Monday, February 22, 2016

02.22.16 Week 2 in Paradise!


How are all of you?!  It sounds like you had a good time in St. George.  Buying some new clothes for Gertrudecita hahaha ;)  I hope that all is well with you and that everything goes well!

This week was great!  Elder Carter and I are working really hard down here to get a branch.  We have found a few issues in our path to get a branch, but we are moving forward and working around them.  Puerto Jimenez is a touristy place, but the locals that live here are farmers and "people from the campo."  So, most people are very uneducated and about half don't know how to read.  Of those that know how to read, very few can afford the glasses they need to be able to read.  So we have seen that the message of the restoration goes right over their head.   So we have had to learn how to simplify everything that we teach.  We are using a lot of diagrams, pictures, and other visual aids so that they can understand the message.  

The evangelicals are thick down here.  Really though.  Each little neighborhood that we visit has it's own church built there.  Sure enough, each night at sundown all you can hear in the streets is the loud singing and bands of the evangelical churches, accompanied by a few words from the Bible yelled into a microphone by pastor.  These people just eat it up.  It really is something remarkable.  These people just like people to preach to them.  Many times they don't really want to learn, or do anything, or have much responsibility.  So when we show up and tell them that they really do have to keep that commandments, and that they really do have to go to church each week; they aren't very happy about it haha.  We had an ivestigator come to church and he is a really good person.  He has kind of a passive faith in Jesus Christ.  After the services, he came to us and said that he thought is was boring.  He said "nobody was clapping, preaching, or talking in tongues."  Oh, side note, most of these churches fall on the ground and talk jibberish and they say that it is the gift of tongues and that it happens when they are full of the Spirit.  So, as you can imagine, teaching somebody that the Spirit is a soft voice that prompts us and that we have to be listening for it doesn't really work in their head.  Just a bunch of thick cultural differences that I attribute to the lack of education.  However, in the end I think that it is a good thing.  Almost everybody has faith in Jesus Christ that we can add too.  We hav several families that are reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know of its truthfulness.  

This week we had a miracle in church.  Last week Elder Carter and I set a goal to have an attendance of 35 people.  We worked hard all week, inviting everybody to church.  When Sunday came the Lord blessed the group and we had 35 people there.  There weren't enough seats in the place!  So, Elder Carter and I had to stand in the back with an investigator because there was no place to sit.   I spoke again.  This time I spoke about following our leaders with faith.  I think the memers enjoyed it.  Some of the talks are just so dry.  I try to do something to liven them up a bit.  Next time I am starting with "a little seed began to grow..." haha.  

This week we had a district activity on the beach.  All of the priesthood came from the district to Jimenez and we ate some chicken and rice on the beach.   We are just trying to get everyone excited about the missionary work here!  Also, today we went to see the crocodiles on the edge of some murky bog.  Pretty cooll!  Usually you can throw meat to them and they will go after it.  We didn't have any though.  I am seeing lots of exotice wildlife.  I've seen toucans, giant parrots called "lapas" ( in english I think they are called Macaws or something), and monkeys all over in the trees.  Truly this is paradise!

I love you guys so much!  Keep the faith!!

Elder Nelson 

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