7 Octubre 2013
Once again. I don't even know where to start. Seriously. Every time I get here there is so much going through my mind that I can't even think straight.
So much happened this week. And this week was infinitely better than the last week. My Spanish is improving and I am able to understand people more and teach more of the lessons. I am so excited to see how much improved I am in another transfer. Crazy, right? I have finished my first transfer in the mission field. It honestly feels like of the 12 weeks I have been out 10 of them were in the MTC and 2 of them were in the field. Time flies by out here! It is pretty crazy!
So this past week we had our last zone meeting of this transfer. The area of Piura that we are in is very difficult. There aren´t many baptisms. In our whole zone there were only 2 baptisms in the month of September. We talked about how we can improve those numbers in the next transfer. Our zone is off to a good start because we already have as many in October as we had in all of the month of September. We´re ready to work hard and do what needs to be done.
Wednesday was one of the best days of the mission so far! Mainly because I just got to see all of my friends from the MTC! It was so nice to see everyone! After 5 weeks they always have a training with the new group and with their trainers. It was so fun to hear everyone´s stories about what has happened so far in their missions! It was cool because we were able to communicate with each other in Spanish! Super broken Spanish, but it was Spanish. That's something that we could never have done 5 weeks ago when we entered the field. The meeting was on planning and how important it is to make planning a huge priority. In the 30 minutes that you plan every night you pretty much determine what is going to get accomplished in the next day. It was super good. It was at the perfect time. Elder Cortes and I made a lot of new goals on how we are going to plan better starting this transfer. We are really going to try to follow the spirit and not just go through the motions every night so we can go to bed because we are exhausted. It was so cool how the meeting was in Spanish and I could actually understand what they were trying to teach us. It reminded me of my first day in the field when we were sitting in the same room and I was sitting there hoping that nothing important was being said cause I had no clue what they were saying. It was super good.
Saturday, after the afternoon session the assistants came up to Elder Cortes, Elder Aquino, Elder Levi, and me and gave us some pretty big news—they´re closing the area of Elder Aquino and Elder Levi for this next transfer. There are a lot of missionaries going home today and not enough coming in to cover it all. So for this next transfer Elder Cortes and I are going to have responsibility for the entire ward. That's pretty significant. It's a good thing that I have 2 good feet that can walk because I'm going to be doing a whole lot of it. Our area now is ginormous! Honestly it takes about 45 minutes to walk from one side of the ward to the other. Our ward boundaries here are bigger than our stake boundaries at home. It's super sad thinking about how this is my last day with Elder Aquino and Elder Levi here in Lopez Albujar. They have honestly become some of my best friends. The four of us in our apartment get along so well. It's not going to be the same without them, but they are obviously needed somewhere else. They will be sent wherever they are needed to help build the Kingdom of God. Elder Cortes and I are okay with the change too. We understand that it's going to be really difficult, but instead of letting it get to us we are letting it motivate us to get out and work even harder than we have before. I'm so excited to start this new transfer and work hard. There is no where I would rather be and nothing that I would rather be doing than being here in the mission field serving the Lord.
General Conference. General Conference was amazing! It always is. I love how whatever your situation in life, conference is always specifically directed at you. It turns out that this conference for me was about missionary work and hastening the work. Every talk was amazing. I was so glad that I was able to watch it in English. They had one room in the stake center for all of the gringo missionaries. There were like 8 of us in the room together. There were 3 of them in the room that actually finished their missions today and are on the way to their houses right now. They said that even though they could understand everything that would be said in Spanish they wanted to watch it in English because they wanted to hear the voice of the Prophet and the Apostles. I think that is so true. I'm so glad that I know all of the voices of the Prophet and Apostles. I love conference and the opportunity to come and hear a prophet´s voice. The things in this general conference were definitely inspired for our time. I'm so grateful for everything that I learned from this general conference. It makes me so excited for when we will get the Liahona and I will get to read through their talks once more.
Another cool thing about this general conference was with one of our investigators. He has been meeting with the missionaries for a long time and pretty much understands everything we are trying to teach him in the lessons but he has some doubts. He had said that he had doubts as to whether President Monson really is a prophet of God. Elder Cortes and I figured that this would be a perfect opportunity to invite him to come to conference and hear President Monson speak at the Priesthood session and pray to know whether or not he was a prophet of God. We went to his house Saturday night to pick him up and bring him with us to Conference. He kind of hesitantly came with us. After the session he had a smile on his face and I think he was able to feel of the spirit. I was super happy that night. Elder Cortes and I have been specifically praying for him a lot. We were glad to see that the spirit was able to testify to him. But the really cool thing happened on Sunday. We hadn't even invited him to come but he came to the morning session on Sunday morning too! Without us even asking him to come! I'm so excited for this week to have another lesson with him. I'm really hoping and praying that he will come to know that the church is true and have a desire to be baptized!
This morning for P-day we went and played soccer with all of the friends that we have made in the ward. Today is a holiday and so none of the young men had classes and were able to come play with us at the Church. I absolutely love the ward here. Everyone is amazing. It was kind of sad when Elder Levi and Elder Aquino had to say good bye to everyone here. Today was a great P-day. I'm so excited for this next week. I'm ready to go out and work hard.
I am so grateful for the knowledge I have that I am a child of God. I have a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior and Redeemer that atoned for our sins so that we can overcome death and receive eternal life. I know that this church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is scripture that was written for our day. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I have to read the Book of Mormon every day. Every time I read it my testimony is strengthened. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God that helped restore the gospel to the earth in this dispensation. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a missionary and go and share the gospel with others.
Thanks for all of the Love and Support! Love you all! So much!
P.S. I love that quote about The Standard of Truth! I actually listened to that this morning on a CD of church songs that Elder Aquino has! Crazy timing right!
Lauren, Sounds like you had a great week. I'm jealous that you get to watch conference this weekend. I want to watch it again. It's so good! And I'm definitely jealous of the gym. I miss working hard and sweating. Sounds crazy but it's for real. I know that there is no one that is going to read this that will believe me, but I'm gaining weight. I've probably gained 10 pounds here. No joke. Everyone here feeds us. It's impossible to say no! Keep working hard! I pray for you every day! Love you!