Monday, July 28, 2014

Week 27, Smitten by the Lord

Pssh, no. My SD card is still all messed up. And sadly, no we didn't reach 40 people at church :/ We were smitten by the Lord. The Zone Leaders came to do a 2-day division with us. We are super good friends with them so we basically had a party during lunch and at nights when we were back at the house. We slept like 10 hours in those 3 nights with them, and survived off cake and energy drinks. We weren't very obedient with our study hours either. We learned so much from them and they really helped us a lot, but it took a toll on us at the same time.
Even after they left, we both felt like crap and were super tired and sleepy and couldn't feel the spirit as we taught. Yesterday we only had 26 people at church. We had investigators and stuff there, but now members who have never missed church since they were baptized weren't there. Even though part of the division hurt us, we also learned a lot and had some pretty cool experiences. Especially one we had with Elder Montes.
Montes is an awesome friend of mine and is super old on the mission (he's about to die lol). So we were walking toward a house of a reference we got from one of the members. We were a little tired because 3 appointments fell through and we had not had the chance to teach anyone. So we were walking down this alley that was kind of lit up so we could actually see where we were walking. We got about 5 feet away from the house and this super skinny man with dreadlocks comes out of this super sketchy, dark looking alley and starts talking to us in English. He said "there's a woman down there that needs your help! Come talk to her about your message" and stuff like that, so our first thought was "man, maybe we are being guided to someone" but at the same time I felt pretty uneasy, like something was out of place.
The man pointed to the steps of this sketchy alley and told us to go down. Elder Montes said "we aren't going down with you behind us, you go first" So he went and we followed. We walked slowly down the stairs and saw this guy reach the end of the alley and turn right. So we continue down and at the end of it we both kind of stuck our heads around the corner to see what was going on, and we saw this even darker and creepier alley with a small run-down bar on the left and a woman sitting down on a bench talking to the skinny man. I got the weirdest feeling inside me like I shouldn't be there and I turned to Elder Montes and I knew he felt the same way. As soon as the skinny guy took his eyes off us Elder Montes turned to me and said "Go. We have to get out of here." So we both just took off as fast as we could. I don't really know what was going on down there, but I'm super grateful I didn't have to find out.

On a happier, brighter side, Elder Montes came to our house on a diet. He didn't want bread or soda or anything like that. We got him to fall hard lol. This is him after like 12 hours with us lol.

His comp is Elder Neymeir. He's a boss as well. He taught me a lot during the splits. 
Well, that basically sums up this past week. Elder Burch and I are doing fine, we are just completely broke lol. But we'll last a couple of days more until we get money. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 26, 6 Months Out!

Ughh... I'm pissed. Something happened to my SD card and ALL my pics are deleted or something -.- Like they are obviously still there cuz the card is almost completely full, but they won't appear anywhere. Ughh... so anyways about last week's baptism:
The part where we are standing is super shallow, but the part where Danildo was standing is pretty deep, it was up to his waist and he's taller than me. Man I'm super bummed out, I had like 300 pics there.
Alright well about this past week, it was great. Elder Burch and I got tons of work done. We made a pact with each other that we were gonna try to be as obedient and diligent as possible so we could be blessed with 40 people in sacrament meeting this past Sunday. It wore me out so much. I mean, I'm already super obedient compared to other missionaries in the mission, but I never realized how much I slack off sometimes lol. Little things like getting out of bed at 6:30 and not just lay there 30 minutes after the alarm goes off, staying focused on our studies and small things like that. Yesterday we had 36 people at church. It was a big improvement, but we didn't hit our goal. Even though we were short 4 people, we were still super happy seeing some people there for the first time and others who haven't been there in months. This one kid named Danielson was there, he's 22 and has a baptism date marked for the 2nd of August. He's progressing a lot and already has the desire to get baptized.
Yesterday we hiked up one of the mountain zones called "Figueral". It's like a good mile of a steady (not too steep) incline. We had a member invite us to eat cachupa like around 7:15 so we stopped by and ate quickly because the cars stop driving down the main road back to our house like at 8PM. We had to sprint down Figueral when it was pitch black so we could make it back to the main road on time. We got there like at 8:15, it was super dark and there wasn't a car in sight... like completely deserted. We knew there was absolutely no way we would make it back home in time (since we live like 4 miles away) so we decided to say a prayer. Like 3 minutes after we said it some guy drove by in his car and gave us a ride. Apparently he was heading out to some party in a city close to ours. It's amazing how our Heavenly Father is always willing to help us out, all we have to do is ask. (Hitchhiking is a common form of transportation for us because there's no buses on this island).
And let's see... this past week this old lady beat me with a stick lol. She's a member but she's super mean and strict. She was telling me to sit down and I didn't want to so she got a stick and hit me with it until I sat down lol. Elder Burch has part of it on camera. We were at some church activity and everyone was running around and having a good time and apparently we were about to start with a prayer but I was the first she picked to sit down so I didn't really know what was going on and then she started hitting me with this 3 foot long stick and it hurt lol.
Well today I feel accomplished for writing so much, thanks for the packages and stuff, I'll be waiting for them. I love you!! Buh bye!

