Monday, July 20, 2015

Ups and Downs

Dear family,

This week was really up and down for us. I have to be honest it definitely wasnt one of the funnest weeks of my mission. It started out really bad... Tuesday started off normal. We had a good lesson with a less active at 11, then our lunch cancelled so we went and visited an investigator. While we were waiting for her to come back with her Book of Mormon, I was looking out the window and saw a little boy (7yrs) get hit by a car. Everyone started screaming and running to help. Thats the thing that sucks about Panamá, there arent ambulances or even a number for emergencies... if you dont have a way to get to the hospital, you die. "Luckily" the car that hit him was a taxi. His grandma and him got in and headed to the hospital. In the moment he was completely unrespoinsive, but for everyone to know, we passed by the next day and he is going to be okay.

After that we were feeling a little down, so we decided to go visit our super positive investigator Roysel who was going to be baptized this last week... in that lesson, I dont know how it came up, but he confessed to us that he has some major problems with the law of chastity... and that he cant be baptized. So, that sucked. Granted, we are working with him and we have put a new baptism date and he is improving immensely. But, it did suck. After that we decided to go visit our most positive family that we were teaching... can yall guess what happened? We sat down, said the prayer, and then the hermana looked at us and told us that she wasnt going to change churches and neither was her husband and that they were sorry for making us think that they would... 

After that we had dinner... dinner was pretty good.

Then we decided we werent going to try our chances with anymore investigators that day... we were a little scared, so we went and visited a less active family... right, because, if something goes wrong, the worst thing that happens is they remain less active... thats not great, but we couldnt visit anyone else... we were just about to throw in the towell for the day. Anyways, we went and visited this less active family and we started talking about the Sacrament. I asked the hermano what taking the Sacrament means to him and he told me, "Voy a decir la verdad. Yo no sé que es la santa cena porque yo no he asistido en mucho tiempo porque no puedo leer." It turns out a member offended him asking him to read a scripture and thats why he doesnt go. ---side note: I dont believe in that. People have given me every excuse in the book about why they dont go to church. "So and so offended me" "I am working" "I dont have time" etc. etc. etc. It is all lies. I have come to the conclusion that people who dont go to church dont go for ONE REASON. They dont understand the Atonement. --- we talked to him for a little bit, but then he just said, "esta bien si vienen un otro día y podemos hablar sobre este con mas calma? pueden venir viernes para la cena?" We agreed. Obviously I am about to skip to Friday to finish my story... So we showed up for dinner on Friday expecting to sit down, have a nice meal, and talk. We get there and he is watching sports. They invite us in and we try to chit-chat with him, but he kept watching sports. When dinner was ready we waiting for everyone to start filing into the kitchen and no one moved... then they told us, "allí esta hermanas. Comen" what? so we walk into the kitchen and there are only two plates.. we sit down and everybody leaves... NOT JOKING. THEY JUST LEFT US THERE. ALONE. Afterwards we went and shared a message with them and waited for them to MAYBE say something about the topic that was supposed to be discussed, but they said nothing. So, we said a prayer and left... worst meal I have ever had, and the food was pretty dang good. 

Well, if you cant tell, our week was a little hard. That was our days... they seriously were all like that until Thursday... We have this member named Patricia Rios. She is amazing and her family is like my family here in the mission. I love her so much! I cant wait for you guys to meat her... even though you wont be able to understand anything she says, which is a real bummer because the stories she tells are one in a million amazing. Anyways, I am getting off topic. Her family makes tortillas out of corn for a business. They are really good and definitely dont exist in the USA. Thursday we passed by her house for a minute and she told us she was headed out to make tortillas at her parents house... so we left to go do weekly planning... we walked into the house and we were just feeling so down and a little depressed because nothing had worked out in the week, so we called our DL and asked permission to leave the area to do a service project, then we called hermana Paty and asked her if we could help make tortillas.. That was the funnest thing we have done in a long time. We had to knead corn into dough and it was so hard. We were dirty, sweating, our arms hurt, and it was just so great. I think it was needed because we were able to just get rid of a ton of stress and we both felt a lot better afterwards. 

Our first and only good day this week was Saturday. A member gave us the reference of one of her best friends and all last transfer we were working with the member so that she could prepare her friend to recieve the missionaries. Two weeks ago she said that her friend excepted and that we could go visit her. We went with the member the first time and it was really good. We talked about our expectations and she excepted our purpose. We had an appointment with her on Saturday, but we got there about 15 minutes early and decided to go try to contact this less active member that lives close by (we have been trying to find her for almost 3 months now and she is never home), we got to the house and they WERE HOME! Before we even introduced ourselves she invited us in and we talked for a couple minutes. She said her son had gotten injured and long story short she had decided that it was time for her to go to church again, and they we showed up! The best part, they actually did go to church! All of them! and her husband and daughter arent members. It was so awesome! Our lesson with the member´s friend (Ines) went really well too. She excepted the Restoration quite easily but has the hang up that she needs to learn everything before she accepts a baptism date. 

All in all our week was... I dont really know. This week is transfer week so we will see what happens, but I dont want to get transfered. I hope I dont get transfered. 

At one point during the week my companion told me that this was really hard, and I knew she was feeling even lower than I was, so I told her to ask me if I was happy. She laughed and we kept walking. Then I told her that I was serious and to ask me if I was happy. "Are you happy?" "yes." "why?" then I told her about a talk from Elder Holland. He was talking to mission presidents saying that missionaries were going to ask, "why is it so hard" and that his conclusion is because it was never easy for Him. I told her that when we do our best, but are still rejected, we should be proud because we are standing side by side with the best missionary that has ever lived. I understand why it needs to be hard. We have to feel a portion of what He felt. We have to experience it, there is no other way. I am proud to be a missionary. I know that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I dont have regrets. This week was really hard, and I have prayed every night thanking God that I was able to experience every moment of it. We need to understand, to the best of our ability, what the Savior went through. Its a price I am more than willing to pay.

I love you all and hope that your week will be wonderful! You are in my prayers!

Love, Hermana Eardley

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