Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What You Stand For

Que Onda?!

I only have two more weeks of training! Which doesn't really mean much other than the fact that after my training is over, I have to be prepared to possibly train someone else. Also, after my training is complete I could also be getting a new companion or  go to a new area. I will be sad if either of those happen because I love serving with my companion and I really love the people in this area. 

Speaking about my area, we had a pretty interesting experience this week. We have this one family that we are teaching and the father (Raymundo) has had some stomach issues and was bed ridden, so we gave him a blessing. The following day we came back to check on his progress and when we arrived they were having a little family party. The minute we showed up Raymundo's nephew (he's about 25) started talking to me in broken ghetto english; he had lived in Atlanta but isn't fluent in english. Five minutes after we showed up he starts offering me Tequila. Every time he asked/told me to drink with him, I said no (obviously). Raymundo invited us in to eat with them and once we sat down, his nephew sat down next to me and started hammering out some more shots (because he was already pretty drunk). That's when he poured me a shot and put it in front of me. He told me he wanted to drink with a 'gringo' because he never has. Again, I told him no and that I don't drink. He told me that I was being disrespectful in his culture. I then told him that it is a part of my religious beliefs and personal preferences to not drink and I meant no disrespect. Until this point, none of our investigators had really said anything to him. However, after I told him this, they started to defend me more and eventually the nephew left me alone (after 30 minutes of telling me to drink with him). The nephew also offered shots to our investigators (his family) which they all turned down and we were pretty happy to see. 

This experience may seem insignificant to some but to me it was a very big deal. My investigators were watching me and saw how I reacted in this situation. If I had given in to the nephew and drank with him, our investigators would have no trust in us. Besides the fact that I wouldn't be worthy to be serve a mission, I would have lost the trust and respect of our investigators. They saw that I truly stand up for and practice what I have taught them. In turn they stood up for me and they know that I live what I have taught them. 

With this experience, I would just like to remind you all that whether you are a member of the church or not, people are watching your actions and will always remember the things you do. I know that it is very important to always live and act in the way that you want others to remember you by. 

Thank you all for your support and your letters this week. I love you! 

-Elder Berry

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