This week went.......well, it could have been better. Thanks to conflicts with work, Hermana Zavaleta was unable to be baptized, and Hermano Uriel Orea, wasn´t able to either, because his grandmother was sick. This next sunday looks good though. We´re going to keep better contact with them this week. We had a goal of having three baptisms this week, them and a new investigator that has come to church three times, but up until yesterday after the services, we hadn´t taught her a thing. She contacted us actually and asked where our church was and when we met, and she has gone every sunday since. It´s difficult to get a contact of her because she is often with her grandchildren in another part of DF for most of the week. But we were able to teach her basically all we could at once. We then invited her to be baptized and she accepted to be baptized this Saturday.....only it´s going to be difficult to keep in contact with her this week....I just hope it all pans out.
Oh, and from what I see in the Liahona, there have been a lot of changes in mission presidents in the world. With these changes, we have a few more technical changes that came from the first presidency. One of them is the use of the phrase "desafío a bautizarse" changed to "invitación a bautizarse." Basically, there are no longer baptismal challenges, only invitations. The other changes have to do with Zone Conferences and interviews, but since I´ve only got one complete transfer period in the field, it shouldn´t be hard the adjust, and I don´t exactly know the differences anyway, because they don´t really matter to me.
Anyway, yeah. So with these changes, I hope the work....well, works! I´m sure it will, because these changes came from the first presidency. But I´m really excited to work with these new president. He has a great deal of energy for the work and expresses his love very easily. President Fuentes also loved us deeply, and I came to feel that too, but he expressed it in a different way. Even though I had basically no time with President Fuentes, I have a great admiration for him. That being said, after my interview with President Villarreal, I have absolutely no reserves in serving with him. I´m really excited actually to take everything he´s put in front of us and apply it to the work.
But sometimes work goes slow. It´s funny, our numbers were basically the same as last week (in some areas better), but I felt so much better about how the work was going last week. However, that said, I am really excited about this next week. That´s the thing with missionary work, and I suspect with life, if one week doesn´t go well, I learn from the experiences we had, and apply what we learned to make the next week better. I´m really grateful for my companion Elder Childers. My other companion was a little more reserved and was completely serious during the lessons(in the house and with me, however, that´s another story). It was difficult for me much of the time because I felt awkward because no one was talking many times during the lessons, and without a grasp of the language I had no hope to do anything about it, except offer a few laughs(which was not appropriate in some ocasions).
However, with Elder Childers, I feel that we teach very well together. He has a great grasp of the spanish language, which is invaluable for me. He has a great focus in the work. In fact, whenever people ask how much time he has in the mission, it gives him a great deal of pain to say 22 months, knowing that they´re going to say, "You´re basically done!" I´m really grateful how well this companionship has turned out, I´ve learned so much from him, and I really want to be a lot like him when I´m where he is.
Well, I´m sorry that I couldn´t say more about the week. Really, I think this week was a lesson in patience. It was funny because I realized that in the chapel just before the person giving the talk said, "I´ve decided to talk about patience." I think the Lord was definitely sending me a message saying, "Don´t worry. This is my work, and I will make sure that my children get the opportunity to get what they need. Just be humble, be patient, and let me do my work through you." I think every missionary feels that they can work on that. We´re reminded everyday that our personal efforts are nothing without the Lord´s miracles in the lives of His children. We can try to sell the gospel to people, but that will never work the change of heart that they need to truly accept it in their lives.
Anyway, thank you all for everything you do, for the letters you give, and for the support that I feel through your prayers. Please pray for us. Missionary work is the lifeblood of the church, we need it, and we, as missionaries, need your prayers. Also, please look for opportunities to share and give references to the missionaries. I don´t think you guys realize....at least I didn´t until now....that it really doesn´t matter to us if they aren´t exactly prepared to be baptized right now. That preparation can only come through the workings of the Holy Ghost, and we as missionaries have the calling to teach them how to experience the Spirit more in their lives. I think I speak for all the missionaries when I say that receiving a bunch of references that, may not want the gospel in their lives is better than knocking on doors. At least when someone is referred to the missionaries, they become aware that the gospel isn´t just for us members, but for everyone of God´s children.
Even if they slam the door in our face, at least they have this seed planted in their heart, and who knows who will see it grow, but while there is that seed, there is that hope. The missionaries don´t mind rejection, they´re used to it. And often the friend´s of members, even if they are interested, will listen to us to not be rude, or simply reject us more politely than other contacts. The family Orea Zavaleta had a bunch of problems when we first met them, following a reference of their friends that are in the ward. And they have turned out to be some of our most golden investigators. It´s true references work, do them. (Here I am near the end of my time on the computer, and I´ve just realized that the term for the word reference is "referral" in English. Oh well, I don´t have the time or patience to go back and change every word, but I don´t think it matters much anyway, it´s basically the same thing.)
Well, time is short, so I will say goodbye. But I hope each of you take an initiative and work in sharing the gospel with all the world wherever you guys are. Thank you so much for your faithfulness and support.