Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 18, 2014 Week 11 in San Jacinto

     Another week by as it is now mid-August, which means school will be starting soon for a lot of people back home. Everyone here started last Monday and it turns out that school ends at 6:00 PM.  Definitely different than the states.  They also start learning English from much earlier ages in their equivalent of elementary school. Which works well for me as most kids/teenagers we teach like to be helped with their English homework.  Oh, I forgot to mention that kids start school here when they are only 4 -just an interesting note.  Also, this week the month long routine cleanup of the factory ended and it is back to making sugar. Which means there is a lot more noise and smoke coming from it now. It is a little annoying, but I suppose the factory is the reason why San Jacinto exists.  Other than the start of school and the startup of the factory not much else has changed in San Jacinto. Though, the startup of the factory has sparked chemical engineering thoughts in my head again.

     This past Tuesday I took part in another companionship exchange after the weekly District meeting in Casma.  I worked with my District Leader, Elder Buener, in his area of Casma. This meant that I got to enjoy another break from Spanish and enjoy the “gringo apartment” as Elder Bueno lives with the Zone Leaders who are also Americans.  It was nice to speak some English, especially during proselyting as he could quickly explain what the plan was.  As we taught, some small miracles happened as I helped teach, I managed to reinvigorate 2 investigators. I even made one cry.  This helped me to know that even though my Spanish is far from perfect, I can still teach with the Spirit and change lives. Elder Buener said afterward that I, like other new missionaries, rely heavy on the Spirit because of our shortcomings, and as a result have the Spirit strongly with us.  He said that he missed that and was striving to obtain that gift. Also, I got to enjoy a hamburger later that night with was only a shadow of what you get to enjoy in the states, but it was a hamburger none the less. Overall, an exchange with Elder Buener - that I will hold to be quite memorable.

     As for my teaching in San Jacinto, we have seen some progress which has been awesome.  Immanuel, who I mentioned last week, got permission from his parents to listen to us and attend church. He is really awesome and I think he will continue to progress.  We even have set a baptismal goal for September 13. Also, we’ve had some good progress with less active members.  We had some really good lessons with a good number of the people we were focusing on and I think 2 or 3 families should return to full activity as we continue to help.  One family in particular, the Z_____family, we have been working heavily with and they are all awesome but they just need to come to church. However, this past week I had the idea to discuss “a mighty change of heart” as discussed in Alma 5 which seemed to have significant impact.  Especially with the account of Peter we sharedon Saturday about how he was asked thrice if he loved Christ. We talked about how we need to set aside “the fish” in our lives and focus on becoming Disciples of Christ.

     As for my work with the Branch, I have continued to do a lot. Most notably this past week, I helped with the weekly activity again. It was fun as I tried to teach the members how to play Jeopardy.  It was themed on the Book of Mormon which entailed me to come up with categories and questions.  I think by the end they mostly understood the game, though it took a lot of effort on my part to explain.  But in the end Elder Coca said he thought it went over very well. This past Sunday at church we had some less actives attend which was awesome.  It appears that 2 families will be reactivated, including the Z______ family. Our struggle is now to get investigators to attend.



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