January 3, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
First of all, how did you like the pictures I sent, they are pretty sweet right? I got a lot from Christmas Eve, Christmas day, the play, the baptisms and other good stuff. I will always remember those memories now! I can now delete the pictures on my camera that I sent and start fresh! What did you think about the ties I sent? Really those were the best ones I had; now I’m just rocking DI and Goodwill ties which are sweet too! In the MTC everyone was all about ties and everyone would trade. Here in the mission field its different, some missionaries wear the same tie for a month at a time. Ties just don't give you the same joy they used to give you at the beginning of your mission. But it is still cool to go to the goodwill were you can buy stuff by the pound, and then you find like 7 ties you can get for like a dollar! Chyeah! Mom did you like the apron with the mission logo OPM on it and the Christmas stocking? Those are some good things to keep as memories!
This week went by really fast and it’s hard to believe that I’ve already been with my new companion Elder White for more than half a transfer. Days go by quick out here, that’s why you have got to make the best of it out here G! Well I told you about Tiffany, Javier’s daughter. I told you how I prayed about what baptismal date to extend to her and the Lord answered me with the 16th of January. Well we taught Tiffany this past week and when I challenged her to be baptized on the 16th she accepted without hesitation! Chyeah! We have been helping her to develop a testimony about God and Jesus Christ because she didn't really know them that well. We are teaching her little by little so she can understand really well and I know she will be ready! I know the Lord loves each and every single one of his children and I am just his messenger. We stopped by to see my boy Amancio and he busted the news on us that he is going on vacation for 2 weeks in Medford! He is old so I guess he forgot about his baptismal date? He is the man and I’m going to miss teaching him ha-ha.
Well I’ve been out in the field for almost 2 transfers so far. Every day we teach about 2 or 3 people, and have about 18 lessons a week. When we don’t have an appointment with someone we knock on doors. We spend a lot of our time knocking doors looking for the Lords elect! Then one day last week I asked Elder White, why we knock doors so much, there’s got to be a better way. I don’t want to say it’s a waste of time, but there’s probably something better we could do with our time. Then I read a quote by Gordon B. Hinckley that said any good missionary knows that the best way to do missionary work is through the members. Then I thought back, everyone that has been baptized since I’ve gotten here has been through the members. Godofredo's and Charlie's wives are members, and Tiffany's family is all members of the Church. We find people every week knocking doors that listen to our message, but sometimes they lack the desire to really change and do everything necessary to be baptized. Anyway, I know there are people out there that can be found through knocking but I know it’s probably not the most effective way! Well, I wanted to find out what my boy Elder Rangel thought because he has been out for 20 months and has knocked a ton of doors. He told me over 20 months of knocking, he has only met 2 families through knocking that got baptized and the rest have been through members or other means. So I have been thinking that we need to think outside the box here, we need to rock something different. So I fasted to find out what I could do to better use the time I am given to serve the Lord and the Lord came through for me and answered my fast that Sunday! It’s amazing how the Lord answers you when you sit and listen, and ask for his will!
Well, I have been thinking pretty hard about this subject for the last week and trying to find a way to further bring people into the Lords gospel. It all began with PEC, the meeting with the President of the Branch, his counselors, and other leaders in the Branch. Elder Rangel was in another meeting with the Stake President so it was just me, my companion, and Elder Wineirt. They always tell us to drop people who aren’t willing to commit and come to church. Well I told them that if we dropped everyone that has a hard time going to church we would be knocking all week, and we already decided that it wasn't that effective. I told them that we need to start setting up activities for the Branch members to participate in and bring their friends. I told them the only way we are going to have success is if we get help from the members and it was like trying to convince 5 other people in Spanish. Elder White and Wineirt don't speak that much Spanish so they didn’t really know what we were all talking about, and they thought we were in a big argument! But it wasn't an argument at all, it was more reigniting a flame that has been lost in this Branch. So everyone was getting excited that it’s time to get the members involved again in the missionary work. We talked to the Branch President and he had us come over to his house that night to discuss the Mission plan! The mission plan consists of using the members to help their families and friends that are not members come unto the gospel of Christ. I also proposed a movie night or a game night in the branch where the members can come and bond and bring their friends to have a good time. I know this will be more effective as the time we would be spending knocking doors can be used to help spread the gospel to their families because this gospel and church truly is a blessing to have in our lives. The Lord gave me the strength and power I needed to speak what I needed to say in Spanish and touch the members of this Branch. Then I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting in Spanish and expressed my love for the members and how my only desire is to serve them. The feeling in church that day was way different and you could really feel the love from each member. Then in testimony meeting my boy Mario Hijo (he is the son of Mario Papa and the Branch Mission Leader) bore his testimony about how we missionaries are ready to work and need the members help. It’s a good start to the New Year and I feel like great things are about to happen. The Lord answered my prayer and fast! Later that night we talked to Presidente Andrade and we devised a sweet mission plan, and he is behind us a 100%. I guess it has been hard on him being the President of the branch for 5 years, having missionaries that want to work come and go. But I think we reignited his flame and now together we are ready to merk! I’m just glad the Lord helped me figure this out 2 transfers into my mission and not 20 months out!!!!!!!!!! Chyeah!
Dang Gina, well a lot happened this week but I think that pretty much sums it up, I just had to do what I had to do, and now it’s time to plan and put this plan of action into motion! The Lord has truly blessed me with the gift of tongues and I know I am doing what he wants me to do!