Friday, November 4, 2011

Weekly Letter: October 25-31, 2011

para mi familia:

So yeah, sorry about that. I bet you guys freaked out yesterday because I didn´t write. What happened is that the zone leaders had a council meeting with the pres yesterday, so they changed yesterday to be an all work day. Then today, Tuesday, we had our district meeting, and then the rest of the day we have to be able to do the p-day stuff. So that is why I am writing you guys right now. So we went to the Centro of Mexico. It was way cool. We got to see the cathedral of Mexico which is amazing. It´s huge. I had already seen it another time when I was in Tacubaya when it was still in my zone. But this time I really had a bigger appreciation for the architecture and size of it.

They did allow us to take pictures with the flashes turned off, so I did get some pictures of it. You will probably see what I mean by that it is awesome architecturally, but spiritually, one feels...turned off, for lack of a better term. It seems empty when you go into it, even when they´re doing a Mass...actually I felt more of that feeling when the mass started as we left. Call it what you will, that I am unaccustomed to the way they worship, that I´m not used to the images. I have been here longer than a year and a half. Every street corner has Virgin de Guadalupe. I am so used to entering into a house with walls adorned with Saints. I am pretty familiar with the way they worship and everything...and I go to get an appreciation of the architecture of a people that built that place out of their faith in Christ....but I still did not feel comfortable. I do not base my testimony on this, but the only two Christian churches that claim to have the authority of God to do His will here on Earth are our church and the Catholic Church, and judging by the way I felt in that just strengthens my testimony even more of the truthfulness of this church.

But yeah, it was a great experience being there to see a little bit of that. Now, as for these last two weeks, several things have happened that really get my hopes up for this week. These last four weeks we have had NO ONE in Church...that´s right, no one. And I have to admit, I was getting discouraged on my sanctification because it didn´t seem to make a difference. We kept finding people, they looked very good....they said they would go to church, and we go for them, and....nope! They´re either not there, or they´re leaving at that moment, or they tell us straight that they don´t want to hear anything else from´s like ARRGHH! It was more frustrating than anything. In Tlalli, we didn´t have to work too hard to get people to church, they showed up on being invited...but here, the Molinito (what is known in the whole mission as the promised land, where the only risk in the mission is pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font) here we were working harder than I have ever worked to get people in church, and NOBODY WAS GOING TO CHURCH!!!!

I guess I got a hard lesson on humility. I have learned not to compare my success with others, but to use it as a motivation to get things moving where I am at. If it weren´t for all the rumors and legends of all-star Molinito with two sets of missionaries in every ward because one pair isn´t enough to baptize and visit everyone that wants to be baptized... If it weren´t for that and I had gotten here and everything had fallen through time and time again...maybe I would have just given up. But I didn´t. I found that I could be more diligent than I thought. I found that I could be more obedient than I thought, I learned that I could have my "eye single to the glory of God" more than I had did before. And I am so grateful for it.

I love Elder Riches, I wish he would have had a better mission than he has had. I am one of 7 companions he has had on the mission so far, and I am 1 of only 3, that haven´t been sent home early for disobedience. One is Elder Loya that was here before I was, the other one was no other than our Elder Long from the Draper Eastridge Stake. Elder Riches mentioned that he has only baptized one person every change...but I hope that we change that this week. We have one so far, and 3 possibles for this week...we are going to work harder than ever so that we can get them baptized.

I love how much I have learned from Elder Riches. He really is the one that made the work go forward. He taught me of love and humility. I was to the point where if an investigator gave us another appointment and fell through, or if they were going to church and didn´t show up, I was to the point where I said. "Well that didn´t work, let´s look for somebody else." He was the one that said "Wait, let us prune one more time and dung it one more time and maybe we´ll have fruit." I had a hard lesson on Sunday night, when we visited one such family that completely fell through on us the Sunday before to go to church. We went back to what I thought would be the last "seed planting" before putting them in the Area book. However, we get there and they said "Why didn´t you come for us? We were waiting for you guys!" I felt so bad. They had told us that they would call us to let us know if we were to pass by for them or not....but they didn´t call.

However, the mom was able to accompany us for the baptism that the other elders had that night, and we´re hoping that that will make a difference in her progress as an investigator.

Well, I got to go. Love you so much for all you´ve done and everything. One last thing can you track down what happened to the package you sent me, a lot of packages in those dates have already arrived, and mine hasn´t. What was the date that you sent it? Do you have the package number or something for the secretaries to track it down?

Love you lots!

Elder Blackham

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