How be it? Oh good snakes, hope you guys had a great week and that girls camp was nuttin' but the tops. Do keep in mind that, as Allphin children, we will not learn our sunburn lessons until we develop melanoma. I hope that green tea still helps for sunburns, though. Mom, I hope the birthday was amazing as well. Sounds super chill.
Speaking of chill, its July and freezing cold here but we’ve have got a new, nice heater so it’s ok. We are surviving. Oh but it was an ok week, kinda. We kicked off the week great. The familia A_____ was all ready for baptism, the district was doing well, and all was peachy...'til about Thursday. The zonies came over for planning. It’s a thing they do with the missionaries once and awhile and, though I don’t thoroughly enjoy it, I just take the WC Fields quote to heart and just, ¨Smile...and get it over with¨. Part of their coming over to the pench to plan with the missionaries is to also look for things that don’t meet mission standards, like contraband-type stuff for example. I was lacking cigarettes and pirated DVDs for them to confiscate so nothing happened but my comp got super mad at them and told them “You guys aren’t here to help us plan! You’re just spying on us, and distrusting us, and looking to bust us for something!” and etc, etc… It was super embarrassing; I wanted to die. Ever since then there has been a change in the trust between us and the zonies. It seems like there is just this big awkward barrier now, ugggh.
On Friday we got a call from the A_______ family who said that this week...no baptism. We asked them why and a thousand and a half things came flying out. They were super sketched out on the baptismal record saying things like, "This could get into the hands of people who want to steal our identity!” and ´´I'm not so sure about the priesthood” and etc, etc, etc. We tried the best we could to testify, explain, and everything but their problem is they are (in the words of The National) “Afraid of Everyone” and everything. They read something or hear something and, if it’s not in harmony with their beliefs, they go crazy, especially the father. If he’s not sure then the whole family’s not sure. He wants an overwhelming confirmation that the church is true. We explained to him how you can get that but he wants a vision or a dream or something along the lines of that. We are still working with them and helping them and we are still welcomed in their home but, idk what the heck happened. They went from, “BAPTIZE US NOW!” to "Idk, elders...” Satan is just trying to destroy this family. We feel like they are supposed to make an important contribution toYuto and they are super, significantly important but man. That almost killed me. I still feel so bad about it.
Our whole district didn’t have a great week. There was a lot of work but not a lot of progression and there seemed to be a thread of disanimation in the district. The ZLs said yesterday night that they had a conference with Elder Viñas in Salta last week where he said when there is lots of work but no progression it’s probably because of iniquity or, in other words, disobedience. I'm afraid they think there is. I know that nobody’s perfect but I don’t want disobedience to be a handicap progression. My comp has gotten better at things but he still has some issues and man, it’s just hard sometimes. These things aren’t great sins but are things that make a difference: Things like sleeping in too long, wasting time, etc). I'm feeling that lately it’s hard to buckle down with my comp and help us to do the best we can. It takes so much effort to pull someone along all the time. I know we can all, as a district, work harder to be more obedient and have the spirit be with us. I know it’s only through grace and simple repentance that it’s possible but it’s hard for a lot of people to start anew and say “Ok, I’m going to commit to be better.” I want all of us to try and do the best we can. I guess I’m starting to come to grips of what Heavenly Father must think of us all the time and that’s comforting.
It’s been kind of a bummer week this last week but, you know, there’s always this next week. It’ll be better. Pray for all of us to be better. We’ll all do the best we can. I'll do the best I can. Pray for the familia A_______ that they can see the truth and not fear and just come to Christ. It’s one of the most heartbreaking things in this world to see people who have the gospel right at their fingertips and won’t grasp it. That’s one of the only things I don’t like about the mish. But they will get it. We will keep working with them and everyone. Well, that’s my spiel. Sorry it was kind of a bummer letter but they happen at times. Now onto questions:
- How are all your investigators?
Well, you know what happened with the A______ family but the Familia B________ are doing well. More than anything Paula (the mom of Javier and José) is doing the best. She is assisting church and wanting to have a better life. Alas, she has a pretty messed up family. They make Anna Nicole Smith’s family look picture perfect. I think that’s why she wants to join the church, because it’ll bring so much harmony to her family. It already has. José and Isaac are doing ok. Their family is not letting them get baptized yet because their older brother was baptized and he is an on again off again member. They say if their kids are going to get baptized they’ve got to be perfect and it’s kind of hard for the kids to do that. But we are working with them and with a lot of other people we’ve found. We got some references from the Familia A________ that we are going to hit up. We’re doing alright. We are always looking for more people to teach. Pray that we’ll find them.
- Are you wearing your thermal undies yet?
Ah! Thank you for reminding me. I totally forgot I had those. I used them once in Chijra when it was cold but I gotta break 'em out again for the cold here.
- Do you use your bounty-hunter skills to track down the less-active members of your elders quorum?
F'reals! It’s ridiculous. There are no directions here in Yuto so the ward directory helps for nothing. The closest thing we have for directions here is “the house by that one tree” so we have Elias or Angel Gonzalez help us find the houses. There are some priesthood holders here but they are super, insanely inactive. We are trying to help them and ordain some of the boys who can become ordained elders. That’ll help them a ton for sure. It’s really about applying chapter 13 of Preach My Gospel in this situation...I love PMG—LOVE IT! I’m also studying Ether right now and have just finished with chapter 12. T’was a most dandy chapter, it helped me a lot. That and a little bit of how to work with ward councils better so we can really set up a better ward mission plan and do the best we can (along with the advice we received in the mission president capacitation we received last week).
- Do you ever teach Sunday school or priesthood?
Sometimes. Not as much here as in the other wards I was in. In priesthood, yeah, but Sunday school is all covered.
Well familys that’s about it. It’s the 4th this week so yes, let’s call up some of our firecrackin’ buddies and go burn down a mountain. I’m so down! But yeah, have a most amazing week. I love and miss you guys a bunch. Thank you so much for all your love and prayers, they mean just about everything to me. Keep on with it and have a most burn-free 4th of July and please tell Grandma to keep the fireworks to a minimum. I know how much she loves those roman candles. I love you guys! Have a great 4th and 9th of July (Argentina’s 4th) I love you, its all good.