Hola friends and fam,
Wasn’t it just yesterday I was whinning that it was already August? Now it’s almost September? Happy first day of school to you all! Is it possible to be home, at BYU, and on my mission all at once? Because I choose that option.
We have transfers next week. Neither Hermana Fernandez or I want to leave the area or each other, but we shall see…
Lazaro is still doing super well and is going to be baptized this Saturday! The other elders and hermanas in the branch have baptisms planned the same day which is exciting- all 3 areas in the branch. Prayers that everything goes as planned would be appreciated! Lesson I have learned with Lazaro:
investigators and new converts really need FRIENDS at church, not just people to shake their hand and say hi.
We’ve been teaching Lazaro all the lessons and commandments, like tithing, word of wisdom, Sabbath day, etc. It made me nervous because it seems like a ton of rules and changes he needs to make in order to be baptized. I was afraid it would be a huge turn off. Then I realized I have a huge testimony of all those commandments and we have them to help us. It’s thanks to them that I am where I am today.
Saturday morning we were doing our normal studying thaang when we heard a knock on the door (unusual). It was 2 Jehovah’s Witnesses contacting our apartment. It was a strange Star Trek parallel universe moment for me. And uncomfortable. We listened politely as I always hope people will do for us and then parted ways. We have some seriously different fundemental doctrinal differences, but it was an interesting experience to learn about their religion at least. I also better understand how people feel when we interupt their lives trying to share the gospel. H Fernadez and I had a good chat about what we’re doing as missionaries and how we need to respect others’ beliefs before we can share ours.
The other hermanas in our branch gave us a reference to a lady they found who has dreamed 3 times in the last year that missionaries came to her house to teach her and her family. We contacted her and her family and they are incredible! The parents are married (miracle here) and they don’t attend a church (bigger miracle). We were able to find her house (really difficult here because people live off dirt roads up mountains). So basically it’s a story from the Ensign. I am learning these sorts of things actually happen out here. God is preparing people to hear the gospel. We just have to find them.
I made my first tortilla this week. It was really ugly and I need to practice haha.
Earlier this week I was playing hymns on the chapel piano when an elder in my zone started playing one part of Heart and Soul. Of course I played the other half and everyone in our zone recorded it on their cellphones. Now it’s everyone’s ringtones. I should start charging. I think it’s how I’m going to make my first million out here.
We visited a family in the ward this week who have been having some health problems. They were SO nice to us. They basically sat their and complimented us for 20 minutes about how happy they were to have us in their home and that they could feel the Spirit right as we walked it. I write this not to brag because honestly most members feel this way just from seeing the plaque, not from something we are doing ourselves. I’m sharing it because missionaries really need members to love and take care of them. Your missionaries are hungry, tired, and miss their families. Be nice to them! The members who really take us in make such a big difference!
We hiked up a large mountain today to a large cross at the top. The view was incredible. Salama is awesome. Although we walk all week long sometimes I don’t know why we voluntarliy do it on p day, but oh well. It’s really fun hanging out with other missionaries too! I’m making friends from all over Central and South America which is neat 🙂
Advice part 2 to future missionaries:
-Sisters buy skirts with elastic…the only type I wear. And black skirts and white blouses. Buy stuff you can wear without a slip or layer. Trust me you won’t care what you look like you’ll just want to put clothes on. -People will give you a lot of food and beverages that you may or may not want. Be grateful. Smile. And eat slowly so they can’t refill your plate.
-Missions (and life) are about doing a lot of things you don’t want to do so you can do things you do want to do. For example, I don’t like budgeting my money but it’s important so I have sufficent funds to buy at least one chocobanano everyday. (frozen banana covered in chocolate. Almost as delicious as chocomangos, but easier to come buy.) -Sisters everytime you think it’s hot outside think about what the elders have to wear. -Eating, sleeping, teaching, cooking, talking, sitting, breathing, studying, and walking with the same person 24/7 sometimes is great and sometimes is not super great. Just embrace working in a companionship because there’s nothing you can do about it! Be forgiving and serve your companion and you’ll both be happier.
-Follow the rules. Really this shouldn’t be optional. It makes everything easier.
-Think about home, friends, and family on Mondays and focus as much as you can on the work the rest of the week. -Start weaning yourself off your phone and Netflix like yesterday. -Buy good shoes and a good backpack. They’re definitely worth the investment.
-Memorize the first vision, D&C 4, and the missionary purpose in your mission language.
-Study the intro to the Book of Mormon, 2 Nefi 2, 2 Nefi 31 and 32, Alma 7, 32, 40-42, Eher 12, Moroni 10. -You will be called on without notice to speak, teach classes, and bear testimonies so get ready!
-The beginning of your mission is an identity crisis: new name, new clothes, new place, new language (maybe), new people, new food, new everything. Be patient. It will get easier and you’ll realize having “missionary” as part of your identity is a blessing!
Have an amazing week! Love you and miss you all! Hermana Scruggs