I love General Authorities. President Kevin Duncan (Area Seventy) came to Coatepeque to talk in a missionary conference, and he blew all of our minds! Not really, but he expanded our vision immensely and caused us to ponder about our role in the worldwide growth of the Church. He spoke to us of the overall perspective, but also focused on little things we can do to change and improve our daily missionary efforts. We have made a lot of goals and refinements to our teaching length, focus on less actives, and finding families. Obviously finding families is always the main focus, but we were even more invigorated to go find them!
We are teaching a less active’s son who has a speech impediment and is barely understandable (for me, that is). However, it is no impediment to how AWESOME he is! His name is Moisés. Before teaching and inviting him to church, he would always yell at us with a huge smile on his face, “¡Hola guapas!” (Hey Good lookin’!) which made us uncomfortable. But he came to church by himself last week and came again this week. He has already accepted a date (to be baptized) for this Saturday, and keeps talking about the change that he has seen in himself. We decided to take him out contacting with us because he talks to everyone. As my comp and I would walk past someone, we’d look back and see him with his hand on their shoulder talking to them about the change he has seen in himself. It was really cool. Which brings me to the penguin rock…
.. As we were contacting with Moi, we stumbled upon a less active – well, more like he stumbled upon us considering how drunk he was. He kept looking and pointing at me, and when he shook my had it was an iron grip! It was freaky. As we were about to leave, he lifted up his hand pointing at me and said, “I have something for her.” Stumbling into his cluttered house, he retreived a small item presented it to me with both his hands. The rock really was cool – and yes it was shaped just like a penguin, even with a white ring around its “neck”. He said I should keep it forever to always remember his name, “Carlos de Leon.” I will keep to that promise.
I’ve been learning a lot this week about enduring through trials and things I can’t control. Like parents who don’t want their kids to be baptized. Eduardo was so prepared, and his mom even gave permission! But on the day of his baptism, the mom called his dad (who lives far away) to advise him of everything, and he didn’t agree. We tried making plans to meet with the dad when he would come home, but nothing was working out. After feeling sad about it for a while, I realized that there was nothing I could do after giving my all. He will get baptized later in life, I’m sure of it. We just have to keep going and pushing forward even when sucky things happen. That’s life, right?
Like my mission president who doesn’t speak English says, “Smile forever!”