I would first just like to say that I haven't cried very much in the last few months. But the dam broke yesterday and there was a flood. I don't know what got into me, but I am going to try to explain so that you can get a little taste of what missionary work is like.
We have a goal as a mission to baptize every week. Something I haven't been able to accomplish so far in my mission but something that I really want to do. In order to be able to baptize every week, we should be finding at least 2 new people to teach every day. This week, it felt like everyone was rejecting us. I would get home every night so tired because all of our appointments would fall through and so we would be walking around contacting (not my favorite thing to do) people on the streets. It felt like NO ONE wanted to talk to us. I love the excuses 'well, sometimes I leave my house so I wouldn't know when you could come' Oh sometimes? But not always...so when can we come by? or 'I'm NEVER home' but they are sitting outside of their house everytime we pass by. That night my district leader decided to share a scripture with me and remind me that the Lord is content with what we are doing but He isn't satisfied with it. We need to be doing more. I started to cry (silently, of course) and thought, 'what can I do more?' There is always more, I know, but after a long day of contacting and rejection, you just want to sleep.
Sunday is probably the most stressful day for a missionary. You are stressed because you don't know if your investigators are going to show up and you are stressed when they show up because you aren't sure if they will feel comfortable, if someone will say something wrong, etc. In the morning, we passed by for some of our investigators that told us they would come to church with us. The first one we passed by for sent her niece out to tell us that she went to the hospital because she was sick. The funny thing was that I could see through the crack in the door and our investigator walked passed her open window. So I was feeling really good going to the next investigator, especially after we knocked 10 times and nobody was home. We passed by for one more, Alberto, who has come to church 3 times but is always late and misses the sacrament. We wanted to make sure he would get there on time but he was like...I think I will get there at 1. No Hermano, church starts at 12! We've explained before the importance of the sacrament but I guess he still doesn't understand.
So empty handed, we headed to the church (by the way, it's not easy to pass by for these people...it's far from the church and we have to take 2 buses to get there). Then, Satan started moving in and my head was swimming with doubts. It's not possible to baptize every week! Why is this so hard? Is this even worth it? It must be my fault! I am not doing enough? Or maybe I care too much! Is the Lord really preparing people to accept the gospel?
The sacrament meeting started and we had zero people in the chapel. During the sacrament song I lost it and started crying. And once I start it is hard to stop. I had all these conflicting feelings...all of these doubts but then this CERTAINTY that the sacred ordinance that I was partaking of was real. That Christ is my Savior and that this is His church! So of course I cried more. And it wasn't the silent tears that stream gracefully down your cheeks...it was the trying not to make heaving noises, sobbing, blochy red neck, type of cry. Luckily I had my hanky with me (THANKS MOM). Then it was testimony meeting and the testimonies in this ward are always so good, so suffice it to say, I was a mess.
Half way through the meeting, we looked back and saw Alberto sitting there. He came. Late, but he came. We also had another investigator show up during the second hour.
I don't tell you this to make you sad for me, because this is just how it is. But I think I cried so much because these people don't get it. They don't understand that this gospel WILL change their lives, but ONLY if they put forth their part. I feel like I am doing my part, but there has to be more that I can do. I don't know everything and I have doubts at times, but I have a testimony that this is the only true church on the face of the earth. That is why I left my family, job, car, comfortable bed, functioning shower with warm water, alone time, friends, etc., to come here. Because I want to help people feel the hope that only the gospel of Jesus Christ brings.
Now, this week wasn't all rejection, sad, gloom and doom. We always have little miracles that happen and we have some great people we are teaching. The members are really good to us and try to help us as best they can. We found several people to teach this week, but it is impossible for them to progress without going to church. But I will tell you, hearing the conversion stories of the members who are faithful always give me hope and push me to keep going. I am grateful to be here and I am learning SO much. This was probably the best decision I made in my life so far. I will never regret coming on the mission.
Also, in one week, we will celebrate Independence Day here in Mexico. I am excited because it is a p-day so maybe we will get to hear the cry ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡VIVA MEXICO!!!! in the zocalo! Well shall see.
I love you all. I am grateful for another week here. Also, less than a month until conference! Don't worry, I made a countdown. We are kind of excited.