Mar 20, 2012

Trent's email 3/14/12

Dear familia!
So, another week has flooown by.  Except this one brings some changes,
and I like change.
My new companion's name is Elder Sweeney.  I'm still in Pueblo Nuevo,
and I have to show him around the area.  It's weird, cuz he's in
charge, but I have to help him know how to run the area.  Plus, I have
to show him to all our investigators, and tell them what's going on.
Everyone's going to be sad that Frometa is gone, investigators never
like change.
Sweeney's cool.  He's actually from Oklahoma, Ada, Oklahoma, and his
dad went to OU for law school.  He's the youngest of 5 and his
brother's a dentist (Kace Western, in Ohio).  I was NOT expecting an
American, but here we are!  Kind of a quiet guy.  It's weird, I was
actually expecting someone who would come in and start telling me what
to do, but he's mellow and not very opinionated, really.  We already
went shopping, so we're all set for the week, and for the rest of the
day, we'll probably just hang out in the house and maybe write some
letters.  Until six.  Lots of appointments after six.
Wow, mom, I don't even know where to start with teaching experiences.
I feel like I'm not a very good teacher, I need to work on it alot.
We have lots of people who just decide that "everything that talks
about God is good," and so it's hard to convince them about the one
true church, and the necessity of authority.  A lot of people don't
really care what you have to say, they're just happy that you're
blessing them by talking to them about God, so they'll just pretend
like they understand and keep nodding their heads.  Also, I feel like
I'm incapable of asking people good questions.  It's something we're
supposed to do as missionaries-ask people questions to see how much
they understood.  My questions ALWAYS seem to confuse people, so
they're never effective, and I eventually feel like people learn
nothing.  But, I don't know how to teach any more clearly, or use
questions... I'll be reading lots of Preach My Gospel this week with
my companion to figure out this problem.  Sometimes, I want to think
that some people are really incapable of understanding our message, no
matter how many times we try to explain it-they won't let go of their
misconceptions about God, and His infinite blessings for anyone
"good."  They often compare themselves to the people in the street
drinking all day, and decide that, because they're not like that, they
will receive the love and blessings of God.  Even if we try to explain
D&C 130:18-19, they don't get it.  Maybe I need to start telling
people straight up, "You will NOT receive the happiness that you can
receive if you don't CHANGE."  I don't know.  I still feel weird
chewing people out.
So, that's my summary of teaching experiences.  This coming week, I'll
try to write down some specifics for you so I can give you a good
story to hear.  Sorry it's not that satisfying.
Oh, so people don't slam doors in our face. One time this week, I was
tracting with a new missionary (splits with the new guys, it happens
sometimes) and we met a family that had attended Church before.  The
husband was semi-friendly, but the wife wouldn't look at me.  After a
few nice comments and offers to help around the house, she smiled at
us.  But, when we tried to set an appointment, they said, "No, we
already know about your message." I tried a few more times, but their
answer was that they already have a knowledge.  Looking back, I
should've asked him what it was that he "knew," but I just left.  That
was one of the very few rejections that have happened to me in the
last three months.
I can't believe you guys are in Vegas, hanging out by a pool.  That
seems SO far away, so impossible.  But, you know, I'll be back
sometime, and it'll be fun :)  For now, I'm still enjoying being a
missionary.  I'm not complaining, I just feel so far away!
Thank you for sending me a package!  I'm really excited.
This week has been weak.  We spent a lot of time bumming around,
saying goodbye to people.  I am just a pushover sometimes, I wanted to
be working, but he wanted to just pass by one or two houses, but we
spent SO long in those houses.  Ah, well.  Only happens every once in
a while.  I really need to start courageously insisting on doing
missionary work, finding more people to teach.  Even the people that
seem most determined to make a change in their lives have a hard time
getting to Church.  I think 9:00 AM Sunday and Dominican don't mix
well.  Lots of people sleep in too much.  We might have a good
experience with Abraham, I don't even remember if I've told you about
him before, but he's the 16year old brother of a less active, who, one
time, hung around to watch the Joseph Smith movie when we were
teaching his brother (we teach less actives every once in awhile), and
he showed up to Church the next day, so now we should be baptizing him
oh, that's a hard thing.  We're supposed to set baptismal dates with
everyone, like in the first or second lesson (to help them start
making changes, and motivate them to start making them quickly, like
coming to church and receiving an answer about Joseph Smith), but in
my experience, the people that Accept the baptismal date never take it
seriously, and the people that don't accept the baptismal date don't
really progress.  I don't know how to change that, either.  That's one
thing that drives me crazy about this country.  Everyone claims to
have such great faith in God, but to them that just means praying to
Him whenever they're in need.  It doesn't have anything to do with
keeping commandments, going to church, helping other people... just
asking him for everything.
But, we keep working, looking for people that are willing and ready to
change.  The earlier mentioned "new missionary" was kind of robotic,
but he kept saying, "Let's go find a family to teach!"  That's got me
some good motivation, because I've always thought that was important
to do, but it never seemed important to Frometa, so I didn't worry
about it too much.  I also read on one of the first pages of Preach My
Gospel that we need to focus on Families, so I think that'll be my
goal this week.
Oh, and to my knowledge, no one from our mission has been called out
to Cuba yet.
Well, family, I love you.  Take care, work hard, play hard, sleep
well, pray lots.  Don't forget about me!  I think about you guys all
the time, and miss you lots.
Elder Taylor

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