This week has been pretty cool. We played volleyball last Monday as a zone and it was a lot of fun. We’ve gotten a lot closer as a zone. We’ve had some difficulties with zone unity in the beginning. Not now, we’ve gotten a lot better. We had our last leadership conference for the year 2015 with President McGinn. There’s a missionary couple here, the Lunts, this was their last leadership meeting. They are going home next week to Arizona. They finished their 3rd mission in Latin America! They are great people. Sister Lunt always gives homemade cinnamon rolls to the zone that hands in the neatest and nicest baptismal records. We finally won them! We got first place! I was so happy! In that leadership meeting, the assistants invited us to go outside and do meaningful street contacts with people and actually find out what they need, follow the spirit. We were to offer them specific help from the gospel of Christ, the gospel that has the answer to all needs! So, we went outside. I was really excited, even though there weren’t very many people outside. We tried looking for families first. We walked past this bigger lady standing by the street obviously waiting for the bus to go talk to a family. The family didn’t want to talk to us. Then we walked past the bigger lady again to go chase down another family. We didn’t end up getting very far before I felt the need to talk to the bigger lady waiting for the bus. So, I told my comp and we turned around and contacted her. It turns out that she started talking with us openly and shared with us that her mom is in the hospital. She works from the morning to the afternoon, then goes straight to the hospital to see her mom and then goes home really late. She wakes up the next morning and does it all over again while managing a teenage girl in school. She struggling a lot. Even though we didn’t have too much time to speak with her, nor were we able to set an appointment or write down her address, I think that we were meant to speak with her and offer her some comfort in these difficult and desperate times. It was a great spiritual experience for me. I loved it.
I think I told you that last week we were able to do service for a less-active woman, Milagros, and her partner Lisnen (a man). Lisnen put us to work along with 2 other companionships that came to help us. Although we weren’t able to speak with him about the gospel and stuff, having him just see our work and what we did gave him lots of questions about us and about the church. He is an inactive member of the Adventist church. This past week we went to visit Milagros, and Lisnen was surprisingly home and invited us into his home (he had never done that before). He was talking on the phone and working on the computer and stuff (he has his own furniture business) but we convinced him to finally sit down with us and watch a couple videos that I had brought on my USB. He finally relented and said “yes”! We watched a video about the temple and stuff. They were really great. We talked with him, got a couple of questions as well, like “what is the Book of Mormon?” and “why do we celebrate the Sabbath day on Sunday if the bible says that it should be the 7th day of the week?”. Luckily, I didn’t dive straight into convincing him with the Bible because, trust me, I could have done it. I’ve done lots of studying on the subject. I decided to leave him 3 Nephi 15 so that he could search for the answer. Well, it was a great day, not the most perfect lesson, but it made me so happy that he had softened his heart from the first time I met him months ago. Milagros (I had mentioned last time that she literally thanked us for teaching her about tithing) has been so blessed from keeping that commandment. We are also teaching a less active man, Alex. Ever since a shoulder accident that he had at work he has been coming back to church with power. He’s the one that helped us pick what to buy for that hungry family that night. He is so awesome! He’s learning so much. He wants a calling in the church to feel more useful. He wants to accompany us and take us to an awesome beach they have close by here to do some sightseeing and get to know the place. He’s so great! I’ve been able to see the change that has been made in his heart from the first day that we (the missionaries) came in contact with him, up until now. He barely believed in God. He was asking for evidences and signs to prove that he exists and to prove his power. Now his faith has grown to the point where he shares his story and his spiritual thoughts and experiences with others as he accompanies us for appointments. It’s so awesome! I really love my area! The people that we have the privilege of teaching, the leaders that we get to work with, the family that we live with, my companion…everything is so great here! I’m not saying that because I’m loving my time here that I don’t struggle or that it doesn’t get discouraging or that I don’t get upset or anything. But, I am saying that I don’t wish to leave because so many people are so awesome here! I’m really glad to be able to spend Christmas here with these people. Also, we have our multi zone Christmas conference tomorrow. That missionary couple, the Lunts, are leaving this next week. We all made videos from the zones to express our love and appreciation for them. Also, just like we did last year, every zone has to prepare a choir/presentation for the Christmas conference with President. So, the problem is that they told us Tuesday afternoon and gave us the details on Thursday. That only left us 2 days to get ready...!! We had a practice and rehearsal on Saturday morning. (We can’t take time out of our proselyting.) Then we had to sacrifice time out of our P Day today to practice some more. It’s not a big deal. We didn’t have too many plans for today anyway. The problem is that there’s a companionship here that decides when they want to come to the activities. They decide what time they want to show up. Sadly, yet expectedly, they showed up almost an hour late to our practice/rehearsal. Now President McGinn is going to talk with him. We’ve had it up to here with them. It’s super annoying! Anyways, calming down now...
We had stake conference this weekend, and our mission president and his wife spoke in the Saturday night and Sunday morning sessions. They were great. Every message, practically, was about the Sabbath day. Apparently the church has been revamping the emphasis on the Sabbath day lately in the United States. Here, it’s just recently starting. The stake is recently aware of the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy. They were great messages, reminding me that our behavior on the Sabbath is a sign to the Lord of our dedication to him. It’s meant as a sign, protection for us, and it should be a delight for us. An Area Seventy came, Elder Costa, to teach us that. Although he speaks really monotone, and doesn’t have a natural talent for speaking, his message was good!
I’m really excited for Christmas! Also, today is Tate’s B-day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TATE! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH KIDDO!! I’m so excited for this time of year, my last Christmas in the mission. I wanna make it a good one. I haven’t gotten the Christmas package yet, but I’m still hopeful and not fretful. Don’t worry about me. I’m quite fine! I love you so much! I hope that you have seen the videos that I recommended to you lately. Although, you haven’t told me anything about them yet...whatevs. Have a great week and a great holiday! I’ll be calling on the 21st of this month to set up the skype call. They only give us 3 minutes on that pre-phone call home then 40 minutes on the skype call. I hope you answer me when I call! I’ll call sometime at night so that I don’t catch you at work.
Loves, hugs and kisses. Say hi to the family for me!!