Monday, March 28, 2016

Semana Santa

Well, this week was pretty crazy!

As I said last week, this week was Semana Santa (Holy Week), and it was about the weirdest thing I´ve ever seen in my life. The whole week, the streets were full of people dressed up in  costumes yelling and dancing and singing and drinking and doing all sorts of other stuff. On Friday, we saw two different people who dressed up as Jesus Christ and crucify themselves. It got so crazy that on Friday, the mission president had all of the missionaries spend the whole day locked in the stake center to make sure we didn´t get beat up by drunk people. And apparently all of this was to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Not the ideal way to do it in my opinion :)

So that was that! So obviously as far as preaching the gospel goes, this week was somewhat useless. Haha but it was a good experience! Unfortunately, the baptisms of Justo and Bryan this week fell through. Bryan still has the desire to get baptized, but since he´s a minor, he needs permission from his parents. His mom told us she doesn´t think he´s ready to get baptized, and he needs to go to church and learn more before he will be ready. So we had to postpone that baptism. 

Justo is a different story. He was already to be baptized, and we had his baptism all ready and prepared for 4:00 PM on Saturday, but when we called him at 2:00 PM, he was nowhere to be found. His wife told us that she thought he went to work. We really didn´t want his baptism to fall through, so we had his wife give us the general direction of the farm where he worked, and we decided to go searching for him! We walked for about an hour until we realized that we weren´t going to be able to find him. Maybe it´s good we didn´t find him, because I have no idea how we would´ve gotten him to leave work and come with us to his baptism when we did find him...but hey, it was worth the effort! We got in contact with him the next day and he told us that he got called into work last minute that morning and if hadn´t have gone, he would´ve lost his job. So we cancelled the baptism last minute, and postponed his baptismal date as well. I was pretty upset after, but I guess not everything can turn out the way we want it. But I know both Bryan and Justo are still going to get baptized!

On a happier note, if you guys remember, last week I asked you all to pray for Yonatan and Kiary, two recent converts that had gone inactive because Yonatan got a really crappy job. And man, you guys must have prayed HARD! We went to visit them on Thursday, and Yonatan told us he had quit his job and found a new one where he doesn´t have to work on Sundays! So now they are both returning back to church. So thank you all for your prayers! I should start asking you all to pray for things more often! ;D

I find out tomorrow morning if I get transferred or not! If I do get transferred, I´ll be leaving on Wednesday. So we´ll see where I end up writing you guys from next week!

To finish, I would just like to share something that changed my entire perspective on my mission and, well, my life. Last week, the mission received news that Elder Fifita, a missionary who I hadn´t known but who served in our mission, was killed. He went home shortly before I arrived, so I never knew him, but many missionaries were very upset this week because they had loved him so much. From what I had heard, he was an extraordinary missionary. Because of his passing, this week we have been talking a lot about the things he taught while he was here in the mission. One thing that was mentioned stuck with me. Here in the mission, we´re always told that we need to obey with exactness. But Elder Fifita always taught that, while obedience is important, it is even more important to LOVE with exactness. If we truly love God and everyone around us, everything falls into place. If we truly love God, we will keep every one of His commandments. If we truly love everyone around us, we will never feel the need to be upset with them or say or do anything that could hurt them. We will lose ourselves in their service. Generally speaking, everyone in this world is seeking for happiness. But I believe that as long as we´re seeking our own happiness, we´ll never find it. It is only through seeking the happiness of those around us that we will find our own happiness. True love and service for all those around us. That is where true happiness is found! :)

I know this Church is true! I love you all! Until next week!

-Elder Thomas :)

Pluses of having a Gringo companion...his mom sent him Macaroni and Cheese! :D

My companion snuck a couple of pics with my camera. :P

We crossed this extremely sketchy bridge searching for Justo before his baptism...someone told us where he worked was on the other side, so we crossed it! It was terrifying, and a little stupid, but hey, anything for 
Justo´s salvation!

A few people in Semana Santa costumes!

My companion having an extremely effective personal study...LOL. :)

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