Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Letter 22 - 8/16/10

Me. and the super ghetto homes. I really don't like this pic. Is it just me or do I look bloated and fat. bad angle.... I hope. jk I've actually lost some weight so that's why I'm so confused I look so pugdey. anywho.... I'm probably gunna get robbed now, but it's worth it.

This has been a trippy week. I was adjusting to a new companion and new style of teaching, but we're totally good now. He's still coming out of his trainer mode so I kinda have to wiggle myself in there to say something, but it's all coming along well.

To be completely honest I could write a whole letter just about what we saw yesterday. It was absolutely incredible. So the first of the cool things was that the big family (they're a bunch of cousins so there's about five last names. So we just call them Familia Grande) that we've been teaching came to church on their own account this week. The grandma that is a member was going to come but she had to stay and watch the other kids. Four of the boys:
  • Michael (14)
  • Carlos (13)
  • Ricardo (11)
  • Diego (10)
just walked to the church all by themselves because we were late getting to their house. When we got to the church they were all there waiting for us. Talk about the coolest thing. There are two older girls in their twenties. One, Michelle, has classes Sunday morning and couldn't make it, but tried to find another chapel in the afternoon, even though she got lost. She wants to go to church badly. The other one, Angie, also really wants to go to church, but has to attend in an area that's outside of our mission. So we're still working on finding her one. But the whole family is just AWESOME. I really love visiting them, and seeing their progress. The older girls told us that they want to be missionaries, and they were serious. When I heard that my heart seriously jumped. That was one of the coolest things I've heard. Sadly, Michelle has a child, but I know she will be a great example to her child and teach her these truths.

Anyway back to Sunday. So after church and study time we had a few appointments fall through. So Elder Richins wanted to go visit an investigator that lives around a super rough area (more rough than what is usual).

...Saturday morning we were looking for an old investigator in that same rough area. Even though it was 11:30 am I was getting some bad feelings. We couldn't find the guy and I really didn't want to look lost and EVERY corner I turned we saw Negro Jessie gang members (Super notorious, Super dangerous gang). So I really don't know why, but I walked up to these guys to ask where a street was. There were two guys (the guy I talked to looked like someone filled a nail gun full of earrings, gave it to a four-year-old and to him to have fun with this guys face). So as we left I gave him the gangsta slide with the soul pound. Ya know, just doing my thang, keepin it real. We made a contact over there and during the lesson we saw the leader of Negro Jessie, and heard gun shots.
...Saturday night. Elder Richins said he wanted to go over to that area, and I straight up told him no. He's new here and still is learning of how dangerous it is.
FASTFORWARD. we're caught up.

I begrudgingly say ok and we walk over to the other side. I wasn't feeling very good about it, but we went. We walk down a street turn a corner and see a family of about five, and the guy I saw the day before with the disco-ball face comes up and around them. He lifts up his shirt and I saw a gun in his pant waist. I seriously thought he was going to pull it out on us and rob us. Then he turned around and he crony grabbed the dad and they robbed the family. I turned around and saw the look on Elder Richins face then he just ran off. Luckily we were close to the corner, so we got out of sight fast. It was an incredible blessing that the we weren't robbed. Everyone thinks American's are filthy rich. I know for a fact that we were protected at that time. More than I think I even understand. I'm almost positive they never even saw us. And even better Elder Richins now understands how bad it is over there.

So our Sabbath Day was filled with a bunch of other awesome stuff, passed out drunks, people getting into a fight and then a woman running out screaming with a machete, etc. I mean it really doesn't get any better than this. There was a whole bunch more that happened too, but I only have so much time. We had another lesson with Familia Grande and as a was walking away I thought of how awesome it was that amongst all the bad that I'd seen that day, I had seen and experienced so much good at the same time. It really is such an incredible blessing to be in this sector and to find so much good, and then share with them these truths that will bring themselves so many blessings. It's awesome. And then we went and did a Family Home Evening with Familia Albuja. Probably my best friends in the ward. José is someone who really would do anything to help the missionaries and really wants to see this ward grow and be strengthened.

For public information, yes I did feel the earthquake. It was pretty cool. I was studying and I felt my seat shake. It's pretty normal for the house to shake when a semi goes by, but it was stronger and was long. I saw the fan was shaking. So I told Elder Richins to sit down and tell me if he felt anything. When he sat down nothing was going, but then it jerked again. His eyes got huge and said, "Let's go! let's go!" and just ran out of the house. I yelled out to him, "Elder we need a shirt!" all he said was "Don´t worry about it let's go" So I had to go out with him. Being from California and continually hearing about earthquakes, I knew what we were experiencing was nothing to worry about. It was pretty cool, but uneventful where I was. Elder Márquez saw some people out in the street praying the Rosary. It's amazing what it takes for people to remember God.

As far as the investigators go we still have really really great people. Luis Reyes is going to institute. Like the real deal institute that's through the church, not mental institute. He is loving it all. He describe his knowledge for the gospel as a thirst, and it truly is. As I watch him during the lessons it's amazing to see how much of sponge he is. He writes everything down. Such a privilege to teach him.

Fa Campuzano hit a roadblock this week. They're amazingly receptive and want to live these commandments. We taught the law of chastity and they didn't try to rationalize anything. They fully accepted it and said they want to get married, but right now he's trying to get into the Marines and apparently you have to be single when you enter. How this helps the quality of their military I don't know, but I do know that It's impeding on the work of the Lord. So we need to see what we can do about this, but encouraging someone to change careers isn't the easiest. It'll just be a test of their true desires.

Fa. Grande. Amazing amazing. Great great people, and still everyone is really listening and receptive. It's a little difficult to keep the kids interested, especially during the plan of salvation. but we manage.

So that's about it. It's been a really great week, and I hope it was for all of you. Scripture this week is Mormon 9: 19-21.

And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.
Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

Anyone who thinks that God can't bless them or even help them in their lives, believes that God is no longer God. Pray to him in faith and ask him sincerely for what you need. He will provide.

Elder Vuinovic

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