Sorry I never got last weeks emails posted. Here are two weeks worth...
Sorry that emails will be so short this week, I'm actually at the mission office right now doing it. The libraries are all closed, so I won't have near as much time as I usually do. But that being said, this week was awesome overall. We were really led to find some prepared people. We were blessed also to teach a ton of lessons, which was a huge blessing compared to the previous week where I dislocated my arm. We also had 3 investigators at church as well. It was awesome!
Thanks for the letters this week. I love hearing from you!
I did NOT stay up for the new year. I was sooooooo tired, there's now way I would've lasted. It's hard enough being up at 10:00 let alone 12:00. I almost fell asleep during my nightly prayers that night. Apparently I did sleep talk that night. E. Ames couldn't get to sleep, and at about 10 min before midnight there were tons of sirens going off and people shooting of fireworks. Apparently, I sat up in bed and said "what is this?" and without waiting for a response yelled "WHAT IS THIS!?" and fell back on my pillow as if nothing happened. I don't know what it is, but I keep saying things while I'm asleep that I don't remember. My mind has a mind of it's own I guess.
Sorry that I wasn't able to get much of an email off last week, but here's what my week this week was like.
Snowed on monday, for the first time since I've been here. What is weird is that it was back up in the 60's later on in the week. The snow only lasted a day before it melted. It was pretty though. The other elders played rugby with the ward. I didn't play, for some reason the thought of calling my President Pitt and explaining why I had yet again dislocated my shoulder didn't really appeal to me. I stayed on the sidelines and watched and took pictures. It was snowing while we played, and at one point, you couldn't even see the trees at the edge of the park it was pretty crazy.
We visited a couple of investigators, and found a really awesome couple to teach later that night. They held very high standards, and we had a great visit. They seemed like dry-Mormons. Just add water. We're excited to continue teaching them. They'll be out of town for a little while, but we'll catch them when they get back.
We volunteered at the Red Cross and visited with tons of people as they ate their snacks and drank their juice. One of the guys asked if the appeal to being a mormon was to have multiple wives, and asked how many wives we planned on having. Apparently there's a show called "Sister Wives" that's on TV right now that shows a guy who practices polygamy and has 4 wives. He's part of the Reformed church, but people are getting the misconception that we still practice polygamy. Anyway, I think we were able to help clear up a few of those mormons-are-crazy ideas.
Tried to see a ton of people, but a lot of it fell through. We were able to have a great dinner, and we gave service to one of the members out here. It's weird because we haven't really done much service at all since I've been here, but this week we had close to 5 or 6 hours of it.
Had our interviews with President Pitt today. He's awesome! I love him so much. He was glad that my shoulder was getting better, and not detracting from the work.
I gave a blessing to a less active member of the ward. He had requested it last week, and this was the first time we were able to see him since then. I was slightly nervous, ok....a lot nervous, but the blessing went ok, and I think he's really coming closer to Christ. I hope he'll be able to have that desire to return to activity in the church, it will be difficult though as he hasn't been in 50 years or so. We'll keep working with him though.
Had another investigator at church this week! Yes! Now we're getting some progress! We're slowly, but surely, getting people closer and closer to baptism. We're really working hard, and praying hard to help them make that covenant, and we're getting closer and closer all the time.
Elder Brayden Connole
P.S. President and Sister Pitt recommend that we see if we can get a GPS to help us with these crazy roads out here. It's not vital, so don't stress about it too much, but if you are looking around and find a cheap one, it would be really nice to have.
P.P.S My shoulder is feeling pretty great. I'm keeping it in the sling like the doctor told me to, and I'm putting BFC on it almost every night, I am running low on Emergen-c but I can pick some up at the store later today.
Oh man Im gonna be home in 2 weeks...wow. crazy. idk what to think about that.
This week was crazy and really tough. Of the 5 people that we had to baptize only one of them got baptized. But it was a super cool baptism. J was that one guy that we found that is from some little tiny town in the middle of the jungle. He had been fasting for like 2 days to see if he should get baptized and in his interview with E. Gamarra he got an answer where the Spirit testified to him so strongly that everything we had taught him was true. He had to have another interview with the 1st counselor in the mission and after that interview the 1st counselor gave the bishop and us instructions to baptize and confirm him the same day (something that in 99.9% of the cases you shouldnt do) and that the next day at church we should give him the Aaronic Priesthood. So we did so. And now he is on track to go back to his little town and baptize all of them. We are gonna coordinate with the mission that he lives within to be able to make sure that missionaries get sent there. I am pretty sure that it is a place where the gospel has never been. So we are really pumped up to see how this works out. He was actually a deacon in his church there. I think it was an 7th Day Adventist church so if they see the conversion of J we are praying that it works out like King Lamoni and his people.
