Monday, January 6, 2014

So this is the New Year, and I don´t feel any different‏

   ¡Que Ondas!
Well 2014 is here in full swing, but really nothing much has changed. I sang the Death Cab for Cutie ¨New years Day¨song on New Years, as well as the U2 song of the same name. Nothing much happened here on New Years other than a whole bunch of drunk guys walking around, and us missionaries saying hi and then walking way faster to get away from them.  Most people went to the beach or to more touristy spots so we had to go searching for anyone who was still in their house. We ended up having a couple good lessons that day. There is this one guy we started teaching that has really left an impression on me. His name is D. A., and he met the missionaries around 12 years ago. He has one of the craziest lives that I have ever heard of. He is from Guatemala, and lived there for most of his life. He knows the church is true, and knows all of the stuff. But due to participation in the Guatemalan Civil war in the early 90´s has been unable to get baptized. Now over thirty years later he is suffering from all kinds of mental problems and disorders. He has to take pills to fall asleep and sedate himself or he won´t ever sleep. Basically he lives in what I would call darkness. Sometimes when we are teaching him I have no idea what to say. What can I say to erase the horrors or years past. It has definitely got me thinking about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. There are so much suffering, and hardship, it's hard to imagine what it would be like to feel all of that. It was totally different telling someone that through repentance they can be cleansed from sin, when what they have done is so serious. But I know that Christ suffered for all sins, the big ones as well as the small. We are hoping to have an interview set up with President, and send his case to the First Presidency for approval. We´ll see how it goes. 
       We are also teaching Ernest Torres Jr. He hans't been able to come to church. But hopefully this week he will be able to. We invited him to be baptized on February 8th, he said it was way too soon. But he wants to get baptized. We hope that he will realize that its the right step as he goes to church, and continues to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. But he really has sincere desires to change. 
     This Sunday Sister Vi. finally came to church for the whole three hours. It has been a real struggle, but she finally came for the whole block. She suffers from bipolarity and schizophrenia, which has made things more complicated. But she had an interview to the temple to go do baptisms for the dead, and the bishop said that if she would start going to church, she could go. It will be a big step towards getting them sealed in February or March. But she is definatly making progress. 
     C. and her husband decided that they want to get married, but they also decided that they want to wait till July 7th to do it. I won´t be there for sure but as long as it happens I´ll be happy. We will have to put them on the back burner then because thats way too long of a time to be passing by several times a week. We are going to try and bring the bishop over to talk to them, maybe this upcoming week. We´ll see what happens. Working with families is the best and worst. It makes things so much more complicated, but if you succeed it is so worth it. We are also working with the V. family but they are being super lazy right now so I think we are going to give them a break. Hopefully in a week or two they will decide that they actually want to do something. 
     We had an awesome lesson this week with a less active family, the T. family. We taught them The Restoration and my companion and I taught really well together. We have been struggling with sharing time well. Elder C. is somewhat uncomfortable with his Spanish, and I don´t like to have too many long, awkward pauses. But this lesson we were both on the same page and I don´t know where he pulled it out from, but his spanish was spot on. We were both super excited after that lesson. We are going to keep looking for new people and encouraging the people that we do have. With changes in two weeks I have no idea what will happen. But I really hope that I stay here in Lourdes at least one more change. I have made some really good friends here, and love the area and ward. Our district is way cool, and we make things fun. 
    On a sad note we went to the ruins today to find out that they are closed mondays and tuesdays. So that was kinda frustrating. Looks like I will have to pass by on my trip back here someday. We are however going to play soccer next week on a full size turf field, which should be way cool. Our bishop´s wife makes clothing, and the Elders in our ward are paying her to make some soccer jerseys for us. I will send you a picture of them once they are done, they are going to be sick. 
      Oh, in other news, on new years day we went over the the G. family's house with the four elders in our ward and helped make chicken and duck tamales. The best part was that we were assigned to butcher the chickens and ducks. It was another good reminder of the phrase ¨running around like a chicken with its head cut off¨ I would like to make an additon to that phrase ¨running around like a duck with its head cut off¨mostly because they go for a lot longer. I will send pictures for sure. The chicken tamales were way good, didn´t manage to get my hands on any duck ones. They are made with banana leaves, not corn husks. but the principle is the same. Well thats mostly whats been going on over here. 
     Hope the reality of going back to work and school doesn´t hurt too bad, its just an inevitable part of life. Just think spring break is only like two months away! Stay golden, I'll talk to you all soon!
Elder Schriever