Arizona Mesa Mission Address

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 18, 2011

Dear Family,

This past week has been a little bit crazy.  Some of our investigators have been having some pretty bad problems but thankfully we found some new investigators that have a lot of potential, including a family that accepted a baptismal commitment.  Unfortunately, we can only meet with them all together once a week, which is kind of frustrating for us.  Tania is still having problems with her mother so we are just going to have to wait until the end of the month when she comes for a visit.  Hopefully, we can baptize them both (ha-ha).

The craziest thing that happened this past week was with Eddie, Antonia and Jose, Antonia's son.  Remember when I told you we couldn't teach Jose since he had been in Tucson for about a month?  Well, he came back and he was a different person.  Supposedly, he wasn't making very good choices and hung out with some pretty bad people in Tucson.  We had a chance to talk to them once, as a family, but he was angry and clearly annoyed the entire time we were teaching them.  He ended up leaving the house without telling anyone and was picked up by immigration at 12 in the morning, walking on the highway to Tucson.  There was clearly more to Jose than we had anticipated earlier.  He had been such a great investigator.  He came to church and the Young Mens' activities.  He ended up going back to Tucson because he was causing too many problems in Scottsdale with his family.  Supposedly, he lives with some women in Tucson, whose kids are all drug addicts.  Antonia is the one who pays for this to go down too, which is baffling to me.  This story is so nuts I don't even know how to tell it clearly.

So what happens next is even worse.  We get a call from Eddie telling us that Antonia was about leave for Tucson.  When I asked him how long she would be gone, he told me forever.  I immediately scheduled him in as our last appointment of the day, which was originally just a pass-by.  When we got to their house in Scottsdale, their 1.5-year-old daughter, Daniela, was playing outside, while Antonia was packing her bags in the bedroom and Eddie was washing some clothes.  We got into the room and immediately a contentious argument erupts between Eddie and Antonia, where, basically, they used us as a mirror while they argued why the other person was wrong.  As soon has we could, we said that we would like to start with a prayer.  After that I recited the Scripture Mastery I had recently learned from 3 Nephi 11:29* about how the spirit of contention was of the devil and not of the Lord and if we were to come to a resolution, the spirit needed to be present.  We also reminded them that we are not marriage counselors and that what we know are gospel truths about the family and their importance.  To make an indescribably long story short Eddie was talking about how Antonia's son is ungrateful for everything that he had provided for him (a job, a phone, money, shelter, internet, school, etc.).  He related a number of examples that clearly proved what he was saying, including a how Jose had been really mean to Daniella who isn't even 2.  He wanted Antonia to let Jose do what he is going to do because she can't change him.  At this point we still didn't even know why Antonia wanted to leave, and to tell you the truth I still don't really understand.  I seriously don't even know what to say because Antonia didn't really have much to her argument as to why she wanted to leave.  She just said that Eddie would get angry sometimes which doesn't even surprise me considering the situation. (By the way, Eddie didn't even appear that angry.)  I was listening has hard as I could and praying that the Spirit would inspire me as to what I needed to say.  I ended up telling them from that what I had noticed, Jose is the source of all of this.  They both agreed.  (I was trying not to be harsh on Antonia.)  I then told them that they need to let him do what he is going to do.  I compared it to the story of how Satan, one of God's beloved children, was cast out of His presence for rebelling, and taking a third part of God's spirit children with him.  God loved him but did what he had to do.  I told them that they should do the same, putting a ton of emphasis on how God wants families together and Satan wants them to be destroyed.  I told them how Daniela and the baby Antonia is seven-months pregnant with, need two parents to raise them.  It seems that Antonia really was rash in her decision to leave in one day.  We convinced them to pray together and to try not to argue.  The next day we came by and were able to convince Antonia to come to the Easter Pageant that night.  At first she didn't want to, but we told her that it would only help the situation.  It ended up being such a spiritual experience for both of them, even to the point of them talking about temple marriage in the car ride home.  Sorry if I didn't explain that story to well, it is still hard for me to understand in my mind.  They should be good for now but we are hoping and praying that Jose doesn't come back into the picture and mess everything up again.  That's my marriage counseling story for the mission.  I hope that I got that one over with.

Unfortunately I don't have any more time so I got to hop.


Elder Kinney

*3 Nephi 11:29

For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

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