Monday, January 9, 2017

A hot dog from a gas station

Hi everyone!

This was a crazy week! I made a list of things in my agenda to write about, so I'll just run through the points.

1. Super, super, cold and windy here. It got down to 61 degrees! I know for everyone at home that probably doesn't seem very cold for January- but we're dying.

2. Our house has rain gutters out back, but the rain gutters here are much different from at home. It's literally just a piece of sheet metal that they hammer into a square shape and nail to the house. Ours came loose recently, and with all the wind it has been banging around out there constantly. It's pretty annoying. Kind of hard to sleep.

3. Thursday night I bought a hot dog from a gas station (looking back that probably wasn't the smartest).  Friday morning starting at 8.30 we had a meeting at President's house. I got super sick. Diarrhea like nothin' you ain't never seen before. I'm pretty sure I used a roll of toilet paper just by myself.

As we were leaving Hna Vasquez made me take some doterra essential oil - Digest Zen.  How they got essential oils to El Salvador I have no idea. President told me that the medicine would either clean out my stomach, or make me throw up, but that either way it would make me feel better. About 20 minutes after we left the house I started throwing up. It was awful. It's a 2 hour trip back to Cojute. I wanted to die. The ladies sitting next to me on the bus were really nice though! They kept giving me hard candies to suck on. And they made sure I always had a plastic bag to throw up in.

I don't know what it is - but diarrhea plus vomiting really sucks my energy away. When we finally got to Cojute 2 hours later I couldn't even walk home on my own. My companion stopped to buy some Gatorade and I literally laid down in the street. He was pretty embarrassed about that! We got home and I collapsed in bed, but I couldn't really rest because I was still vomiting. My companion gave me a blessing at about 6 that night, I couldn't even sit up, but immediately afterward I fell asleep. I woke up at about 8 and felt pretty good, but my comp didn't let me go out and work. The next day I rested all morning, but we were able to work on Saturday. So I only missed one day of work, which I consider a miracle.

4. We saw Victor again! Saturday night we were walking to the tienda and we heard a voice from the sky ''Hermanos!'' we looked up to see our former 70 year old, 200 pound investigator keeping watch from the balcony above, wearing nothing but his Depends. We almost died laughing when we got home.

5. We have a family that is having a really hard time remembering to pray as a couple at night. I remembered from Primary that we once made prayer rocks, little painted rocks with the word prayer on it. To leave in the bed and remind us to pray. Elder Zelaya and I came up with our own variation. The prayer brick! We found a brick, cleaned it up really good, and wrote Oracion a bunch of times all over it with a marker. We also wrote their names /Pedro y Alba/ our names, and a bunch of scriptures about prayer. They were super excited! Who knew a primary activity 10 years ago would help with the mission? We took some pictures, but they won't load. Maybe next week!

6. The roof in the primary room fell on Sunday. That was pretty cray. No one was hurt, luckily. I took some pictures, maybe you'll see them next week!

7. Last night we visited the Melendez family, the ones I baptized but have since gone inactive. In Spanish we have a verb: machete (like the small sword, long knife). When you machete someone it means that you chew them out. At their house last night I told the mom that I had brought my machete, but that I had sharpened it with love (cute huh?).  I didn't give it to her that hard, but she did feel the desires to repent. It turns out that she's started to sell on Sundays again (they are in the situation that if they don't sell on Sunday they won't eat on Monday).  I told her that she was selling on Sunday because she want's what's best for her children. But I showed her that breaking that commandment, and not going to church, is actually hurting her children in the long run. She understood. It was a very powerful, and love and Spirit filled lesson. At the end I asked her if she was praying as a family, they weren't. I had them all kneel down in a circle and we re-taught them how to do family prayer. Patricia (the mom) gave the prayer.  She started to pray with such sincerity that it kind of surprised me. Normally when people pray here they pray like how I imagined the Pharisees did. With lots of words and lots of emotion, but not much feeling or heart.
It took me a second to realize that I was the one who taught her how to pray, that thought made me feel really good!  She told God how sorry she was that she had broken the covenant she had made with him. How sorry she was that she hadn't trusted in him. She asked for forgiveness and promised to go to church next week. Tears filled my eyes as I listened to her pray. It was so powerful. As we were leaving I told her ' I'm going to be here until at least February, and when I leave you are going to be fully active in the church again. I worked too hard to find and baptize you, and I'm not going to lose you!''.

 What a great way to complete 18 months.

That's what the mission is all about!

Don't be selfish! Go on a mission!

-Elder Goodman

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