Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Opposition Intensifies - June 19, 2017

WOW. I have no idea where to begin this week. I will give a summary, then answer some questions, and see if time is left for anything else.

MONDAY--got Elder V**** and Elder P**** packed and ready to go (there are just two of us in an area for 4 missionaries now because there are only 151 missionaries in the mission instead of the usual average around 175-200). Nothing too unusual. It rained all afternoon. (last Saturday my black shoes, already dying, got so soaked that I think they are done for good--I might bring them home as a keepsake if I can kill the fungus on them)

TUESDAY--Elder V****and Elder P**** left, we reorganized the house (it is THE BOMB now, and is super clean all the time), fixed the bikes which are always breaking down, and did some visiting, but nobody was home. It rained all afternoon.

WEDNESDAY--Elder O**** had a new District Leader meeting all morning, and it took all afternoon for us to get back. On the way I bought some black shoes--by chance the very same slip-ons I had before the mission that were slightly too small for me, except that these ones are my size and nearly unused. :)  It rained all afternoon.

THURSDAY--Spent 2 hours updating the Area Book (which hadn't been kept because "we didn't have teaching records", which Elder O**** and i found hidden at the back :/) then 2 hours planning how we'd manage visiting 4 towns each week not including Gonzalo itself. Fixed the bikes AGAIN. It rained all afternoon AGAIN, and HARD. As we were coming back from Tío Filín (20 minute bike ride on a rocky, hilly trail) Elder O****'s left pedal fell off his bike so we walked an hour and change back to Gonzalo in the dark in the pouring rain. We put a baptismal date though!

FRIDAY--District meeting all morning. Went out to Sabana Larga (another town, 20 minutes away biking down the highway that passes nearby). On the way back, Elder O****, using one of the now extra bikes from when there were 4 of us, blew a front tire beyond all repair, and we walked an hour and change back to Gonzalo. We had a movie night activity to which everyone showed up late, only to find out that the branch president needed to go get the movie still (he's a little slow sometimes). Suffice it to say that didn't happen. It rained in the early afternoon.

SATURDAY--I was informed Wednesday that W**** and J**** M**** (converts of mine from when I was with Elder S**** in Villa Esfuerzo) were getting sealed Saturday, and I got permission to be with them in teh endowment session (their whole stake presidency was there too, and it was good to see them and catch up a bit) and the sealing.  On the way to the temple we got new tires and inner tubes and a new rear brake for the bikes so we can hopefully stop fixing them for good. We ate at Wendy's (where Elder O**** unintentionally spilled his soda, then spilled the one they gave him to replace it 10 seconds later. We died laughing) and then ate some nutella-filled Krispy Kreme doughnuts (when you're in the capitol you have to take advantage of what you can! ;D). We had to leave the tires and tubes by President Corbitt's car, because everyone was running late for the sealing and rushing around. When we came out of the temple they were gone. As it turns out, some other missionaries from the zone had a temple trip and saw the tires and took them to Sabana Grande de Boyá for us. I got to see a whole bunch of Villa Esfuerzo members and catch up with them. We got a ride from a member to near the bus stop (we almost missed the last bus home) and as we were walking to the stop some crazy lady started following us without our knowledge. She got on the same bus, but she didn't look that crazy. We figured it out when she said she was Mormon, that God had baptized her without water and made her a missionary, and when she got off the bus with us in Gonzalo without paying and ran off into the woods. We went into town and she caught up to us and started trying to introduce herself into teaching with us and saying she was going to live with us now and that we needed to transfer her records here to Gonzalo. We went to the branch president's house and devised a stratagem to ditch her, turn a couple of dark corners, and run to the house, lock the doors and turn off all the lights. The branch president sent her to the police station so she'd have somewhere to stay, and she disappeared. It miraculously didn't rain.

SUNDAY--Crazy lady showed up at church. Stayed all 3 hours. Started teaching 3rd hour from Psalms when we were out in the hall trying to help the branch president control the bratty tweens that were running wild (our branch is almost entirely children and youth because of past missionaries' baptismal focus). We took her to the police station, and the branch president gave the officer 100 pesos for a motorcycle so they could take her to Sabana Grande and ship her off to the capitol. We left here there locked in. Not 10 minutes later the police officer left with the money and let her out, and she saw us again. We turned some corners and lost her, and we haven't seen her since, but members tell us she's still wandering around looking for us. Spent all afternoon changing the tires on the bikes as fast as we could so we could go out to Tío Filín, but time ran out and we couldn't go. The bikes have new tires and one has a new rear brake, and we shouldn't have to fix anything else about them for some time. Spent all the rest of the afternoon organizing the secretary's office (President Rojas of the branch called me as his secretary) and did some updating of records (which are horrifically disorganized and outdated). Had a good lesson and went home, super pumped to GOLF MONDAY!!! It rained again all afternoon.

MONDAY--we got up at 5am to go out and wait for a bus from 6:30 onward to go golf in the capitol with some other missionaries. We waited 3 HOURS and EVERY bus was full and didn't stop. We gave up and came home. Spent the day sleeping and cleaning, and here we are, soaking wet from the crazy rainstorm the campo unleashed upon us on our way here to Sabana Grande to write you.

I am doing well on the bikes. My butt hurt like crazy the first week and I was sore the first 3 weeks in the rear and legs, but i am over it now. There are lots of hills out here, and it is definitely a workout. I am on bikes just as much as I walked in other areas--if we are proselyting, we are on bikes. If we have district meeting, we go on bikes halfway. The only time we don't use them is if we get super intense rain and wind(which almost happened today on the way here) or if we go to the capitol. We have no fenders, my bag and my clothes are getting super dirty every week. The good thing is that the mud stains come out :). 

Last thing--having been a zone leader has helped me manage my time so much more efficiently. Because as a zone leader one always has meetings and calls and other stuff to do (and as a junior companion I have none of that to do), I have learned to cram as much proselyting time in as I can, but over all else I have become WAY more efficient and effective in lessons. Use of time, inviting the Spirit, etc--all of that is key to making lessened proselyting time effective.

Love you guys so much! I've gotta go. BYE
Élder Rowe

PS--President Corbitt only has 2 weeks left as my mission president--this Sunday the Smiths enter the Provo MTC and next week is my last temple trip with him and with Sister Corbitt. *cries*

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