Monday, August 17, 2015

Another week has passed!

Ever since this last multi-zone conference, President Madsen has focused the mission on having more lessons every week. We really wanted to push hard and work to meet these new goals. This passed week we had 35 lessons, which is the most that I have had in a week so far on my mission. It is especially important here in Santa María to teach the members, because they are all mostly new in the gospel and a lot of them lack basic knowledge of the Book of Mormon and the Principles of the Gospel. We are working with all of our investigators too, but before we can really have success in Missionary Work, the Branch of Santa María needs to get stronger as a whole. That's what makes this area a lot harder as a Missionary compared to the other areas in the mission. 

I had one experience this week that strengthened my testimony of the power of revelation. This week rained a TON! It made the weather a lot cooler this week and it was really nice. Almost every day this week there was a huge thunderstorm, with crazy high winds and everything. I absolutely love it when it rains. I don´t mind getting wet at all as a missionary. It´s also a lot nicer when your shoes and backpack are rain proof. Well on Wednesday it started to storm really bad while we were walking to the food appointment. We got there and there was nobody there. We decided to take cover underneath the roofed area outside their house. My companion and I sang some hymns and waited for a while. After 30 minutes of waiting we decided to leave and meet with a recent convert who hasn't been going to church lately.

We got to her house and she let us in with a grin and we started playing with her two little kids. This member is 20 years old, married to a non member. She then randomly asked us, what would be the best thing to do if someone attacked you by grabbing you by the hair. We thought and couldn´t really come up with a good answer. Elder Tello knows a little bit about self-defense because he was a Tae-Kwon-Do teacher before the mission. He gave a few suggestions but then asked her why she wanted to know. She then proceeded to tell us that thats what her husband did to her the other day. She then lifted up her pants to show us bruises all up her leg.

This was the second time that someone has told me that they were being beaten by their husband. I had no idea what to say to her. I have learned that these are the kinds of things that missionaries face everyday, because we are seen as wise and trustworthy. But I don't feel like I am anyway capable of dealing with situations like that. We then asked her if we could share a message with her, and we opened with a hymn and a prayer. I still had know idea what I was gong to share with her to help her. All I did was start talking, and the spirit guided me. I don´t remember everything I said, but I do remember showing her the picture of the DC Temple that I just got in my package from home and telling her about the joy a temple marriage can bring to her with a righteous priesthood holder. In the past, the spirit has helped me share messages for my lack of spanish speaking skills, but this time it wasn´t the language that troubled me. It was what I could say to really help this 20 year old girl that looked to me for help. I know that the Spirit of Revelation is real, and I don´t know for sure if what I said to her helped her, but I know what I said was guided by the Spirit.

Today for our P-day we went to some cool authentic Oaxacan clothing and fabric stores and I bought some souvenirs for me and the family :) I'm getting together a package but there are still a lot more things I want to buy before I send a package. I took pictures of the way the make these clothes and fabrics with these huge wooden machines. We then ate at a restaurant on the beach and I had some delicious shrimp.
Oh yeah, and there is another picture of me eating my favorite Oaxacan snack, Chapulines! (grasshoppers) They are so tasty, trust me. 

I hope you all have a great, relaxing end of summer.
¡Que Dios les bendiga!
-Elder Smith

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