This week had definitely been more rough (rougher? Is that the word?) than the ones before it. I have figured out why missions are hard, or at least why it will be hard for me. We love people so much. We see them as children of God, we see their potential, we see how happy the gospel could make them and their family. We try to love them as God loves them. And then they stand us up or cancel or just find everything else in there lives more worth their time. We choose to love them enough that they can break our hearts. And then we get in the car and go to our next appointment. That is hard. But it is the only way we can do it. If we didn't love them, there would be no point in any of this. If we didn't love them, we couldn't teach with any sort of power. Our happiest moments are when our investigators have some moment of clarity or when they walk into the chapel Sunday morning or open up about their spiritual experiences.
Gualmar. That is the Spanish pronunciation of Walmart. It took me a while to figure that one out. It has come up in the English classes that we teach. We have one real class Thursday evenings, and we offer to stop by anyone's house to teach them if they can't make it on Thursdays. We actually only have two students: one on Thursday, one in front of his house. I feel bad when we teach English. There is so little connection between the spelling and the pronunciation of words that they don't even want to try to guess. We usually end up writing down how the word is really pronounced right next to it. Ingles es feo. And then their own accents make things even more difficult, like "Gualmar" and the lack of the W sound in Spanish. Or the word "fast", which is either pronounced "fax" or "fats".
Dreams. One of our investigators wants an answer to his prayers in the form of a dream. He got a dream in which he had just returned from his mission and was dressed as an Elder. He said he wants a more clear sign. On Sunday one teacher described part of his mission as "People would always be saying 'We won't believe until we see a sign.' I wanted to say 'We knocked on your door. There is you first sign. If you want any more signs, you have to put in your own effort! READ, PRAY, GO TO CHURCH! Then you will get your answers." Or something like that. The translation is still a little rough. Speaking of dreams, last night I had a nightmare about spiders. Suenos de aranas. Also, in all of my dreams the past few weeks, I think I have had always had a companion. Haha what a strange life this is.
Last Monday we got our flu shots because the mission president and his wife told us we all had to. We try to be obedient. Except for maybe the "wash your car every week thing". It usually seems to rain on Mondays and that is close enough most weeks.
Tomorrow we have exchanges, in which we will both have a different companion for the day. I am not quite sure how to feel about it. I will let you know how it goes.
A scripture that I have been thinking about for the past few days: the end part of Job 1:21. In Spanish it is "Jehova dio y Jehova quit`o:! Bendito sea el nombre de Jehova!" In English I think it is "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!" That helps me deal with the times when we have to give up because people stop letting us come over. There is a reason for it all. Have a good week!