Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2nd Email from CCM

Fun fact. In my zone there is an Elder Van Pelt.


This week has flown by and has been forever long.  A quote I like is, "You feel like you are born in the CCM and you feel like you are going to die in the CCM."

But it has been a good week and I have learned a lot.  God really does live and answer prayers.  Spanish is still way hard but I am getting it slowly but surely.  There is so much material that I can study that it is hard to decide what to do.  I have started with just making flash cards and memorizing the articles of faith in Spanish because I already know them in English.

There has been a sickness that has gone around that leaves everyone with the runs and with a nasty headache, but I am fortunate enough to be the "apothecary" (as my district calls me) and have not gotten sick.  I'm so glad that I brought the essential oils.

I had a really cool experience yesterday.  We have finished with our first investigator and it was a big learning experience.  I learned a lot from not being able to teach very good.  (our investigators are our teachers fyi) and so it is the same person for our second investigator but it doesn't seem like it.  His name is Jose. and it was difficult to teach him because he doesn't believe in God and is only taking the lessons because his wife wants him to.  She has cancer btw.  So my companion and I were trying to figure out what to teach him because he doesn't believe in God.  We got a lesson prepared and were going to try and get him to pray because we had to get him feeling the spirit somehow and this was the only way we could think of establishing a connection between heaven and him.   I was struggling a little bit because our last lesson with David I didn't understand what was being said.  So I prayed super hard for the gift of tongues.  Our lesson went completely off topic with Jose, but it was really cool because I felt like we should go off topic from what we had prepared and try to get him  to feel the spirit.  He didn't accept our commitment but the cool part for me was that I spoke more in the lesson with him than I had ever before, and I understood what he wanted us to hear.  I couldn't tell you what the words mean but I got the general message.

One thing that really helps is these videos they show in class of random people that were taken by the New York Times.  It is called "One in a Million."  I would suggest that all of you go on there and watch a clip or two and then decide how you would share the gospel with them.  It is really interesting and helps you understand the gospel better.  

A funny experience this week:  so two of the elders in our zone have a fake front tooth and they can take out.  So Elder Kuhn decided that he was going to play a prank on our teacher, Hermana Gutierrez, by acting like his tooth fell out.  So his companion made a really loud banging noise and he popped his tooth out and started acting like it fell out.  The whole class was crying we were laughing so hard and the teacher was freaking out and looking for his tooth on the ground.  Finally he popped it back in and she still looked for it for  a good 15 more seconds!  We were on the ground with laughter and she was really mad at us for the next little while.

We had a cool devotional on Sunday.  We watched a video of the 2011 Christmas devotional at the Provo MTC by Elder Bednar.  I would recommend it to anyone!  The coolest part he talked about was becoming like Christ and searching for his characteristics.  He said that if we did this we would be truly converted and never fall away from the gospel like so many missionaries sadly do.  The main characteristic he talked about was the ability to look outward when most would look inward.  Even  when Christ was on the cross he was preaching to the others on the cross's next to him.  And he was looking out for his mom and making sure she was taken care of.

So I didn't tell where my companion was going.  All the Elders in my district are going to Ecuador Guayaquil mission and all the sisters are going to Chile Rancagua mission.  I flew in with an Elder Weese who is from Logan who is going to the same mission (ironically his cousin is Regan Rich, who hit my car in the Davis high parking lot junior year) and he is companions with Elder Blood who is also going to Indiana.  Supposedly we were supposed to be a trio, but they switched it around at the last minute.  We are all in the same zone however.

The natives in our dorm are a little crazy.  The one speaks super good English and the other one is 19 and looks like he is 12.  And he doesn't speak a lick of English.  They are really nice though, but I have to get over my racist stereotype and stop feeling like my stuff is going to be stolen.

I had this question on Saturday and it was bugging me pretty bad.  The question was, "If God loves all his children the same and he shows his love to them by giving the gospel to them, why didn't he reveal the gospel for 2000 years after Christ?  Did he not love those people as much?"  This was on my mind for quite some time and I asked one of the Hermanas about it and she couldn't answer me and neither could my companion.  During personal study on Sunday morning I was reading in Moroni 7 specifically verses 37-38 and this led me on an hour long scripture chase that took me to Acts 17:30, Moroni 8:22 and Alma 32:19.  This was the coolest thing because it answered my question perfectly. I am missing one scripture and it says something like "It would have been better that they had not known it" but I can't find it.  So if anyone could help me that would be wonderful!  (I am definitely missing the search function on gospel library)
But the answer that I received was so simple it was amazing.  It is that God was actually being merciful because the people were so wicked and hard hearted that they wouldn't have accepted the gospel anyways.  And since they had heard the truth they would have been punished for it.  So God didn't give it to them so they wouldn't be punished for their stupidity and thick skulls.  He had to wait for the people to be ready to accept the gospel message again so that he could bless his children again.

This experience was amazing to me because God really knows what we need and what to give us.

My testimony in broken Spanish.  But I know that it is true, and the gospel is true no matter what language you speak it in.

Yo se que Jose Smith es un profeta verdadera.  Yo se que Jesucristo vida.  Yo se que el Evangelio es verdad.  Yo se que Tomas S. Monson es un profeta.  Yo se que Dios es amaroso an dmisercordio.  en el nombre de Jesucristo amen.

Love you all!

Love Elder Porter

Elder Porter!!
The Elder's without their teeth!

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