-Elder Zuniga

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 25, A Baptism!

Sweet!!! Scuba diving is awesome and it's nice hearing you had a good week. I had an amazing week as well, full of miracles. As a starter, I got to baptize in the ocean!!!! It was flipping sweet! His name is Danildo and man did we have to work and pray hard for him, but it strengthened my own testimony soo much. He was actually supposed to be baptized like 2 weeks ago but he was still 17, so on the day of his baptismal interview he didn't show up so we were like, "what's up with that??" So we called his phone and his mom answered very angrily saying "Danildo was already baptized!! He's catholic he's not gonna get baptized again!" and hung up. His mom and older sister just stuffed his head with soo much crap for about a week and wouldn't let us talk to him. Then we visited his mother at work and asked if we could sit down sometime and talk. She was a lot nicer and she agreed to do it. Danildo's birthday had passed by now and he was already 18 but we still sat down with him and his mom and talked about it. We told her we didn't want her son disobeying her and do something against her will and stuff like that. The Spirit must have slapped her in the face cuz only after 5 minutes of talking she said "Danildo is old enough to make his own choices now" then she asked him if he felt this is something he wanted to do. Then he answered "I'm not sure anymore." Those words were like a knife to my heart. We had been working soo hard with him to have it end just like that. So we invited him to pray that night and ask God if baptism was something he should do. He agreed and we sat down with him the next day and asked him how it went. Without hesitation he said "I want to get baptized, I know this is what God want's me to do." I know for a fact that God listens to and answers everyone's prayers. It was amazing how the Holy Ghost works with the hearts of everyone.

And well I guess it's not entirely in the ocean. There's only like a pool made of lava rock but it was still flipping sweet!! This morning we also made some killer cachupa in like the middle of the forest. Man it tasted soo good!! I also had a chance to visit Sao Vicente again for our interviews with our new mission president, President Matthews. And guess who I visited while I was there? Helder!!! He is still going strong and already received the Aaronic priesthood. He passes the sacrament every week now. As soon as he saw me he screamed "Elder Zuniga!! My Brotha!!" and hugged me lol. I love him soo much. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 24, Lots of Pictures!

Haha I would be more excited to eat the tacos. I'm starving right now. Well, my week was flipping sweet! We had a zone meeting back in Sao Vicente so we stayed there overnight since it's impossible to travel back to our area in one day. We lost 2 days of work, but I got to go back to my old area and see Ligia and Bruno and their family again!! I was soo happy to see them, and the best part is, they just got baptized yesterday! Man I was soo excited for them, and they were glad to see me too. It was sad cuz Bruno asked me if I could stay another day so I could be the one to baptize him, I wanted to soooo bad but I couldn't :( I was still super excited for them tho.
The Family Home Evening was awesome, the investigators we invited weren't there, but we were able to bring some less actives and got to know the members here a lot better. I love all these people so much, they're becoming like my best friends.
And speaking of friends, Elder Burch is an awesome comp. He's funny and a really hard worker. I'm glad I get to serve with him for another 6 weeks (transfer night was yesterday). It was his birthday yesterday and I made him a cake. We ate it for breakfast and lunch haha. Bad choice, I was super hungry the rest of the day for not eating anything solid. So this morning we hiked up like the most beautiful place I've ever seen. Its one of the members' banana and mango garden/forest thing where he works. It was super sweet not having to hike with missionary clothes on. My camera doesn't even do it justice either, it doesn't even compare to being here. We also ate a couple of mangos and caught some frogs and stuff.
I like trees. So yeah, I still have to email the numbers for our district to the mission office and other stuff, so I won't have time to write much more. So bye bye, I love you!! Good luck at work and hope you have fun at the quince, do the wobble for me lol. Tchao!

-Elder Zuniga