Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy 4th...great excuse for a party!‏

 July 6, 2015

Buenos dias!

Ha sido una buena semana. Tocamos muchas puertas sin respuesta esta semana, pero todavia cumplimos con nuestro proposito.

Oh sorry that was Spanish. So this week was pretty uneventful. We did, however, teach some great lessons. I'm gradually continuing to meet the investigators on our whiteboard. There's a few solid ones, but most of them we just keep right now until we can find people to replace them. Finding has proven very difficult here. Not quite as hard as Pinehurst was, but it's definitely a challenge. Most of the Hispanics that are in this area live in trailer parks near where we live, so you can guess that they've all been talked to a million times by missionaries. I keep wanting to just knock all these trailer parks, but my companion just assures me that they've been destroyed, as we say.

Let me tell you a little about who we're teaching. The investigator I know the best is Rene. He's like 68 and from D.F. Mexico. In other words, he's a Chilango. He's an old man with lots of ideas about religion and no evidence to back any of them up. He claims Catholicism, but you can tell that he just doesn't quite understand everything. His view on the fall is very twisted. That's the Catholic in him. He thinks that women are evil and that we carry the sin of Adam and Eve and thus, we must be baptized as infants. We showed him the bold chapter in the Book of Mormon Moroni 8, but he refuses to believe what it says. He just says that "those books are written by men. They're full of errors." He believes in the scriptures, but believes that he knows more than the people who wrote them. Kinda strange. We testified of what we were teaching, and he loves to listen to us and share ideas, but he doesn't get it. He even had a dream about heaven. He said there were three levels of heaven in his dream and that and angel said he was going to the second level. We've tried to tell him of the Plan of Salvation and that he can make it to the Celestial Kingdom, but he thinks because the angel told him that that was where he was going, he can't alter it. We'll work on it.
We have a few other solid investigators, but none of them have stories quite like Rene's. Most of them have been taught each lesson a thousand times, but they just don't quite get it. It's the Restoration and authority...people just don't understand that Christ set up a church, gave his apostles authority, and then that all fell away. We teach and testify and even go as far as to tell them that their churches are false, but they still say "I've already been baptized." It's really frustrating sometimes. That's really where the Spirit comes in. I have three converts on my mission and neither of them got baptized because they understood the Restoration. They got baptized because of the things that they felt. They got baptized because they wanted to be better and were brought into the fold by loving members who were ready to receive them. That's really what we need to do. We need the spirit and we need the members. That's what makes all the difference.

Now y'all are probably wondering what we did for the 4th. Well...we didn't do anything. I'm in a Spanish branch and the 4th of July just isn't quite to them what it is to us Americans. We walked around some trailer parks in Red Springs and everyone was drunk. Hispanics here use any excuse they can find to drink more. It's really a problem. We were unable to have success there, but we did manage to find a couple new investigators last night, so I'm excited about them.

And in other news...on Monday we got a new mission president! His name is President James. He seems awesome so far. I can't wait to meet him. We have what we call "Hello Zone Conference" on Wednesday, so we'll get to interact with him. Funny thing is, he and President Bernhisel knew each other in High School. They both played parts in the same musical one year, so that's kind of funny. I'm excited for the upcoming changes and I hope the mission continues to thrive.

Hope ya'll have a great week.

-Elder Landon Carroll

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