Monday, August 6, 2012

Hello all!

Another week of hard work and happiness. It sure has been hot though. We break 100 degrees easy every day. One night this week, as we were riding back to our apartment, we passed a sign with the temperature on it. It was 9:00 at night and 101 degrees. Pretty crazy. I'm certainly getting darker!

This week has been great, with a few "classic missionary moments" mixed in.

There has been a couple we have been meeting with and teaching for quite a while now. It has been great to see them grow closer as they learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ and prepare themselves to be baptized. They are getting married at the end of this month, which is wonderful. Each lesson with them has been strong as they have opened up and shared with us their thoughts and concerns. We are really able to share with them the blessings that come of following the example of Christ. So that has been very rewarding this week.

We are now in a trio, Elder Green, Elder Miller, and I. Being with two other Elders presents unique challenges and opportunities. It is hard to be as open and communicate well with two other people, but we are doing well. Elder Miller and I get along especially well. He played lacrosse in high school and was also in the band. So we have a lot in common. It is also interesting to know that I will be leaving so soon. Knowing that I will have to leave and the work will have to go on with Elder Green and Elder Miller. So I am doing my best to make sure it will be a smooth transition when I have to go off for Mexico.

So as far as a classic moment goes, Saturday morning we rode our bikes to a train station and took the train down to a baptismal service that was taking place. It was great to see someone take that step in their life and very encouraging. We were able to find a ride back and had them drop us off at the DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) station to get our bikes. As we walked up to where we had left our bikes locked up, we realized something was wrong... they were gone. So sure enough, our bikes had been stolen. The stations are always pretty deserted on weekends, so someone must have just come by, snipped the lock and made off with three bikes. Elder Miller and I had both been borrowing ours from other missionaries or missionaries that had already gone home, but Elder Green had his own bike. It was a pretty nice one too. So he was pretty upset. We stayed and filed a report with the police, but chances of getting them back are pretty slim. Hopefully they caught something on camera, but we're not holding our breath.

So that made the past couple days interesting. The police officer was nice enough to give us a ride back to our apartment. We made some adjustments to our schedule, and then headed out the door. Walking does take quite a bit longer, but I guess I may as well get used to it now for Mexico. We walked down to our appointments for the evening and did our best.

Then yesterday after church (we found a ride from a member like usual) we were off again. One appointment, pretty far south, went well. Partly because we had walked there. When the family saw how important it was to us to meet with them, that we were willing to walk down there in the heat I think they recognized how important we think this work is. They were talking to one of their friends that was there with them and said something like, "see, these young men are serious about what they do. Their bikes were stolen and what did they do. They began on foot." Their friend had been joking and wondering how it was that three very young men like us could have anything worthwhile to teach about God. The family really stuck up for us. It was inspiring to see.

And in regards to that point. The friend is very right. We are in fact very young and inexperienced. It is in our weakness that we are sent out to spread this message of Christ. And so as people are able to learn, progress, and change, it truly manifests the power of God. Of ourselves, three fresh gringos, there is no hope that we could ever convince anyone that what we are saying is true. At times we can't even express our thoughts and feelings through this new language. And yet, our work is not in vain. People change. They feel peace and joy when we visit. I know this because this is what they tell us. After a long day of walking in the heat, recognizing our weakness and inadequacy, to hear someone tell you that really puts things in perspective. And so, I know the work I am a part of is true and that it is blessing the lives of all who will humble themselves and listen with real intent.

So the problem is not resolved yet. Still no bikes or means of transport. But that's all right. We were able to get a ride to email today from some missionaries nearby who have been given a car. The area they cover is larger, and so they need one to get around. We'll see what happens.

I probably should put this note at the top, but just as a heads up. I wouldn't send any mail towards Dallas after Wednesday. That might even be pushing it. So if you were planning on it, take a few minutes today (Monday) or tomorrow. I sure would love to hear from you. The letters I have received so far have been awesome and really put some wind in my sails.

I love you all and hope that you are able to find the happiness that is always available. I'm praying for you, and I know you are praying for me. I'll be needing it surely as I walk off an airplane Monday and enter an airport where the announcements are made in Spanish. I can't wait!!! Can't wait to immerse myself in the language. Won't it be fun for all of you to watch as my English begins to worsen gradually. Be looking out for phrases that don't make sense. I love it when my companions that have been out longer say something that makes no sense in English but works perfectly in Spanish. It happens all the time, but one example is when Elder Green and I were talking about how to help our families make it out to church on Sundays and help them understand the importance of attending. He kept saying, "we've got to get them to assist church". Finally I told him that doesn't make any sense. The verb in Spanish is of course asistir which means to attend. It took him a good 90 seconds to believe me that in English we don't assist church. Once he remember attend, he just started laughing. Classic moment.

Well I can't wait to hear from you.

Lots of Love (the true meaning of lol),

Elder Brighton

If you have been keeping up with this, this week find another one of my friends who you think might not be and let them know about it. Sound good? You're the best!

1 comment:

  1. Is Eric on the move, or would it be safe to send a letter to the Mahanna St. address?