Hey fam! Thanks for writing!
Dad! The family of 4 did not go. Apparently she had cancer, and this week she got operated on and had to stay in her bed. It seems like everything's gonna be ok, but they couldn't go to church unfortunately. That's cool you still have contact with some converts. Good job being a missionary on Facebook! Being a missionary is really the greatest thing ever. A lot of time the little fears we have don't really have any base seeing as the majority of the people don't get offended by religion. It's a lot easier talking to people about the gospel as a missionary though seeing as I'm dressed the part with nametag and all. At the beginning of my mission it was difficult to do so, but it's gotten easier and easier as time's gone by. I'm glad you got to help the Humphreys move. Hopefully they enjoy their new ward. It'll be weird without them in our ward. Keep up the missionarywork!! Love ya!
Mum! Sebastián is doing great. He is so set on baptism, and his mother has noticed a huge change in him. I'm so excited to see him progress. My comp leaves in 6 weeks. This cambio has 3 weeks left, and then we have a short, 3 week cambio due to the change in the MTC schedule. He leaves just after that. It's gonna be sad! I'll have been with him longer than any other comp besides my trainer, Elder Navarrete. Sounds like your new calling is awesome. I'm so glad you have the chance to help the youth. I think the new program will change people's lives. Lots more youth will go out on missions I think. You're right, Mum, the gospel is the best thing ever. I love teaching it. Love ya!
Michael! That's too bad you had to rearrange all your classes, but that's good it worked out. Nice. You crowd surfed? Oh my gosh you're ridiculous hahaha. I'm so excited for you to go on a mission. I'll pray so you get called here. It's a long shot, but how cool would it be if you got called her and I trained you? Just sayin, that would be so solid. The evangelicals out here have a little bit of everything. Some baptize babies, some don't. Some blatantly reject prophets and continuing revelation, but some tell us about how the "Spirit" takes people over in their meetings, making them dance, scream, and prophesy. It's pretty intense stuff. There's a little bit of everything. No church is the same, seeing as most of them exist cause members from one church get annoyed and go and make their own. There are great people from every church though obviously. I've baptized a few ex-evangelicals. The good thing is they have a lot of faith. Gotta love the true church though. Love ya!
Charly! No balloon drop? How sad. That's nuts about all the snow. Meanwhile I'm burning out here in the sun. You don't wanna go to high school? High school is way better than junior high. You'll love it. I'm glad you made a funny video. That's always a lot of fun. I have plans with Elder Cardinal to make some after the mission haha. It's a blast. Love you Char!
Jake! I heard you worked your butt off this week!! Nice work! I bet shoveling that much was terrible. That's pretty cool you got to see a roughnecks game. I had a companion, my MTC comp, who was way into lacrosse. He says it's a blast. I remember watching a Roughnecks game and it was pretty intense. Good job inviting your friend to the activities!! Good job being a missionary. Love ya!
Ok! So this week was pretty nuts. We had a good week in our sector, but in the zone we are still having a bunch of problems. There have been a bunch of problems with unity and with pride with some of the missionaries. The attitude of some missionaries is making it really difficult for the other ones who live with them. It's kind of been a struggle. We're having to start almost from scratch with some of the missionaries, seeing as trying to direct them in the work and provide counsel to help their investigators progress doesn't really go anywhere if the missionaries have problems with their companions or refuse to accept any kind of help. It's been difficult and we've had quite a stressful week, but we're grateful for the trials. Success does not come when everything goes great, but when we can progress and get up again after everything goes bad. I'm glad the Lord had used my previous experiences to help my handle today's experiences. If it wasn't for the fact that I had had other trials earlier in the mission, I wouldn't be able to handle these trials now. I'm excited to see how the Lord will use today's experiences to help in tommorrow's.
Apart from that, things are great. It has been ridiculously hot though. Apparently one day, it got up to 37 degrees, that being measured in the shade. I gotta say that being all sweaty all day isn't that great, but if that's what's necessary, it's alright haha.
So Victor, the slightly different guy that we were teaching before, is getting baptized this weekend. He's been really great with his commitments and has tons of desires. I feel bad cause he's almost like a little kid trapped in a man's body, and he doesn't feel a lot of love from his wife who's already a member, or from the family of his wife. We went and taught him yesterday with the Elders Quorum President, and he said something that really touched me. He said that we will be really blessed in the Resurrection because when he has all his mental capacities he'll be grateful for the patience we had in teaching him. He's really a great guy.
Sebastián is doing great. He decided completely, although a little sadly, to live the law of chastity and word of wisdom. He's so awesome and I'm so impressed with him. His mum has seen a huge change in him, and is actually finally cracking and wants to get baptized too. The only problem is that she isn't married to the guy she lives with yet, although it sounds like they do have plans. Anyway, Sebastian came with a friend of his that we taught at his house to church. It was awesome. Sebastián is gonna be an awesome missionary. To top it all off, Rodrigo, his uncle who's my convert, is gonna baptize him. How awesome will that be?
Rodrigo blessed the sacrament for the first time yesterday, and did a great job. He is really progressing a lot. He's already in Jacob in is Book of Mormon reading. His wife, Stanka, is also doing great. She's giving a talk next weekend! I'm so excited. I love that family.
The family of 4, Richard, Sarela, Enrique, and Karen, didn't come this week unfortunately. Turns out Sarela had cancer and got operated on this week. She's doing a lot better, but it was still a big concern. We had a sweet restoration lesson with Richard and the kids. The Spirit was really strong, and he read in the Book of Mormon, but it seems like his family, who are really evangelical, is creating some opposition. Pray for them!!
Loreta, someone else who went last week, had a big turn around! She didn't seem that interested, but really liked church, and we had a great Restoration lesson with her too. She read in the Book of Mormon and went to church. She's doing great!! Now she just needs help with the Word of Wisdom cause she smokes about 20 a day. Pray for her!!
We did 2 minicambios this week. I brought in one of the District Leaders, Elder Conti, to my sector, while Elder Cardinal went there. Then I went over to the other branch in Linares to meet some investigators of the other missionaries. It gave some fruit, seeing as some people we found in Linares during the minicambio went to church in the other sector and probably will get baptized next month. It was stressful to do those minicambios, cause working with someone besides your comp can always take some getting used to, but it was a good experience. This upcoming week is gonna be busy too. We need all your prayers so the missionaries respond well to what we want to teach them. We want them to really just lose themselves and dedicate themselves to the work, leaving behind all petty problems and pride. It'll be difficult to help ingrain that in some of the missionaries, but the Lord will help us.
Being a missionary is the greatest thing ever. I am so glad I'm here. I wouldn't change it for the world! We don't lose 2 years at all. It's more like getting 20 more years in life. We progress and learn so much during the time here. It's like cramming 20 years of experience into only 2. Oh how I wish I could be here longer!! I love the Lord. I know He lives. I know this is His church. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and Thomas S. Monson is a prophet today. The Book of Mormon is true. This work is true. I love it.
I love you all! Thanks for your support and prayers. Also, congrats to Becky on getting her mission call!