What a wonderful week this has been! Elder Rodriguez and I hit a groove. We are working really well together. We did have a little problem we had to talk over because we’re both impatient. He would get impatient with me in lessons because I can’t say what I want to say half the time or I speak slowly, and I could tell he got impatient, so I got impatient, and then we would both be kinda grumpy at each other. So we talked about it and and now we are a well oiled machine.
Our biggest trial here is getting investigators to church because the chapel is 25 minutes away by bus. We have this one investigator named Maria and she has gone 2 times now and we are really excited. When we asked her if she was going to church on sunday (the first week) she said “well yeah of course! I’m learning about this church and I don’t think there’s anywhere better to learn than the church house”. It was a very refreshing attitude about church attendance! She is just fantastic. She has received an answer about the truth of the Book of Mormon already and now when we visit her she answers the door and says “Oh come in elders, you guys sit over here and now….’what are you going to teach me today!?’” She’s just golden.
Also the other day we had my favorite encounter with a boracho by far. This dude was the drunkest person I have ever seen in my life. I was seriously suprised he was able to walk. He was “walking” down the road towards us and as we walked by him, he reached out with both arms towards us, and he had kindly offered two red roses for us. We weren’t able to grab them at first because when he stretched out his arms, he almost fell over sideways. Elder Rodriguez and I both grabbed our roses, and Elder Rodriguez was like “Why do you drink!? God doesn’t want you to drink” and he said “Porque me gusta” (Because I like it) and we talked to him for a minute about how his wife doesn’t like him drinking and such. Then all of a sudden Elder Rodriguez”s eyes got super wide and he started smiling as he looked into the distance over the drunk guys shoulder. Both the drunk guy and I were confused. Then Elder Rodriguez pointed and said “AN ANGEL! LOOK!” It took the drunk guy about 5 or 6 seconds to turn around, and while he was doing so, Elder Rodriguez motioned to me to get on the other side of him and be “the angel”. The drunk guy was very surprised to see an angel standing behind him (especially when Elder Rodriguez made apparition sound effects), and then in my most angelic voice possible I said “Thou shalt not drink, Miguel”. We were hoping for a funnier reaction from this boracho, but all he said was “Okay angel, gracias”. Disappointed, we bid him farewell. But we are going to try the same thing with different drunk people.
In church on sunday Elder Rodriguez got called, the morning of, to give a talk. I gave him my “Spirit of Revelation” talk by David A Bednar to use. He actually took it up with him and translated it on the pulpit for everyone!! Not the whole thing, just important quotes, but I was sincerely impressed. I thought it was a fantastic talk. Then, in the second hour, we had all of our recent converts and investigators in class, and the class finished about 10 minutes early. I took out my Book of Mormon and was studying for about 5 minutes when Hermana Dora (one of the recent converts) said something along the lines of “Hey how about we have Elder Roberts get up and share his thoughts on the lesson!” Something like that…I didn’t understand exactly what she said, but I understood she was telling me to get up in front of everyone. The lesson had been on obedience. And, well I said “OKAY!” and it was probably a little too enthusiastic because everyone laughed at me, and I looked around at everyone for a second. I thought to myself, “Lord please help me, I actually have something good to share. Please help them understand what I’m about to say”. I opened to D&C 82:10 (I would’ve much preferred D&C 130:20-21 but that would be incredibly difficult to explain in Spanish because of all the big words) but I read that scripture, and just started talking. I talked about obedience and the importance of exact obedience because theres no such thing as half-blessings for half-obedience. Then I said that “90% obedience brings blessings, and 100% obedience brings miracles” (I love that quote) and then I talked about how there are already blessings waiting for us, and we get them automatically when we are obedient. Afterwards I realized I had talked a lot faster than normal (but didn’t think anything of it…I was worried they didn’t understand me, to be honest), and then Hermana Dora came up to me afterwards and thanked me for what I said and said that I had given that spiritual thought in “perfect Spanish”. I then said thanks and then…said something else…I forgot what I said but when I said it I knew I said it incorrectly in Spanish. That strengthened my testimony a lot of how we are qualified to our callings. The Lord will provide the means for us to do what we need to do in our callings. I am not fluent in spanish. And I wont be fluent in Spanish for a while. But I know that when I need to be, my words will be put together the way they need to be, so I can say what I need to say.
The son from the family we baptized received the priesthood this past sunday. The dad received it the week before and he was able to ordain his son to the office of deacon. It was incredible to hear him tear up during the blessing. And then in church he was up on the sacrament table and I pointed at him and give him the biggest smile and wink and he returned the favor with a thumbs up and an even bigger smile than mine. That family….I just cant wait to go to the temple with them in a year. They are so strong and powerful. We are performing the work of salvation. Baptisms are cool, but there are 6 ordinances we have to take care of. Baptism is only one. I’m so grateful for our mission president and his wisdom in having us focus on the work of salvation, not just baptisms.
There’s this guy in our ward who plays the piano on Sundays…he cracks me up. He’s an intelligent dude, and he has a lot of talents. He has an incredibly strong testimony, but he is 100% tone deaf. I had already noticed before this past sunday that he wasn’t the best piano player in the world (his songs are completely off key) but I just figured that was lack of practice. In Priesthood meeting he gave us a note for us to start off of for the opening hymn…and it was just sooo so so far from what it should’ve been. Elder Rodriguez and I lost control and busted up laughing. Bless his heart. He has such a love for music, but he is legitimately tone deaf. Every sunday I look forward to the hymns because they make me so happy and so sad at the same time. Despite the piano I try so hard to sing the song in tune. Its a fun game I play. Anyway, its been a great week to say the least!! I love you all and miss you! Sigan firmes en la fe!