Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 11 Coach Apeña October 26, 2015

This past week there has been a bigger emphasis on the branch here in Morropon. I learn more and more about the existing situation I am in every day. Recently I have learned of the various problems in the branch. They are struggling for a lot of reasons but I think the biggest is the lack of unity and trust. They don't trust in the president and they don't trust in each other. So the 4 of us missionaries here are still trying to figure out solutions. I personally think we need to sit them down and tell them exactly what's going on and be very straightforward. Most of the members continuously complain to us about the President (who, along with us, carries this branch on his back) and all of the problems. I think they really struggle to see that Yes there are a lot of problems, but they consistently blame external sources and fail to see that they could use some improvement. But we are working on it!

In the backyard area of our apt building there's a big empty pool and a little hot tub out to the side. The other day my comp and I were studying when we kept hearing strange wailing like noises and shouts of hallelujah. I went and inspected and discovered that the Jehovahs Witnesses were having a large baptismal service in the hot tub that day! It lasted hours. I think the beginning part was a preparation of the water. The men were surrounding the hot tub with their hands in the air making all sorts of noises for hours. Then finally after lunch we returned and there were quite a few people getting baptized. The service was complete with a stage, a singer, and another guy with a microphone directing the service. It was a Jehovah's Witness day in Morropon. They spent the day parading the streets preaching repentance to the catholics with a giant loud speaker strapped to a guy's back. Then later that night there was a huge procession in the main plaza! It was pretty interesting to say the least.

I finally found a good explanation for my relationship with my companion. My companion Hermana Apeña is like every High School coach in those inspirational sports movies. Tough, stubborn, smart. She pushes me harder than I think any other trainer would. As we are walking up to a house for a lesson she will tell me "lesson one, you're teaching". Awkward silence doesn't bother her either. If I'm lacking confidence with my Spanish that day, sometimes we will be sitting in a house with investigators, and in hope for her to take over and teach the lesson, I will stare at a picture on the wall and stay silent waiting for her to talk.... just waiting.. Nothing! She will just be staring at me with this expressionless stare and all eyes are on me. It's a do or die moment. Even during lessons I will be struggling to explain a topic and turn to her and say "quiere explicar mas acerca..." Do you want to explain more about...? and she will respond with "Oh no esta bien!" No you're fine! During this moment in my head I'm thinking... actually that wasn't really a question, please help me! The other day an investigator asked me why men only receive the priesthood. I turned to my comp hoping she would answer but again the expressionless stare, and then I know I just have to go for it. Like I said, she pushes me so hard like those high school coaches. They run you and push you until you feel like you can't possibly go any further, and then they push you more . For a while all of the players see the coach as the bad guy who doesn't have an ounce of sympathy or compassion. Until they win the state championship. I have yet to win anything, I'm actually currently in the losers bracket. So there are times when we walk away from a lesson and I am completely bitter. Thoughts run through my head like.. I can't speak this language, you're my trainer, you're supposed to teach the lessons, why won't you help me? and she'll say "muy bien Hermana Ingram! muy bien you just taught that lesson!" And that's when my perspective changes. Whenever I get complimented on my increasing ability to speak Spanish I know its because of my pushy, intense coach. I know that I'm learning this language and how to teach a million times faster because she isn't afraid to leave me hanging or continuously correct my Spanish in every situation until I get it right. And so for that I'm extremely grateful and hopefully I can start winning soon, but paciencia es la clave! patience is key... a frequent phrase of the day from my companion. 

"Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems for be and unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required." -Thomas S. Monson
Hannah didn't include any captions with the photos today but I could label the all "Cute"

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