Monday, April 28, 2014

Three Exotic Birds, Two Transfers, and a "Peace Offering" Papaya

Pickett and Cumatz--Twelve weeks of wonderful!

Hello! If's been another great and HOT week out here in Copán. Like the kind of week that makes a person remember that they live in Central America. But I'm not going to complain too much, because we still live in the most temperate part of the mission, so everyone else has it so much worse than I do.

Anyhow, we passed another lovely week. A lot of our appointments fell through, but not quite so many as usual. And most of the times that we were going to teach with members, they didn't end up coming with us. But one did, and that's a lot more than usual! So that's great. We're really trying to help our investigators capture the vision of progressing in the gospel, because most of them are in the mindset of "I'll just receive blessings from talking to the missionaries and nothing else." That's a good first step, but...well, first steps should coincide with first lessons, not first months. But we continue on! We met a new investigator this week named Maria Concepción, who has just about the saddest life story I've ever heard: her husband was murdered, her children were taken away from her after she was ruled an unfit mother (whe's epileptic), and she is living in depression because of the uncertainty that is living with epilepsy. She came to church on Sunday, but she had a seizure in Sunday School. I think if there is anyone that needs the gospel promise of "to bind up the broken hearted", she definitely qualifies. I am glad that we have the chance to share the blessings of the gospel with her.

We also found a new family to teach this week. The downside is that they live in Santa Rita, which is about 15 minutes by bus from Copán. BUT they have a car! A car! So it shouldn't be too big of a problem. While we were having our initial contact lesson, I couldn't stop thinking how much they remind me of fam. Huezo...that would be cool, to have another family like that. I'll keep you posted.

So here's the fun story of the week: Hra Cumatz and I, having finished our day on Friday, were compelled to search out several tamales that we had purchased the day before and had been left with our neighbor in our absense that afternoon. We have come to know that said neighbor left them with the woman who sold them (another neighbor) later in the afternoon because she was headed out with her friends. But we were unaware. So, unaware, we went looking for them. We were greeted by her husband (Husband) and his friend (Friend), who were very kind in helping us but also very drunk. Like brown liquor and shot glasses drunk, with another drink in hand. Red flag. Anyway, after acertaining that the tamales were not there, we shrugged it off and went to plan. But while we were planning, Friend came to ask us how it is that we have fun if we can't drink (he started listing, no alcohol, no sugar, no coffee, and we're thinking, Whoa, whoa, whoa. No sugar?) And while we might have said, Why would we want to drink when we can see what that alcohol is doing to you? You just walked up to two little sister missionaries, in their house, with a glass of something in your hand. But we took the opportunity to be representatives of Jesus Christ, and we very briefly explained the Word of Wisdom. Which launched him into what he would call expressing curiosity about our church, and what I would call 45 minutes of attempting to destroy faith. Not exaggerating. He let us have it about how there is no evidence of the Book of Mormon and what a sinner Joseph Smith was and how much anyone and everyone else in the world would say that we are sinners also. I just kept thinking about the cunning lawyers in 3 Nephi who were saying "It is not reasonable". Well, it was one of those life moments in which we have to say, "Do I really believe this?" And yeah, I do. So we calmly listened to him belittle and degrade our religion, bore simple testimony, gave him a pamphlet about the Restoration, and invited him to church. Afterwards, feeling a little heavy in spirit for having been raked across the coals without reason, I was enlightened by the words of Elder Holland's talk, in the which he said " Dear child, you have in your own humble way stepped into a circle of very distinguished women and men who have, as the Book of Mormon prophet Jacob said, “view[ed Christ’s] death, and suffer[ed] his cross and [borne] the shame of the world."  That man showed up to church on Sunday, not to stay for the meeting, but to apologize for his rudeness under the influence of alcohol (yet again, we resisted the urge to point out our obvious reasons for not drinking) and gave us a papaya as a peace offering. His words, not mine. I don't like papaya, but Her Cumatz said it was good.

This day we had to have an especially special P-day, because we found out that Hra Cumatz definitely has a transfer this time. Surprisingly, Elder Pace has one also. That's pretty weird, because this means that, for the first time in almost eight months, someone other than Elder Pace is going to be my district leader. Strange. So we went to Copán's other big tourist attraction, the bird park. Let me tell you, that's the coolest $3 I ever spent. We walked through the rainforest for about 45 minutes and saw really, really epic birds. I felt like I was living in the movie Rio. It was a really fun day and a good way to end these twelve wonderful weeks with Hra Cumatz.

I love this mission and the chance I have to serve it. I love the Lord and His gospel, and the chance I have to stand boldly with those who through the ages have boldly said, as Mormon, "I am a disciple of Jesus Christ." I hope that everyone has a wonderful week and that your studies of Preach My Gospel are going great (I finished chapter 4 this week, and I really do feel more able to receive and understand inspiration from the Spirit. Worked).

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Pickett

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