Friday, July 31, 2015

The Body Guard 7/13/2015

Dear family.....and friends

First, thank you grandma for letting me know about Jared's mission call--Africa, Ghana. That is by far the second best mission in the world. This week I have been thinking a lot about the missionaries in Africa, they are so lucky. Why? Because Africans are really my favorite kind of people. My new area and new ward has a bunch. I love them because they love people so easily and they are just so nice to everyone. For example....

Aunt Katharine sent me a talk awhile ago, which really has changed my mission. (Ask her if you want the whole story.) Anyways long story short, the talk is about when a lesson fails, look for someone else. Because if that person can't meet, that means someone else is waiting for you. So all my companions think I'm a little crazy when the lesson fails and I say, "keep your eyes out someone's close and ready...Ready or not here we come..."

This week we met this guy in the street and had an amazing lesson. He didn't have a phone but gave us an address, he wanted a Book of Mormon and everything. So we were so excited to pass by. The first time no one was home. The second time...We learned it was false. A different, guy named Luis lived there, and really kindly explained that the person we were looking for, did not live there. As he was about to close the gate, I suddenly yelled out, "wait this is for you!!" He then turned around and I awkwardly forced our card in his hand. I said something a long the lines of "well although we are looking for someone else, we're the missionaries, here's our card. We have Church, Wanna come?" 30 seconds later we were walking a way with his number and a time to go pick him up.  After we were both a little shocked and thought maybe he gave us a false number just to get rid of us. But when we called to confirm, he sounded so happy and excited and said of course.

Still we were not sure. We kept asking each other the whole way morning, "why on earth is he going with strangers (he has talked to for only less than a minute) to a Church he knows nothing about. As we got there, we rang his timbre and he came down, and we stared walking and talking and then suddenly moments later he stops and says, "wait you're Mormons?" As we said yes he stopped and said, "sorry I can't go with you. I can't go to the Mormons. I'm sorry but I believe in Jesus Christ." We pointed to our name tags that in bold reads CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, and explained that actually we do believe in Jesus Christ. He told us he was planning to go to the Jehovah's Witnesses church. He thought we were them...not the first time this has happened. But somehow he agreed to just come. And he loved it. Turned out he knows half the ward, because he is
African, and so is half the ward...And they all know their 'country men'...Like really, it blows my mind...but they ALL know each other. (It makes me wonder why they don't share the gospel with each other?)

He made a lot of jokes all during Church (which I kept telling him to save his jokes for the Jehovah Witness church), but he REALLY liked it. After he told me... "Kelemen, I am really going to miss you when you go back to America... How long is your mission, cuz man I'm going to miss you." I wanted to say...." Miss me? We have known each other for three hours and not too long ago you thought I was a Jehovah Witness." He kept calling me his body guard at the church. I told him he was not allowed to call me that, so then he changed it to
'personal assistant'. I then had to tell him that was not cool either. He also told me my Spanish was really good.... Ha ha ha ha ha, so you how little he knows.

There is also an old recent convert Spaniard who also has become my friend.... Well, we're getting there. He won't call me Hermana Kelemen. He told me I am Mary Carmen, and will refuse to call me by my name. They're calling me all kinds of things here in Spain. This ward is so funny. I love this area already so much. And my companion, we get a long so well. We are always laughing, I don't know if it's because my companion is so funny or because after five hours in blazing sun you start to get a little loopy. Both, a little both. Really me and my companion get a long so well... At times she reminds me of Julia and then it makes me sad. But really I couldn't find another companion that is so much like me. Tall, lanky and likes to
laugh and enjoy the little things in life. I am just praying I will be with her for another transfer.

But back to the story, the moral is you never know. Even if you are two tall, lanky awkward American girls, who knows what can happen. There is a power with faith. A lot of time we underestimate this simple truth. It's something I think really everyone needs more of. No matter how much you have I think there is always room for more. So my challenge for you is to pick something you have a hard time having faith in, and work on that. God doesn't expect us to have perfect faith as we know from the scriptures, but with the faith we do have he expects us to nourish it. And with his help it will grow. Also this week a lot of our recent converts and less actives are worried that they will lose faith one day. People. You can't if you do the three primary answers. Study daily the scriptures. Pray morning and night. And prepare yourself for Church and attend every week. I know it's impossible to lose the faith if we do our part, because we have God helping us.

Mary Carmen, The Body Guard, Hermana Kelemen

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