Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Lord is my Strength

Hola Familia!
Your questions, Papa—the language has been a real struggle for me this week. I want so badly to understand what people are saying so I can start actually talking to them, not just smiling and nodding and pretending to know what they say, then fearfully looking at my companion when it appears they have asked me a question.

Oh—can you look up some awesome hiking trails anywhere between Non Tuela and Llifen? Gracias!

It’s interesting here, what is normal, like the food, the weather, dogs on the streets and … fleas … I’ve had fleas off and on for the past two weeks. I got them after visiting an investigator. It was really sad, their kids and baby were covered in bites, but it is normal.

This week was another difficult week…the language is coming slowly…everyone is on vacation until Marzo (March), so we did a lot of door knocking and contacting. Haha we asked an older lady that was sweeping if we could help her and she said no. We then told her we were missionaries and asked if we could share with her a message about God, she said, “No, sorry, I’m deaf,” and slammed the door…

All of our progressing investigators dropped us and most of our appointments fell through as well, which was really discouraging.

The members are pretty new in the Gospel here and the culture is so different. We get members calling us for the most unique reasons, like one called us because her cat was acting weird and she wanted us to come help her with it.

With the members being somewhat new in the branch there is a need for guidance and help, and I want to help them so badly. I just can’t. I don’t know the language well enough and it’s not my job to be a counselor. There are so many vices that afflict our little branch. I want to help.

I know I need to be focusing on the positive and look for the miracles and there are a lot, but I just don’t feel like I am fulfilling my purpose if I am not teaching. We walked a lot this week too and my feet are starting to be a problem. Usually by 8 pm I have to sit for about 15 minutes to rest them and I feel so guilty for it.

Everyone is on vacation and don’t have time to listen to us…and there are so many drunks here it’s ridiculous. Yesterday we saw a guy passed out in the front of one of the saloons from drinking so much.

Yea…it’s just difficult because this month is vacation so no one really has time or wants to listen and have the missionaries over right now.

But enough of the bad, I want to share an awesome tear-jerker with you guys about faith:

There is an 86-year-old member in our branch. He is slowly, painfully dying of cancer. It is so sad to see him struggling, but he walks to church every Sunday and is there every week without fail. Sometimes he only stays long enough to take the sacrament and then stumbles home. We went to visit him yesterday. In the conversation, he told us how lonely he has been. His wife passed about nine years ago. His children come long enough to cook him breakfast, lunch and dinner and clean but then have to go to work or watch children. When asked why he comes to church every Sunday when it is evident he is in so much pain, he told us that he wants to live with his wife again forever. He’s tried all his life to keep the commandments so that he can. Keeping the Sabbath and going to church is included. He said that he has faith that struggling to go to church to partake of the sacrament and becoming clean from his sins will make all that possible. It is heartbreaking to see this broken old man, and know there is nothing I can do to relieve him of his pain.

But, the Lord is my Strength. I have received so much strength from the other side. I know God is aware and that it can only get better from here! Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.

Love you all!
My Amazing Trainer--Hermana Braithwaite!
chopping wood for a widow in the branch
We live in a yurt-like hut in the back of the pink house

so beautiful here!

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