Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hola Familia and Friends! Argentina CCM Week 4

Funny story, we went proselyting on Saturday. My companion and I don't really like knocking on doors, bad I know, but that is not the point. We decided to knock on a few doors, but the ones we knocked on for the most part didn't answer. Quick note: we aren't really knocking on doors it is more of clapping at gates, or ringing buzzers at gates. Anyway, finally we ring a buzzer and we can see someone through the window coming towards the door. This is the first door to answer, so we were really nervous. It was my companions turn to talk because I had rung the bell. But instead of coming to the door he goes to the window next to the door and slides it open. He isn't wearing a shirt and his hair was wet. Immediately I realize that he wasn't dressed, but my companion, Hermana Larsen, hadn't realized it yet. She just starts talking and introduced us and asked if we could share a message. The entire time I was thinking, “Oh no, oh no” and “What do I do?” But the guy said something in Spanish, and then gestured down at himself saying that he didn't have clothing on. At this point Hermana Larsen finally realizes that he wasn't dressed and that he was in fact, “Butt naked nasty.” We were embarrassed and were like, “Okay, adios.” We turned and walked away. It was just our luck that the first person to answer their door was butt naked.
Another guy we talked to, and let me just tell you that we didn't have much of any real success, mostly it didn't go so well. But there was this one guy who was excited to talk to us and we were kind of flustered with everything that had been going on we were not prepared to actually have someone that wanted to talk to us about religion, and not about us being from the United States that we forgot everything. We explained who we were, gave him a pamphlet about the gospel and that was it. We forgot to ask for contact information. We didn't offer him a Book of Mormon. We didn't share too much, just short testimonies, and called it good. I know that testimonies are really good to share, but we could have done more. Hopefully he will take the initiative to find out more about the church. Maybe other missionaries will find him.
So my companion and I say hola or hello to everyone we see on the street. We asked our teacher if we had bad accents because every time we said como esta to people on the streets they never answer. We were wondering if they just couldn't understand us. So when we asked our instructor, Hermano Cantron, if we had bad accents he just laughed and laughed. I think that meant yes.
Another story worth telling is one about a man in a car. We say hola to everyone. Whether they are biking, walking, playing, working, driving, whatever. We said it to a man who was driving past us. We smile big because we are excited about the gospel. He stared at us for a moment, shocked I think, before smiling and waving back. We thought, that was nice, he waved back and kept walking. When we turned the corner his car pulls up beside us and he starts talking to us. I think he thought we wanted something because we waved. We then explained that we were missionaries of the LDS church. We then explained a little about the Book of Mormon and offered him a copy. He said that he didn't have time to read it and started asking us about the US. He asked where we were staying, and a bunch of other dumb questions. We kept trying to bring it back to the gospel, but with our limited Spanish it was kind of hard. So we just offered him a pamphlet and he said he would read it. We then asked him for the directions to his house so other missionaries could come visit him and he said yes. I was so excited, but apparently he didn't understand us because he wanted our address, and phone number. When we told him we didn't have a phone, he basically called us liars. At this point both Hermana Larsen and I were like this is pointless, we need to leave. Every time we would go to leave he would move his car with us and keep asking us questions. He asked if we needed a ride anywhere, and where we lived. He kept asking if we wanted to come and eat at his place. The more I think about it the more I think that it could have ended badly. Finally, after wasting 30 minutes on him we were able to leave. I saw it as wasted time because I don't think he wanted anything to do with the church, he was just a creeper or something. At the time I didn't feel uneasy, and I think the spirit would have told us to get out of there fast if something bad was really going to happen.
Our schedule must really be from revelation . It seems that every time we mess up with something in our investigator progressive we get a lesson that is written on the schedule on how to fix said problem. Kinda cool. On Sunday we the North Americans and a few others got to sing. There were six musical numbers. The North Americans did three of them. There were a lot more Latinos than North Americans. We didn't sound so great. I felt kinda bad.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dear family and friends                                                                        Argentina CCM, Week 3

