Thursday, September 8, 2011

August 31, 2011 - A Good Week!

Hello family,

I´m just writing you collectively today so you don´t have to wait until tomorrow and I will write a few lucky individuals tomorrow. Deal? Deal. I will ever take advantage of the fact that someone cannot say no to a deal in an email. A downside of progressing technology (not as practical in a text). Anyways I am very excited to hear about Dad´s new calling, he will do a fantastic job, I know it. It is absolutely crazy that the girls have started their last school year before I get home. I´m getting old.
Anyway, I have a few things to let you know about. Do you remember one of my best converts Jorge? He is putting his his mission papers together! I have talked with the elders that have served in that area since and they have told me is so devoted and an example to most of the members. He gets to church early, goes to seminary AND institute, and is really taking everything in the church very seriously. I think to him it is almost a blessing not to have the support of his family because he completely believes in what the church leaders say and doesn´t fall into many of the family traditions that you often see in Guatemala that aren´t necessarily the worst things you could do, but they are small things that you wish the culture could get out of. He has talked in church, blesses the sacrement, and is very excited to go on his mission. Alba also wrote me and it made me really happy to know that she (a guatemalan widow who can´t sing a note) is in the ward choir and that she is very involved in the relief society. It is funny because she asked me to come to the ward conference to hear her sing, she is hard of memory and can´t remember that I told her I won´t be able to visit in these 2 years. She sad "I´m paying my tithing because God gives me life and my health and that makes me happy." It is sad because she wrote me asking me for a way to be able to leave on a mission when she hits a year (I don´t know how she got this idea) because her daughter is so cruel to her. She is old and can´t understand that I don´t have administative power in the church, but I hope her daughter really lets up on her. Also the Vasquez Family that I found on divisions with my District Leader contacting in Linda Vista (the ones where I felt strongly that they would be baptized, sorry if you don´t remember) have gone to church and are slowly but surely progressing. It is so gratifying to see the progress of the areas I left behind, I´m glad the Lord has put (or left, in the case of Elder Sarita) great missionaries in those areas so that everything can keep going well. I thought you would like to know that Elder Sarita is now training a north american, which made me happier than any other change I saw in the mission. He has by far been my favorite companion; I have so much respect for him because he is so humble and an all around incredible person. It is funny that he is training a gringo though because considerig the fact that it was hard for me to understand his Dominican Republic Spanish with 10 months in my mission, it will be a struggle with his new companion. I gave him one piece of advice for his time as a trainer in the change meeting, "Elder Sarita, solamente tengo un consejo, hable despacio." This means "Elder Sarita, I have some advice, talk slow." He laughed and agreed to do so. He´ll do a great job as a trainer.
As for my current area, Jose went to church! We are very excited about that fact. We have come to find that he has some strange ideas though with regards to recieving an answer that these things are true. He always goes back to dreams he has had in his life and what he thinks they mean which results in us redirecting him to the basic doctrines of the Book of Mormon, baptism, and a knowledge of Joseph Smith as the Prophet of the Restoration. When we can talk about these things he agrees, but we can tell he is thinking about something else. We have decided he doesn´t really understand the Book of Mormon and the importance it has in recieving an answer about the truthfulness of what we teach. We will for sure be going over that before we move on. The good thing is that he likes church (which is good especially since some things I see and hear make me cringe when I have investigators with me), and he says he will be coming every week. We are really trying to work members more and we have 3 or 4 references that the members are inviting to church, a lesson in their house, or something like that so we hope we´ll find some people through the members in this coming week.
So I´m loving being a missionary, hearing progress of people and seeing the results of my work from times when maybe I thought everything wasn´t going that well is really rewarding. I´m trying to work hard, and even though President has gotten after me a lot for a few little miscommunications in this week I´m doing just swell haha. I hope everyone is doing great.

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