Elder Nathan Hubert's Mission Blog

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rain, rain, lots of rain, cold, wind, and the worlds hottest hotsauce... This is Wisconsin! :P

Well, the subject line basically describes this last week.  It snowed on Monday a little bit, which stuck to the ground for a couple days.  But mostly, it has been almost non-stop rain for the past couple days, as well as being endless freezing cold rain.  Every now and then, I am tempted to get down on myself because if anybody knows me, they will know that I hate being cold and everything that has to do with cold, but I just have to tell myself "such is mission life!"  I mean, I can't exactly say "I didn't sign up for this!"  Because I did.  I definitely signed up for whatever hardship comes my way.

Whatever trial I am given, it is mine and I just have to take it and run because it is supposed to help me to grow.  This kind of applies to an experience we had yesterday on the way home. Elder Shipp and I had been met with a pretty typical winter day in Wisconsin.  It is cold, so people are either not home, or home and really grumpy, so we were met with no success because the two families that we had scheduled appointments with had both stood us up, which put us at the middle of the city, super far from our apartment, waiting for a bus in the cold nighttime weather.  

So, we get on a bus that was heading home and we were sitting there in silence because the only other person on the bus was a guy that was pretty much passed out on the window behind us.  All of the sudden, this guy starts laughing to himself, and I'm confused because he still looks like he's asleep and just laughing at himself.  He then says something about Mitt Romney, so we acknowledge his comment, and then he sits up and opens his eyes and looks right at us and asks us "Are you Mormon?"  We confirm that we are, indeed, Mormons.  He then gets this look on his face as if to say 'I thought so."  Then, he gets this kind of quizzical look on his face, turns back to us, and asks us "But you don't really want to be Mormons, do you?"  Surprised by his question, we look at him and tell him that of course we want to be Mormons!  And he continued to look all confused until he finally said a few minutes later, "Okay, I guess I can respect that."  I guess the reason I'm including this is because looking back on that experience, I realize that I am, indeed, proud to be what I am - MORMON.  I think we each need to look into ourselves and find out if we are just going through the motions of this religion, or if we are truly converted and fully committed to everything being a Mormon brings with it.  I love the part in the Standard of Truth that says "Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, and calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent..."  No matter what comes our way, the truth of God will go forth, and we need to be the ones who are the bringers of that word of Truth.  Just a little message to start out the week.  :)

And I don't want to seem pessimistic by the first little bit of the email, but that is what mission life is like - it is very difficult and it is very eye-opening to exactly how rude and cold people can be, but it is also very encouraging when we as missionaries realize that 100 door slams and rejections are worth 1 yes.  So, with that in mind, on Tuesday we started everything out with District meeting.  It was pretty good, and for my first district meeting I think it went pretty well!  We talked about the work, about the good times of the week, and the bad times of the week, and tings that we can work on, and then we went on to address concerns and questions and then practiced a bit.  I really liked it!  Then after that, we went out to the area near our apartment because we had a return appointment at 4.  But before that time came, we had written to go and visit an Elba, a previous investigator who wasn't home.  We then went and visited the Gutierez family, who had no parents in the house.  But when we went to Francisco's house, his brother Juan ansered the door and let us in.  We have spoken to both of the brothers on seperate occasions and were so happy to be able to teach them together!  But first of all, they are from Nicaragua, and their Spanish is super hard to understand, so I had a bit of a hard time, but I still got along fine.  We taught about how the Holy Ghost can help then with anything and can help them receive answers to their questions and prayers, which was a perfect segway into the Restoration.  We talked about Joseph Smith and that entire story there, and on 2 seperate occasions during the lesson, I looked up at Juan and then at Francisco, and their eyes were tearing up.  The Spirit was so strong, and I absolutely loved teaching them.  I also loved all of Francisco's comments because whenever he has something to say, he is always so animated and so into it.  It was a great lesson, and we even invited them to be baptized, and they said that they won't commit to anything yet, but will think and pray about it, which is great!
Later, we went to Luis's house, but nobody was home...  Then, we had a dinner appointment and then we went home.  :)
On Wednesday, we had goals to go out and teach Juan, Lulu, Maria, and do some other things, but Lulu wasn't home when we went over there, so we had no success there.  However, we were able to teach Juan a short lesson, but we had to go and catch a bus before we got into anything huge, which was too bad - he seemed so ready to go!  Maria, unfortunaltely, wasn't home, but we ended up going to a different house around the same neighborhood and setting up an appointment with them.  Then,  we got on a bus and rode to our dinner appointment which was in Eagle Heights - some Student Housing for UW.  After a delicious dinner and message with the Bradshaw's, we went to English class and played some soccer afterwords.  The message at dinner was something that I really liked preparing and loved sharing with the family.  I talked about Ether 12, a chapter that is all about faith, and talked about verse 6 and the "trial of your faith."  I then read some other verses in the same chapter which tell of a whole bunch of things that were accomplished because of faith, and challenged them to look inwards and find all of the things that are accomplished in their lives because of faith.  I even did the same thing!  It was pretty great!
Thursday was a slower day because we were stuck in the apartment for a while doing weekly planning.  But luckily, we were able to set some pretty good goals - I think that we'll be able to do them!  :D  Later, we did some contacting and some tracting activities that didn't really result in anything, but then we had a dinner appointment with the Salinas family as a birthday party for Brother Salinas.  We ate dinner, which was crazy delicious!  These tacos were the most authentic things i've ever eaten, and then we played Spanish Cherades and then some Uno as well.  They have a son, Junior, who wanted to play a song on their electrical piano, so he did that.  But he had also seen me playing one day at the church and told his mom that, so she made me sit down and start playing some stuff.  I played stuff like How Can I Be and some Hymn arrangements, and then when I was playing a song that I don't remember, I started singing a bit too, and by the end of the song when they were ready to play some more games, one of the kids's girlfriends, who is like 16 maybe, was using her iPod to video me!  I felt super uncomfortable all of the sudden and stopped - kind of weird, wouldn't you say..?  :P
Friday, we talked to a less-active lady who just moved here from kentucky, and told her that we'd gotten her a ride to go to Church on Sunday, even though we didn't have one.  We were just hoping that the Lord would provide - which He did by Sunday!  We were able to get her to church!  But also that day, we rode busses for nearly 2 hours to get to one investigator's house to teach him, but when we got there, he said that he had forgotten about us, and was instead waiting for some work associates to have a meeting at his apartment...  Talk about frustrating!  So instead, we just boarded the bus and went right back home... 
Saturday, we had Correlation meeting at the church, which turned up some great things about our investigators.  We then waited at the church to go teach English class for a few hours because we can't just leave there, but nobody even showed up for that so we had wasted a few hours of everyone's time, and of the Lord's time, which made us pretty disappointed, but we just moved on to our appointment with Oscar, and I was super excited about it because I knew that I had some things to say to him, but he wasn't there either...  But luckily, we got to go to a baptism for one of Elder Shipp's old investigators and then we were stood up again that night for another apointment...  Oh well!  "Such is mission life!"
I love you guys, and I want you to know that though I might sound upset and things, I only allow myself a couple minutes after something like that happens to be upset about it.  We all need to move on from things like that, because even if they aren't ready now and the missionaries might move on from them, the Lord will never move on from them.  That is why He is the Lord.  :)  I love you guys!  Keep the faith!


Elder Nathan Hubert

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