Friday, August 5, 2016

May 24, 2016 Weddings!

From photos of journal pages….

May 12
Elder Grow arrived today.  We traveled 2.5 hours to meet with the Mission Leadership council and him and his wife at 8:15 in Woodside this morning, for half an hour.  He took the temperature of the mission and then those of the zone leaders from the island left while he met with all the city missionaries all day.  Tomorrow we go back for the general island meeting.  It was super good, learned some good things.

We found out that Javier is on probation for drunk driving.  He can’t be baptized.

May 14
Its been a dark time.  When I got sick and stayed in, my motivation and vision never returned.  And then when I was recovered physically, I got hit with bad allergies.  I haven’t been thinking clearly for a while now.
When we got the news that Javier can’t be baptized, it hit me hard.  After seeing a mighty change in his heart and such pure, humble desires to be baptized, the thought of telling him he couldn’t paralyzed me.  The last time I told an investigator he couldn’t be baptized right then, he went off the deep end.
They took it better than I did.  It’s been a rough couple of days.

May 15
Had the Elder Grow conference.  It was fantastic.

May 21
It’s been a rough couple of weeks.  These allergies have killed me.  I have been so completely and thoroughly miserable.  My eyes have been swollen nearly shut to where I can’t see and are so painful and itchy I’d rather just not have them.  Between trying all the different allergy meds and buying copious amounts of tissues, it’s getting quite expensive.  The mission nurse told me to go to the local urgent care, and the doctor there just told me to try Allegra and Zyrtec and then call him if it didn’t work.  Fortunately, today I’m feeling a lot better after having been on Zyrtec a few days.  5th try’s a charm, eh?  On top of that the nurse had me try a $25 antihistamine for a tick bite I got.  My home card(?) has come in handy.
On the bright side, we received news that if Javier’s issue is a misdemeanor and not a felony, he can be baptized at the mission Presiden’ts discretion!  We called Javier and he said he’s pretty sure it’s a misdemeanor and will confirm that at court on Tuesday.
May 23
Alicia came to church today without Javier.  She looked bad.  When we asked where he was, she replied that he was at home, with a hangover.  His friends took him out for a “Goodbye singleness” party (ridiculous, he’s not married but he’s been with Alicia long enough to have two kids together).  He’s been clean for a year.  Just one little mistake.
We went over in the afternoon and taught and encouraged them.  Fortunately, the wedding tomorrow is still on.  Unfortunately, Javier no longer wants to be baptized right away.  It’s a major step back.  You can see easily in his eyes that he doesn’t have the Spirit like he used to.  He said that, just like we indicated, it would be better to wait until the court matter is resolved.  I hope that we can get him back on track.  It just makes me wonder if we would still be baptizing him this week, if he wouldn’t have fallen, if we hadn’t have told him he couldn’t be baptized.  But I suppose I just need to trust in God.

email letter May 24th...
Alicia and Javier!
The set up crew. We're pretty good.

So Javier and Alicia got married yesterday! we were so excited.  They are just the most amazing couple I love them so much.  Also, the sister's investigators Esther and Sebastian got married the same night (we doubled up). This is now the third wedding this transfer for our district!  In the culture we work with people don't place the same importance on the actual event of getting married, so pretty much if we want to baptize someone we've got to marry them first (seriously, marriage is a big issue for almost all of our top investigators). It was a lot of work and Sister Martino got stressed out, which was interesting to witness (didn't know that happened to her).

Zone news: the ASL companionship got moved to Brentwood and was replaced with elders so now we have ANOTHER exchange. For some reason Zone 9 literally covers half of the geography of the mission (starting at Terryville and Patchogue and covering the whole island from there to the tip. Plus Bermuda, go figure) and has 14 companionships (average zone in the mission has about 8 or 9 companionships) so we are always swamped with exchanges. Ever since the brethren changed it so now they come work in our pool, exchanges have been an interesting challenge.  Having the monster zone of the mission has been fun :)

Thanks for all your support for me out here! I'm grateful to be a missionary.  I love this gospel.  These last few weeks have been rough for me. Every time we think we've made it, the Lord figures out something else to try us with.  I'm grateful for those experiences that teach me about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Without them, I wouldn't really know what it's like to rely "wholly" on the merits of He who is mighty to save.  I know that this church is true; it houses and protects the only true and full doctrine of Christ.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen

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