Well as I said last week, we had the meeting with President Callan with all the leaders of the mission last Monday which was really good. Afterwards we went to go take a collectivo to get to the terminal. We stopped one and asked if it went to the terminal, and they said yes. After about 10 minutes, I realized he wasn't going towards the terminal and so we asked someone in the bus if it went there. They told us that it did, but not until about 7. At that point it was about 5, and we had to get to the terminal at 5.30. I went up and asked the bus driver why he told us it went to the terminal, when in all truth it took forever to get there. His response? "Well you just asked if it went to the terminal, not how long it took." Well anyway, we got off and got another bus, and got to the terminal late, and left on the next bus, at 6:40. Since it is a 6 hour drive, we got home at about 1:30 or so, and so I just had to sleep at the zone leaders house with a blanket on the floor. I got back to my area in the morning and showered and everything there, being Tuesday morning already.
On Tuesday, I had the district meeting, which turned out kind of interesting, because we talked a lot about the fact that we do in fact need goals to have a purpose in our missionary work. Anyway, I went on divisions with a companionship that is having some problems. One of the companions told me that his companion just wastes all day with the members, and that he lies about his numbers. So I went on divisions with the Elder that is the problem. He is an elder from Packistan (yes I did spend a day with a race that hates Americans already). He grew up there, but moved to Columbia, and lived there a couple of years where he was baptized and everything. He is 26 years old, and served in the military as a captian. To start the day off, we went to a lunch appointment they had. The people served us some meat stuff, but the side was something they call "rollos." A rollo is basically sausage stuff wrapped in pigskin. Yeah so something like a football. No just kidding, but it really is wrapped in a pigskin, and apparently these people didn't know how to do it right, so the hair of the pig was still in fact on the skin. It was really nasty looking, and quite frankly hard to chew when I imagine the pig hairs in there. I never thought I would be eating something that hairy before. It didn't taste too bad, but it wasn't good. The hardest part was just the texture with the hair, and the fact that it was just skin of a pig. I'll pass on that one next time.....
The rest of the day of divisions was super boring, the elder basically just wasted the whole day with members, and we didn't really get anything done. I just let him lead everything to see if it really was a problem, and well, it was confirmed. The next day, when his companion came over, I talked to both of them, and told them they have got to stop wasting time with the members, and start doing missionary work. Well regardless it's still about the same.
On Wednesday, I came back to my area finally, and was able to work here. We had a lesson with these two people that we had taught before, Cesar and Sonia. The guy, Cesar, is super headstrong about his beliefs, and so he tried to argue a lot. He said he couldn't believe in the BOM because the Bible didn't say anything about it. I asked him, alright well can you show me one part in the Old Testament, where it talks about the New Testament? He said no, but that there are parabolic scriptures about it. I then showed him Ezekiel 37 where it talks about the stick of Joseph. I explained that God in no time just comes out and says this is what will happen, but rather refers to it in other terms, which is what he did with the BOM. We also explained to him the need of prophets and apostles in the true church, and showed him the scripture in Ephesians that says that Christ ordained apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and pastors. I asked him how many churhces he knew that had all 5 of those. He obviously couldn't think of any, so I told him, it is a requirement of the true church. Regardless, he just didn't want anything of it, and gave us the BOM back that we had left him, and said he would talk to his pastor about it.
On Saturday night we were walking and heard some shouting coming from a building, as we got closer we realized it was a evangelist church. Then we realized what the guy was shouting, over and over he just kept shouting: "OUT, OUT, OUT, OUT, LEAVE, LEAVE, LEAVE, LEAVE!" We were super confused, because we kept walking and got to a point where we could see through the window, and he was just shouting it in the microphone to his congregation. I think he was trying to cast out the demons or something in the congregation. Then we waited there a second to see what he was doing, and he just broke out into a song. He started singing super off tune, and then the congregation started singing along with him. Then he started pumping his fist slowly in the air with the beat of the song..... Well not gonna lie, if I didn't know which was the true church, I think I would be going there too, it's almost like a comedy show, only they aren't trying to be funny.
The branch president gave us some names of some less active people he wanted us to find. They are a family, and he gave us more or less the direction of where they live. We looked, and looked, and asked around, and they were nowhere to be found. Then on Saturday, we were in a totally different part of our area, near the river. My companion stopped to look at something across the river, and so I stopped as well. Then I realized there was a guy looking at us, so we went and talked to him. It turned out that the guy was the dad of the family we had been looking for, and that was where they lived. It was pretty miraculous that we were able to find them.
President Callan told us that we should share the goals of the mission with our ward leaders so that they could help us achieve them. We ended up doing that with our branch president, and in the sacrament meeting, the president called out the members, telling them that they need to help the missionaries if they want to see this branch progress, and that we had really high goals, and it is going to require help from the members to achieve it.
We also had an investigator come to church yesterday. He came with his BOM, and the Law of Chastity pamphlet that we gave him. He only stayed for the first meeting though, and then had to leave. We are really struggling with getting people to church right now.... we got a lot of work to do.
Changes are this Wednesday, we'll see if anything happens here. That's about all on the week. Love you guys tons, and hope all is well back there. Talk to you next week.
Elder Ryan Griffin