Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013

Mom, thanks for your message. I will go in order responding to what you said. There are some things that I can't buy here, like US stamps, and judging by the amount of time they give me to email each week, and the primitive nature of their computers, I should probably have my friends start writing me letters (if you are one of my friends reading this, please start writing letters instead of emailing haha, I can explain later) but I need US stamps to reply and I cant buy them here, so could you send me a letter with as many stamps as you can cram in there without drawing attention to the envelope? haha Kathryn has my address, ask her.  Also, put a picture of the Virgin Mary over the sealed part of the envelope, I am pretty sure that they refuse to tamper with that picture. But we will see! I have been sleeping good, but partially because I am always so tired, and a little under the weather. Just a cough, everyone else here has this thing called the unca siempres, which means they ALWAYS feel like they have to poop, but they never can, it just doesn't come out hahahaha, so funny. 

Lima is crazy. I'll describe it to you with a story. We went proselyting in Lima on Saturday, which was my first time. I got lucky to be paired with a guy who knows Spanish and English perfectly, and a guy who had been here for six weeks, so he was pretty good at Spanish. We all got in a bus and drove for about an hour, and as the minutes passed, my surroundings became poorer and poorer, right up until I was in a neighborhood that was more desolate and poor than anything I have seen in real life, ever. It was like a movie. TONS of dogs just walking around with no owner, no paved roads, houses that are just brick and falling apart, with tin walls, that let the heat and cold in. This was a very cold day, and I was only wearing a long sleeved white shirt. We just started talking to people. The humbling began right then. They literally just drop us off and say, "go be fishers of men," so we did. I kinda became the greeter and introducer, since I cant talk about all the Gospel stuff perfectly yet.  We didn't knock on doors, because we couldn't tell which part of these crumbling buildings was the door, so we waited to see people outside their houses. We talked to about seven people. Some of which were super hilarious. We talked to a guy who insisted that he was Catholic, but also that he doesn't believe in God. haha, It's hard to know what to do in situations like that. 

Everyone is nice and welcoming here, and they all let us share a message, even if they're uninterested haha, but they're still nice. Not like Americans haha, they're so much more accepting, even to the unfamiliar. So we were walking in this neighborhood that literally looked like a dump, or a neighborhood from an end of the world movie, and the companion that knew more than me but less than the fluent guy (buy the way, this was a trio companionship because one of their companions was on crutches so he couldn't go out with us. We called ourselves the tres nefitas, or the three Nephites haha) anyway, this Elder said, 'Elders, we should knock on that door, and we didn't know what he meant because we couldn't tell which part of this building was the door, but we guessed and did it, even though we hadn't been knocking on doors all day, that wasn't our strategy. The mother and daughter that answered that door had been waiting for us. But they didn't know it. There's a quote by someone that goes something like, "the people you will teach will be looking for you, but they won't know it until after you get there." That's what this was. They had an uncle and cousin that were members, and said they were always so nice, and came by and visited often. Well we told them that we have a message that could change their lives, and they listened. I pretty much just smiled at them and tried to understand what they were saying haha, usually unsuccessfully. But they were so engaged in what we were telling them, and they happily accepted a Book of Mormon, and accepted the invite to church on Sunday. They also agreed to meet again with the missionaries that worked in that area. As we were walking away from this house, I had a realization that changed my life, and so I shared it with my two excited companions. I said to them, "Elders, we may have just changed the eternities of that mother and daughter. They may look back many many years from now, long after they die and say, that was the moment, the moment those three boys in white shirts and name tags came to give us everything we needed." And that is why I'm here. When we walk up to the doors of these people, and when we approach them on the street, we hold in our hands exactly what they need. 

What a calling I have. We truly are "pescadores de hombres", and I don't say that in a self centered way, I couldn't feel more honored than I do when I realize the task I have at hand.  It's as if putting on my name tag alone gives me a greater eternal perspective, and I can walk down the street seeing souls as God sees them. I'll skip the small details of the CCM for this week because I'm running out of time, but it's the same. Every. Day. Is the same haha, but we are making it really fun! It's a great time, and I'm certainly excited to go proselyting again next week. Time is speeding up, we missionaries say that "the days are weeks and the weeks are days". Pictures next week! haha hopefully... 

If you are reading this, and have sent me an email, and have not yet recieved a reply to said email, I seriously apologize. I'm so busy, but I will get every one sooner or later, I haven't forgotten about you, and if you would, send me letters instead of emails. It may take about a week longer, but I have more time to write on paper than on this computer. So thanks you for your message! Just seeing it in my inbox warms my heart, even though I havent read them yet. Thanks again! I love you all! And thanks mom, I love you.  

Elder Wilkinson

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