Sometimes in life, and on a mission, you ask yourself “What am I doing wrong?” not because things are going particularly bad but because you feel like nothing is going…“just right”. Unlike Goldilocks who eventually found a “just right” chair, bowl of porridge, and bed, in real life “just right” is not always an option. Of course it is just a feeling that isn’t really true and it eventually passes. But some days you feel like it will never pass.
This week we had some good lessons, some so-so lessons and one particular lesson that went from good to bad. When lessons fell through during the week, we did contacts. We also visited with a recent convert.
The lesson that went from good to bad started out great. The man we were visiting was the first person since I have been here to say “God comes before tradition” However, his words did not match his intentions. During the lesson he would come up with unrelated questions that actually took away and distracted from the lesson. At the end of the lesson he refused to pray in Portuguese but insisted on praying in dialect. We explained that, that was good for personal prayers but that in a group, out of respect, you pray in the language that everyone can understand. But he would only pray in dialect.
Another lesson we had marked with a different man fell through this way. When we called him, he had asked us to meet him at a certain time at a certain spot. He didn’t show so Elder DePina called him and was talking to him. Then there was a pause and the man’s wife got on the phone. She said that the man was far, far away and would not be home for a couple of hours. Now that excuse usually works, but just two seconds earlier Elder Depina was talking to him on the same phone.
We had a very long walk to the first counselor in the branch presidency’s house. We are helping him and his wife prepare for the temple. We had an awesome lesson with them. They are so ready to go to the temple. They had some good questions. They wanted to know if they needed a perfect knowledge of the scriptures to enter the temple. We explained that wasn’t necessary.
I have been thinking about how we, as human want everything right now. Instant gratification is not God’s way. He knows things of REAL worth come through time, perseverance and hard work. I hope I can better learn to be patient.
We had a lesson with a man with two wives. He also has children with many other women. However, he is enthusiastic with the gospel and wants to change his life to follow God’s commandments.
One lesson this week was with Axxxxx and Qxxxx. Their dog almost took a bite out of my leg. I could feel his teeth through my pant leg. But the lesson was awesome. The wife is awesome. They participated and even accepted the invitation of baptism. That was Wednesday and we marked to sit with them on again on Friday. When we got to their house on Friday they weren’t there. We called and they had something they had to leave for but Qxxxx, the wife, had just left and she came back to talk to us. It shows she cares. She explained why they couldn’t be there for the lesson and we marked for Saturday. She left again but came back to ask if we could not only teach her and her husband but also her kids. Of course teaching the whole family together is what we want! We were finally able to sit with them on Saturday and had a really good Book of Mormon lesson where they really understood what the Book of Mormon is and sincerely promised to read. Their dog that tried to bite me earlier in the week has two names. Dog and Snoop (Snoop-dog).
Something I have noticed, in Maxixe, is that people have separate houses (on the same property) for their children to sleep in.
We had a great lesson with a new family on Thursday Jxxxxxx and Lxxxx. They are going to come to church. We had another good lesson with them on Saturday. They were cooking crab, something I have never had the desire to eat. But for some odd reason it sounds super good now. So I think I am going to buy some and try to cook and eat it.
We also had a lesson with Vxxxxx this week, he is a reference from Axxxxxx and he is solid. He was taught by the missionaries a couple of years ago but stopped coming to church. He is here to stay this time. On the way home we found a group of flesh eating bunnies – not true but we did find a group of teenage males dancing. They had music and made a circle. One would go in the circle and dance then trade out with another one. Some of them were really really good. What a fun way to finish out that day and we had another good lesson with Vxxxxx on Saturday.
Also on Saturday, while walking around trying to unsuccessfully make contacts, I saw a really old Machamba-Mama (an elderly woman that works in the fields). She started walking towards me with her hand out. I initially thought she was asking for money (it happens a lot). However, it was quite the opposite; she was trying to give me money. What! I, of course, didn’t take it, but it did leave me pondering why she wanted to give me money.
Sunday we had an astounding frequency of 48 people. After church we went to visit Axxxxxxxx and Exxxxx and their brand new baby girl. She is so cute. Babies rock! Then we went back to the church so the Branch Presidency could have a “GoToMeeting” with President Kretly. That gave me time to study.
I really should have cleaned the refrigerator last P-day but didn’t. I hope to this P-Day. I know it will feel really good to have a clean shiny inside to the fridge.