Floor 13 (6-16-2014)

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Shortcut through the jungle
Shortcut through the jungle

I learned this week that every building in Puerto Rico is missing a floor 13; they just skip from 12 to 14. Talk about superstitious! Although I’m not entirely sure if that’s true, somebody Google it.

Transfers! I’m staying, along with Elder Portillo. Sister Casteneda goes home this week, Sister Burgess is moving to Juana Diaz and we’re receiving to new sisters to accompany the two that are staying. So we’re still six. I was a little bit disappointed to stay again just because I’ve been here for so long and I feel like I’ve done everything, but at the same time I’m glad. As we’ve been working more with members we’ve really come to gain their trust, with so much talk about missionary work one of them has got to crack and give us a reference! No but seriously, I’ve come to love a lot of people here. We spent the evening last night with the stake patriarch. He’s such a good guy and knows so much, we could talk for hours (meaning he does all the talking and I listen, that’s how it works in Puerto Rico.) We are still contacting, because you’re right, working with members only fills up so much of the day. But we’re trying to find part member families, less active members or past investigators from old missionaries. So far it’s been a lot of walking. I’ll keep you posted.

We had Zone conference this week which was great! I played the piano and didn’t mess up which was also great! We actually performed a musical number with 10 or so missionaries and we split it into parts and everything. I’ve now got two successful missionary choir performances under my belt, Rick Vandenhole, you’d better watch out! President Zwick talked about simplifying and intensifying. A lot of times the missionaries talk and talk and explain things perfectly well, but the simplicity and power of this message is lost in all of the words. I’d really like to teach with more questions and less talking, but we’ll have to see if we can work that out as a companionship.

We get our new president in the beginning of July, which is super exciting! We took some pictures since we thought that we might be leaving. I’ll try to take more and introduce you to this great ward.

Oh! Those questions from last week…

The hardest thing about Spanish was simply gaining a broad enough vocabulary so that I could understand. The grammar I grasped fairly quickly, in the CCM really. It helped a ton to already have 4 years from High school. In the beginning it seemed harder than I’d expected but now it seems easier than I expected; idk ha ha.

Something I worried about at the beginning of my mission was if somebody started talking to me but I didn’t know what they were saying, but that’s not really a problem. Puerto Ricans can talk for hours with nothing on your part, you just need to nod occasionally and say “oh”, ” wow” ,” no se.”

The hardest thing about my mission has definitely been working with other people. Before my mission so much depended on me, and now so much depends on other people. My relationship with my companions and other people in the ward have been very difficult at times and also, as missionaries I say that we’re not here to change what people believe, because we can’t do that, only God can. So everything we do is only an invitation to act, everything about their progress and testimony depends on them. I have definitely acquired a lot more patience to do as it says in the end of D&C 123, “all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”

 

-Elder Jacob

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