Monday, November 11, 2013

We set 8 baptismal dates this day. 8!!

Travis with President and Sister Heyman and Elder Pickle
I can tell you already that you are getting like no letter this week. Only having 1 hour to write, and with this connection, it's nearly impossible, sorry. :(
Things are good, we built our beds and got a fridge and oven, so we have some things now. 
The work here is incredible, so much potential; and everyone is open to gospel discussions. We have 12 fechas set. But lets just hope they stay firm. ;)
Funny story, so our toilet decided to stop working for like the past week let's just say we´ve made good use of little plastic bags :p ahahahahaha
The language here is so different, it's faster but at the same time clearer. I can´t explain it. I just got used to Mexican, and now I have to adjust to this. But it'll come with time of course :)
So it's hot here, ridiculously hot. I´m like black now. sweet watch tan line too. I have never sweated so much in my life. Within just a few minutes you're just drenched. It´s so disgusting. But it's the work :)
So my companion Elder Pickle actually served in Carslbad as well, pero hace mucho meses (editor: for several months). He is a good companion.

So of the 20 new investigators we picked up, only 1 came to church ...the one that we had just dropped, so we were pretty surprised at that. It´s super easy to get baptisms here, but commitment is the hard part.
We did get beds and we've erected them.  So now we have a fridge and an oven - which means we can actually start to cook. But we are still without utensils' so we can't quite cook yet :p  But the apartment is looking up. It'll just take a little bit of time is all. :)

I love the branch, the members here are just incredible. They are all so kind and loving and so willing to give. It's really quite inspiring and heart-warming. I love the branch so much! :D It is a little bit dramatic amoungst the leaders though ...bahaha, they are all really controlling. :p
It rains hard core here, it's so cool. And when it rains, it goes for days. I´m going to buy my boots today. Everything floods down here, our streets turn into foot-deep rivers. So I get dirty really fast.

Everyone down here is either Catholic or Evangelical. They do these castings out every night, pretty tight. 

Everyone owns a motor-scooter.

So I would like to share with you an experience I had this week. I believe on Wed I woke up for the day, and I just felt dark. I didn't want to do anything. I was sick of failure each day, sick of walking around hoping for success, but getting none. I just felt down.
But I also know that blessings come after the trial of faith. I knew that all missionaries have to go through stuff like this multiple times throughout their missions. I knew I couldn't give up. So for my personal study I studied patience. I then read about the Sons of Mosiah, and how the Lord PROMISED that they would have success if they endured their afflictions with patience and faith. And look what happened to them? Thousands were converted.
My first Pension / Apartment
So I likened the promise to myself and I promised God that I would work harder than I ever have, that I would contact all the people I could, regardless of the circumstances. Even though I REALLY didn't want to, I promised God I would.
We set 8 baptismal dates this day. 8!! And they all came from people that I went way out of my way to contact. In fact, with 4 of them, we literally walked right past them. But I remembered my promise and went back to contact them. I know God honored my promise. God just wanted me to practice my patience and faith. And when I showed God my willingness to sacrifice myself to bring others to Him, He blessed me. I know it.
While the mission has been really hard for me, I'm not homesick. The living conditions are fine, the language is great. I just want success, I really just want to convert people. And it's not happening. Despite how hard I've been working, or how powerfully I testify, conversions just aren't happening for me. :( It really just brings me down. I want success.
But I feel this is just what God wants me to learn. Patience. Lots of Patience. Regardless of my work, God won't give me success until I'm at my breaking point ...which I haven't reached.

I cry to the Lord every day for success, for these people to accept us, to read, pray, attend church. But still nothing is happening. I don't know what more I can do, maybe it's just to endure and persevere. Like the scripture says, "bear your afflictions with patience."
But I know this is God's work. And His ways are higher than mine. God has a plan for me, and I know that success will come. I know it. I promise to you, as I have to our Heavenly Father, that I won't ever give up. I will constantly work, endlessly strive and sacrifice myself to serve Him. I won't give up.
Love you all,
Elder Travis Clemons