Catch up November -December 2, 2017
Hijole, it’s been a while since I wrote. I’s not sure how to summarize the past month honestly. It’s been good but at the same time, not so good. How do I explain. First of all my numbers have been very good here. We usually have close to 10 new investigators, 4-5 teaching appointments, and 10 investigators in church. We have has a baptism as well. So, from that standpoint, things are great. But, I feel like there’s so much more I could be doing. We hardly contact anyone, and we waste lots of time during the day. We almost never leave the house on time, and sometimes we pass time just talking - like socializing - with people. Then we always spend two hours in lunch because we buy and prepare food every day.Then add that to the time we spend sitting in buses. So I haven’t felt very good about my personal efforts in the past month. I don’t know why but I am not opening my mouth to preach like I should. Even when I feel like I need to contact someone, most of the time, I don’t. That’s the worst part. All I know is that God is being very patient with me. Anyway, what else is there to say. I really like my companion. Sometimes he gets on my nerves, and he comes off a little prideful, but he is a great teacher and has sound knowledge of the gospel. He understands the gospel better than I do and he teaches with interesting examples and asks great questions. I have learned a lot from him.
We have had a ton of activities this past month including 2 zone activities, a Christmas activity, 2 meetings with President Rios, a zone conference, 2 ward council meetings, district classes, division, and transfers. We have been super busy training and traveling. Let’s just say that I have about 3,000 pesos that I need to get reimbursed. That might not seem like much, but that is 2 months of what we receive to live off of. So basically my time as a zone leader has been lots of travel and meetings. In our zone activities we had all of the missionaries divided out in all the branches and splitting with members to visit less active members not to preach, but with the idea to serve them and offer them a priesthood blessing. We started with the weakest branch and we weren't supported very well there. The other areas were much better. Then the Christmas activity we just did a few days ago and that consisted of a short Christmas program (hymns, messages, etc) and we shared the Christmas Church video. We invited all present to #lighttheworld. Then we filled white helium balloon and l let them go with the #lighttheworld card attached. The idea is that the cards will fall to the ground somewhere in the area and someone will look up the Light the World program and participate! Overall, it went really well. We did the activity in Barra and I used one of my cookie mixes to make treats. Everyone thinks that I am a master cookie chef, haha. We had 25 people come to the activity which is pretty much how many people attend church on Sunday. The whole mission did this activity, but in each of their areas. In Manzanillo they got permission to hold the activity on the beach.
The meetings with Pres. R. are just normal meetings. I didn’t actually know that zone leaders met with the district/stake presidents, but now I do. We just talk about plans and the state of each branch. President R. has been president for about 8 years now. The members really don’t seem to like him, but sometimes I think that is because he is from the North and he seems to be the only person here who gets things done. I really don’t have any problem with him.
The zone conference went well. President Clayton talked a lot about the Book of Mormon on and how to teach more effectively with it. He also taught how to teach our investigators to actually read. I think that we forget when we hand them the book and tell them to read that it is probably the first time they have ever read scriptures. We taught our zone how to teach as you find and find as you teach. We did this object lesson relating this message to doing burpees. We had an elder do 3 burpees normally, then we tied his hands together, and then we untied his hands but then tied a broomstick to his back and legs so he couldn’t use his legs. He ended up breaking the broom handle, but the point was that in order to achieve our goal, it is impossible to do so without the proper use of our aides, our arms and our legs. Different parts function but are inter-relate. The actions of finding while we are teaching, and teaching as we are finding are two different actions to achieve our purpose. They are related and without one or the other, our goal and purpose is much harder to achieve. Then we explained each part.
The leadership councils have been good as always. I always learn a ton from them. President talked a lot about the urgency of the work. The apostles have told us before, but now they are telling that there is even a greater urgency in the work. The time is short an we must fill the earth with the gospel. feel like I’ve bene slacking, so I really need to pick things up. All the classes and division have been good and normal as always. We received 4 new missionaries in the zone this last transfer, so everyone is looking for new places to live. We have one third of our zone as new missionaries in training!
The last cool thing is that we had a baptism of A. It was awesome. When I saw him in his whites, I saw him as he would be in the temple and my heart was filled with joy and happiness for him, his decisions, and the gospel. What a blessing it is to be so imperfect and really rather unprofitable, but to be able to be a part of this work.Today is Saturday, December 2 and it was a rather normal but long day. In the morning, we had an appointment who wasn't home, but some women who were there asked us to share a message with them that would increase their faith. So we jumped at that opportunity and after we shared out message, they gave us food. The only problem was that they were two rather young and attractive women and my companion was way too interested in one of them. Later we went to Melanie and talked with some investigators who are really struggling with money right now. We tired to share a message of hope with them. Then another investigator stood us up big time. It wasn’t even for a teaching appointment. We actually found a house for him and he was supposed to come and check it out. So we ended up eating super late, and walked for miles for nothing. We did end up offering our services to the store beneath our house. They are closing up shop, so we helped them move everything into a giant truck. Our final appointment of the day actually did happen so that was a good way to end our day.
December 3, 2017
Today was bad. There were some good things as there always is, but it really wasn’t a great day. We went to La Huerta for church as always in the morning and it went well. We had 6 investigators there and 25 in total. It was testimony meeting which was rather interesting. We only listened to 5 testimonies, 2 of them where short normal heartfelt testimonies, but the other 3 were forever ramblings. I was really happy when that meeting ended. In our lesson there we taught about fasting during the gospel principles class. Most of the members here are practicing this principle at all, so this turned out to be a good lesson. The worst part of the day was that there was a huge trash bag that people had been putting the stuff that falls off of the orange trees in. Then they forgot about it and it turned into a giant Vitamin C bomb and stunk up the entire corner of the prayer house. It was disgusting. I learned that you can’t let oranges sit in a black garbage bag for a few weeks. The whole rest of the day we spent traveling.