            So, this week the North Americans had the opportunity to go proselyting. We will have this opportunity every Saturday for the rest of the time in the CCM. We don't have a trainer with us. They gave us a map of the area, a few copies of the Book of Mormon, some pamphlets, a few pass along cards, and dropped us off somewhere and said for us to get some contacts. The first hour was bad. I didn't realize how many people in Argentina were deaf. At first we just said hello to people as they passed. They would put their head down, and sometimes glance our way to see if we were still looking. Hermana Larson and I had no clue what we were doing. But after about an hour we decided to say another prayer. Let me tell you, I love praying in Spanish. Because I don't know very many words, I have to think about every little thing I am going to say, I feel closer to our Heavenly Father. It is positively wonderful. Anyway, we said a prayer and walked around the corner. We felt impressed to go to the park and as we turned the corner, we could see a mother and her two children at the end of the street. We decided that we would offer her help with the big bag she was struggling to carry. As we approached, she looked up and a huge smile spread across  her face.  Her daughter, who was about 6 years old, started running towards us shouting, “Missionarios! Missionarios!” over and over again. It was a great experience. From what I could gather, they didn't have the missionaries coming anymore, but had been looking for them to come back.  We took down their information to give to the full time missionaries. They were so excited. After, we walked away, feeling like we could conquer the world. Right after we talked to the lady and her daughter we saw another lady having a hard time carrying her bags. I started to cross the street to ask her if she needed any help. As soon as she saw me, and I called to her asking if I could help her she shouted, "No! No! No!" and ran away. It was really kind of funny. We still didn't have much luck after that, but we were bolder when talking to people, even though a lot of them ignored us. Some of the people just wanted to talk to North Americans and were not interested in hearing a message. We also handed out a few pass along cards. All things considered,  the whole experience was amazing!
          Here is a thought for today. A family is always riding on a bike with many seats, Each person has their own seat. The goal is not to make it home to our Heavenly Father with any empty seats. On these bikes there are different types of people. There are the people that are pedaling, and working for the family to make it. There are the people that are just coasting, sitting back and relaxing, and then there are the people that are putting on the breaks. (Can I just say that is really rude)? Some advice for this trip with any of the types of people is  # 1. Praise! When our Heavenly Father introduced his Son he didn't say, "This is my Son, hear him." He said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." What better example can there be than Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. #2 Accept one another! The world is looking at the outward appearance, The Lord looks on the heart. Which is exactly what we should do as a family, or just as a person.
          When I go out to share the gospel I am just trying to make sure that no family goes home with empty seats. That every family will be together for eternity. That is why I came on a mission. I came to learn a new language, the language of the spirit. Everything that the Lord touches lives. As a missionary, called or otherwise, we are the hands, the eyes, and the feet of the Lord. We are fishers of men. For every person that we try to help, their family members on the other side of the veil are also helping.
          The MTC is hard! I worry that I won't be able to learn the language, and I worry too much. We have to do lessons in Spanish, like teach actual lessons to pretend investigators. My companion and I just don't do well. Our teacher told us it is because we think about words and translations too much. While I am frustrated with how much I don't know, how much I do know is amazing! All I do is sit at a desk all day long, except for at 2:30 when we have to go sweat for an hour, (which isn't that hard because of how hot it is here). I get to play volleyball for an hour everyday.
               I miss all of you and sometimes it gets really hard. If I think about it too hard I start crying. Every time I share a story about you all with my companion I start crying. On to lighter things. The other day I gave one of my teachers, Hermano Catron  a laffy taffy.  He squealed like a little girl, jumped up and down and spun in a circle while holding the laffy taffy close to his heart. And it is even funnier because he looks just like our cousin Aaron, only with one of those One Direction haircuts. His voice went so high, it was so great. I love you all lots. Spanish words to learn - chiste, which means jokes or just kidding. Estabe bromeando, which means just kidding and fubeca, which is Portuguese for disobedient. A big thing to say here at the CCM.

Love, Raelee