The time is so short, we can hardly stand it….
Subject: "You smell something Officer Rabbit?" *sniff* "Fear."
This week was fun. A lot of strange things happened, but we also got a lot done. So it was good.
There have been some rather un-interesting things that I have had to do, like fix my imos account and organize out-of-my-area espionage, and other random things. The more interesting things were things like Elder Duzett getting sick with chicken pox and getting put in the cave (I got to email his family to explain it to them), and Elder Gillette now having nobody to work with. So he's been bouncing around the zone a lot, and since we are right next to his area and in the middle of Sonsonate we've had to go pick him up and drop him off with various people. It's kind of like missionary babysitting. But it's not every day you get to babysit your zone leader, so that's fun.
The zone is doing pretty awful right now. On Saturday there were seven missionaries that didn't work because of sickness. Our zone's numbers were horrible. That's the bad news. The good news, though, is that my comp is doing just fine, and my area is doing pretty good. This week that's coming we want to focus a lot on reaching the standards of excellence, which are pretty high.
Wow. That was crazy. Elder Gillette basically kicked us off halfway through our email time today so that we could go with him (he doesn't have a comp, remember?) to run a bunch of errands. We went and bought some lunch and some stuff for the elders in Castaño (Elder Duzett and the others had literally given us a grocery list, and we had so much that we had to take a taxi to their house. Lazy sick people), and I got my haircut, and we started to order zone jerseys, and mailed some letters, and so on. We almost had to stay with Elder Gillette at his house, but then the elders from Santa Emilia came and he stayed with them. So we got to come back and finish. Otherwise I might have not gotten you all an email this week. That would have been stupid.
Anyway, the zone is doing not so good, but the areas (like mine) that are working are doing pretty well. Me and my comp want to get all of the normas de excelencia (standards of excellence) this week, which include things like 20 lessons with members present, 10 other lessons, 20 lessons with less actives/recent converts, 14 news, 7 in church, 7 progressing, 20 lessons to find every day, etc. They are a little crazy, but we can definitely make it if we run. That's fifty lessons in the week, and the most I've ever gotten in the mission is a little over forty, I think. 14 news isn't that ridiculous; I've gotten that several times. I've gotten nine or ten in one day before. That's one of the great things in this country. We average about one new investigator for every three people we contact (knocking doors or street contacts). That's pretty good. References from members do a lot better than that, for obvious reasons.
So that's what we're planning to do, but what DID we do, you ask? Perfect question. But first, since I don't want to forget, Dad: My Oregon license has my full name, "Edward David Arrington". I just checked it. I hope that helps.
This week, our best lessons were without question with Daniel. That kid is awesome. He's already got three attendances to church or so, and he would totally be baptized if we could talk to him more. He lives outside of our area, so it's hard to teach him, but we have a meeting with him today at five, so that should be good. Except I just remembered that the Bishop is now the only one with the keys to the chapel (we used to have a set, but they changed some stake policy or something and took them away. And they didn't even tell us that. My ward mission leader (who is awesome) just asked to borrow them one day, and then when I asked for them back a couple weeks later he said that he had given them to the Bishop because of the policy change. Dang it) and that's where we're planning on having the lesson. So I have to remember to call him in a few minutes. And it's raining, so I should go home to change into the one pair of shoes that I own that still has more than 40% of the sole intact.
Moving this monologue along, he's awesome. He not only understands things really quickly, but he really believes and applies them very quickly. He's like a 20 year old version of David Mira (the one we just baptized with his wife). In Principles of the Gospel we talked about the sacrament and HE explained in very clear and simple terms why we no longer use wine for the sacrament. That's something that is usually a bit of a pain to teach people here (not super difficult, but still annoying), and he already figured it out on his own. We hadn't even really taught him the Word of Wisdom. He just remembers it from one of the first Principles of the Gospel classes that he was in here where they mentioned the five things we can't take. Have I ever mentioned how much I love teaching people who are ready to be taught? And, even better, Daniel is totally a cool guy and usually drives us home (or to our next appointment) after our lessons, since he has a car. He's the kind of guy I could totally hang out with listening to salsa music (he likes salsa). I can't, of course, since I'm a missionary, but after the mission I would.
Speaking of the Mira family, David Mira just got the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday, got a home teaching companion, and learned how to give a blessing to the sick (even though he won't be able to actually give one until he has the Melchizedek Priesthood). He's learning like crazy, and he and his wife have basically become the most active members in our ward. They're so great. I love that family. Again, it's the perfect case of people that are ready and follow the spirit.
Daniel has a baptismal date for the tenth, and then Jason and his sister, Naomi, have dates for the seventeenth. They just need the attendances and they're good. Actually, we also need to teach Jason the commandments really fast, but then he's good to go. As long as their mom supports them (they're both under 16, so the mom has to be active as well for them to get baptized with three attendances each (the mom is a member already (we have weird rules for when we can and can't baptize kids (I'm pretty sure it's not actually appropriate to put this many parenthesis inside of each other. I've been doing that lately. I'm weird)))), they should be fine. The other two that we want to baptize before I go home are the Tobar family. The husband is our ward secretary, and the wife, Roxanna, and their daughter, Daniella, just randomly started coming to church and love what they have been learning there. They also live outside of our area (that happens a lot in this country, especially in my area since it's the middle of Sonsonate and everyone wants to be a part of my awesome ward, obviously), so it's hard to get in touch with them. We should be able to put dates with them this week, though, and if we can they could get baptized the seventeenth as well. That would leave me five baptisms right before I go home, which would not be terrible. It'd be kind of good, actually.
Oh, also Merari randomly showed up to church. She was an old investigator that we were teaching, but had dropped because she told us that she's Catholic and doesn't want to come to church. We have an appointment tomorrow, so we'll see if any of that has changed.
That's just about all I have time for, so I'll wrap this up. Thanks again to all of you who wrote me this week! This week featured emails from a pretty good variety of people (15 emails total! More than I was expecting on my third-to-last P-Day), so thank you all for that. Me and my comp are going to run like crazy this week, so remember us in your prayers. I have a feeling that, if we make it, next P-Day I'm going to be more tired and more content than any other P-Day of my mission. I can feel my momentum building for these last few weeks, and I'm really glad. I'm ending strong!
Elder David Arrington
PS: If I pull this off, I think that somebody is going to have to invite me to Taco Bell. Gosh, I miss Taco Bell. And Chipotle. The taxi driver of the taxi we took today said that he went to the states and loved it, especially Chipotle. He wants to start a Chipotle chain down here. He's a taxi driver, so I doubt that will happen, but if it did, mmm boy!