Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Infinite Potential

Hola familia!!!!

So this week has been really, really great. It's been super busy, but super productive as well. As of now we have 14 potential investigators, which is sooooo great! We went from 0 to 14 in one week. Which is way cool. We're really excited to work this week. I will hopefully be bringing news of baptismal dates in next week's email:) One of the people we met this week was M. G., who was a street contact. We started talking to him and he literally wanted to argue with everything we said. He didn't believe anything and he was asking really weird questions to throw us off, but Elder Islas did a really good job of just keeping it simple. After about 30 minutes we just bore our testimonies and left, and he actually asked us to come back! So, we'll see how that goes.

So some interesting stories from this week, on Tuesday they turned off our water!  So.. we didn't have water for a day and a half. So to say we smelled bad would be an understatement... haha but we paid the bill on Monday so I guess it just took time to process it? I don't really know, but we now have water again thank goodness. Also there have been some crazy things going on this week.  It hasn't rained since i got here and my area is literally the definition of a desert.  Last night there was a giant fire in the hills/small mountains by our house that wasn't put out until this morning. So that was kinda scary, and then today on our way here to the Ciber there was a giant cloud of dust that had spiraled up and looked kinda like a tornado.  I tried to get a picture but i couldn't get to my camera fast enough. We also indirectly killed a kitten this week... it was sitting on the sidewalk outside the gate of a house and we heard the rest of them inside the gate so we thought we'd try to help and put it back in the gate. We put it in the little crack between the gate and the house and we turned around for 2 seconds and next thing we know it had walked into the street and we watched it get run over... way sad. i don't even like cats and it was really sad. 

Umm, my Spanish has definitely gotten WAY better since I got here. The hardest thing for me is all the modismos, is what Elder Islas calls them, which i think more or less means the sayings or slang. But there are things that people say here that, when translated to English, kind of make sense, but you would never say it like that. Example: to say it is really hot, they say ´´El calor es muy fuerte´´, which directly translates to: ´the heat is very strong´, which kinda makes sense, but you would never say it like that. And a lot of the time the order of the words in the sentence is way different. The way Elder Islas told me to remember it is to try and speak like Yoda, because most of the time you have to say the person or the subject at the end of the sentence. Which is really weird! Its super confusing in my head. But i'm kinda getting used to it. Also, it's hard to type on a Spanish keyboard. Haha, i'm still not used to that. 

Like i think I've said before, everyone and their dog tries to speak English to me. Most of the time it's just the "f-word" in one variation or another. But some funny questions i have gotten this week : ´´what time is your name?´´ and.. ´´when are you from?´´ Haha, so it's kinda funny. I know i have probably said much dumber things trying to speak in Spanish, but oh well.

We have eaten SOOOO good this week! We've eaten hamburgers, enchiladas, Little Caesar's, and a bunch of different kinds of meats. A snack that we had 3 or 4 times this week is called... i can't remember what they call it. haha, but it's cut up jicama with chili powder and you squeeze lime on it, and it's soooo good! They put chili powder and lime on everything here, even the watermelon, which kinda threw me off, haha, but the food here is way way good. I'm not gonna lie, i think i like the food here way more than the food in the U.S. So far my favorite food still are the Campechanas. I took a picture of them so i'll send those after this. 

Also, i have a mailing address! it's not actually our house, it's a member's right across the street, but that's just because we aren't ever home really so we're using their address for packages and letters and all that. So... it is:

Elder Austin Bird
Calle 13 1448
Fracc. Mirasierra
Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico C.P. 25016

Please send me stuff! I would LOVE to get some handwritten packages, or packages, or anything :) i'm not sure exactly how long it takes to get mail here but..send me something and we'll find out! I just want to say thanks to all the e-mails i've gotten already from friends and the family, it's a huge help and i love reading them, and just because i haven't responded doesn't mean i haven't appreciated them!

So unfortunately we only got to watch the Priesthood session of conference and the 1st session on Sunday because of appointments and meetings we had. BUT, i learned so much this weekend. It makes me wish i would have been more attentive to listening to the talks before I came on the mission. Ha, but first i wanna talk about what I learned in the Priesthood session. I really enjoyed all the talks, but specifically Elder Uchtdorf's and Elder Tad R. callister from the 70. I hope Grant was listening to Elder Callister's because he was talking to the Deacon's quorom's president! I was also thinking that next Priesthood session Caden will be able to go! That blows my mind. But one of the points he made was that the priesthood is just as powerful in a boy as it is in a man if exercised correctly. And that was really powerful to me because already as a missionary we have been asked to give blessings multiple times, and the power that we hold as members of the Priesthood really is so powerful and we truly have the power of God, all of us, Deacons, teachers. priests, elders, high priests, everyone! But the one point that I think was my absolute favorite out of all the conference that I got to watch (which we got to do in English in a little room), was this: God puts his trust in young people, in the weak, in the inadequate (because we all have short comings in comparison to God) because he knows of our infinite potential. And i have thought a lot about that, and it reminds me of my favorite scripture Ether 12:27. We all have weaknesses, and short comings, and we really don't deserve the love and blessings that God gives to us, but we have these weaknesses so that we can turn to God and come closer to our potential that we have, step by step. There's a scripture in 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 where Paul is talking about how he feels like he is the least of all the apostles, but through the Grace of God and his faith in Him, he has been able to do great things. And I know in my life there have been so many times where I have felt like the ´´least´´ of something, but it's through the power and grace of God that we are able to overcome our weaknesses to become more like Him and to become stronger. And I have already experienced that so many times in my mission, I'm constantly being humbled everyday and I have to rely on the Lord. And the help and blessings He has given me have already made me a better missionary, and a better person. The thing I have loved so much about the mission is that it gives you the desire to be better, to be better in all aspects of your life, so that you can get closer to that potential that you have. There was a quote I heard in the MTC, i don't remember exactly who said it, but it says ´´Never doubt, never settle for anything less than your absolute best´´ And that's something I want to live by, because i want to try to reach my potential, and it's not necessarily easy, but the things that will make a difference in your life never are. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, that's what i've learned so far in the mission field. i'm excited to work this week and hopefully we will have some success in the next few weeks! Love you guys!!! Glad to hear you guys are doing so great! I loved that i got an e-mail from all of you guys. I'm going to try to respond to them before we have to leave. Love you all! Miss you guys!

Elder Bird

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