Monday, June 20, 2016

How Can We Be Anything Less?

Damian leaving for his mission to Guatemala. His mom and uncle pose with us.
Sunday was the farewell of Damian Campos. Damian is a very social dude - full of personality. Every day when we're contacting, someone will say, "Hey, I know a guy who is about to leave on a mission - Damian Campos!"  He's going to make a terrific missionary.

The Reason for Staying
Most of our investigators have been dropping like flies, and I ain't gonna lie, it's downright discouraging. Such is missionary life, huh?  But what softens the blow are the families who are open and eager to learn. We still have a few of those.

For instance, we had a nice Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) with Jorge and Rafaela. They are a super cool young couple who own the local Pastry Shop. Jorge is 6'4" and Rafaela is like 5'3".

We had another great lesson with Danilo and Barbara. The lesson at first was a little scattered because I steered the topic away from what we planned and in a direction I felt inspired, but in the middle of the message, I got a strong feeling that this family is one of the reasons - if not the reason - I am still in Quillon.  That made me feel better.

Fun Fact:
- It is common to see men walking on either side of the street yelling a friendly conversation, like:
     "Hey neighbor, when can I pass by?" 
     "This Friday is good?" 
     "Yeah, sounds good!"
     "Ok by, see you later!"
     "Ok chow. Have a good day!"
     "Until Friday, take care!"
     "See you Friday. Have a beautiful day!"
Prolonging farewells is a thing here. Hilarious.

- Every day I hear Jefferson Starship's We Built This City on Rock and Roll. Mr Evans, my high school Journalism teacher, would hate this!

-  I keep seeing teenagers and young adults with rifles. Ironic because Quillon is super peaceful.

- They finally fixed our shower! Before the temperature was either freezing cold or scalding hot. Now, it's a nice (aaaaahhhh) warm shower.

-  My sister, Lauren, returns from her mission to France tomorrow! Congrats and Love you, Lo!

Evelo is Enfermo
Sickness is still lingering with my companion, Elder Evelo. Every day is a little touch and go. Some mornings he wakes up feeling great, but then his health goes south as the work day goes on.

Ixnay on the Noche
Because of this, we missed a ward activity we planned with the sister missionaries last Friday night. It was going to be like a giant Noche de Hogar with sopaipillas (a deep fried bread you can load with whatever topping or eat alone).  But the Hermanas said it went well. Everyone laughed and cried, and there was a perfect amount of sopaipillas.

Tommy In-Toe!
Did I tell you that we got permission from the mission president to watch Chile play in the Copa America Centenario (this hemisphere's version of the World Cup), because, to be honest, soccer is so big here that no one will open door to us with this game on. The one condition was that we needed an investigator in attendance.

Well, we show up at the Campos-Burgos's house (with fingers crossed and a prayer), explain the situation, and Hermana Feli - bless her heart - sprints off to get someone and comes back with Tommy in-toe! FELI COMES IN THE CLUTCH ONCE AGAIN!  So we were able to watch a rather intense game of Chile vs. Bolivia, which Chile won with nearly no time to spare.
Elder Evelo, Damien, me

Because health issues have kept us indoors, it has given me a lot of time for study.
     I started and finished Our Heritage
     I am deep into Exodus in the Old Testament
     Reading 2 Nephi in the Spanish Book of Mormon
     Nearing the end of Matthew in the New Testament
     And about halfway through Jesus the Christ
We've also listened to a number of great talks (Elder Evelo came with a 109 GB USB full of Church films, talks, and music).

How Can We Be Anything Less?
One of my favorites was a BYU talk by Jeffrey R. Holland Oh, Lord, Keep My Rudder True -  An inspiring message on integrity and loyalty.

He shared a story of some LDS troops in Korea and how one Sergeant who was loyal enough to his bullet-ridden Lieutenant to go back for him and because this Sergeant was a slight 5'5" 150 lbs, he had to rely wholly on the strength of the Lord to carry the large 6'7" 245 lb. Lieutenant uphill to safety.

In a similar way, another man made an uphill climb many years before, carrying all of us.  As the Savior neared Calvary, his defenders became fewer and fewer.  But regardless of this, he has kept his loyalty to us.  His love, unwavering, has atoned for us.

Because of his loyalty, how can we be anything less than stand-up missionaries and disciples of Christ?

Ciao a Todos!
Elder Connor

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