Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2014-05-19 ...in the "how I felt the Spirit today" section.

Hey Everyone,

Yesterday was the cambios call and I'm staying another cambio with Elder Severiano.  After never having a companion for 2 transfers in the first year of my mission, it looks like we'll be together for 3.  I'm pretty excited about that.  We work well together and get along well. 

This was another great week.

We had a great Family Home Evening with the Benavidez family this week.  It was a lot of fun. The grandpa wasn't there though, so we came back on a day when he was, and brought stuff to make coke floats.  They don't ever make floats here which is weird because they have ice cream and they drink a ton of pop.  We had a good chat with him about his childhood in Potosì.  He's warming up to us a lot.  Hopefully we can get him to come with us to church one of these days.

Everything is still going well with Jose Maria and Erik.  Their mom wants them to get baptized and they came to church and to the activity in the stake center this week.  After the activity in the stake center, we went with them to a pizza place and had a delicious bacon and egg pizza.

The activity in the stake center was for all of Potosì.  It was an open house with a 4-stop tour and then refreshments.  Almost all of the missionaries were there to help (20ish).  Elder Severiano and I were in charge of teaching a 10 minute class on indexing, family history, and baptisms for the dead.  We taught nonstop classes for 3 hours which was really tiring.  It wore out my voice too.

This Sunday after the 2nd hour of church, the Bishop told all of the priesthood holders we were leaving early to go help a member who had been hauling 8000 bricks when his truck flipped.  A member went and brought his flatbed truck and 26 of us climbed into the back with another 5 or so in the cab and we drove 20 minutes outside of Potosi to help reload the bricks into the truck and sort out the broken ones. It took 35ish guys 3 hours to do it.  I've never seen so many bricks.  It was pretty cool to see priesthood working like it should.

I can't remember if I've said anything about Mari and Lucas...  We found them last week and it's going very well.  They are very receptive and the husband/dad passed away a couple years ago so they are very interested in temple sealing and eternal family stuff.  Lucas likes basketball and comes at 6:30 on Saturdays to the church to play with us during exercise time--so do some other investigators and members. Lucas came to church on Sunday but his mom didn't because they are still building their house and it doesn't have a door so she says someone always has to be there so they don't get robbed.   This week we are going to go put in a door as a service project.

This week the other Elders told us they were going to visit Manuel's (I don't know if you remember him but he sometimes goes on divisions with me) mom, Carmen, in the hospital. She all of the sudden had trouble breathing and was in a lot of pain and had been there for a few days.  Since she lives in the other Elders' from out ward's area and isn't active, my companion and I hadn't even met her before.  I had a weirdly strong feeling that I should ask the other Elders if we could go with them though.  I wrote about it in my journal in the "how I felt the Spirit today" section--at the time still wondering if it had been the Spirit.  I really had no idea why we needed to go but felt like we should.  We wound up getting there and the other Elders weren't there.  We called and found out they weren't going to be able to come.  We went in an found her getting ready to leave to go have tests done downtown.  The hospital has an ambulance to take people to do tests for really cheap but it was being used and she didn't have the money to pay a taxi to get her there.  I offered to get the taxi and we went with her and Manuel for her tests.  We also had a great lesson about the Atonement with her.  She was very worried that she was going to die and felt terribly guilty about not having been going to church.  Prayer has a powerful ability to calm a person down.  After spending the afternoon with them I realized why I'd been prompted to be there. We had been able to be there and help when she needed it and maybe just as important, was the lesson I learned about the Spirit.

A few side notes.  I write about how I've felt the Spirit at least once every day in my journal.  I found it to be very helpful in learning to recognize the Spirit.  It helps me notice what I may not have during the day as the Spirit and helps me be more aware throughout the day of the impressions that come.

Also, I understand better every day that God knows a whole lot better than I do who needs help and what and when.  At the beginning of my mission I spent too much time trying to match people's problems to a lesson and not enough time asking God what I could share that would touch their heart, help them feel the Spirit, and make them want to change the way they are living.  Trying to figure what God wants me to do and how I should do it allows me to be a much better missionary than I can be in any other way.  That is probably one of the more valuable lessons I've learned and something I'm sure will allow God to make a lot more out of my life in the future than I would be able to in any other way.   It often surprises me the frequency with which God gives me revelation.  It makes me wonder how much of that I missed out on before because I didn't work harder to look for it.

It's almost summer time there.  It is ridiculously cold outside here and every bit as cold inside. I'm literally unable to sleep with my head outside of the blankets.  My companion sleeps in his coat with a beanie on.  I've never liked mornings and that's something the mission doesn't seem to be changing. I think I will always be more of a night person.  I hope you have a great summer, I'll be back for the next one.  If you don't write in a journal, you should.  God gives us experiences that we need.  If we don't write them down, we risk not remembering what we need to in the moment when it will help us.

Elder Howlett

P.S.  2 Nephi 4:27-29 I like the part about not letting people make you angry.  Being angry never helped anyone with anything and especially doesn't allow the Spirit to guide you.

look--I caught a chicken

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