This week has gone by pretty fast. The truth is its been a little tough, personally more than anything. I'd describe it with a paraphrase from Elder Bednar - "What we do doesn't always reflect what we know." I know what I need to do to be successful and be happy, but I sometimes give in to the natural man within me and lose a bit of the fire I started out with. I don't know exactly - perhaps its being in the same place with the same people for so much time, not really sure.
It was great to hear about Brig's patriarchal blessing - super cool stuff. Also, I forgot to thank Anna for the letter that was in the package. I loved the story and its interesting how Satan works in subtle ways.
Well, the theme for this week and this transfer has been/will be charity. Mom, you talked about Moroni 7 (one of the best scriptures ever - you should read it) the other week, and I decided to study it and throw some of the verses on the back of my new planner. We're making it a matter of prayer personally and in our comp to be given more charity. A few cool experiences:
Feeling a bit overwhelmed Monday after the shocking surprise that we'd have another 6 weeks together and I'd be staying in Limache, I decided I needed to change some things. Herm and I don't talk all that much in the apt - we're both kinda quiet, keep to ourselves. Well, I don't want to be confined to my own thoughts so much, and I've been feeling that I can't really love anyone here if I don't love my comp, so I decided to just tell him I like him and that I'm happy to be working with him again. I did, even though I was kinda second-guessing if he's take it weirdly, and it was great. He opened up and we just talked about about how we were feeling etc.
A few days later, we hit up one of our constant investigators - Antonio. I don't remember if I described him last week; he's about 50, been an alcoholic most of his life, and is going to an accelerated elementary school for adults. He's dope, but he relapsed with the wine this week, and it's been tough to carry a conversation. Anyways, we stopped by. He got super pumped to see us, and repeatedly told me he was so proud that I'm staying in Limache etc - classic drunk guy. Well, we started talking outside his house, and about 3 mins later, he started to break down and cry. Hard. He's had a really hard life, and I think he's got a lot of problems that he doesn't talk about. I decided to just give him a hug. He put his runny nose in my nice old white shirt, and just cried. Then, he went to Herm. Herm doesn't really show love/affection much, but he gave him a big bear hug too. Antonio kept telling us that he trusts us and knows we're gonna help him sort his life out. I felt genuine love for him, and although its tough to see him succumb to the wine, and basically impossible to teach him anything under the influence, he's getting better. He's a real, just innocently awesome guy.
We've seen lately that we're increasingly dividing the difference between ourselves and being missionaries. Like, there's 40 and then there's Elder Blake. Man, Elder Blake sucks. He's boring, no fun, and just dryly teaches doctrine from Preach My Gospel. Nobody wants to come unto Christ through such a dud. We're both trying to eliminate this difference, and preach and teach being ourselves. Trying to focus on getting to know the people we talk with (not to or at) and letting them see that we're normal. I think this will be a key to success going forward. Not being a freaking robot, and making the work fun.
I'd love any advice you normal people have to be more friendly, warm, and engaging when we're talking to people in the bus or the street or a taxi. Hahahaha basically, what makes you want to talk with a stranger? What are some spiritual pick-up lines we could use? Hit me up with your answers.
Love yall tons. Keep sending letters - they're the bomb. Go to Church.