Wednesday, September 28, 2011

mail for 3-20-2011

I know it dad, it´s hard to believe. I am almost 6 months into my journey into finding out what I´m made of. i feel it. This week I´ve been trying to be more obedient. It´s not that we were slipping to far as a companionship, it´s just that occasionally we would leave a little late and sometimes with would stay up and talk to the other companionship and not get to bed on time, resulting in sleeping in an extra 30, 45 minutes. I have cut that out entirely. And I have noticed a huge difference in the work.

The fact is that when I was with walker I did what he did and was as a result obedient. Now, in this companionship I don´t have that example of almost perfect obedience. I´ve had to make my own path, grow a pair, and find my line of obedience. Like you said, it´s impossible to be perfectly obedient in your whole mission, but when you are obedient you can see the blessings so clearly it´s unreal.

We had 17 investigators at church this last sunday, and we were missing 3 that we can almost always count on because she was out of town. We are getting up to the status of Elder Walker without him being here. That tells me a couple things

1. It is this city


2. it is the obedience of the elders

We have been having so much success here again. Almost all of our 20-25 investigators are progressing, and the other elders are doing really well as well. We had a total of 24 investigators in the church in a congregation of 75, or a thirds of the congregation. I honestly don´t know if Fantino is just super prepared or if I am just really blessed, but a few good missionaries that are here for a long time can literally change EVERYTHING. It´s a beautiful thing.

We have a young man who is 10 years old that is so cute. He has a sister that is 6 that he taught to pray, and in every prayer of his he says he´s so grateful for the missionaries and that the church is true. He is reading the BoM with his mom every night, and doing more for the cleanthliness of the church than the most faithful of the members. His name is yonatan (pronounced like jonathan) and it´s amazing how grown up he is for his age. He gets it.

There are people that we baptize that go away and inactive really fast.. those are crap..

There are people that we baptize that are members for life but don´t really truly have a testimony.

There are those baptisms that are future missionaries, future elders quorum presidents and sometimes even branch presidents.

Then there is the occasional baptism.. like yonatan will be, that may go on to be a 70 or quorum of the 12 some day. He´s an amazing kid.

What´s more amazing is that some of the 50 year old men... Actually many 50 year old men don´t have their priorities straight here like little 10 year old Yonatan.

The faith of the people here is astounding. Really truly they all believe in a higher power, and the vast majority of that time that higher power is God and Jesus Christ. I was thinking the other day.. for a people who, as a whole, are so far away from actually knowing Christ, does it require more faith for them to be so obsessed with him? And, if so, why does it take so long for them to join a church that understands his life and sacrifice so much better than their´s. Not that I´m saying the other churches are bad, but even the people here are afraid to give their money to the preacher because there is so much corruption. I just.. I don´t know. That´s my rant for the day. I´m really glad for the church. The end.

I hear things are really bad in Libya.. not from because people are very uninformed here, but just from a little research and things that you said. I worry about gas prices.. I just hope everything balances out by the time I get home.. Although I don´t think that will happen. But, fill me in on Japan. What´s going on there? How are the nuclear reactors, especially number 3 with the plutonium?

Anyway, you have really made me trunky talking about seafood. We´re not allowed to eat it here...... even though it´s a tropical island. It´s sickening, huh? anyway, that seafood buffet sounds amazing.

Yesterday, though, we went up to an encampment... I think it´s camp ground in english, to do service. We dug around in the garden for a long time as a district while the rest of the zone did their service, it was really nice. They had a great old missionary couple called to maintain and build up the grounds. It is amazingly beautiful, church owned and one of the places I want to take you when you get back. That and a farm of a member here. This island really is beautiful. If I ever feel like complaining I just think about the possibility that I had to serve in russia or north dakota.. and I get happy again.

I am going to write cameron again this week... entirely in spanish until he can understand it all. I think he probably will anyway but it´s good practice for him BEFORE he gets into the MTC. He needs to do what I didn´t, work on spanish and the gospel WAAAAY before he gets into the field. It will make him that much better of a tool in the Lord´s hands.

I love the mission so much. I will miss it when I´m done... but really, I think when all is said and done America, family, and college wins. But, I´m here, so I will thrust in my sickly with all my might like this last week.

Also, your letter was awesome this week. As always, I get that warm fuzzy feeling of home when I read it. It will feel so unfamiliar being back at the house, yet so unfamiliar all at the same time.

Time goes really fast on the mission. I think that´s because there is always more time behind that ahead of you, so it seems to accelerate. I won´t waste a second,

So, till next week, ya ustedes saben,

-Elder C. Rufus Sweeney

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