Monday, September 28, 2015

2015-9-21 Hump Day

*Sigh* So, last Thursday I turned one year old. We got together with another companionship today to burn my shirt. I have a video... I'll see if I can send it, but it may have to wait until I get back. 

What else has happened... I got over a bout of tropical sickness I had, a weird disease nobody here knows how to pronounce, not even the doctors--it's that new. But supposedly it's spreading all over Mexico! Chinconguya, or something like that. It's kind of similar to dengue, but you get weird spots all over your body, especially on the forearms, that gets worse when you're in the sun. Which, in Tuxtepec, is all the time. It was kind of funny, actually... I was feeling a little bad one Sunday afternoon, and then even worse on Monday, when I broke out in fever. On Tuesday morning, a few more symptoms added themselves on, and my comp started the chinconguya jokes. I laughed it off and told him it was the tail end of a cold combined with some dehydration. We were heading to the house of a less active sister to visit her when Elder Lind noticed and pointed out the spots on my arms. I was like, "Dang it. Ok, maybe it's chinconguya." And so we go in to visit the sister. She just happens to mention that she's been just getting over chinconguya, and casually lists off every single one of the symptoms I had. She's just talking, and I look over at Elder Lind, and he's giving me "the look," and I just start laughing into my towel (covering my mouth so the sister doesn't notice). and he almost loses it as well... So then we visited the local pharmacy doctor and got it diagnosed. There's not really a medicine for that kind of thing, you just have to drink liquids and vitamin C and you can take advil for the pain and fever. And stay out of the sun. Hehe. That last one's not really an option. We don't get to use hats, so I used an umbrella for a little while, but everyone associates that with the Jehovah's Witnesses here, so I didn't do it too often. But, I've passed through it, and super fast, as well. A lot of people are laid out in bed for a month, not even able to walk because of the pain, but my comp gave me a blessing that Tuesday night and we haven't even had to take a day off. And that was all a couple of weeks ago, and now I'm pretty much completely over it. I haven't even seen my leopard spots in over a week! So pretty much everything is fine.

We've had some great spiritual lessons this week, even though we don't have that many investigators that are progressing. We're still visiting the Serena family (I sometimes have a hard time letting things go), but because of sickness and some other problems they've had a lot of difficulties in going to church. There's another investigator we have, Jesús, who's really solid, but his path to baptism is going to be super hard. We know we were sent there to help him, though. It was an inspired street contact. But it wasn't actually him. Let me explain... We passed a woman walking in the street with her young son carrying tortillas to her house to eat, and Elder Lind felt prompted to contact her. She didn't seem that interested, but she gave us her address and a time to pass by. Flashback a few weeks earlier when we were searching out an address that other elders gave us as a reference. We didn't end up finding it, but I felt satisfied with the effort we were doing in contacting those we could in the area we were looking in. I had mentioned to Elder Lind that sometimes the Lord puts us in a certain place at a certain time to find someone who we maybe didn't even know we were looking for. So (fast forward again to a few days after the contact), when we pass by the house at the time the woman told us to pass by and she wasn't there, we stayed and knocked on the neighbors' doors. The first one we knocked on was Jesus'. He told us he was busy cleaning his patio, and so Elder Lind offered to help. He didn't believe us at first, but when he saw we were serious, he let us in. We cleaned for a while, and then he asked us if we wanted to talk inside. We of course accepted, and we had a really intense chat. Let's just say he's been through a lot in the last few months, and really needs the Church. Since that time he's been progressing well, even if he has a harder path than most. There's also another investigator, Saira, who also has a hard path ahead of her, but who's finally started to progress.

At times I start to think a little bit about my mission being half over, but I try not to do that too much, just focus on the work and area and people at hand. And that helps. I still have a ways to go, both in time and in self-improvement that I need to do. But I have had many experiences here with a lot of special people that have helped me, members, non-members, and missionaries. I'll miss this area when I go. But not the heat. Unless I go to Tierra Blanca...

Con todo mi amor,
Élder Rob Weatherford

2015-9-14 Walterflord y Lind (because HIS name is pronounceable)

Nobody came to church this Sunday because no investigators were allowed! I don't know if they showed it in the states, but I doubt it... But I'm pretty sure all over México they showed the rededication of the temple in México City. We got to hear from the Temple President and his wife, from Élder Benjamín de Hoyos, the same one that came a few months ago to give us a training, and then from Élder Holland and Élder Eyring. I really liked what Élder Holland said. He quoted President Young when he was asked about if he (President Young) believed they would have success with the Salt Lake temple after having to abandon other attempts. He essentially said, "I don't know and I don't care. What I do know is that the Lord wants us to be here, doing this right now. So I'm going to do it." The actual quote is better, but that's what I got out of it. There's a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, with pretty much any topic you care to name. The Lord's standards and expectations are being pushed farther and farther to one side, and at times we wonder if we can really do what He expects of us. Or if it's even worth trying. I could be questioning if I'm making a difference, if I'm even changing myself, if I'm living up to what the Lord expects of me in these two years. Those are the thoughts most prevalent in my mind, but any person can and does put in their own worries and thinks about those things, time and time again. 
The Lord allows us to have doubts. True bravery isn't not having fears. It what you do with those fears, what you do with those doubts, that matters. I hope I can have the faith of President Young, I hope we all can, as we do what the Lord needs us to do, what we need us to do. Also, I'm really excited to be able to go to the temple again in a year. I've missed it a lot. And, of course, I've thought maybe that's one of the reasons we're not allowed to go... Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I believe in Christ, and every day I'm a little more amazed at the love He shows for me. I don't really understand the Atonement still, and I probably won't every really be able to comprehend it. I know I don't deserve it. But He's still trusted me to go around and tell people about it, to be able to experience it as well. Like Elder Holland said about sending a bunch of kids out to preach the Gospel: "Bad business decision, divinely inspired." Every calling is an opportunity to give service, and every calling is badly needed. 

Doctrine and Covenants 81:5

Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.

Those hands may be mine that are hanging, those may be my knees that are shaking, but when I lose myself in service to my fellow beings I'm losing myself in my God. And that's what I need to do--lose myself, my will, in His. That's when the miracles happen.

Con amor,
Élder Rob Weatherford

P.S. A couple more pics from waterfall day. Comp selfie, and First Vision photo. "I saw a pillar of light..." 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

2015-9-7 Walterdorf y Link

Note from Kathy:  a little organ humor between father and son...Things that make church organists laugh: Rob: So, Dad, how are you liking being the church organist again? Stephen: I like it fine, but it's frustrating how much people talk during the prelude. Rob: Just slip in more reeds (reed sounds). When your teeth are vibrating, it's hard to talk. Kathy: Watch out, Finn Hill Ward!  And now we return to your regularly-scheduled letter from Rob...

New change, and we're still together!

Stuff that's happened since the last time...

The whole mission went to Veracruz to listen to Elder Cristofferson (!).

New investigators coming out of the woodwork. Some good ones, too, although we're struggling with the ones we had.

Went to an area called Jalapa de Díaz to visit a cool waterfall with an old friend from Orizaba, Elder Suárez, and my comp and Elder Suárez's "son" (the missionary he trained), Elder Reyes. Elder Suárez actually just finished his mission. Man, I'm old. Actually, I turn one year old on Saturday!

My comp found a picture of Parley P. Pratt from way back when and told me I looked like him. We put it to the test.

P.S. The title of these last few emails have all been names we've actually been called by people. Enrique likes to called Elder Lind "Link," and "Walterdorf" was an eight-year-old named Michelle.