Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December 14, 2015 First Zone Conference as a Zone Leader

     Now the holiday season has rolled on into the middle of December. It’s been another interesting week as I worked while being better acquainted with my new calling, area and companion. In the mission we go through a lot of changes. Each new circumstance provides its own unique challenges coupled with its unique lessons to be learned. Nothing is by coincidence and in every new situation we are given the opportunity to grow and learn. Of course, our attitude has a large impact as well since if we only focus in how things were, reminiscing in the past while dragging our fee in the present, we will never be able to learn those opportunely lessons.  Thus as I’ve come here to Central Trujillo, I’ve made a lot of effort to face those challenges and learn, to learn how to take care of this little part of the Lord’s vineyard. And in the end, we have nothing to fear since the Lord will always be at our side as we strive to be worthy of his companionship and seek his merciful help.
     Now it was with all these changes that President Marler allowed Elder Sotelo and I to head to the temple to attend a session. I believe that going to this house of Lord is a very good way to clear one’s mind and provide needed guidance. For as Isaiah prophetically predicted,” in the last days…many people shall go and say..let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths,” (Isaiah 2:2-3). I know that as we go to the Lord’s house that he will instruct us in exactly what we need. So as we entered, all the worries that I might had had on my mind were dispersed. I could feel the Lord’s spirit envelope me in its penetrating peacefulness. It was there that I could feel God’s approval and could feel precisely what I needed to do in order to press forward. What a blessing and privilege it is to have a nearby house of the Lord.
     We also took one of our investigators, Y, to the temple this past week for a special lesson in the temple grounds. In Trujillo there aren’t very many calm, peaceful places, but the temple grounds are very still and peaceful, so as we walked around the temple with Y, the Spirit could be felt even outside the temple. It was then that we sat down on a bench and started to explain what the house of the Lord is and why they’ve been and still are eternally important. After explaining the temple to her, we asked her if she had any questions. She simply expressed that she now had the strong desire to prepare herself to enter. It was a very special moment and a testimony builder to see the converting power of the temple here in Trujillo.
     This past week we also had our zone conference which I’ve experienced many times in the mission, but this was my first time as a zone leader. Thus it was my responsibility to train my zone according to the vision that President Marler had shown my companion and myself during the monthly leadership counsel. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel all that nervous even though President Marler was present. We made it Christmas themed and with the help of some sister missionaries we decorated the chapel and even had a Christmas tree. We spoke a lot about this special time of year to work as a missionary when people’s hearts are a little softer. Also, we spoke about how the church has made a short video for Christmas entitled, “A Savior is Born.” So I in the end my first zone conference worked out.
     A few weeks ago I received a short email from my brother which made me laugh a little when he expressed that I must be a focused missionary since I’m forgetting my English. I laughed because he wasn’t wrong, even as I write this letter I’m having to translate my thoughts (which are in Spanish) to English. I really don’t get to speak English much since I’m in Peru. However, this past week we met 2 less actives, J and R, who are famous amongst missionaries for the American food that they prepare. R is a gringo from Texas who married Jacky (who is Peruvian) and now they live here in Trujillo. He doesn’t speak Spanish so for the first time during my mission I had to teach a lesson in English (luckily Elder S speaks English, too) which was a little difficult, but it was very spiritual. The spirit was strongly present as we started to help him better understand spiritual truths in his native tongue. He is in a tough situation having to try to learn and live the gospel in a language he doesn’t know. So I felt that we were exactly where we needed to be as we helped him start to better understand these things. So it appears that we will be having some more lessons in English in the future. Well, hope all of you continue to make the most of the holiday season. Have a great week!

 

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