This week I experienced for the second time what it's like to open half an area, and I'll tell you what, it's some hard work. Lots of contacting while trying to find the old investigators of the sisters. With the ward split, we gave them a very small part of our area, and they gave us a rather large chunk. I feel a little bad about the exchange, but they're on foot, so they don't need as much area. Just about the same thing is happening now as what happened in Valle Dorado my 3rd cycle; we've ditched the majority of our investigators over here (they weren't progressing anyway), and have been focusing principally on the new area to see how we can exploit it. The sisters had some pretty good investigators, but there are quite a few that make us wonder exactly what they were teaching...
We found one investigator last week who is the mother of a part-member family. All of her children are members, but she was never baptized due to her addiction to coffee. In the first visit, we simply got to know her and the 2 children that live with her. She told us about all of the missionaries that had visited her over the course of the past 3 or so years and how much she loves coffee. She sells it in her store, so it's a little hard to simply get rid of it. After finding out her need, we felt impressed to teach the word of wisdom, despite us being sure she'd heard it some thousand times. We shared it with her in a very direct manner, explaining the blessings we receive for keeping it and taking care of our bodies, and the lack of blessings (and even condemnation) we receive for not keeping it. We then said, "Martha, in order to receive these blessings of health and strength, will you live the Word of Wisdom and give up coffee?" I was almost certain that she would give some sort of pretext or say no. Really I was expecting anything other than what came after a few moments of silence. "Yes, I'll live the Word of Wisdom." Obviously we'll be giving quite a bit of followup in these next couple of days/weeks to make sure she stays off of it so she can be baptized, but needless to say, we're pretty darn happy with her decision to give it up.
That was the incredibly spiritual part of this week. The funny part of this week is what happened almost immediately afterwards. Her daughter of about 20 years old (who is a member) asked us how she could stop saying swear words. We began asking some questions about the influences in her life (mostly music), and she began to justify her habit of swearing at people who offend her and lots of other things that really didn't make much sense. I thought, "All right, Yami, if you want me to bring the hammer down, I'll bring it down."
And brought down said hammer certainly was. I busted out all sorts of General Conference quotes, personal experiences, scriptures, etc to absolutley blow her mind with the reasons why she should stop swearing, delete the music off of her MP3 that conduces that sort of environment, and turn the other cheek when other people go off at her. As she continued to justify herself, I simply asked, "Yami, is that what Jesus Christ would do?" The "conversation" that followed went something like this:
"But it's that--"
"Yes or no?"
"Yes or no?"
"Let me talk!"
"I'm letting you talk. Answer yes or no."
"If Jesus Christ wouldn't do it, then we shouldn't either."
"But we're not perfect!"
"You're right, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try."
"Sincerely, Yami, you know we're right and you won't win this discussion. This is the first step of your letting go of swear words. You're going to let this argument go, breathe, and choose to be happy rather than choose to be right. Will you stop swearing?"
"...yes, I'll stop swearing."
"Good. As you said, we aren't perfect, and we don't expect you to be at this time. We'll be verifying your progress with you, and your mother and brother won't let you lie."
I left Elder Morales in the dust with that one, and after the lesson he said, "I almost felt the love in that scolding you gave her... Almost..." Hey, it worked, and if she stopped swearing by talking that directly with her, I have no regrets. We're still having a pretty good laugh about it.
And that's pretty much it for this week. We'll see what adventures await in the next 7 days; we have leadership council and zone training coming up, so we'll see how those go.
Iré y haré,
P.S. Sorry there are no pictures this week. Elder Morales and I have to think of some more crazy stuff to do...
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This blog is edited by Elder Groesbeck's amazing, beautiful, younger sister Aubrie. I will post any update I get. Enjoy :)