Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 79: "Be nice, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle."- Plato

Hey everyone!

Another excellent week! So far so Good in Rocky Point Mexico... Elder Child and I are going strong.., I realize that I have said much of Elder Child in these last few emails, so I will dedicate a bit to him,

Elder Child is from Weezer Idaho, he is rather tall, wears glasses, and has an array of freckles on his arms. A handsome man, as many notice. He previously enjoyed hunting, playing tennis (we have a pending match against each other) and breaking cars and fixing them up. Something that Elder Child does that makes me laugh / drives me crazy is that when he has to sneeze, it sounds like the cap to a giant volcano blows open while the ground quakes beneath the penetrating ASHEEEWW that escapes his mouth......  I don't know if it is exaggeration or not but I tell him that he is just faking the whole thing. But the big manChild  has his birthday TOMORROW!!! WOOOOHOOO!!! Everyone write him happy birthday letters!!

Here are a couple of things that happened this week

1. We had a special conference with all the leaders of our branch here and our mission President, and was awesome! A ton of the members showed up! It was a very spiritual experience, as we got to bear our testimonies at the end of it all. Listening to the testimonies of my fellow companions in this great work was very inspiring. 

2. We were given a reference this week from the sisters of a man named Bob. Bob is a new investigator from Tennessee, who came to live here in Peñasco with his wife about a year ago! He is such a genuine and sweet person. He has got long locks and totally looks like a rocker. Bob is going through a tough time right now, as his wife passed away a month ago from a heart attack. You can tell he is being tough about it, but you can also see that inside it is really hurting him. He doesn't speak Spanish and he doesn't know anyone who speaks English, so I think that the Lord sent us when he most needed someone to talk with. Keep Bob in your prayers. I have a really special love for this guy since he is one of the first people to whom I have taught the Gospel in English. As much as I love speaking Spanish, the words just have a special meaning in my native language, and that has led me to care about him in a special way.

3. The Lord gave me an interesting learning experience this week. Elder Child and I had just finished teaching a lesson. We mounted our steeds (bikes) and hit the road, or better said, hit the sand, since Peñascos roads or nothing but dust. We arrived at another appointment and started to teach a man named Raymond. Now I'm not making any excuses, but maybe it was the heat of the day or the insaneness of my insanity workouts in the morning, but I was going to war with my conscious, fighting to stay awake. Needless to say, I was not as in tune with the lesson as I should have been. In one moment, I looked down at my tie, and instantly recognized that something was missing: My missionary badge. Moments of scruffing around looking under my seat and through my backpack led me to the realization that my badge was not there. I would have sworn that I had it on me when we got to this house, because I specifically remember pulling my phone out of my shirt pocket on the way there, and I don't remember it missing. Nevertheless, it was not there. Thoughts began to enter my head: 2 weeks bare minimum until you get your hands on a new badge, you look so boring with just a white T-shirt and tie. I felt like Hercules, when Hades literally sucked the power right out of him! I was powerless! It also didn't help that Elder Child made fun of me calling me "Hermano Bernal" instead of Elder... As worrying as this would have been, I was not too scared, and although the odds of my finding my badge in the loose sand along the road was little, I was almost positive that we would find it. We began to retrace our steps and scan the path. Long story short, On our second sweep through, we found a black badge laying practically untouched in the sand facing up that had the words engraved, "Elder Bernal."

This experience made me think a lot about what it means to be a missionary. I find it coincidental that in the moment when I was not very focused on teaching was precisely when I noticed that my missionary stamp was gone. Whether or not it had un-noticeably fallen off on the way or if God had snapped his fingers and the badge just suddenly disappeared is of no importance. I imagined him saying to me, "Ok Connor, if you aren't going to teach like a missionary, why not take the badge off? If you are going to take lightly this responsibility, how about if you go back to NOT being one?" Even though I understand that my badge doesn't decide if I am a missionary or not, It does have both sentimental and figurative meaning (and the example is a metaphor so just go with it). Plus, I just look so boring and plain with only a white T-shirt and tie. From this experience I gained a greater appreciation and honor for what it means to be able to wear the name of my Savior across my chest. I truly am so grateful for everyday that I have be be able to work in His service. That day, I committed myself to a higher level of dedication to the great privilege and responsibility that I have for a short time to proudly wear the name of Jesus Christ. 


Elder Bernal

Quotes for this week is kudos to Amanda Briggs, former missionary of the Mexico Hermosillo mission

"Be nice, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle."- Plato 

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