This last week was different. Very different. For starters it was very strange for me and Elder Puca to have to commit people to church in two weeks as opposed to that very Sunday. The need and excitement to help our investigators to come to church Sunday has always been something that has really motivated me, and it changed my perspective a little bit having to do it differently. It was a good change. It helped me to really practice finding the needs of the investigator and the importance of teaching to those needs.
The [Mexico City Temple] rededication was incredible. Elder Puca and I were able to go to two of the sessions, the first and the second. I liked them both, quite a bit. The second had my two favorite talks, by Elder Piper and by Elder Holland. I particularly liked what Elder Piper had to say about sacrificing. As I was thinking and studying about it I am coming to realize the daily role that sacrifice has in our lives. I always thought about it as something that we did when things were desperate. But that is not the case! Just as we are changing every day, we are sacrificing with every decision we make. We can choose to do something good, or to abstain from something bad. Or we can choose to do something bad, or abstain from doing something good. And as we do so, we either come closer to God (which is called repentance), or we distance ourselves from him (which is disobedience/sin). As such, every time we are making a decision to sacrifice something bad/ok/good for the best. Or we are sacrificing the best for something not so worth it. I am convinced that each decision we make will bring us to the crossroads of "sacrificing for" or "making sacrice of" the following:
-Our Eternal Family
-Our relationship with God
-Our worthiness to hold a temple recommend
-Our divine nature
It helped me to put things back into perspective. I can now ask myself with each little every-day choice, "is it worth it?" I promise that sacrificing FOR the above is always the right choice.
The ward is doing ok. It is struggling in a few aspects. A lot of the members are getting offended with each other (because we are all imperfect and sometimes it is hard to realize that even someone in your same religion has flaws), and with the leaders (because their teenagers weren't able to receive recommends and the like), including some of the best member missionaries we have. Our ward mission leader has been inactive for a few weeks now, and the others are struggling too. In order for us to get things on track with our investigators as well we need to help the ward out.
Our investigators are doing great. We have a mom and a son that are both recovering from a cigarette and drug addiction, and will be getting baptized on the 27th. They are extremely enthusiastic about the Gospel, and can hardly wait for each time we come by. We also have another incredible investigator who has been married to an inactive member. She was part of the Christian church, but is now convinced that we are right. She has a testimony of the Book of Mormon; actually, the Book of Mormon has been our most effective tool with her. She loves it! The only thing holding her back is fear of her family and fear of letting go of what she is familiar with. In addition to them we have a couple other investigators that are progressing slowly, and have great possibilities.
Elder Puca and I are doing really well. We are learning how to teach and work better together every day. I am very grateful for the chance that I have to be his companion. He has taught me a lot about working hard with real intention in every moment; being consistent as a missionary and as a representative as Jesus Christ.
That about wraps it up on this end! Thank you all for everything you do! I love you so very much!
Ew. Just realized that next week I turn 20. That is nasty. :)
Preguntas Bien Rapidito
Q: Did you ever get the seat of your suit pants sewn up? The ones that blew out on you?
A: No... :P I still have them in my suitcase with good intentions though... :)
Q: What is the geography of your area? Hilly? Flat? Both?
A: Super super flat. And dusty. With dogs everywhere. With the exception of two that have adopted us and love us, the rest really make me wish that that paint-ball guns were standard missionary issue.
Q: Where do you do your grocery shopping right now?
A: We have a Wal Mart again about half an hour away. Yup. Living the high life here in Haciendas! :D
Q: Do your investigators (thinking about all the areas you have been in) all have pretty similar challenges for people to join the church?
A: Yes. In the end of things, the big challenges that they have for joining the church are:
-Lack of understanding of the doctrine
-Lack of desire -Social fears
-The many oppositions of life (deaths in the family, lack of money, the very strong Catholic roots, etc.)
Q: What will you be doing on September 15?
A: Working as normal, until 6 or 7 when it starts to get dark. Then I expect that we will be passing that time in the house. It always gets a little interesting here in Mexico that day. Lots of drinking and drugs and the like. I am so grateful that I have the added protection of being a missionary of the Lord. :)
Q: Is your climate staying steady or will you even notice it’s fall?
A: It is pretty steady. The major difference in climates is when it is raining and when it isn't. :) That is about the only thing that changes!
|Toluca Zone Conference|
|The cultural hall where the missionaries hold zone conference|
|Elder Alpuche y Elder Puca|
|The birthday missionary got his birthday package from home|
|Birthday goodies from Presidente y Hermana Whitehead|
|A Herbie bug!|
|Part of Elder Kennington's area at 6 p.m.|