Monday, April 30, 2012

Week 17 in Sonsonate

This was a fun letter to read—great progress!

Subject:  He's in managed care. It's ironic, right? He never managed to care for me.

What a pivotal week! Oh my gosh! I think this week I have seen more improvement in myself than in any other week of my mission, which is saying a lot. But before we get to that, I think I should mention that I got 27 emails this week. That is insane. That's more than double the regular week. Granted, there are a couple reasons for that. Brian is probably the biggest one, but then there was a bunch from the mission letting us know that we got 152 baptisms this month (the highest in almost a year), our zone got 22 baptisms (the highest in almost a year and the highest in the mission), and that we won't have money for another week or so. That means I might have to pull out even more money from that account you guys have left me. I've been trying to pull out money only when I really need it, but I feel kind of bad. I've been pulling it out more often toward the end of my mission, and I can't figure out if it's because everything is more expensive here in Sonsonate or if I'm just more careless with money. I hope it's the former. Either way, just know that I may be pulling some more out today. I was thinking about it, by the way, and I decided that I really want to pay that back sometime, too. So I hope you're all keeping track of how much I owe.

Anyway, that 27 emails has given me a lot of different things. I got some fantastic pieces of news that came in unexpected ways, I got some random tidbits (that's a word, right?) of stuff going on back home, I realized that Lindsay's business is doing pretty awesome (which means I am suddenly a rich man, kind of), and so on. It was a lot to read, though I still haven't read some of it. I'll print a bunch of stuff so that I can read it later.

Also, before I forget, I was wondering what the schedule is going to be like when I get home. I mean, it's still seven weeks or so away, but someone should be in charge of that. Otherwise I don't think I'll have any idea what to do for that first week or so. So someone should get on that, and they should make sure I have time to visit old friends, play the piano, and, maybe less importantly, watch Toy Story 3, Inception, and Tangled, in that order. Probably the first three nights I'm home, so that I have the smallest risk possible of people spoiling it for me. And those could probably be with most of (or all of) the family, in an epic movie night. I'm just saying in advance so it doesn't come as a shock later. That probably seems pretty insignificant in the list of things to do, but I've spent 22 months running (literally) out of the room whenever anybody mentioned one of those three movies, so I want to get that cleared up.

I realized as well that I now have less months left than my comp has years left. I have a little over a month and a half left, and he has a little over a year and a half left. Crazy. That makes me KC Clyde in The Best Two Years.

Next week is changes, as well, so we'll be able to see where my comp or I go. My bet is that I'll be staying in Sonsonate, so here I will die. But it's possible that I'll be changed. You never know.

This week, like I said, was pretty pivotal. We have definitely not had much success lately. We pretty much dropped the last few investigators that we had and are starting fresh, which means we're spending a lot of time looking. Unfortunately, we haven't been spending a lot of time finding, which means we are probably doing something wrong in the looking part. We're working on figuring out what exactly that is, although I have some ideas. So we'll be making the appropriate changes and trying again this week.
The best investigator that we have, then, by far, is Mauricio, the older guy that used to be on El Salvador's national soccer team. He understands things so quickly it blows me away. We had left a lesson 1 pamphlet with him a few days ago and went back yesterday to follow up. Not only had he read the whole thing (one of the first times that has happened to me in the mission, I'll have you know), he understood and explained to us, as if he were already a member, the Atonement, the apostasy, the need for a prophet, the priesthood (both the Aaronic and the Melchizedec and their functions), the Book of Mormon, where it came from, the three and eight witnesses, Nephi's plates vs. Mormon's plates vs. Moroni's plates, etc. Then he started explaining to us how his Catholic baptism was wrong, and that we should not worship the Virgin Mary, and how prayer, when done in the right form, gives us answers, and how God has a plan for us and what happens after this life. Like I said, he's ridiculous. The only thing that he had a problem with still is Joseph Smith being a prophet because it didn't seem like God would have left the world without one for 1800 years. But we did a pretty good job of explaining it to him, I think (and we had a member with us that helped a bunch), so I think that's taken care of. He even said that he is pretty sure that what we're teaching is the truth, even though that comes from his logical analysis instead of the spirit (we wouldn't have wasted two years of our lives if it weren't, so many people can't be wrong, etc. I didn't mention that, even though we have 15,000,000 members, there are a lot more people in other churches who, let's face it, are wrong). But, as I think I've said before, I think that he still is going to have a problem getting baptized because he is so focused on learning all of the doctrine before making a decision. I don't doubt that he will one day get baptized, I'm just afraid that it won't happen very soon. I hope it does. He could be a powerful member.

One of the amazing things that happened this week was that we had a temple trip on Thursday. It's been several months since the last one, and I was missing it a lot. Fortunately I'll only have to wait a month and a half for my next (and last) one. But going to the temple is always such an incredible experience. I won't share the details, of course, but President had asked us to study Moses 1-5 before going, which I did, and I spent some time pondering that and reading my patriarchal blessing in the Celestial Room. That helped me so much it's ridiculous. I know some things I have to change, and I'm excited to do so.

And now I'm out of time. Look at that. Time flies when you're having fun, right? Before I forget: Whoever's in charge of my schedule when I get home needs to add time to go do a session in the Portland temple, either that first weekend or the next. Also, time to go swimming would be nice. And maybe go to the lake with those wave runners Mom and Dad were thinking about selling this year (again). Oh, and let's not forget time to look for a job. If Julie can pull some strings for me at Red Robin, I think that that would be ideal. And I can speak Spanish, which might be a plus. I think I had already mentioned to her that I wanted to put her string-pulling skills to use, but I'm just reminding you all. And everyone can get to work finding me a job just in case. Gosh, it's good to have a big, influencial family that likes working on projects together that benefit me.

Thanks again for all of the emails! This week I got some from: Stacey, Lindsay, Julie, Google, Brian, Nicole, the Bank, the Mission, Mom, Dad, President, Sarah, Jairo (Huaman), and Brian. I mentioned Brian twice for two reasons: 1) He sent me a pretty good chunk of emails and 2) I had already written, "Sarah, Jairo (Huaman), and", before I realized that there was no one else, and I couldn't just go back and move the comma and "and" around. That would have taken way too long.
Elder David Arrington

PS: I feel like that scheduling assignment is going to get passed to Emily or Stacey. They tend to be the schedulers, right?

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