Monday, March 17, 2014
If you read this blog consistently and don't write me at all, DO IT! I would love to hear from all of you.
We are now up to 10 investigators, which is great, but they aren't progressing like they need to be. There are a few, however, that have really made a large impact on me during our discussions this week. I'll give a little information about of few of them.
First, we met with Juan. He is a younger father of two, but his kids have been separated from him for one reason or another, and are living in Idaho. He lived in Idaho a few ago as well until he had his accident that caused him to move down here with family to take care of him. He was involved in a car accident where the other driver ran the red light and t-boned him. Luckily, he didn't die, but he is now paralyzed from the chest down. As he was describing his feelings to us, he kept including God in his thoughts and feelings. He has such an amazing testimony and knows there is more in life than what most people think. That is what got him involved with missionaries.
Another woman we met with this week has had her own problems. Her name is Lizet. She is a very young mother of 2. The experiences she has had are so amazing as well. Through God, she has been able to fight her difficulties and, the same as Juan, see that there is more in life than what she thought before. Unfortunately, she has family that is against us, and because of that, she doesn't want to follow through with anything. They believe the things we teach, but have the same problem as many. They don't want to change their drinking and smoking habits. That is somewhat understandable to me, but it is sad to see them miss so many promised blessings through something that only gives them small amounts of pleasure. Oh well, I know that one day, they will desire to change.
There is a man named Jorge who LOVES to fight us about the Bible. He doesn't really know enough to fight it in my opinion, because every question he had about a scripture that 'didn't exist', we found and explained to him. During one of these 'argumentative lessons', he stopped and looked at me for a second and said, "Te voy a decir algo. Tu eres un buen ejemplo de Cristo. Eres una persona llena del Espiritu y eres muy humilde. Te quiero mucho!". That was hecka weird at first, but then I realized he was being serious. It was incredible to see this man go from completely hot headed to calm and spiritual. I don't know what I or my companion might have done to cool him down, but the change was amazing.
We were able to participate in our Zone Conference during this past week. Our Mission President came with his wife and addressed us, giving trainings, discussions, and talks. It was great. As a zone, we sang a Tongan hymn, which turned out really cool as well. The spirit when missionaries are all singing is great! Unlike anything else.
We have been eating nothing but grapefruit, lemons, and oranges the last few days. That is the beauty of serving in AZ. Citrus everywhere! We spent a long time on Saturday at a service project which included us picking a ton of fruit! Real life Fruit Ninja has been pretty sick as well! ;)
Have a good week!
This week has really helped us to see the miracles that God puts in our lives.
After a great dinner with Bob and Ginger Newell, (one of my Dad's mission comps and his wife), we had an great Family Home Evening with several recent converts and a member family. It was such a powerful message that was shared and the spirit was felt so strong.
On Tuesday, we got to feel more of the amazing spirit as we attended the Mesa Temple as a zone. It was one of the most spiritual sessions I have attended. As one of our strong members was helping us with some visits, he told me that his son who is serving in California right now, sent him an email asking if he knew an Elder Pilkington. That was extremely surprising to them, as it is not a common name.
Throughout the week, we have really built strong relationships with the people, and gotten to understand them better, the same they have with us.
I had a sweet exchange with Elder Lindeman from South Jordan, UT. Although he is an English missionary and doesn't know Spanish, it was great to have his awesome spirit with me. He really helped me focus on what the purpose as a missionary is. Awesome spirit and awesome missionary. We were able to give a blessing to an older woman who has been struggling recently. As I closed this particular blessing, she, being full of the spirit and crying, thanked us for always bringing the spirit of Christ with us.
We had the majority of our appointments cancel during the week, but the ones we did have were full of the spirit and truth that the gospel brings. I encourage all who aren't members or who have been away from the church, for different reasons, to come back. You are missing so many blessings and even though you may already have happiness and peace in your lives, you can have even more.
We taught various lessons this week with our new investigators, now 8. If you were to ask me last week about the possibility of having 8 investigators, I would have told you a low percentile. My faith was obviously lacking and I have now realized that. As I discussed my frustration with our Mission President, President Sweeney, he explained to me that we are doing what we need to be doing and that it isn't just about whether we are doing things right, but also the time frame and desire of the Lord. This is absolutely true in EVERYTHING we do in life. The Lord is in charge of it all and we need to put 100% trust and love in Him in order to be successful.
Bloopers of the week:
1. As I was 'dismounting' my bike earlier this week, my pants caught the seat and completely ripped. I had to walk home with my underwear showing.
2. When we got transferred, our mail was being sent to the wrong box, which we didn't have a key for. We just barely realized it, and found all the mail. If you have sent me mail in the last 2 or 3 weeks and I haven't responded yet, this is why. I'll get on that today.
I know the Lord lives and guides us in all we do. He gives us tests and challenges to go through in life, with the intention of helping us in the long run and making us stronger. No matter how bad a problem may be, DON'T GIVE UP and especially, DON'T try to get through it alone. God wants to help, you just have to let him.
I love you and thank you so much for the support I have from family and friends. I can truly feel the prayers of the people.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Man same slow week. This white washing thing is a lot harder than we both thought.
We still don't have investigators, but we spend all day everyday looking for and talking to everyone we see. They are all either members already or white people that don't know spanish. The main way we have been able to talk to people so far is through the members. They have given great referrals!
On Monday, we were driving through the reservation and we saw 3 massive Bald Eagles at the top of a tree. That was pretty cool. Also, there are lots of wild dogs on the res., and we got chased by a couple going over 30 mph. Then we saw a larger native brother on his bike getting chased by like 4 of them. His face was priceless. We probably should've helped him, but I think he got away ok.....
We have had several decent lessons with some less actives, but the spirit was missing in most of those. These are people that don't have much desire to return and honestly don't want us there, so it's tough to feel much spirit if there is contention.
The majority of our week was walking, (my bike tire popped, again), to appointments that ended up getting cancelled, and getting poured on in the rain. Two days getting soaking wet from the rain this week. When it rains in AZ, it rains. The flash floods that people talk about are real.
The Temple dedication for the Gilbert Temple was sweet! Awesome experience to partake in.
My half birthday passed on Saturday, (if anyone cares), and my 6 month mark hits tomorrow. The time has flown by. I don't even realize that I am one fourth of the way done with my mission.
Again, I want to thank you all for the support that you give me. It really helps to strenghthen me and my companions as well.
Never stray from the Gospel of Christ. 1 Nephi 22:31 has been shared by me a lot this week. It is absolutely true. We don't have much that we need to do in order to enter the Kingdom of Our Father.