Whelp, it's been another week here in Montrose.
On Wednesday, at District Meeting, the Sisters were on exchanges. Sister Patera, who come to San Juan, had scheduled exchanges on her BIRTHDAY! So we threw her a ten-minute party before District Meeting. It was swell.
|It's just so soft!|
We had Zone Conference on Thursday, and that's always great. Everyone knows I love a good Zone Conference! The main subject of the conference was faith, and President shared with us a talk from Elder Bednar about faith as a principle of action. Man, it was really good. Okay, so I haven't finished reading it, but what I've real is really good. They are also encouraging us to invite people to be baptized on a specific date now in the first lesson. They're changing the way we report our numbers so our baptismal invitations will be included as well. It's pretty bold, obviously, but there's no time to mess around! It's time to reap! Sort out the wheat from the tares! The field is white, already to harvest! Not plant seeds. Of course, seeds will still be planted, but it's harvest time.
I had a good exchange on Saturday with Elder Dean. He joined me in San Juan. He's from Tennessee, and he's super funny. Just like, super southern. He knew a little Spanish from serving in Steamboat Springs, so I'm sure it was fun for him to come to the area. We taught a couple of good lessons, and went to a birthday party for the Moreno's son and had some pizza and cake.
On Sunday, our priesthood lesson was taught by a member who recently moved into the branch. He speaks English alright, but he has a very thick accent. In his lesson (which was in Spanish), he kept quoting someone I'd never heard of: "Presidente Rúse Valád." I was a little wary of his lesson, not knowing where he was getting his information. Then I realized he was quoting Elder M. Russell Ballard. That was a pretty funny realization!
We were told by our Branch Mission Leader that some of the members felt we were being really rude at our dinner appointments with them. We had no clue what they meant. He explained that two families in particular had voiced complaints; the only two native Mexican families in the branch. We asked what the complaint was, and he explained that they said we don't finish all of our food sometimes, and when they ask if we're going to finish it we say, "No! Do you want it??" We were pretty confused, because that sounds really rude, and we always go out of our way to tell the members how great the food is, even while we're chewing on the bones. Then we realized it was a Clash of the Cultures! In the Mexico, if someone asks if you are going to finish your food, it is because they are concerned that maybe you don't like it or you're not feeling well. A proper response would be, "Yes, I'm going to finish it," or "I really wish I could, but I'm just so full!" In the United States of America, if someone asks if you are going to finish your food, it's because they want it for themselves. A proper response would be, "Yes, I'm going to finish it! Get your own!" or, the ultimate sign of respect in American culture would be to respond, "No, would you like to have it?" So what was interpreted by foreign ears as a sign of rudeness was in reality a sign of respect and appreciation.
A fun story from the week: One night, we were going to meet the Sisters at a less-active member's house to teach him together. We got there a couple of minutes early, or the Sisters were running late, but we ended up being there before them. As Elder Baker pulled out the phone to call them, I noticed a woman walking out of a dark alleyway towards our car. I wondered if it could be one of the Sisters. It looked a lot like Sister Adair as she got closer to the car, and then signaled for me to roll the window down on the passenger's side of the car, where Elder Baker was. I did so, thinking it was Sister Adair. The woman got right up next to the window and said "Hello." Elder Baker freaked out and said, "Oh, gosh!" She had startled him. Then, for a split second, he also thought it was Sister Adair; until she started speaking again. Then he realized it was a random homeless-looking lady, and he said, "OH, GOSH!!" And jumped in his seat, panicking. The lady just wanted to use our phone. But it was suuuuper funny to see Elder Baker get scared twice in a row. He said it was hands-down the scariest moment on his mission, maybe the scariest of his life!
We ended up having a really good lesson with Alan's brother, Jose, that night, and another good one later in the week. He's progressing really well!
The work moves forward, onward, and upward! Stay excellent, and choose the right! I love you!
A Thought from Mom:
"Time and again over your life, the Lord has been giving you the experiences to build strength, courage, and determination. He knew how much you would need that to serve Him. 'Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.'"
~President Henry B. Eyring