Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 42: A Little Old Lady Had a Dream Missionaries Would Visit Her

You asked if the Latin holiday “Day of the Dead” is as big of a deal in Guatemala as Halloween is in the US. Yup! It’s a pretty big deal I guess. Everyone went to the grave yard to visit family graves and a good 40 members from our ward skipped church for the activity. It’s pretty interesting how entrenched in their traditions they are here. They had a Virgin Mary float parade through town, there was a band playing and a lot of fireworks. There were also some traditional sawdust carpets on the street, much like they do for the semana Santa (Holy Week), where they spread out the sawdust on the street and color or dye it to make a cool looking path for Mary’s parade to walk on.

Well the week didn’t start out great since I lost my planner the day my companion arrived. I guess it fell out of my pocket in one of the taxi cars we were in. So there went my plans, contacts numbers, and the mission credit card. I was freaking out. Luckily the emergency fund I have been saving up was in my suit case and so I’ve got hard cash for the month. I called the financial elders informing them; they will put half the month’s amount on my companion’s mission credit card and the other half on later in the month. Come to find out one of my last companions found my wallet and forgot to call or tell me about it. My wallet is on its way back to me. Unfortunately, even after it arrives, I will still have to wait for a new mission credit card.

My new companion is great! He is from Washington and his name is Elder H. He is a ball of fun. He has a little more than a year and has really been there with me every step of the way. We had good success the first three days of the week despite having lost my planner. I was thankful for that, but the next three days were really hard for me. I about had a panic attack. I introduced my companion to an old investigator of Elder C’s whom I knew was very religious. I had a feeling that I shouldn’t but we had had no success all day long getting in doors so we stopped by. I thought I would share a very small verse out of the Book of Mormon that compliments the bible. More than anything I wanted to get to know him and identify the beliefs we have in common. The moment we finished the opening prayer he went on attack mode and didn’t stop talking until almost an hour later. I was really mad at the end of it because he wouldn’t let us talk and he was very head strong with his opinions. Anyway, my companion ended up setting up another appointment with him for tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes. If it goes south again I’m not sure what we can do for him.

We did have a little miracle occur later on that day. A family called the mission office to send us to bless a little old lady who lives in our area. We went to visit her and gave her a blessing. She opened her eyes after the blessing and thanked us. She is Catholic and she told us that she had had a dream that two young men with black slacks, white shirts, and ties would stop by to visit her. So there we were, cool huh? We then met the other part of her family that are members of our church and taught a little bit to the rest.

A few of the members really helped us out during the week. They either gave us investigator references or went with us to our lessons. There is a lot of love here. Saturday we had a ward car wash were strangers from the street came in for the free wash while us missionaries gave them a tour of the building. It was a fun little activity and we had some promising conversations that might lead to future lessons.

Our area is like two big neighborhoods. We’ve got a middle class area and a really rich area that the sister missionaries and us elders share. The rich area has a few members living in it but we are not allowed to go door to door making contacts there because of the neighborhood rules. If we get a reference from a member then we are good to go so we will see what happens. And yeah, that’s were I’m at now, just trying to work hard.

Thanks for all the love and support everyone!!
Elder Perez
My New Companion Elder H is from Spokane, Washington

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