Well, I hope America is doing alright. Guatemala is normal. We hardly got anything done this week because we had a 2 day conference with president and then went to another area all day Saturday to help in a baptism. So I don't have too much to report, but I did learn an important life lesson. Here is what went down:
1. Orlando, one of our investigators, came to church BY HIMSELF! Wow I almost die of shock every time that happens. He has a wife and little kids, and they didn't come, but I know they will soon. So, here is what happened at church:
2. Important life lesson for members of the church: Well, so its always a miracle when someone comes to church, right? And then, its a miracle if crazy inaccurate information isn't said in the church meeting. Well, we only got one miracle...........This Sunday was Ward Conference, so I was kind of excited because that meant that the stake leaders would be speaking, and the message quality would be slightly higher. Well, I was mistaken. The first message, by a counselor, was great, but the second, by the Stake President, made me and my comp want to die and just leave with Orlando. Imagine this, the Stake President, at the pulpit, yelling and waving his hands around and talking all about, you guessed it, TITHING. He sounds just like an Evangelical pastor. And look, there is nothing wrong with talking about tithing, I'm not afraid to talk about tithing, its an important commandment. BUT, you have to talk about it CORRECTLY, please. Jeez, and he mixes in talking about fast offerings too, which, the investigators or new members do NOT know the difference between tithing and fast offerings, and he goes as far as to say HOW MUCH you should be paying for fast offerings. And I don't know if he forgot that we live in Guatemala, a third world country, but this is what he was saying: "We get offerings of 10quetzales. Are you guys spending Q10 on breakfast?? NO!! When I eat breakfast, I spend at least Q20, and that's just for me. My wife and kids each spend Q20..." ..blah blah... "so I should be paying an offering of Q200. How much should you guys be paying then??" And, just as a side-note, Idon't know what in the world he eats for breakfast, because I never use more than like Q7. OH MY GOODNESS!! So, to our sweet investigator, it sounded to him like the "Pastor" is asking everyone to pay him Q200. And in all the other churches, the pastors get all the money. Let me tell you, he does NOT have Q200 extra. HA. Maybe Q10, that would be a sacrifice for them. Agh! I about DIED!
So, when we finished with that, we decided to try to fix it in Sunday School, and asked the teacher to go over tithing and specifically where tithing goes and doesn't go. The teacher did a fine job, but then a CRAZY lady in class started and ruined it again. She had lots to say, and in the end was saying "Si no me nace, no voy a pagar" or literally translated, "If the desire isn't born in me to pay, I'm not paying!" She was very angry about it. Agh! What a nightmare! The one good thing is that its like 10X worse in the Evangelical churches. But still, I would not like to be associated with those guys, please.
So anyways, if you're still with me here, the important life lesson I learned was that all of us as members of the church, whenever we are giving a talk or teaching a class or anything, should take a moment, a minute or 2, to explain the principle as if it were to someone who had never heard anything about the church before. There is usually someone new, or a new convert, that could really benefit from a quick explanation. If the Stake President had just taken 2 minutes to explain what tithing is and where the money goes, we would have avoided all problems. Think about it, it would be good for almost any topic. Missionary work, temples, families, Easter, etc. So yea, I really think that is something we could all add to our teaching, and I know the missionaries would LOVE it!
That's pretty much all I've got to share today. Despite the wonderful Sunday, I am really hoping to see Orlando and his family progress! I might have changes (transfers) on Wednesday..who knows? I am so grateful to be here, and am so grateful for all that I am learning. I love the gospel and I know that it has the power to change lives. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that the church is true.
Have a great week!!