Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Menos Activos

On the way to the ward mission leader's house.
He is so funny.  He likes taking pictures every few min.
This is in front of our local supermarket. This is the central
part of my area.  By central I mean the ONLY part of my area with
streets like the one behind us.
We don't have a can opener. I bought these peaches forever ago and finally
this week I had enough, I was going to eat them...I may have cut myself
in the process but they were way good. 
CARNE! We had lunch with our ward mission leader and it was raining
so hard that's why I am standing.  Notice the Elders got to sit.
All we had was different types of meat and this is why I am getting fat.

One of the meals Hermana Aguilar cooked for me this week.
She asked me if I wanted to try something new, but she wouldn't
say what it was...half way through she said, "Do you like gizzards?"
I didn't even know what that was but after she explained I did.
But honestly it was way good.

It is really different getting a new companion. You are so used to the old one, you have routines, you have learned what they like and don’t like, but then you have to start all over with someone completely different. Hermana Aguilar is very, very, very different from Hermana Escobar in lots of good ways. She is pushy, she makes me do a lot of things. At first it just seemed like she was lazy but she makes me do them because she knows it’s the only way for me to learn. I still haven’t spoken any English. We made a goal together. Well it’s not hard when we are alone because she doesn’t speak English. It’s when we are with the elders, they spoke English to me but I didn’t do it. I think I said a word or two but that’s it. One of my big fears is speaking in front of other missionaries because they have been where I am and now they aren’t there anymore. They can speak Spanish. When you talk with natives they just think its sweet when you mess up. At least you’re trying their language. I tried to explain this to Hermana Aguilar, she told me it’s just an excuse to speak English. So I tried really hard and I did it. It was scary and I felt way, way self-conscious and shy. I know these are things I have never struggled with before but here on this mission I have become really shy. Hermana Aguilar is helping me with that. She just won’t say anything in a lesson until I start. It’s really hard, but I am learning to rely on the spirt so much. She really is so great and we get along really well. Like I was saying it’s just new and we are still growing accustomed to each other. 
This was the week of many menos activos (less active) members. We have been working super hard to first off find the menos activos and second make sure they aren’t less active anymore! We had a little meeting with one of the members of the rama presidency and the relief society president (they are married and both ex-missionaries super capos). He told me where all the people lived in our area which was very stressful for me. It consisted of them saying you know this road next to the mango tree where there used to be a school or the older rama used to meet. First off I had to understand the Spanish and then remember our area and lots of names and streets and oh man it was really stressful. Basically I went to bed thinking how am I ever going to remember all that, mucho oración (much prayer). I knew where 11 families lived before this week. This week I now know 18!! This is huge because lots of them have family that isn’t baptized and neighbors and friends!!!! I am really stoked about all this, if you can’t tell. Honestly it was such a milagro (miracle) to find the houses. We would be walking and asking and asking if anyone knew the member and literally every person would say they had lived here forever and they had never heard that name. Then all of a sudden I would say or my comp let’s go to this house and sure enough they lived there. Literally this happened with every person. It was such a testimony to me about receiving revelation because it wasn’t like I heard a voice saying go to the green house more like the opposite. I would think, ugh, I am sick of this. I don’t want to ask here and then something inside me would push that thought away and always it was the house just after I had the thought of giving up. Satan wants us to give up just when we are so close to what we need. I don’t know if you have ever seen the picture of a man digging for diamonds and you can see the diamonds are literally one pick at the mountain away but he has already come so far and in the picture he is walking away. I feel like this is how lots of our goals are. We try and we try and when it feels like we aren’t achieving anything we give up right on the brink of finding the answer or achieving our goal. I know that if we keep pushing and remember our loving Savior, we have a dvd we got from the mission and there is a talk by Holland and Eyring that just hits home, it also pumps you up so much for missionary work. Eyring says whenever he feels he has fulfilled his duty, when his body cries for rest. When he thinks he has done all he can, he remembers this rallying cry, Remember Him. The Savior had fulfilled his earthly ministry and entered the spirit world determined to continue his work, he didn’t rest he served. This has helped me so much. No matter how much we serve we are always in debt, we are servants, we are disciples of Christ. We represent him. The mission is not easy, but Holland says that Salvation is not a cheap experience, it requires something of our soul.
This week was not easy for me. I found lots of people, I saw milagros, but it was not a simple task. It required a lot of my soul and there were lots of moments where I wanted to quit, where I had felt I had done enough. I wish I could say in every single of these moments I pushed on with perfect determination, but we are all imperfect. Luckily we have the atonement. One of my new favorite quotes is “the one who requires so much of you is the same one who made it possible for you to accomplish all that is required”. I know that is true. As long as we push forward with a steadfastness in Christ, we won’t give up on the brink of achievement. I am so grateful for this time of service and especially this change. I am learning so much! I love you guys and I hope that my little message helps you this week when you feel too tried to be nice or everything seems to be going wrong. Remember him. 
Con todo mi corazón, (with all of my heart)
Hermana Ball

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