January 12, 2015
This week was my first in Greeley with Elder De Leon from Guatemala. His Spanish is relatively slow and clean, so I can at least understand him a lot of the time. I am in an all Spanish branch, in a city about 36% Hispanic, so a lot more than Loveland and most other places in the mission. My mind has been fried this week from all Spanish all the time. Sometimes I doubt my translating skills when members tell us they are struggling with the law of chastity, but nope, I heard right. I had that fun experience twice this week, though only once counts since I was nodding off in one of the lessons with a 50+ year old lady. My comp told me after.
The whole city smells like urine and feces about once or twice every 2 weeks for no apparent reason. It also smells like rotting cow in some areas, but at least that has an explanation: the large beef plant at the edge of the city. I've noticed that being out 4 months in the mission, my taste in women has gradually shifted from mostly white, blonde, attractive girls, to mostly white, semi-attractive girls, to a lot more Hispanic girls than 4 months ago, to girls in general, and now to slightly above seeing dudes with long hair from behind.
We had a mission conference with David A. Bednar, Craig C. Christensen, and James B. Martino. Needless to say, it was amazing. It was shocking how casual of a meeting it was. We didn't have 3 talks by them. When Elder Bednar was talking, he told us that this isn't the "guess what answer is in my head game". He asked questions, we answered honestly, and then he tried to make sure he understood us correctly, including what hidden response was included in the answer people gave. The main focus of the meeting was 2 Ne. We need to be agents that act, not things that are acted upon. He also focused on the enabling power of the Atonement. We finished with a question answer session with him. I wish that I could just send you a recording for it, but I don't think anyone did that. Elder Martino said something that struck me. He said "these might not be the best 2 years of your life, but they will be the best 2 years for your life". I can agree with that wholeheartedly. Elder Christensen also told the story of when a missionary came running to him and said "I can't do this anymore". he replied with "You're right. You can't do it, by yourself, but with the enabling power of the Atonement, you can." Telling more about it wouldn't really do it justice. It was just incredibly casual, enlightening, powerful, and spiritual.
Sorry I have no pictures this week. I'll do better next week.