Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Learning About People & Attending Mass

I'm not exactly sure I said "Happy Birthday" in the letter I sent to Dad. So, Happy Birthday! I hope there were surprises and cake and decorations and everything.

NEW COMPANION. So my companion is about to go home. In 3 days. It's been the best transfer of my mission, just a blast to be with the guy, in our apartment of 4 (3 goofballs and me :D), getting work done. Now they are closing the other area, so it's back to 2 people: me and a new companion, Anziano Sanchez. He's from Florida, with origins in Venezuela. I guess President Dibb likes assigning me Spanish-speaking missionaries, as this is the third.

ANALYZING PERSONALITIES. The last transfer, I learned about getting to know people. Anderson is a fantastic people person, and as he said, the reason we get along so well, is that he has the most energy I'm able to handle without getting annoyed.

Among the first things he did were: rearrange the furniture in the apartment, ask us all about our life stories, clean the apartment, and initiate a challenge: visit ALL the members in the next couple of weeks. President described him as a "natural leader." And it is true.

A defining moment of the transfer was last week. After several weeks of observing him, I told him about his personality in a way he hadn't considered before.
I just explained a few aspects of him in a way that helped him understand why he did some of the things he did, and how he could improve as a person and as a missionary. And it blew him away that I had read him so well. So, 10 points to observation skills! And quite possibly inspiration. Probably that. In any case, it was a bonding moment.

But now I'm back to figuring out how to keep it fun with just 2 people, when we're not pranking the other companionship or talking in a group of 4. For 6 transfers: about 9 months of my mission, I've been in an apartment of 4 people. Lots of fun. But I'll keep it going well.

SATURDAY MASS. Also, we went to Mass last Saturday with Vinicio. It was the first one I had ever attended, and it was an interesting experience. Lots of repeating phrases, standing up, sitting down, wafers and wine, with some similarities to our services. They sing. There was a prayer and talking about scripture. Not as much congregation involvement. Yes, the people said things, but it was still the Priest and his views on the scripture, as opposed to each member taking a turn throughout the year to give a talk on a gospel topic in Sacrament Meeting, like we do. The cathedral was beautiful, though. Amazing woodwork, gold leaf, paintings, chandeliers, altars, paintings on the ceilings.

Love you!
Anziano Whitesell
#87 days, not that anyone's counting

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