13 February, 2012

Ice Cream Man

Well this week I finally got my Christmas package. Thank you guys for all the letters and everything, I loved it!

Well On Tuesday, I did divisions with Elder King again. It went pretty well, we found some good people, and had some good lessons. We talked a lot about a bunch of different things that are going on in our areas and other stuff. He is a really good elder. It was fun being his companion for a day again. The next morning I had an awakening to Elder King falling out of the bed. He forgot he was in our pension, and somehow managed to fall out of his bed. Our room is really dark, so I just heard a thump and then, "ouch...." Then I started laughing, and he got confused, because he realized he wasn't in his pension, and asked "where am I?" It was a pretty funny morning for that.
Later on Wednesday, I took some of the fireballs that I got in the package, and I gave them to an Argentine member that lives here. At first he tried chewing it, and we told him you just have to suck on it. Then after a couple seconds he said, "wow, this is pretty spicy." Then a couple seconds later, he jumped up, and ran to his sink and spit it out, and then started chugging a bunch of water. I guess their not quite as used to spicy things as we are. We gave one to the branch president as well, and told him he wouldn't be able to finish it, so being a tough guy, he actually kept it in his mouth the whole time, but it was quite funny watching his eyes watering. We have given some to some kids and other people as well. I think the reactions of the Paraguayans with fireballs is much more worth it than eating them ourselves.

I tried grilled chicken hearts this week. Another strange food to add to the list of weird things I've eaten here. It wasn't really good or bad, just kind of in the middle. Not really something I'll be seeking out after the mission.

We had a super funny contact this week. There was an old man that walks around with a little cart selling ice cream all day. This old little guy was sitting on a bench eating some ice cream, with his cart at his side. We went up and started talking to him a little bit. I asked him where he lived, and he said: "over there," pointing in a direction with his finger. Then I said OK, perfect, and what is there close to you house, something we can use to find it? He replied: "oh, you know.... all of the things." I couldn't help but smirk a little at that one. Then I asked OK, but hermano, how can we get to you house? He responded: oh, well through God of course." at that point I just gave up the contact and we left him sitting there with his little ice cream. You win old man, you win.
We also had a funny encounter or two with some drunk guys. The first one, called us over and we started talking to him. To try and explain something, he asked well you have a mom right? I said, well yeah. Then he asked my companion, and he replied, nope, my mom died when I was 12 (she really did). Then the drunk guy got super sad, and said how can a boy live without him mom. You're only 19 years old, and you don't have a mom? Then he pulled out a box of cigarettes, and said, "well now I'm really nervous, I need to smoke." I don't think he was expecting my companions response before he asked that question, but it was pretty funny to see his reaction. Later in the week, we went up and talked to a guy, who turned out to be drunk. My companion was talking to him, and asked him which is more important, the Virgin Mary, or Jesus Christ. The guy responded, well the virgin Mary of course. Then asked us why we don't believe in her. We ended up just leaving and knocking a different door. Later we walked past him again, and he yelled, hey, do you guys believe in the virgin. My companion just said, nope! The guy then started yelling at us, How can you not believe in our god. If you do that, I'm not going to believe in your god. We kept walking, and he shouted, hey come back here. I'm gonna hit you guys! How can you not believe in the Virgin? He was shouting things until we got about 3 blocks away, and then we couldn't hear him anymore.
I've been working a lot this week on smiling more, and just trying to be happy regardless of the circumstances. I did pretty well right up until Saturday and Sunday. We ended up walking a ton, and we were both exhausted, so it was hard to keep a smile on the face at that point. We both woke up exhausted this morning from how much we walked yesterday.

We had an overall good week, we found lots of new investigators, and had some good lessons. We are still struggling on having investigators progressing. We are working super hard, like for the past couple months, but I think God still has some things that he wants us to learn. Well, all we have left to do, is just keep improving, and do everything we can do, and then sit back, and see the promises of God fulfil themselves. I really feel like these past couple months of my mission have been some of the hardest. Sometimes I really don't think I can take anymore. However, I wouldn't have it any other way. I am so grateful for every little experience that the Lord allows me to pass through to become a better person. I love looking back at the person I was, and seeing now the difference in the person I have become. Most of who I now am, is thanks to the trials and tribulations that I have had to go through. I guess you could say the best weeks of the mission are the most frustrating, and difficult weeks of all, but that's because the Lord loves us. My testimony of this work, and of my Savior and the atonement are all thanks to the hard times I have had in the mission.

I love you guys, and hope all is well back home. Have a fantastic week!
Elder Ryan Griffin

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