Love you all!
Elder Dallas Robert Aguilar