I love e-mail day but it is so exhausting! 30 minutes to purge your soul via keyboard and answer everyone’s questions and try to somewhat explain what your life is and hopefully make sense too?
Did I mention the time limit? Woo! Makes me a little bit looney.
I was goin to bring my journ for help but I forgot it. Remembered everything for object lessons! Forgot the journ!
Okay our investigator from Nicaragua. Corey HE IS FROM SIUNA! (My brother is on a mission in Nicaragua and serving in a brand new area called …. SIUNA! This cannot be a coincidence!) And he agrees that Siuna is a goldmine in the middle of nowhere! How great is that?! We will call this investigator Siuna from now on.
Siuna is pretty stubborn. His family has had missionaries on and off for years. His son is 16 and just got baptized. Siuna loves the changes he’s seen in his son. Sometimes he wants to listen and read and pray and sometimes he just wants to take a nap and be grumpy. For a while he would only be taught in Spanish.
I haven’t told you yet that Sister Griffiths speaks beautiful Spanish. It used to be that everyone in our mission was called to be bilingual– and I can see why. All the time on doorsteps people tell us they’re more comfortable speaking in Spanish. “Perfecto!” she says, and just rolls right along.
I’m getting better at understanding which principles she’s teaching (in Spanish) and the bare bones of the conversation. I love it. It’s beautiful. I wish I knew how. So Siuna likes Sister Griffiths a lot. He listens to her the most. He always switches to English though to say “Hermana! Have you spoken to your brother? How is he? How is my Siuna?” He speaks perfect English and let’s be honest, I plan on him loving me and letting me teach him the rest of the gospel. We’re workin on it. He let me teach him in English last time. He speaks a deep, raspy thundering Spanish. I watch him closely and wonder if all Nicaraguans speak this way. But they must not because Ralph doesn’t. Remember Ralph from the grocery store? He speaks a squeaky, scurrying little Spanish. Love that man. So far, this is my only experience with your country out there brother.
The Cool Dude Bro’s are havin a rough time. They came to church which is great. We taught them a whole lesson on the sacrament and why it’s so vital to our spirits in hopes they would come. They’ll read and pray and meet with us but they don’t like the idea of coming to church. The younger one doesn’t like any church ever and the older one goes with his family to their church every week. So we read to them out of the scriptures, explained the differences, promised eternal blessings, bore testimony– the whole shaboom. Then we just wheeled and dealed to try to get them there. They liked the wheels and deals better than the rest. They know 2 families in our ward and wanted 2 members from each family to speak in church. Otherwise they wouldn’t come. Guess what last week was? The Primary Program! Done! 4 of their little friends spoke and they came.
Let’s pause for a second to talk about how I was a total WRECK through the whole program. An investigator next to me was handin me tissues! I just sniffled my little face off the whole time because it made me miss Bradley so bad. It’s like every little guy up there had blonde hair or chubb or a loud mouth or something that was just like him. Not to mention I was spyin on The Cool Bros across the room hopin an prayin my heart out for them to feel something– and explaining things to the investigator next to me– and making sure our lesson for Sunday School was finalized. I was an emotional ball of everything. Welcome to my whole life.
Okay, back to The Bro’s. They are opening up to us. The last time we met with them (for the sacrament lesson) there were no smirks or sarcastic comments. No sideways giggles or rolling eyes. In that way it was much more reverent, but I could tell something was up. There was still a hesitance, but not a too-cool hesitance so much as a feeling of deep concern on their part. It’s hard to explain other than to say– something was blocking them from being fully engaged. They laid out a ton of reasons why they couldn’t come to church. A ton of stipulations it would require. And eventually I just asked them “So, I’m still not really clear on what’s holding you back from coming. Is there something you haven’t talked about yet?” There was. Here’s the deal: This is hard. This is hard because if it’s true– their whole lives will change. If it’s true– it means what they’ve been taught by their parents is incomplete. Not wrong (they get that) but not the whole truth. Their parents love God and are very good people. Their family is really close and it must be hard to think that there’s something your heros don’t know. It’s hard to pray and ask God if he supports something you don’t support yet. They want an answer, but they’re scared of what it will mean. They want an answer, but they’re hesitant to act on it. The one that doesn’t go to church hasn’t prayed yet at all. He reads and tries to figure it out in his mind. But the spirit speaks in our minds and our hearts. (Thank goodness, because mine never agree on anything and only the spirit could cause something like that.) Right now he is using his own intellect to decipher the truth. Inquiring of man’s intellect is good, but it doesn’t compare to asking God. Logic in our minds is good, but there’s nothing like peace that lives in our minds and our hearts– simultaneously and from God. From the all-knowing man that created you and has made a plan for you to return to Him. You just can’t find the truth without the Holy Ghost, without asking God. This is big people. No more rolling eyes. No more jokes. So The Bro’s came to church this week. We talked with them after, read some scriptures to answer some of their concerns and had a prayer with them. It was powerful to be with these boys in their suits, praying on their knees in the chapel. Less Baller. More humble. It’s hard to explain. They still didn’t ask specifically if it was true. I wish they would have in there– I feel sure that God would have answered them. I have so much hope for these boys. There are still some key choices they need to make.
We have so many people! So many more! But I’m out of time. I love you!