Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week 15

Well, this week went by ok. We started out on Monday, and had a good FHE.  We taught about the plan of salvation with a member who had their father die a week before and that went pretty well. And then on Tuesday, on our FHE with the investigators, one of the things I was dreading about my mission struck. We had a good FHE, and we had it with two investigators. But the home that we were in was of one of the investigators, and later he told us that he didn’t have anything for dinner the night before, because they were going to use the money for the FHE food, which was sandwiches and soda. He said that he had been feeling shame and that he was sad, but then he remembered that we would be coming the next day, and he said that he felt happier. This is really humbling, as to me it is very humbling to hear about the effect we have on people and on their lives. Anyway, they are doing well, and we even got one of the investigators to attend church, so that was awesome!

This week we met and taught a lot of less actives, trying to get them to come to church, and we had more success, with our church attendance going up to 115, so this is going really well in our ward.

Yesterday, I gave my first blessing in Spanish, and I was superdy duper nervous, but it went well, and I hope that the person ends up being helped. Also, this week, we were really frustrated. There is a man who we are teaching, he is old, and I don’t think that he really wants to change. Anways, when we are teaching, he kinda seems aloof, and he never does his reading. Also, he always has an excuse to not go to church, usually it is that he is scared that someone will break into the house so he can’t leave it alone, but if it’s any other day of the week, he has no problem leaving the house alone. So that gets frustrating. We are going to do this week with two appointments, and if he doesn’t attend church or do his reading, we will drop him probably.

But we are making progress with some other investigators, we have had several lessons with members. I hope that with continuing diligence, we can find some success with our stubborn investigators. But the bright side is that people are coming back to church, which is huge. If people can trust the other people at church, and feel loved, then they will want to come back, and will probably bring their friends. Anyway, I hope you all have a great and blessed week!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Week 14

Well, this week I got some flip flops, because everyone here has a pair, and oh man they are amazing! It’s so nice to just be able to walk around in the open air on the way to service or on Pday. Seriously amaaaaaaazing.

This week, we had a ton of service. We had two days with more than 3 hours of service, one was cleaning a less actives house, and the other was a national Panama stake service day thing. It was cool, we cleaned this school. It was full of trash, was disgusting.

Anyway, teaching is going okay. We are continuing to go with less actives and members, and we are starting to see results right away! Usually, church attendance is about 90 to 95, and this week was 110, with a ton of less actives and an investigator came too! Was awesome. We are teaching now five investigators, and we have a FHE with two of them on Tuesday, so that will hopefully go really well. We are probably going to show the Joseph Smith prophet of the restoration movie.

We also have an investigator with a baptism date! Nov 1. Hopefully we can stick with it.

Oh, and a little fact that I learned this week: Nephi and his family crossed the Indian Ocean and landed on the western side of South America. I did not know that. I always assumed they came across the Atlantic and landed on the Eastern side.  I learned it in Jesus the Christ. That book is incredible. It teaches so much, and has a billion references to scriptures. I am going to read it once, then read it again going through all the references to scriptures.

We are also trying to get our investigators married, and we are really trying to stress the importance of the family, and are reading the Family a Proclamation with them. And this week, on Wednesday, I think I can go on divisions with a kid who is preparing to serve a mission, as my comp has a district leader meeting in the temple on Wednesday. This week, it was a ton of trying to meet everyone, and running around and asking people if they know where other people live. We went to a family’s house, and asked them if they knew where three sisters lived, they said that they used to live at their house. We asked where they live now, and they said that they didn’t know, because they had not come home for 2 days. So apparently they moved.

On Sunday night, there were a ton of gunshots about 5 minutes after we had walked through it. Was really freaky. And there were a ton of police, so that was interesting to see. Oh, and something kinda cool about Panama is the TV. In the states, we have all these different channels, FOX, ABC, and CNN. In Panama, it’s basically just one, its TVN. And soap operas are incredibly popular here. It’s the primetime TV program. Anyway, I hope you all have a great and blessed week!

Con Amor, 

Elder Berg

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 13

New companion!! He is doing ok, his name is Elder P and he is also from Guatemala. He is ok, but I think he would honestly be better if I did not have my old companion, only because my old companion was so amazingly awesome that it kind of makes it so that this comp would not be as good. Anyway, I left my old comp on Wednesday during transfers, it hurt but had to be done. And he gave me his HLJ ring, which is the Spanish equivalent of CTR.

Funny story about this ring though. My old comp borrowed it from someone going on a mission, this happened on a Sunday. He just wanted to wear it for sacrament meeting, and then he would give it back. But he forgot. And the guy left on Tuesday, so my comp never got to give it back. So, when he was leaving, he gave it to me. So my ring has almost two years more mission time than me. Dang. But it’s going well.

This last week we were trying to get our less actives to come to church for conference, but we didn’t get any to come. A lot of the excuses come from the side that people are saying that the people in the ward criticize them and judge them if they go back, so they don’t go back, but they want to because they want to be closer to God. So, we have decided to start to almost work exclusively with the members and the less actives, and trying to bring them back into the fold. If we can do this, then we can use them to give us references, and then we can use them for really good lessons when we are teaching. We got an investigator to come to priesthood, which was really awesome.

I loved conference, to be honest, the first one I have really paid attention to and taken notes about. I really liked. Usually, I have read the talks after or something to that effect, but now it was really how they can help our ward and our investigators. I feel that we are going to try to bring people to have personal revelation, and try to strengthen people’s testimony. and I think that this conference was  a lot of trying to build our testimony, as there were several talks that were basically testimonies, as well as Ballards, I think, which was about not straying from the ship Zion. Anyway, a great week!

Lots to learn. And one thing I am going to do for my mission is this. I bought a notebook, and every time I study, which is every day, I am going to try and write down at least one thing I learned, and bring it with me all day for notes and thoughts. Anyways, I hope you all have a great week!!