Monday, September 16, 2013

Email received September 16, 2013

Hola familia,

Como están todos? This week was pretty great. Elder Beus is a spiritual giant and I really love and respect him and he´s super funny so we´ve been getting along pretty well. He´s actually a lot like Spencer in a lot of ways so it´s been really fun. Our investigators are doing really well. We have one that has been investigating the church for the past like 6 years but she is scheduled to be baptized on Saturday and she is super pumped. She´s been inviting people and everything so that should be a really cool experience. She already knows tons of people in church so the fellowshipping should be great. I´m glad Travis made it safely to Argentina without any visa problems. I had heard that they weren´t even going to be sending Americans there anymore just for the visa problems so I´m really happy about that, he´ll love it so much. South America is such an amazing place, I love it. Haha today we were on a bus and two Americans walked on and I instantly recognized them as Americans because they stood out so much with the light hair and blue eyes. I started chuckling to myself but then realized that if they stick out that much wearing regular clothes how much more do I stick out wearing missionary clothes and being American, haha it was a funny realization that took me a whole year to realize. The big city is pretty awesome. I love being so close to all the action and the missionaries in this zone are the best because they work really hard but play really hard too. We´ve been waking up early and playing basketball in the mornings because the assistants and us both live within like two blocks of the church and the 4 elders that are in the office have a car so they´ve been coming down to play and it´s been super fun. It seems like President Mcmullin doesn't like to take missionaries out of their area very quickly so I´m glad I got placed in such a great area. My apartment is pretty bad. It´s one of two apartments in this mission that has carpet (and the carpet is super gross) so the mission doesn´t have vacuum cleaners in the office to give us and our vacuum cleaner blew up a few weeks ago so it´s kinda hard to keep it clean. But I actually kinda like it because it´s small and close to everything and we don´t spend a lot of time there anyways. I tried sending pictures but this computer won´t let me so hopefully next week. Elder Beus is really funny because he´s afraid of all of the little bugs and germs and everything. I think you all would be very proud of me because I have officially gotten over all of my germ fears, you can´t really have those down here.

I did a division with a chileno this week and that was cool because I´ve been afraid that my Spanish is getting worse with Elder Beus but he told me I speak really well and even have a decent accent. Also today we were playing soccer and I went up against this same chileno and he tried to do some fancy trick but I got in his way and shut him down (I can´t actually say it was with any skill but it looked cool) then took the ball down and scored a goal. haha it was pretty funny and then they made me an honorary Latin. Haha I love Latin people but I'm way too American to be Latin and everyone knows it but it was fun anyways.

So Elder Beus and I had a super cool experience this week. We were teaching this family and it was the first time they had let us in to teach them. We went in and started teaching and I did most of the teaching. I was trying to teach to their needs but I was having a really hard time of getting them to open up. They accepted what we had taught but I felt like they didn´t really understand the importance or anything of it. So then we were finishing up and I looked to Elder Beus so that he would have one last chance to share his testimony before we left. He decided to try and ask them a question and he got it out in the most broken up Spanish you´ve ever heard. I was going to try and re-state his question for him but I felt like I should just let the people try and figure it out. The husband started to try to rephrase the question as he understood it and as he did so he completely opened up. He expressed that they had recently moved in and all of their family lived far away and that they felt really alone and that they didn´t have anybody to help them. We shared with them about how they can always rely on the Lord for help and how in the church we are a giant family and we all help one another. They seemed to really like that and we have another appointment tonight in about an hour to go back and share with them some more. Afterwords I asked Elder Beus what he thought he had asked them and it was not the question that the man had heard. That was a super humbling moment for me because I realized even more how it´s the Holy Ghost that is the teacher and that what we say isn´t nearly as important as what the people feel. I studied a lot more about how to invite the Holy Ghost in my lessons and I realized just whose work this really is. What Dad wrote me is true, we get to a point where we think we can easily categorize people and know exactly how they´ll respond but being here in Trinidad has completely changed my view on that because the people here are different. I feel like there are a lot of people that are prepared to hear and accept the gospel right now. El campo blanco está ya, we don´t have to wait around for it. We have been working with this family that had been throwing the missionaries out of their house for years (they´ve even thrown me out a couple of times) but they are finally coming back to church after years and are allowing us to come by and visit them. They have two daughters that still need to be baptized and then they can enter the temple! The seeds have been planted in many people here and now is the harvest. We are still doing plenty of seed planting don´t get me wrong. We are still having plenty of rejections and not everything is just peaches and roses (I don´t know if that´s a saying but I use it a lot) but I feel like now more than any other time in my mission we´re finding tons of people, less-active members and investigators, that are prepared to accept and live the gospel to receive the incredible blessings awaiting them. As I get to see people come back and receive the blessings it strengthens my testimony so much. Revelation is available to us in the very moment we need it through the Book of Mormon, I know this from personal experience. The gospel blesses families. By small and simple things such as daily personal and family prayer and scripture study and weekly church attendance great things are brought to pass. I know that this is the only true church that has God´s holy priesthood authority, the authority to act in the name of Christ. ¡Que Cosa! I love you all so much and pray for you every night. I hope this week treats you well and that you´re all happy and safe.

con mucho amor,
Elder Zachary J. Hulsey