So this last week was pretty tough, fun, heartwarming, heartbreaking, exciting, and terrifying. My companion, Elder Francisco, is learning a lot everyday and really is just a great guy. One thing that has been tough for him is adjusting to the culture here in México but also having a little bit of responsibility that comes along with being s a missionary. I'll talk about the responsibility thing first. Well sometimes (okay everyday) we get calls from the leaders to inform us on conferences that are coming up and informing me what I need to do to inform the rest of our district about these conferences and the goals we are setting. Anyways long story short... sometimes I am not available to receive these calls so my companion receives these calls from the leaders. Every time he gets these calls he tries to inform me on what they told him. Well let's just say it doesn't make any sense what he tells me and he gets really confused on what they say to him... and he gets really frustrated over really small things. I often have to ask him this question "Are you mad? Because you are talking as if you are mad at me."(this is definitely a question I have heard from my parents, countless times, love you both). He then calms down and tries to relay the message to me. Well, I always seem to have to call the leaders of the zone to verify what the message was. Anyways... the leaders have now learned it's better just to ask if I am there or wait for me to call them back. :) I love my companion :)
Also one thing that has happened to us these last couple weeks is entering into some humble homes. We talked to a drunk guy in the street the other day and he said that he really, really, needs help. He was walking a big old pit bull and his 6 year old son around. Anyways I kind of told him straight up right there that he shouldn't be drinking and needs to be an example for his son and that we would pass by another day to share a message about this with them. Anyways we passed by his house this week and it was a super ghetto house with a ton of dogs... pretty sure the were involved with dog fighting. Anyways this man wasn't there but his 18 year old son named Jesus (pronounced "hey sus") was so we went into his ghetto house and shared a message with him about the Book of Mormon and how this message can change his life. He was smoking the whole time and I asked if he liked smoking... he told me no but has been addicted for 6 years. That means he started smoking when he was 12 (super common seeing kids smoke here and doing drugs but super sad). He then told us that his life has been super hard... that his dad has abused him and his siblings their whole life... their dad is now in jail and his siblings are in something similar to foster care. Jesus lives alone, doesn't study, is addicted to smoking, and one of the saddest people I have ever met. He told us that he wants to change his life and wants to find happiness... he said he wants to get baptized and become a new person. It was super humbling to be in that house... and to feel how lucky I have been to be raised in a home where there has always been food on the table, but even more importantly, in a home where love is felt every single day. Here in the mission I have been in countless homes without one of these two things or neither of these things. I have been so blessed my whole life and never quite realized it. All of you reading this are blessed beyond your imagination... even being able to read these letters is a blessing... I have also talked with countless people that don't even know how to read and have never gone to school. You are so blessed.
Anyways after the lesson we were headed out and this big old pitbull was sitting outside waiting for us. I passed by a little bit infront of my companion and then it tried to bit my companion super fast. Let's just say we got out of that lesson pretty quickly.
I also had a really awesome experiance in divisions this week with a really good missionary named Elder Byrd. I really learned a lot from him and I was amazed to see how much he loves every single person that we talked to. I felt the spirit so strong when he was just talking to people... it was amazing. Often I find myself just trying to talk to people or teach lessons to try and complete the goals... I forget that these people are children of God and need to try and help them come unto our elder brother Jesus Christ. Elder Byrd taught me this lesson... he loves everyone... and at first I didn't understand why I was feeling the spirit so strongly but then I realized that I felt the spirit super strongly because Elder Byrd was talking to these people with all of his heart... even when people rejected us (which was a whole bunch) I felt the spirit super strongly. He is a really good missionary and I hope that I can become like him one day. I really respect him. Anyways this day with Elder Byrd we went to see if Jesus was in his house. We saw the demon dog and I warned Elder Byrd that she really likes to bite but we kept walking. I approached her first and all of the sudden she charged at me... I hurried and jumped up on this small cement railing exposing my companion, Elder Byrd, to the pathway of the demon dog. She attacked wrecklessly and before Elder Byrd could follow my example she got a good couple bites on his feet. He kicked the demon dog pretty good and she retreated into her fortress. With our hearts pounding super fast at the life flashing experience, I couldn't help from laughing so hard at the fact that I totally just left my companion to get bitten by the demon dog. It was pretty funny. Jesus didn't end up being there so Elder Byrd got attacked for nothing. I learned a lot that day.
Well, we told Jesus that we would pass by him for church so Elder Francisco and I found ourselves yet again in front of the monster of a dog. This time Elder Francisco waited at the end of the street letting me have the privilege to try and knock for Jesus. Well this dog was waiting to attack me. I just kept inching closer and closer but she just kept barkig and barking. I then got up on the cement railing thing again and inched closer. I then said a prayer in my heart to help me pass without getting attacked. The dog was standing there and stopped barking. I inched my way closer... and closer... and then right when I was about even with the dog.... it attacked along with its other pit bull friend as I was up on this cement railing patiently kicking them off until they retreated behind their barracade. I then yelled and knocked on the railing for a good 10 minutes waiting for a response from Jesus. No answer. We were probably there for about 30 minutes trying to get to Jesus. But after all of this, he didnt answer and I backed out keeping my eyes on the Demon dog bracing for another attack. I hate that dog... but not as much as my companion does. We then went to church in defeat... arriving just when they seem to be really interested in this message. I cried this last Sunday in Sacrament meeting just feeling so bad for him... I know that God loves him... I know that this message can help him... it's just super hard seeing him in this kind of situation. I have been humbled this week... I feel so blessed and know that I have been blessed my whole life. I have never felt this way before and I know that God loves everyone of us equally... and wants all of us to return with him someday. The mission is tough, there are a lot of discouraging things I am experiencing, but I know that God is with me and I know that he loves me. God loves you all.
Also Elder Francisco and I have named the demon dog Legion. If you want to read more about this possesed dog you can read about her in Mark 5:1-19 or at the end of Matthew 8.
Love you all,