Yes, I am the Gringo, I say something about that each week, but wow it's crazy here! I am as happy as can be and take the 'Goofy Gringo' title to strut my stuff. Be weird, stand out, and with that be an example and bring all I can in to the Gospel!
I was telling Dad that when I introduce myself, I say I`m from Bolivia and EVERYTIME the person just looks at me, 'Ah... sì...' haha with a nod. I laugh and explain I´m from Los Estados Unidos and things clear up real quick.
Something I love doing is a big wave with my White-man-wingspan and actually respond when people say ¿còmo està? because here it is culture to run off a million greetings back and forth at each other but never respond. It is fun, funny, but a good ice breaker too, to actually respond and take them off guard! I sure stand out and I´m doing my best to keep it that way for the Lord!
Oh, one thing real quick - LIVE UP TO THE IMAGE THE PEOPLE DOWN HERE SEE OF YOU. It is amazing the number of times I've been asked a question or simply to back up proof on how the saints are in Utah and in the US. They all say how great it is, how every Sunday we keep the Sabbath to a T. Never watch TV, always read our scriptures, always on time, always serving and visiting, friends with all in the ward, and assisting every activity. They really think we're angels and E. Añorga was just traumatized at the thought of the clubs and horrible world so close to Salt Lake and in Orem. They see us as angels, perfect, living the Gospel to a T and then some. They always compare to us and always ask me how they are doing to live like the members where I'm from. LIVE LIKE THAT, or at least try! Cause that image is an image sure worth living. That image is miraculous. Just a thought of how you are seen from down under!
As for this week, it was tough. People dropping, us asking investigators to tell us honestly about their baptismal date and they do haha... with a resounding 'no quiero ser bautisado.' But the people that are ready are ready, and oh what a joy it is! We have a girl of 14yrs, Lesly, who always comes to church, but we hadn’t taught her anything. She is progressing really quickly and what a joy it is as we prepare her for this Saturday!
We had our first Divisions with members of the ward this week and where does my companion send me? TO THE MAN WHO IS REALLY STUBBORN AND SCARY but all his family are members. He is preparing for baptism, but the one who told us he just doesn't want to anymore. Where does E. Añorga go? To a house with all active members for a FHE haha. But it was great, I had trust and desire, and a testimony to me that the Lord works with those who love enough to trust, do, and say yes. We read 2 Nephi 4:16-35 as a fam, and the Spirit was just amazing. We wanted to be soft on baptism with his NO respònse from a few days ago, but had a little testimony meeting and he was fretting in his seat the whole time. The spirit was over bearing. We will meet with him tonight, see how he feels, and prep him for an interview this week! I don't know if that story makes sense, but a testimony to me that the Lord really does work through those who simply say I will go and I will do.
WOW! I love the work, it is absolutely amazing seeing how someone can be so touched by the Gospel. I can't describe how much I love it here. The Spanish really is coming along, I can understand MOST of what's going on MOST of the time, it's just hard not knowing sarcasm or the culture. But the Lord really is blessing me because I am learning to trust in the promise to open my mouth and it will be filled! I am opening my mouth, it is being filled, and I know that the Lord will work ALL his mysteries through those who will do the same. Serve people, love people, follow impressions you get because that is missionary work. We are guided daily by the Spirit, it is awesome to get a taste of the Spirit but to drink the true joy that comes through sharing that prompting with the world.
Les amo con todo mi corazòn y lo muestro por medio de mis obras y esfuerzos. El Señor me guia diariamente, y sè que les guia cada momento de sus vidas. Gracias por todos, ùsen la ayuda de Jeff para traducir estas palabras, (si el puede... yo no sè como esta mi español ahorita jaja, yo solito abro mi boca con la esperanza que el Señor lo llenarà) Love you!