Tuesday, 8 October 2013

October 7th Letter

Michael (2nd from left) is shown here with other missionaries in his zone.

Querida Familia,
Well, happy birthday mama! Feliz cumpleanos! I hope to send a nice looking card sometime soon when we meet with some leaders or something. But for now, happy birthday! I am glad everyone is doing well and hope that it continues in that manner.  I hope everything is going very well still and that Dad is recovering and everyone is happy! Im glad you all had a great party, fiesta forever! I hope mama is doing excellent being a 50 year old. I hope your weather isnt terrible yet. I hope Dad can do that weight program, Im sure it will be a pretty good challenge. I still eat far too much, but still havent really gained weight. Im glad you are all doing well and seeing lots of friends, I didnt even know we had any! And now Im gone they all decide to show up! haha.  Hopefully the coming of winter treats you guys alright. It is still hot as ever here.
We were able to watch all of conference, save the priesthood session as it was past our time to be en casa. But we watched all of the other four sessions, with investigators even! We need four options for church every week, especially in the afternoon so someone is awake to go! Haha. As much as I love all the people and they are so funny and great, the work ethic is... interesting. I love when people say they work all the time, and yet we seem to be able to find them at the strangest times. Such as the times they say they wont be home. But Sunday night when we arrange to come they are not home. It is a little strange, especially because everyone is still super happy to speak with us. But they work "a lot". Which is true to an extent. They work about normal. But that is a lot apparently. Oh well. We are having far more success now than before, and our obedience to the rules is almost precise.
Everyday people comment on how hot the weather is. They all have lived here their whole lives. But everyday, "oh, hace tanto calor", which means it is really hot in spanish. Im kind of confused. I mean, I sometimes say it is really hot when we are out in the street walking under the hot sun for hours on end. But when I sit in a chair, it feels ok. Sweaty, but ok. My clothes are going to be extremely gross over time. But that is ok!
Our investigators are doing pretty good. We have a family, without the dad, who learns superbly well. They clearly have the Spirit particularly of understanding, and read everything perfectly. So many of our investigators learn pretty well and read our assignments and love hearing from us. We just really need their church attendance to continue. The rule for here is that a person must attend church four times before baptism. So our hopes are really riding on next month.
Anyway, my spanish is progressing. Although we had this one lesson where I was supposed to lead in teaching, and my spanish kind of just ceased to work or something. It was basically awful haha. Apparently they understood. Even though all I think I said was things like, ``so the plan of salvation. There was like Adam and Eve and they fell and we have agency to choose between good and bad and we are here on earth to become like our Heavenly Father and I know that is true in fact I know the church is true and that is great isnt it. Are you okay with being baptized in november? Yeah? Great! Um, any questions about the plan of salvation? I sure have questions about everything I just tried to teach. But if you feel good so do I!`So not the greatest lesson Ive ever taught. 
Our teaching of older people sure is interesting. Haha. When we ask a question there is just some long pause and then an unrelated statement.  But they are super cool when they say my name. Elder sugyban. Are you Japanese? Chinese? Korean? Every little child in the street to `HEY CHINO!` I have taken to anwering them with my jokes now. Like if they want chinese food, and that I will get them some next time.
For some reason here it is just fine to interrupt people when they are talking by saying permiso. It happens quite a bit to us, probably since we are gringos and people LOVE talking. But it is so funny and great and we really do find out a lot about people since they are so open. Like, they share with us quite a bit how they really feel, and for some reason trust and confide in us. I dunno why. I doubt I look very trustworthy. Especially with my strange haircut I got for free from a convert. There is a reason it was free.
I really learned interesting things from conference this week. Especially from Pres. Uchtdorf about how the people are imperfect but the church is still perfect and every one should come and join with us once more and enjoy the fullness of the Gospel. And how members need to help the missionaries, and the missionaries the members. It is something really lacking in our ward, coordination, despite our brilliant ward mission leader who does so much work in retaining and reactivation, always visiting people and meeting with us. Great guy. Walks to everybodys house. Just like we do. Also enjoyed talks on the Atonement, and how everyone can enjoy it. Also that our doctrine does not change. I really want people to understand here that there is so much available for them. That yes there are so many things in the world that we can enjoy or have that are great, but nothing is as important as God and the Atonement of Jesus Christ and if they really want a lasting joy, they can truly have it. More than just when the missionaries visit. More than just one blessing a week. They could have blessing forever. But they have to change. We try to change everyday. Interviews with president this week. YEAH. Means we get to cook with Hermana Rodriguez I think!
Well I hope all is well and everyone keeps learning and getting better and doing super duper. I hope to have better news to share in November about how our investigators became converts. They still need an answer to their prayers. Maybe some more faith. But all is COOOOOOOL.
Anyway, have a great week. I pray always for you. In Spanish. But the Spirit and The Lord only speak spanish in this mission haha. 
Con todo mi amor,
Elder Michael Sullivan
PS  Anyway hope all is really gooooooodd. And be jealous of my great 35 to 40 or whatever temperature it is here. hehe. BYE

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