It´s me again, Ben Pearson, I don´t know if you forgot about me, but if you did I happen to be in Guatemala where I am the only white person within miles, and the only one who has experienced carpet under my toes in my life. I also happen to be in Chimaltenango, Guatemala where things are going great.
First off I want to apologize for my letter last week, I was in no way comparing my sacrifice to that of Joseph Smith or the Savior, I just wanted to express that when the going gets hard on a mission the thing that helps most is just to remember your purpose and why you´re here in a foreign country. That´s all, I hope it didn´t come off as sounding self righteous.
Anyways after one of the hardest weeks of my mission I´ve had one of the best weeks of my mission and I will hurry to explain why. First off Elder Alberto and I are teaching so much better together and he is rarely attacking people with our message now, which is such a relief in our lessons and allows us to teach better. I think he is really starting to understand that we can´t convince anyone of this gospel, we can only present it, and if they want to, they can make changes that will be the best thing they ever did for themselves. So that´s been going better. Also we´ve just been working a lot better together in general. He really is a good missionary, he and we just had to figure some things out, and things are going a lot better, of course 2 weeks before he is transferred (proabbly, he has been here for almost 7 months) and I get to head up the area with a new companion. It´s not for sure but we´ll see.
Anyways the reason things are going so well is because aside from Dany and Mabele, this week we made huge strides with one investigator (unexpectedly) and we found a new investigator that is progressing incredibly fast. The first investigator is Jose Rivas. His wife doesn´t want anything to do with the gospel but she listens. At the end of the first lesson with them (not the first time visitng just the actual content of the first lesson) we asked them to really pray about Joseph Smith to know for themselves if he was a prophet. I sayguiltily that this was probably more out of routine than sincerety, but to our surprise, when we returned, Jose had actually prayed sincerely. The way we found this out was at the beginning of our lesson we asked if they had any doubts or questions about anything, maybe from the pamphlet they had read or something they want to know about the church. He paused, and usually this means a dificult question, but he thought and asked I want to know more about your church meetings. We were shocked and asked why. We came to find that he had prayed, and the reason he wanted to attend church was because he felt something that he wanted to experience again. This is something that never happens this fast. This is ideally what happens in a Preach My Gospel situation, but this kind of genuity rarely occurs, and I hadn´t seen until then. He´s going to attend church with us and we´re planning to have a Family Home Evening to try to get to his wife because she is incredibly strong in her church and doesn´t want to change, and because of that she is scared to recieve an answer.
The other experience I had (quickly I want to write Brad and Michelle still) was with a man named Carlos and I can´t remember his last name because it´s weird for spanish. When I say that I mean spanish last names are weird enough without being weird for their own language, but I digress. Carlos is a reference of the Sister missionaries here, that we went to contact because a lesson fell through. What we found was that this was a man we had knocked the door of 4 or so days before that didn´t want anything to do with us, so it was kind of awkward and we we´re proabbly a bit apprehensive to ask to enter again. But we did and he allowed us to. To sum things up, we found that he really is someone just searching for the truth. He thinks it is bad that only people who go to schools can lead churches and is asking all the right questions. Within two lessons he attending church and Reading. He is someone who loves the Bible and studies with more intensity than most of the members of our church, but the thing is he is completely open to our message. He said that nothing he had Heard was contrary to what he read in the Bible and that he wants to know for himself the truth. He is big about having respect for the sacred things and loved the reverent way in which we hold our meetings as compared to the yelling and screaming of other churches around here.
I really feel like our hard work is paying off. I really hope things go will with everyone and that we can bring these families closer to the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I´m loving this work, and while it´s the hardest thing I´ve ever done, the times of success make it all worth it. I´m sorry I didn´t talk about Zone Conference Mom maybe next week!