I love today already. It's a sunny 61 degrees outside and there's no humidity yet. Sooooo it's perfect. We are on bikes this week too so it's pretty nice because we don't have to ride through snow (because there is none). Sorry I didn't write yesterday. The library was closed because of President's Day or something. I don't really keep track of holidays out here so we never know when stuff is going to be closed haha.
This week was pretty stinking awesome. We had a zone conference so it was like 90 missionaries in a chapel and we had a member of the seventy (Elder Martino) speak to us. A lot. He told us a lot of awesome stuff but I'm just going to touch on the highlights. There's a few so here we go.
1) "If it is to be, it is up to me." 10 words 2 letters each with an awesome message. Elder Martino was talking about this in terms of marriages/companionships (because missionary companionships are basically unwanted marriages). Anyways, he was saying that basically if we want to improve relationships we need to initiate things to make them better. We can't expect our companion/spouse to just wake up one day and decide that they want to be best friends with us. We really need to work to provide service or other acts of love to make those changes. Really short message and really easy to remember. "If it is to be, it is up to me."
2) In terms of Jesus Christ and missionary work. Christ took upon him the sins/pains of the world in the Garden of Gethsemane (accomplished the Atonement). Christ was also the son of God and had the power/authority to make anything happen in his life. So what did he do after he suffered in the Garden? Did he go take a break on a nice tropical island? No, he voluntarily surrendered himself to the people of Jerusalem and suffered/died on the cross. He was all in (if you will). In the words of Elder Martino "The Atonement's through, I've got work to do". As member missionaries we really need to be "all in". We can't share the gospel with one friend and then say "I shared the Gospel with a friend, now I get to take a break for a month before I try again". We should always be trying our very hardest to share the gospel with everyone. Don't we want our friends to receive the same blessings that we have received from the Gospel? If you do then what are you waiting for? Get out there and share it.
3) Love people first, ask questions later. People don't care what you are doing for them unless you do it with love. Make sure that the people you are serving know that you are serving them because you love them, not out of a responsibility that you have. As a missionary it's a hard thing to do, to love people as soon as you meet them and to have them feel the love that you have for them. But that's really what we need to do. If we are going to help people to become better in their lives then we need to show them that we are teaching them about the gospel because we love them and want the best for them. So love the people you serve before you ask them to change their lives. Without feeling love, they aren't going to listen to you anyways.
Ok I'm going to tell you fun stuff for the week. We were talking to a less active on her doorstep while she was cooking dinner for her family. I didn't really understand why she was cooking outside on a 30 degree day. So she brought out some chilis and my companion told me "Elder, people have died from those". Well duh, they're chilis so they are probably really spicy right? So she started cooking them and then I realized that Elder Sanchez had backed up a bit, my throat kinda hurt a little, and then I realized I couldnt really breath very well haha. Sooooooo I guess the smoke from chilis de arbol kinda makes it so that you can't breath super well and that's why people have died from them. So definitely don't cook those inside and make sure that you aren't breathing in the smoke from them haha.
Yesterday a crazy thing happened. I didn't want to eat food. I guess that's what happens after you eat a big meal of Mole for lunch at 4:00pm and then a Sister in the ward feeds you a big dinner of chicken and rice at 6:00pm followed by a dessert from a family you are teaching at 7:00pm. I can't decide whether I want for experiences like that or not because on the one hand we get lots of delicious food, on the other hand you stomach hurts a bit from eating it all. That's another problem I've found with Hispanics too. They dish up your food for you and always dish a lot and then you MUST eat it. I do have to admit though, I pushed a little (about a quarter) of my food onto another Elder's plate (He had eaten just as much as me and was just as full) when he went into the kitchen to get water. So he had to eat even more food so I kinda feel bad for him. He's a good sport though and ate it all without saying a word. Good sport huh?
Congratulations Erin on you new baby :D I'm pretty bummed that I can't be there to see her but mom sent me some pictures and she looks pretty cute despite being a newborn haha. Anways, send me some more pictures of her over the next few weeks if you would :)
Hope you guys (and girls) are all doing well at home. Have an awesome week :D