Monday, August 30, 2010

200 Days in the Mission

Dear peoples of the united states,
Well this week has been really good, I`m a little tired though, because we woke up at 5 A.M. two times this week to work early (with permission of course). We are in a "rama" or branch in english, which is waaay small. When my companion got here 7 weeks ago the attendance was about 35 members on sunday. When I got here it was about 50, but we have been working like crazy to re-activate the ward here. We got 71 people to church yesterday, and our goal is to have 100 active members by the end of next month. Its really hard here, because there isnt much priesthood, we have barely enough to run the branch. At one point the Layco branch was about to become a Ward, and the people were way positive, with an attendance of like 130+ people, but they changed the president because he got called to be an area seventy, and a whole ton of members went inactive. The branch has like 472 members in its records, 400+ of which are inactive or less active, so this week we have planned to visit 2 inactive families every day if possible.

Part of the reason that the branch is so lame is because for months there have only been lazy inicuo missionaries here, I`m the first gringo here in 7 months. Its hard because there are a lot of latinos who don`t want to be here (especially guatemaltecos), and if you pair two of them up they will hardly do any work for the entire change. I don`t think its a racial thing, but rather a lame tradition in this mission that when a new latino comes here, all the bad latinos corrupt them and say stuff like "dont be so fletchone like the gringos" its really lame. Thankfully there are a lot of missionaries who do want to be here, even from Guatemala. And my companion and I really want to work hard here. They say that I am in the hardest zone in the entire mission, in one of the hardest areas to baptize. They call it "el area de castigo" because president only sends missionaries here to punish them haha. But I still feel like we can do some work here, its just hard because there are a lot of problems with the branch. But we have a good number of investigators, some of which are progressing, and I think we can baptise by the end of this change.

FYI I havent been bringing my camera out while I work, so i really dont have any pictures of my work or my area. The area is relatively safe if you are just working like normal, but there are some areas that are just really ganged out and dangerous. One colony we have to enter from the top end, because the bottom is way dangerous. In another colony if you want to enter you have to pay rent, and the gangsters walk around shirtless showing off their gang tats, which is like the most blatant way to show they are gangsters, they are the ones that will kill you if you disrepect them. But for the most part I havent really had any trouble with gangsters on my mission, only with Drunk people (which there are a ton of). My first week here in layco, drunk people asked me for money almost every day. I usually just gauge what kinda person they are, if they look like they are trying to test me to see if I give them money, I give it to them, but if they are just a crazy drunk who is begging so that he can get more smashed I just tell him no, or that I dont have any to give him. One time a drunk guy came up and asked for some change and I asked him, what are you going to do with it? And he told me that he wasnt going to lie he just wanted to buy alcohol, so I told him, "look Im a missionary, and something that we teach is that you should never ever drink alcohol, so it would be dishonest of me to give you money when I know you are going to use it for that purpose" and I just looked back to what I was doing and he went away. haha. I have to say the mission has made me HATE drunk people, really if you want to get me in a bad mood, just come up and bother me while you are drunk.

Oh yeah like the title says, i Have 200 days in the mission. only 43 more, and I will be at the 1/3 mark! yeehah. I still feel like I just started, maybe because its only my second area. Oh btw we have an investigator whose name is "Dulce Amor" hahaha or Sweet Love in english. And thats really her name. But she really is a way nice person, like the godmother of her community haha.

Teresa good luck on the mission. BTW there is an article in the Liahona of September from a missionary in Taichung Taiwan, who converted a guy he met on a scooter.

Let me know if anything cool happens.
Elder DeVictoria.

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