09 April, 2012

Semana Santa

Well, this week has been a nice interesting one. First things first, changes were on Wednesday. My companion and I both stayed another change together. We are now going on our 3rd change together out here, we were both excited to find out we were going to stay here, because we wanted to stay together another change. We are still getting along really well, and things are looking pretty good in our area.
Alright, so to start off the week, well I got a little bit sick. I had a fever hit on Monday shortly before we had to leave for proselyting. Well, we left anyway, and tried to work, but it got so bad that I ended up having to come back to the house and just collapsed on the bed, and fell asleep. Later, on Tuesday, we had to go to district meeting, and I still didn't feel very good, so when we came back, I took a nap before we left to go out and work again. We left, and I lasted a couple of hours, but then it got so bad again, that we had to give up, and come back to the house. Turns out that with a fever, it is not in fact better to just "toughen it out," and go out to work. I figured that one out the hard way. Finally on Wednesday, I just took a sick day, and slept a bunch. It helped a lot and fortunately, I felt mostly better on Thursday for my Birthday. In total I slept about 34 hours in 3 days..... not exactly the way I like spending days in the mission.
On Thursday..... well lets just say it was definitely an interesting Birthday. I had just recovered from being sick, so we went out and worked normal for the first day in the week. This week was what the Catholics call "Semana Santa," or holy week, in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Christ..... or at least that is what is is supposed to be for. As far as people actually doing that, well that's another matter. Anyway, we went to our lunch appointment on Thursday, and low and behold, the member wasn't there. We called him, and he was somewhere else. OK, well our area doesn't exactly have and "restaurants," so we started looking for a dispensa (a little in home store at peoples' houses). We walked around, and couldn't find any that were open. Oh, but don't you worry; the lord didn't forget us there. We were provided a meal from the heavens.... literally. We looked behind us, and saw red skies. Well, that wasn't something I had seen before, so we didn't know what it was. Shortly thereafter, we found out what it was. A dust storm. Now you have to understand that where we live, there is a lot of dust. The streets are basically all just red dirt. In other words, there was a lot of dust. So what did we eat for lunch you might ask, well a lot of dust. In the eyes, in the mouth, on the shirt, everything you might imagine. Well, after that, the feast wasn't over, we also had a nice little bit of rain to quench our thirst after that, so everything turned out quite nice. OK, but on the real story, you are probably wondering what we really did eat. Well, we went to an investigators house, and they just happened to be eating lunch. They offered, and we accepted. So we actually did end up eating some lunch. At the end of the day, we had a cake, and some candles, and lit them and all that traditional stuff, and that was the 21st Birthday. Honestly I probably would have been frustrated before the mission if a Birthday had have gone like that, but here in the mission, I was so focused on helping other people, that it really didn't even phase me. I was still really happy the whole day.
On Friday, nobody was home. We walked around a lot, and were only saved by the fact that we had to go and do an interview for some baptisms in the district. I did two interviews of two young kids. One is 14, and the other 11. They were baptized on Saturday. after the interview, we were sitting by a park, waiting for a bus to get back to our area. The Catholics here have a strange tradition. On Friday, they set up the street with a bunch of candles, and stuff, and then they have a man walk with a "cross," until the plaza, and then the crucify them. Not literally, but they literally put them up on a cross for a while. You might be wondering how I know this.... well, my companion and I saw it first-hand, all while we were waiting for the bus. It was quite possibly the strangest thing I have ever seen. We were so weirded out, we just decided to jump in a taxi and get home.
Side note, I finally figured out what the strange noises the parrots behind our house are making. We were walking by one day, and the dog had a squeaky toy that it was playing with. For a second I thought the parrots were making their noise, but then I looked, and the same exact noise was coming from the toy. They've been imitating a squeaky toy this whole time. Well, it hasn't really made it any less annoying.
On Saturday and Sunday, they were the only half way normal days we had during the week. On Sunday, we had 5 investigators in the meeting. Miriam(13), who is going to be baptized this Saturday (Yay, first baptism in like 5 months!) and Clarise(9), her sister, that is going to be baptized the 28. Also Oscar(22), and his little brother Lucas(13). Also a little boy named Carlos(9). Oscar is progressing a lot. We taught him the word of wisdom, and shared a scripture in Galatians 5 more or less verse 12. Anyway, it talks about the spiritual and the carnal. It really helped him to see the need to stop drinking and smoking.
My district is doing better right now. We are finally starting to see some baptisms. This district has been the lowest baptizing in the mission for a while, and lately we have been just average, but this month we are one of the highest in the mission.
On Sunday, my companion and I had to teach the priesthood lesson. We were told about 5 minutes after the meeting started. Well, for an improvised lesson, it actually went pretty well. We talked about how the Savior talked a lot about the missionary work after his resurrection, and that it is because he expects each and every one of us to be witnesses of his resurrection, and invite others to come unto him.
Well, that's about the story of this week. I love you guys tons, and hope you had a great Easter. Have a fantastic week. Love,
Elder Griffin

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