Sunday, June 2, 2013

Elder Cropper - May 27th

Dear Family:

This week was really good. I am still in Las Americas with Elder Powner which is what I wanted. My Spanish really jumped up this week which is crazy because I don't feel like I have done anything different. I can speak and participate in lessons more fully. Best of all, I don't know how, but I can understand people better. I am at the point that with certain situations people can ask a gospel question and I can anwser it. I LOVE knowing what people are talking about. It is the hardest thing to be in a country and not know what people are saying to you. I would much rather be able to understand than speak and this week, I felt like my Spanish took that switch. The switch I'm talking about is I used to feel like I could talk better than I could understand, but now I feel the opposite which is more normal. Elder Powner told me that you understand everything at 4 months in Chile and can speak everything at 5 or 6 months.

We are teaching a good amount of people. We have 3 progressing investigators. They are Paula and her son Deigo. They are wife and son of Antonio who we baptised last month. If Paula and Diego get baptised we will have baptised a family of 4! Paula used to be Catholic--like really Catholic--but I think after seeing her husband get baptised she became more interested. Paula came with her son Martin (who is a new member) and her husband Antonio (also new member) last Sunday, and they came to stake confrence yesterday but this time Diego came too! Oh by the way we had stake conference yesterday and it was cool. Our other progressing investigator is Jose. He is super interested and will get baptised. Jose has a very sad life right now. He has a job but his familly is poor because they live out on the outskirts of the city. The thing that is so sad in his life is his children were taking from him a month ago by the government and put in foster homes for some reason. He said it was something his wife had done and she needed to show up to court and did not. Because she didn't show up they came and took her kids. The wife is all mad and moved out to go live with some other man. Whenever he talks about his kids he starts to cry and gets very sad. I can see how Heavenly Father really helped us find him at the right time. Yesterday he came to stake conference which he really liked. He talked with our stake president for a bit for some reason I don't know why (he just talked with him over in a corner not his office) we introduced him to the other missionaries and when they asked him how he enjoyed conference he started crying and telling the story about his family. Elder Powner needed to go do a baptismal interview and as his companion I needed to go with him so we asked the ZLs to give him a blessing of comfort and Familia Campilli to give him a ride home. The ZLs later asked us if we had heard his whole story and we told them yes. They told us that they think he broke the law and that's why his kids were taken away (it would make more sense) if that is the case then we need to just be more careful and possibly work through the mission president. I asked Elder Powner if when we were listening to his story if he heard anything about HIM breaking the law and not his wife. Elder Powner told me that he really only understood about 80% of what he was saying. This frustrated me a little because that would have been helpful stuff to know. We will continue to teach Jose and help him out best we can. They only thing is if he has commited a felony he has to be interviewed by the president. I really hope everything works out and his wife comes back and his kids as well because then we can bring the gospel to all of them. Wow, the sisters in our district just called us and said they got locked out of their apartment? I dont know. Anyways, I would really like to find one more solid investigator. We have other investigators so maybe we can get one of them to progressing status this week. 

So last week during our companionship inventory Elder Powner told me I was only living the minimum of the missionary rules and I needed to start magnifying my call. I didn't like this because I have a personality of only doing the bare minimum sometimes. Anyways, long story short I have decided to magnify my calling and not only be 100 percent obedient but also live the higher law. For example were not supposed to watch movies but they higher law is to not even talk about movies. Or another example were not supposed to listen to music not of the church so were probably shouldn't sing music not of the church. Elder Powner said this is the way Elder Toncinson his trainer was and he just got asked to be the new AP. Nonetheless I am realizing that in order to be a great missionary I need to have 3 things down. 

1. Love the people (now I hate that saying not because it's not true because it is, but because it's a shallow way to say it. The better way to say it is. Really care for the salvation of the people in your area). 

2. Obedience 

3. good studies.

I have number one in the bag which is nice because Elder Powner struggles with it. For example he gives up on people a lot sooner then I would. He says he is a lot better then he used to be though. Number 3 with me is in progress. A mission teaches how to focus and study. Number 2 is the one I need to work on. My goal for my mission is just to be an awesome missionary, and the way you become an awesome missionary is by living and being a missionary from Preach My Gospel. In order to do that you have to know Preach My Gospel so that is where I focus my studies now. For example today I studied chapter 10 "Using time wisely." This chapter has all the stuff on how to do the business of the mission. Run daily and weekly planning sessions and do things like update your area book. We never update our area book so I am now making it my responsibility to do it. I am excited with the goals I made this last week and to see where I end up. 

Like I said Stake conference was really fun. I had already met the new people in my district but not my zone so it was cool to meet new people. Last change a sister named Hermana Call was in my zone. She was being trained like me and she came with my group from the MTC in Provo. This change because they received a ton of sisters and don't have enough to train, Hermana Call and a sister I also know named Hermana Macy are training each other for their last 6 weeks of training. Hermana Call knew a good amount of Spanish before her mission but Sister Macy was like me (not knowing anything). It was interesting to see where she is at and where I think I am at. I am happy with my progress. Sister Macy and Call went to transfers so they were able to see all of the people from my orginal MTC district. Hermana Walker who was in my orginal MTC district and has horrible Spanish is now training a new native sister! It's all because they don't have enough sisters to train. Hermana Nichols, her first change would go to the bathroom every lunch in a members home, say a prayer, and cry. Elder Huntsman has to buy all new ties because of our missions rules on skinny ties. It was fun to hear about all the crazy stuff with everyone, and to know where they had served in their first areas. 

I had a good mission story experience last night. We went to go teach a less active and recent convert family called Familia Cortez. We are really good friends with them and it turns out they wanted to serve us some food. We were super full but weren't gonna turn them down so we sat down at the table. They fed us rice, some chicken, and.... cow stomach. It was horrible. It looked like pasta but it wasn't. It also had little things on it that I can't really describe. Elder Powner and I couldn't eat more then a few bites so we asked them if we could take it home in like a bowl. They were fine with it and just told us to heat it up in the microwave. Ugh we threw it away once we got home. I really didn't like that they spent their money on us to buy that just so they could feed it to us when we came. That family is super poor and I'm thinking "spend your money on yourselves we have plenty of food." We would have eaten the food just to be nice but it was just too gross so we took it home. Well anyways not I have something I can tell people when I get home. 

I am doing really good. Elder Powner is kinda bummed out. He says he feels guilty about something but doesn't know what. I feel a little bad too but I think it's just because of the being more obedient thing. For me it was a bad feeling not a guilty feeling. I think its interesting he used the "feeling guilty." Well anyways I don't know maybe he will figure it out this week. Have fun in France. I cant wait to hear about it.

Dad I will be sure to take a look at 3 nephi and all the things you said. Mom I will study your topic too. 

Elder Cropper

Elder Cropper

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