Monday, February 14, 2011



Well to start off, I would like to mention of few things I have been forgetting to tell you the past few weeks. First, I went almost 4 months in Spain before seeing a rat in Europe for the first time a couple weeks ago. It was from a distance, thankfully! I saw something scurry under a car down the street and thought to myself, "Oh look a chipmonk!" (it was dark) Then I realized that I was in the middle of a city with not many trees nearby. Also that the tail was way too long to be a chipmonk and the body was too big. And next, I tried eating pig´s hoof for the first time last Saturday. The key word here is "tried." I couldn´t quit figure out how to eat it so I just nibbled at it and then gave up. The Spaniards thought it was hilarious. Because it was originally Elder Parrish´s. When he gave up trying to eat it, I took it and gave it a go. Apparently pig hoof eating is an acquired talent (and taste) because the Spaniards didn´t have any trouble eating it. Also last Saturday, I ate Goose for the first time that I remember. It was AMAZING! I really like eating goose. It´s a good thing I ate it before find out what it was; because when I think of geese, I think of disgusting, mean birds. I probably would not have tried it. But I did. And they taste GREAT! Next time a goose tries to honk angrily at me I am going to remind it how well it tastes when it is grilled!

Elder Plaskett and I had another AMAZING week. This was definitely the best week of our companionship. We only taught one more lesson total, but we taught a lot more investigators instead of menos activos and recent converts. We have been struggling finding new people to teach. But now we have 9 new investigators from one week! And we have a fecha with one of our new investigators, Jude. He´s from Nigeria. A cool story from this week is that one lady we contacted on the street gave us a false address. So when we showed up for our cita, she didn´t live there. However, we set up a cita with the man who did live there. We met him yesterday after church. He is really open our message and is going to come to church this weekend. Most of this success cannot really be attributed to Elder Plaskett and me. For one thing we had intercambios this week with the zone leaders. I stayed here in Lleida with Elder Ryser. Elder Plaskett went to Zaragoza con Elder Jacinto. I learned so much from Elder Ryser. He has exactly one more year than me in his mission. He is a really great missionary. Mostly I learned about the importance of overcoming my fears and contacting more people! Most of our new investigators are from contacts we made while he was here. Second of all, most of our success has come as a blessing for our obedience. The last zone conference was focused a lot on obedience and raising our standards. President Hinckley is really pushing for a month of repentance and rededication to obedience and the mission rules during February. Thus, Elder Plaskett and I have been trying really hard to be more obedient. Thus the Lord has blessed us the Holy Ghost more. We are progressing a lot more in our teaching, etc. And thus the people are more open to our message.

This good week however has been marred by one event. I don´t know how far into detail I should go. So won´t go into far detail. Basically Elder Plaskett had to call the zone leaders about the other elders getting home too late (they were at our menos activo´s house) (also the zone leaders asked him to). Now things are really hard. Alex (menos activo) is mad at us and possibly so is Meritxel, his nonmember friend. The other elders won´t talk to us. At first I was annoyed at Elder Plaskett for doing it and I wouldn´t tell him the zone leaders´ phone number. I was afraid of what Alex would think, what the other Lleida elders would think, and what other missionaries in the mission would think. But then I realized, none of that matters. Obedience is obedience. Their disobedience was effecting our work. In the grand scheme of things the only opinion that matters is God´s. I then realized that my entire life I´ve been trying to please both worldly opinions and church opinions. It has caused me quite the inner division. At times i¨ve made bad decisions, at times good. This innerconflict has actually caused me quite a bit of unhappiness throughout life. And now I feel a lot more at peace, deciding to serve only the Lord. Jesus said, "you cannot serve two masters." And it is so true. I know that others may not like what we did. But God knows what is right. And hopefully someday they will too. I know that throughout life many more people will not like me for my decisions to always choose the right and not rationalize sin. But i will always have the support of my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. I also learned a lesson on setting a good example for others because they other elders started their disobedience after our bad example. And we were all setting a bad example to Alex.

Well speaking of obedience, this went WAAAY over time. I kept writing and rewriting that last paragraph.

¡Hasta luego!

Elder Buchkovich

ps. Happy Valentine´s Day. I forgot that was today!

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