This week has been a week of successes and learning experiences. Success story of the week: We have a 12 year old boy who is going to get baptized next week! He was already taught the lessons by a previous companionship in the area, but he finally is going to go through with baptism this Sunday. There's more to the story, though, because all odds are pretty much against this kid. He lives in an area where drugs and alcohol run rampant, especially among youth. I love seeing him because despite the bad influences and pressure surrounding him, he sees the paths that he could take, and on his own takes the path less traveled-the one that will bring him a brighter, happier future. So many people we talk to are struggling with some kind of temptation/addiction/situation that they need help to get out of. Now we as missionaries can't help them ourselves. Most of us have never gone through or even seen trials like the ones people go through here. But that's the miracle of it all. Through the gospel, and the strength of our Heavenly Father, people can learn to build their relationship with God and overcome their own trials. Our job is only to help people access their potential. Some people don't listen. A LOT of people don't listen. But when others take the time to really see what the gospel can do to their lives, everything starts to change for the better.
I'd say something I've learned this week is my need to become a better conversationalist haha We went to a Wendy's and in my efforts to talk to as many people as possible, I see this guy walking towards the Wendy's. I then proceeded to ask him-"hey are you going to Wendy's?" He was obviously walking straight into Wendy's and there was no other places even around...he said "yeah," then kinda looked at me like where else would I go, then the conversation ended. It's truly the terrible awkward times on a mission that you seem to remember and makes stories out of. The Wendy's conversation is not the first of that caliber of awkwardness......
Buffalo is a nice place, it actually hasn't rained once since I've been here. It's hot and people say it's humid, but they haven't seen anything haha it's way more humid in Kansas. Also the MTC seems like forever ago, even though it was only 2 short weeks ago. Days fly by, weeks seem like years, which is usually the opposite of what people say. I'm just glad that I have a long way ahead of me to learn and improve! Sorry the email is so long, but best wishes!
Love Elder Jake Hirschi