Friday, September 10, 2010

Weekly Letter: August 31-September 6, 2010

Another week....and another month....and almost another transfer.

I haven´t a clue what´s happened with August. It was here just a moment ago. I was just thinking of the date and realized.....I´ve completed 7 months in the mission. If I could express the joy and horror that come from that phrase. 7 months! I´m not green anymore! and 7 months: and what have I done with these seven months? I don´t know what I´ve done with this much of the Lord´s time, but I doubt it´s enough! I don´t know, I was still getting over the fact that I had 6 months in the mission, and then this had to happen! Oh well, I guess we keep going and try to make the best of the time I have here.

This week we had a few changes for us. First of all, Hermano Zepeda was released as the Ward Mission Leader. It came about a month or so later than it should have. Hermano Zepeda had been called as a counselor in the Stake Young Men´s presidency, which is calling where is basically assisting every ward but his own throughout the month. So he was basically out of action, even though he was very supportive and kept asking the bishop to call another ward mission Leader. And yesterday we got a new one. His name is Santiago, he´s recently moved in to the ward with his wife who had been in Plateros her whole life. However, I´m really excited to work with him. He´s not Hermano Zepeda, but I feel that he´s going to support us and help us as much as he can.

We also had an interesting experience. Elder Javier, Elder Childers, Elder Gamez, and I have been working for months to get some of the people we baptized confirmed. There were two that have put quite a bit of resistance of being confirmed, and had the longest time without being confirmed. The bishop told us that if someone passes 3 months after their baptism without being confirmed, they have to repeat the ordinance. So we did all we could to help make this step, but they didn´t want to.....or rather, they kept saying that they were working on it, but never gave the signals of progress. I think they were one of the reasons that I have stayed in this area. I really didn´t want to leave this work unfinished, like Javier and Childers were unfortunately obligated to do. Especially with these people, because if I went, that would mean that neither one of us that had baptized them (Javier and I) would have been there for their confirmation.

Unfortunately, the whole time with Childers, they made little progress, and became a lesser priority with all the work we had. But with Elder Gamez, we made them a higher priority from the start. And finally after almost three months without being confirmed, the two of them came to church yesterday and were confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It really thrilled me to see them, I still don´t know what we did to help them, but I think it had to do with our lesson on Friday.

Friday, we passed by like we often do before another appointment. We´ve found out from hard experience that it´s better that way because they´re almost always home in the afternoon EXCEPT whenever we´ve made an appointment for that afternoon. Mysteriously, they always seem to have urgent business somewhere else that they hadn´t a clue about until two hours before the appointment. Anyway, so we didn´t make that mistake again. We passed by, they welcomed us warmly, told us they were doing marvelously(like always) and had us sit down and put their attention for us. We had brought a seminary video for the Book of Mormon and were going to talk about faith, but our plans went down another road when she asked: "Has the bishop asked about me?" My companion was inspired to say that he was worried about her, and said that we would explain why in the lesson after the prayer.

In hindsight, I should have been worried, because I had no idea where he was going with this, but I had a great trust in him, and more than that, in the Spirit that was directing him to say what he needed to say. After the prayer, my companion and I described what was a covenant, and that we were concerned because of what the scriptures said about not fulfilling a covenant. My companion just happened to flip to Mosiah 5 where it describes the woe to those who don´t fulfill covenants. It was funny, I thought it was just a normal lesson, until my companion read one scripture in 2 Nephi 31 that was really hard...but neither one of us realized until we looked at the face of the Sister that was strangely quieted, (she has a habit of giving lengthy, wordy answers that really have very little feeling or comprehension behind them) I then muttered "Wow!" to my companion, who at that point realized that he had "planchado" or "bible-bashed" them.

So yeah, we ended the lesson quickly after that, not even committing them to go to church. We both left, marvelling about how hard we had been on them. I hadn´t been as hard on them as he was....or at least I don´t think so...but the more I thought about the things I taught them and how I taught them, I couldn´t believe it. I also bible bashed them....or rather, described the doctrine clearly without compromise. We actually felt really bad, because the family was very hospitable, but never wanted to put in practice the stuff they said they knew was true. We didn´t even follow up the next day on what had happened. So we were really surprised to see them in Church yesterday, and even more so that they didn´t put any resistance in getting confirmed.

I still haven´t a clue what we did that friday. I don´t know if this will be the final challenge that they´ll have with the church, but at least the convenant is complete, and we can ease the work more to the members of the ward. Anyway, I´m just glad that they could have been confirmed, they were ready for it, but I don´t have clue why it took so long.

Well I´m out of time right now so I´d better go.

Thanks for everything!


Elder Blackham

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