This week was very eventful and very exciting. As existing as missionary work gets.
This week I received my new companion Elder Rojas. He would describe himself as brown and charismatic. I personally think he's weird and completely mad...but in a good way. He's a very hard worker and really pushes me. He is also helping me with my Spanish as best as he can but he gets really frustrated a lot. What can I say I have really bad language skills.
Anyways my favorite part and probably the most spiritual part of this week is that we had Elder David A. Bednar and Elder Dale G. Renlund come and speak to all of us this last Wednesday. We talked a lot about some of the social norms among members and how stupid and faithless they are. Those were Elder Bednar's exact words. We also talked about faith and agency. One of the most important things I have ever learned is that faith is action. Bednar really stressed that. It's changed a lot of the way I do things as a missionary and the way I pray also.
Me and Elder Rojas were able to put two people on date this week. Kimberly who is 12 and Miguel who is in his 40's. We worked really hard to get them there and to solidify them for baptism throughout the week. We sent texts and stopped by and did everything we possibly could. However neither of them came to church. According to the standards of the mission, if they are not keeping commitments then they are not allowed to be baptized. And so they are no longer on date. So that happened. However something I learned is that even though you're working hard, sometimes the blessings of your labors are not always immediately apparent.
Something we did do is find about 10 potential investigators and set up lessons with almost all of this for this coming week so I am very excited to see how that goes!
Today I received a blessing for being obedient that wasn't apparent at first. Today we were scheduled to have dinner at an Italian family's house who's father is a professional chief. However he lived barely outside of the mission so we were left with a choice. Either call the zone leaders and ask for permission or head there anyways and no one would have probably found out. However we decided to call and ask for permission. Once the zone leaders heard that it was outside of the mission the maybe became an absolute "no you cannot go." And so we didn't get any Italian food tonight. Bummed and hating leadership, we went out and started looking for less active families we could bring back to the church. One of these families we stumbled upon turned out to be an active family that went to a different ward. They invited us in and asked us if we had eaten that night. We said no and they said "well we just made a bunch of Philippino food and we'd love for you to have some!" Philippino food trumps Italian food every time in my book. BLESSINGS!!!!!!!!
Also today while we were talking to random people on the streets, my companion started hiccuping violently. I don't speak good enough Spanish to carry on the conversation so he had to keep talking while hiccuping. It didn't go so well because I started laughing at him because he sounded completely ridiculous!!! And this caused the person we were talking to laugh. And this is what missionary work is usually like.
My Spanish study has improved and I am getting better. I think the main thing for me is that I just need to practice 24/7 and not speak any English with my companion. Even if he gets frustrated or not.
Well anyways I hope everyone is doing well, Elder Austin