Hellloooo family and friends. It was another "cold" week here in Bangui. Everybody is pulling out their winter coats and bundling up like it’s below freezing haha. But anyway, I don’t have too much time, so I’ll give ya a quick rundown of my week.
So this week we were able to teach a lot of lessons and found ourselves 20 new investigators. I want to write you guys about the times we ran into a pastor. We greet this guy at his home and he says he’s a missionary just like us. But we had already noticed the pulpit in his back yard so we knew he was a pastor. He told us to sit down so we could have a discussion, and at this time, Elder Cervantes and I knew how this was going to turn out. He just wanted to straight bash with us. So we played a long for a bit and answered his questions. I’m glad Cervantes is good in Bible knowledge, because to be honest, I’m not the greatest in that area. But anyways, while this was going on, I thought back to one of Mitch's letters. I remember him saying "The spirit was telling me to confound this man!!" and I could have sworn the spirit was telling me the same thing and I was about to go big silverback on this man, but then I realized that it was just my adrenalin. Then for real, the thought popped into my head “just tell him we have a lot of people to teach that are prepared to hear our message, and that we won’t waste any more time here and to leave”. So we left and went on our way.
Then, the next day, we were inside an investigator’s house, teaching a mother of two girls who we were also teaching. Well the pastor of the church that these girls attend (different pastor from the first) happened to walk in while we were there. He sat down and we got to know each other for a bit. After he told us how he had been a pastor for 7 years and that his Bible knowledge is incredible, Elder Cervantes got a phone call and kind of left the room. So it was just me and this pastor. He started telling me that we could not teach this family anymore and that we should never come back. Oh, and I don’t know why, but these pastors love to speak in English. They are the only ones here that do, and I’m glad they do. But anyway, I responded to him and then Elder Cervantes came back in, and the pastor said the same thing to him. And the thing that surprised him the most, was that what Cervantes responded to him was the exact same thing that I had said. The words were almost identical. Then I felt the prompting from the spirit, not to confound, but to speak with boldness. And the spirit was soooo strong when I began to speak, I was so grateful.
So that was kind of the big parts of my week. Also a funny story - we were tracting in Burgos, and we found this old lady, she was like in her late 80's. And then in walks her mother!!! hahaha 105 years old!! I could not believe the fact that, not only was she alive, but she could walk!!! She asked me the same question 7 times, and only speaks Ilocano, but it was pretty cool.
Also, I am surprised more and more every day at how kind and generous these people are. We were in Burgos late, like 9 and were waiting for a bus home. And all the sudden this big white van stops and tells us he can give us a ride. Well obviously you would never do this in America haha, but we hopped in and this guy gave us a ride home for free. And then when we arrived back to our apartment, we noticed our broken bikes were gone. We thought for sure that someone had stolen them!! We went searching, and then somebody came out and told us that his brother was fixing them for us. And then they invited us in to eat. These people are soooo nice, it’s amazing.
Man, I love this mission so much. But one of the things that I realized that I need to do this week in order to improve my work, is absolutely give up my heart and soul for this work. Yeah, obviously I’m already giving up 2 years of my time and being obedient to all the rules, but if I do this and my heart and mind are not in the right place, it doesn’t mean much. I guess what I’m saying is that I need to want to serve the Lord right now more than I want to be at Sand Hollow golfing, or at Lake Powell with the family. And I’m gonna be honest, it’s not easy to do haha. But I’ve realized that as I try to do this, my love for the Lord grows stronger, and my desire to do good and serve the Lord grows.
Love you all, Happy Valentines Day ;) have a great week :)))