Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014 A Week of Changes and Challenges

Week 26
     We now find ourselves in December as the time continues to pass by.  I am convinced that missionaries are in a different time bubble because time goes by fast. Crazy to think that this Wednesday marks 6 months as a missionary. This week has definitely been one to remember as it has memories that I’ll carry with me for quite some time. As you will see it’s been a challenging week, but it has confirmed that I am supposed to be here during this time. Also keep in mind that even though it was a hard week I kept a positive attitude through it all. I love challenges. Well let’s get into it.
     This past p-day wasn’t at all that exciting as we decided to really clean our apartment. The air here carries quite a bit of dust so our apartment had accumulated a fair amount.  However, after a couple hours everything was very, very clean. We truly felt the Spirit much more with us, and that night as we conducted our daily planning, we could really feel a difference.  Having a clean home really does make a profound difference which I know is weird coming from a former college student, but it’s very true.
     As the week pressed forward we were sad to lose 2 investigators whom we had really come to love. First, M___ who still hadn’t been able to come to church because of work, told us not to return. This was sad because she had received an answer that these things are true and wanted to be baptized, but I guess with time her energy faded.  Then shortly after we had a super powerful lesson with A___ about the Restoration, it was the most powerful spiritual lesson that either Elder P___ or I had ever had during our missions. Somehow my Spanish was nearly perfect, we were teaching in almost perfect unison and with a ton of scriptures.  I know he felt it too, but he chose to reject it. As he did we both felt the sorrow that I suppose is expressed by Mosiah 28:3, as we both got the impression that this was his time to accept it. Despite those feelings, this was a testimony builder as during that lesson I felt even more that the Restoration is true and that I was suppose to be there with Elder P____ giving A___ that situation to choose, and I guess everyone has agency.  I will make mention though that after we lost investigators, we were blessed in receiving several more that are just awesome.
     Now the hardest thing which dominated the week was the problems we had with preparing the Branch for its first change in leadership. President Jacinto had been president for 12 years (usually around 5 years), so many members didn’t understand why a change was taking place. Many were very unhappy with the change. As everything seemed to grow against us, we went to the chapel and together offered a very sincere prayer, pleading for the Lord’s guidance.  Then as I pondered, my thoughts were led to Alma 31 where basically Alma went through a similar situation.  I received very clear direction that the approach was to strengthen the members with the word of God.  We also felt the impression to give each other a blessing.  Afterward, I felt completely at peace and confident that I could help the Branch as I trusted in the Spirit. From there, we met with the members and strengthened them with reading their scriptures and inviting them to ask God about this change. This turned out to be a great opportunity to strengthen the members and find the needs of several families. It also helped us to work with the new president to be comforted through the trails of the week and to really grow.
     Finally, yesterday the day came to thank President Jacinto for his service and sustain Brother ___ as president. However, President Marler announced that the change would be postponed. So that was a little unexpetcted but we had a very edifying service in which we also had a record attendance of 65 with 7 less actives. It was also fun to see and talk to President and Sister Marler, and enjoy some of the treats they brought from Trujillo which included my Christmas package! We also finished the day with a less with D___, a less active of 7 years who has a very complicated background.  It also was one of the most spirit filled lessons I had in which we really started to form a connection with him and help him invite the Spirit back into his life. I felt that we are the right missionaries for him at the right time because we really are having progress with him and well the spirit told me.
     To sum it all up, I had a week which I’m going to remember for a while. A week in which I learned that Elder P___ and I are really supposed to be here during this time. My testimony has also grown. The mission is truly something different that changes you for the better if you let it. I also enjoyed Thanksgiving more or less with an apple pie that was good as one could hope for in Peru. Thank you all for your emails as they are very much appreciated.  I hope you all have a great week in the much colder Northern hemisphere. I Hasta la proxima semana!


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