Monday, February 15, 2016

The Circus Came to Town

Guess what I'm gonna be eating for a while.
I am always hungry here - it kind of surprises my companion.  But I have now solved my hunger problem. I bought a 50-pound bag of potatoes for only 4 luca ($6). Now I will just have to get creative with fixing them. Had to carry the bag roughly a mile, but come on - what a deal!

A Turn of Inspiration
We had the feeling that the Bishop has been feeling pressure. And since this ward needs him, we decided to drop by his house in hopes of lifting his spirits. When we arrived, he was working in the garage (he's a mechanic), and as we small-talked a bit, it was clear that he was too busy for a visit.

But as we were about to leave, Elder Cowley suddenly became faint. The Bishop was shocked and escorted us inside for some watermelon. As Elder Cowley recovered, we thought that this was our chance to slip in a message about enduring to the end, but the thing is, we didn't teach the lesson because the Bishop began sharing his conversion story.

Bishop's Conversion
At the age of 9 he began drinking alcohol and by 15 he was into all types of drugs. A few years ago he started taking the lessons and after attending Church and partaking the Sacrament for the first time, he had no desire to drink or smoke again. (This was a hardcore addict who felt the feeling described in Alma 36).

While he shared his story, he was emotional. I believe that he needed the reminder of his strength and the strength of the gospel. Sometimes a sick companion helps move the work along.

"This is the True Church. Go there"
Went teaching with a young member named Damian (he's awaiting his mission call). We taught Jose (trying to prepare him for the temple). Jose converted to the church a year and a half ago. He told us it was because of a dream he had where there was this guy pointing to the church saying, "This is the true church. Go there."  And he went. How's that for direct revelation.
Damian, Elder Cowley, Jose, Me
Mini Cambio - All Espanol
Went on a mini-cambio (mini exchange) and had to learn to communicate solamente in Spanish because my companion for the day was from Mexico. Good practice. Also for the mini-cambio, since I was the one to stay in our sector, I was senior companion for a day. Little scary but went well.

The main dilemma in our area is member retention. Currently, we have around 450 inactives on our records. That's astounding. We find a lot of people who have strong testimonies but not strong conversion. They have knowledge of the gospel but lack commitment to act. Our plan is one of conversion - inviting all to Christ and endure to the end. In some cases, we will need to remind them of the path.

Speaking of tracting and work. We don't knock doors out here. Instead, we stand outside gates and yell, "ALO!"

Breakfast at the Lake
Members invited us to the lake for breakfast and soccer activity. Fun.

The Circus Came to Town
The circus moved to the empty lot a block down from us.  The Brothers Karza Circus. Talked to some of the people there, they're nice. But I have one complaint. They blare music from the movie Frozen every night - half the time in Spanish. I swear there is no escape from that movie.

That's it, people. A week in the life of Elder Nef. My days in the next little while will be working with members, teaching investigators, keeping tabs on my clown friends, and learning how to cook potatoes. Lots and lots of potatoes.

Ciao for Now,
Elder Connor Nef

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