Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekly Letter: May 19-24

Para todos uds.:

So another week has gone! This week was a little different. It´s funny, we had a whole lot less time to tract and have appointments this week, but somehow our numbers didn´t indicate it. This last Monday was, of course P-day, (as it always is) and then Tuesday was the missionary changes, which took up about all of the day all the way until the comida at 3:00pm, and we also had a Zone-district meeting on Thursday morning for two hours(we usually have those on Mondays, but this week was different with the changes) So we had a lot less time actually teaching and contacting people.

That being said, our numbers for this week are close to double what they were last week. I didn´t even realize how much work we were doing until Saturday night I realized how many lessons we had taught and how many people we had invited to church. I attribute all the improvement to our Zone´s renewed focus on reading the Book of Mormon in one transfer.

Yeah, this is going to be intense, but basically every companion in personal study, after we´ve planned and gotten ready for short every spare moment in the day(of which there isn´t much) we´re reading in the Book of Mormon. This time, our District leader decided that we´re going to read it chronologically, which means we are to have Ether and 1 Nephi done by today....and when I talked to my District leader, Elder Steed(who also went to Alta), he told me that pretty much all the District and the Zone is in good shape, and that all the numbers and the success have measurably increased.

It is crazy how many times the Lord sees fit to guide you in certain paths. Out of what may seem pure circumstance, we encountered a great help in the ward....named Manuel Piña. He´s a relatively recent convert(about three years or so) who is of missionary age. On account of some mix-up in paperwork, he wasn´t able to go on a mission when he wanted to, and now he is in school. But he had been going out and helping the Missionaries for about 6 months(sometimes basically living as a missionary without a call), but then went inactive after the trouble with the paperwork, and had been inactive for about three months.

That´s when we entered the scene, opening the area up after one and a half transfers without missionaries, and starting literally from scratch. We basically relied on the Area book and found a former investigator that lived down the street in an apartment complex. The investigator wasn´t there, but as we were getting ready to leave, I saw a picture of Jesus on the door of one of the apartments upstairs(only this was an LDS publication, so I recognized it right away). There we found the Piña family, and to make a long story short, we have now acquired his help at least once or twice every week to find former investigators, recent converts, and inactives. In short, his help has been invaluable. It´s truly interesting to see how the Lord truly knows his children and guides us to where we need to be, even without knowing it.

Unfortunately, this week, we kind of ended on a bad note. We invited tons to the chapel on Sunday, but had a very poor showing (that being 0 investigators, and 4 inactives). It was a little discouraging to see all that work that we did in what really was about half a week go to waste. But, we´re still working hard with the members, especially the references that we received last week, and we´re going to work hard to get more references this week. I just hope that we can get more people to the chapel.

Hermana Ábrego, still has problems with work on Sundays, but she is still going at it strong. We had a dinner appointment with her and her sister(who is also having us over for the lessons), and we had left her a Book of Mormon about two weeks ago and asked her to read a certain chapter, which she had completed by the time we talked to her last week. We then encouraged her to read from the introduction, and if she felt good about it, to keep going....well she must have felt pretty good about it, because when we talked to her last Tuesday, she was already half-way through 1 Nephi, already reading all of introductions, witnesses, testimonies, all of that. And, she understands and loves it. She talked about how beautiful Lehi´s vision was, and how powerful it was for her when she read about Nephi seeing Christ's condescension to come to the earth and complete his mission on the earth.

Wow! What an experience! Anyway, this week was great week, and I´m hoping for an even better following week. I don´t have really anytime right now because I´ve got to go to the District Meeting in about 20minutes, which is in another area. So I will talk to all of you next week. Take care you guys!

Con Amor,

Elder Thomas Blackham

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