Wow! I can't believe that transfers are already over! It seems like this week, like a lot of weeks, has really flown by. I'm sure that's because I'm a missionary, and staying busy all the time, but its interesting to me to see the difference for me in time from the start of my mission to now. I'm starting to ramble a little bit, so you'll have to forgive me. :)
Elder Elias is super sweet! He's from Hobbs, New Mexico; his dad is from San Luis Potosí, Mexico, and his mom is from San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He grew up speaking Spanish as his first language, but knows English equally as fluently. He's got one younger sister who just graduated from high school, and about to put in her mission papers! He's been out for 10 months: he started in Woodburn (the Hubbard area) right before I got there, moved to South Salem, then Kaiser, and now here with me! :D One thing I really appreciate about him already is that he is super calm no matter what the situation. Teaching someone who only wants to bash with us, to discussing how we want our companionship to work. One thing I've noticed I also like a lot about him is from the first minute he walked in the door, we began discussing expectations and ways we go about doing things as missionaries and roommates. I feel like there was a little bit of a disconnect between Elder Vega and I since we just didn't talk about the little things like that. I feel also (so far) that with Elder Elias and I, our entire focus as a companionship has been leaning towards action, rather than discussing possible ways to carry out our plans. That was the long-winded way of saying we both like to get things done. ;)
We've had a couple of interesting experiences this past week that have been both hilarious, and weird, so in other words, normal here in the Oregon Salem Mission ;) Saturday night we were right at our apartment complex around 8:30 at night, right after having a lesson fall through writhing walking distance of our apartment. We had about half an hour left in the day, and decided to go visit a potential investigator who lived just around the corner from us... We never made it.... We started walking, and on the way ran into an older Latino man getting his mail from his mailbox, and we struck up a conversation with him. Turns out he speaks both English and Spanish, meaning we switched languages based on whatever he was saying to us. We talked a little bit about Jesus and Heavenly Father, and how the Godhead is truly three separate beings, and that's where the...interesting part started. He started telling us we were wrong, telling us that about even "our God and Jesus" there is a universal Creator of all. It was amazing to me, and after talking with Elder Elias to him, that this 86 year old man was telling us something fundamental about both Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, yet he couldn't understand that the title "Creator" is applied to God and Jesus. He couldn't seem to make the connection that God IS the Creator. We even had another Catholic neighbor of this older man come to get his mail, start helping us teach this man that God is the Great Creator that he prays to and feels like loves him! It was a hilarious situation, and once we left it to go home, we laughed for a solid minute until tears wee streaming down our faces. this sweet older man verses two Mormon missionaries and another catholic guy, trying to help him know who God is.
We also saw Josher this past week, our investigator on date. It was a good lesson, and we taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ lesson, which explains what the gospel of Jesus Christ is, why we have it today, and why things like baptism are so important to us. We also presented him with a baptismal plan, which Elder Elias showed me how to do. It's a calendar, with all the lessons he needs to be taught before baptism, as well as things like go to church, and the final interview before baptism. The idea behind it being if the investigator is truly committed and wants to be baptized, they will go through with this plan while also knowing what we expect from them. He did want to move his date back a couple of weeks, so we're working with him to be ready by the date we set this coming week with him. One thing we're struggling with, with him is church attendance, only because he hasn't come to church the past two weeks since we began teaching him. Yesterday day it was because he was sick, so we're hoping that this following week he's going to be a able to come. We think he really does want to come, but he's actually had things like being sick prevent him this past week. We talked about church with him, and he was excited to come, so we feel like he has the desire and willingness to come.
I know that this gospel is true, and that the principles found therein allow us to progress and become more like our Father in Heaven, that He has a plan, a perfect plan, which was laid out before the foundations of this world were, and that because of Jesus Christ and His Atonement, we can, are, and will be cleansed from our sins, shortcomings, mistakes, and pains.
I love you all! Have a great week! Que Dios les bendigas!