Other than that we were on splits, running around to interviews here and there trying to make sure that the zone reached the 4 baptisms that we had said that we would have. We talked with the zone at the start of the week and we found out that there was about 15 people that should get baptized so we started working with them. We went on splits with both our DL and managed to get a baptism in both their areas. And we got the sister missionaries a baptism after we found out that they didnt baptize a 10 year old kid with her mom...idk what they were thinking but yeah they got him baptized too.
We had a bad experience with R, the guy we´ve been helping to stop smoking and drinking, so like up until Friday night he was good to go, passed his baptismal interview and everything and then saturday for the baptism he never showed up. So after baptizing J we ran over to his house to see where his was at...nothing...we went back a couple times that day....nothing. So we went early to pick him up for church...nothing. Went back that night...and he opens the day and the first thing out of his mouth is: "I don´t know what I was thinking trying to be a Mormon, I am Catholic, I´m gonna die Catholic here is your stuff back". And the Spirit bolted out there like a scared horse. We asked him if we could come in and we tried to reason with the guy but nothing. He just started making mockery of everything we had done for him and idk. It was not very fun. We tried everything, even got him to feel the spirit once again and...nothing. So we left with a prayer and a heavy feeling on hearts. Not because we lost a baptism, but because we had lost a soul. It was painful but we picked ourselves back up and kept working.
Later that day we found a family that was really cool. We had been teaching the daughter and her son for a while and we had been insisting in meeting her parents who live there with her. She always told us that they would never listen to us but we found a way in and watched "Finding Faith in Christ" with them and afterward challenged them all to get baptized on the 21st. They all accepted. The spirit was there.
So what did I learn this week. Other people´s agency is still in play but I can feel good about the hard work that I do even if the results dont come out like I want them too. But hey thats life :)
Love ya, next week is my last email home!!!!
Elder Patrik Connole
Lol I haven´t even gotten my itinerary yet so thanks for the update. Lol Idk if I am gonna be able to email next week but I´ll do it if I can :)
So this week we had Zone Leader Council, which I think was actually really productive. Not that the rest of the councils have been unproductive but I think we really sent down some good bases to get the mission to another level. As a zone this week we had the most baptisms in the mission which is something that has NEVER happened here in Ilo. The missionaries and everyone are really pumped with everything that is going on. We should have 6 more baptisms this week. Good things are happening here in Ilo. On Sunday we had a meeting with the Stake Presidency (there is only 1 stake in all of Ilo) and we just showing them how much the work on the missionary side has progressed and how with their help how much more we could do to really make Ilo a strong stake once again and even how we could get it to split. It was kinda funny because I was just showing the 1st counselor some of my ideas and what not and he said half seriously "Elder, why don´t you just stay here and be part of the High Council?". I just laughed and said hey, look me up on facebook and I´ll be happy to feed you all the ideas that I have :) Good stuff.
Soe we didn´t have very many days to work this week because of council and interviews with the Presidente (Idk why I got one because I´m just getting interviewed on sunday), but we did some good hard work with what we could but the Lord blesses. We had 5 people come to church. Jorge, and 4 references from 3 different remembers. We were so pumped because not on ly that but the attendence was about 25% better than it usually is. Good things are happening. The Lord sends his blessing to those who are diligent in their work.
Lets see what else happened this week. Um...you know it was just a good wook of working hard more than anything we were finidng new investigators, some with more potential than others. Ooh! Yeah! We found a family from Puno! Puneños (Thats how you say people from Puno) are SOOOO Cool! And they are married! What?? That never happens! So yeah we found them the Dad is a young statistics professor at the local university and they have a 1 year old. We visited them and they let us in right away and as we began teaching the spirit was obviously present and we shared with about the Doctrine of Christ (2 Nephi 31) and after we got to talking a bit the Dad just asks us "So wait...are you guys inviting us to get baptized?" Uh...hello! YES!!! So him and his wife accepted a baptismal date but they went on a trip this week sooooo yeah they are on hold for the moment. I´ll have to email E. Webb and see how it went with him.
I am gonna keep workin hard obviously because even though I may be finishing my time up the Lords work isn´t even close to being finished. and I am still a part of it. The Lord still has some experiences that I need to have this week.
See you next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Patrik Connole
Disclaimer.. Please feel free to read what interests you on the blog and disregard the rest. My feelings will not be hurt if you don't read every word I write. LOL :) My goal at the forefront currently IS STILL... to get settled in to our new place, so things may be a little hit or miss for a bit. My plan--and perhaps it will work exactly as planned--is to return to the blog world for "real" by the time the new year rolls around.