para mi familia:
So thanks for the news about Eric, congratulate him for me....or I guess I may have a chance, huh? I hate that feeling.
Well, 2012. We`ll leave it at that.
Today we had a sort of New Years Party as a district. We went to Costco to buy pizza, and then as a Zone we watched two of the movies that President had approved for us to watch mission-wide in our zones today. We watched Kung Fu Panda 2 and MegaMind. They were really well done in my opinion....or maybe because they were simply not Testaments or Finding Faith in Christ....who knows! They were good, but I hope it doesn`t take long to get focused again in the work. I mean, I appreciate that the President tries to choose uplifting movies to watch as a kind of Christmas present...but still, it`s kind of....weird.
Happy birthday tomorrow brothers! It`s weird, they`re going to be 18 aren`t they? Weird, I was 18 too when I was their age.(hmmm....I didn`t mean that to be so funny, but I guess I`ll leave it that way)
Alright, well, about Atlatlahuca. Nobody here actually knows the town... it`s near a bigger town that`s called Tenango. When we explain that, they seem to understand better. We live about 20 minutes away by taxi from the church in Atla... ouch on the budget. This Sunday we did not have the success that we expected to have. Everybody, EVERYBODY fell through. We did confirm the two people that got baptized last week though, which is good. However, I feel like the people we have in teaching really don`t want to progress, that they are only telling us what we want to hear so we don`t leave them. We`re going to look if now that the majority of the holidays are over (just Dia de los Reyes Magos, but it`s not as big, seeing as the kids are going back to school tomorrow.) maybe they`ll progress. If not, I think I might have to be the bad guy like I was in the Molinito. I might have to say, "Sorry, we love being with you, but we got to look for the chosen" obviously not in that way, but usually that`s what they come away with. The spirit needs to be the biggest instrument in the work. You have to find by the spirit, or you won`t find the chosen investigators. You have to teach by the spirit, or they won`t progress. And you have to leave by the spirit so that the investigators aren`t offended.
When it`s done right, the old investigators end up starting to do the things we ask them to do when we leave them. They golden up for the next missionaries to come in, who then ask "Why did they stop visiting these investigators? They`re cool!" Really, I keep going back to the words of Elder Johnson in the mission conference he gave. Obviously we have to be persistent with the investigators. Obviously we can`t teach with mediocrity and simply shake our feet so to speak, saying that we don`t have the blame that they aren`t progressing. We have to do everything in our power to help them progress. However, he said, and he`s very right, that we as missionaries usually can tell in the third visit at the latest if the people are going to progress or not. We have to be patient, we have to be loving, but the Lord has said that we are here not to prepare all the people until they become chosen. We are to harvest what is already "white." As missionaries, it is out of our hands. We have the scythe ready for the harvest, so why are we working in the green parts of the field? Let`s give it a little water, a little encouragement, but let`s move to the white in the field, and then maybe that other part will be white when we come back. It doesn`t make sense to be sitting there day by day waiting for a green plant to ripen with wheat, while tons of wheat are being wasted because we don`t lift the gaze.
It`s true that it is one of the hardest parts of the mission. I don`t know why it has always been my part that I play in almost all the areas where I have been. I guess I still haven`t learned enough. In Molinito, my zone leader told me something, that we shouldn`t think that leaving them was the same as abandoning them. He said that if we have spiritual ears to hear, we would hear them saying "Love me enough to leave me."
Don`t go on thinking I`m depressed. It does get you down when you think that this week we may be dropping a lot of investigators, but I feel that we will get more new investigators than we will drop. We WILL complete with the excellence goals. The one thing I have failed in in my mission is not having faith in being able to complete every single one of these goals. But this week from January 2 to January 8, 2012 we WILL. That would be the best birthday present: 140 contacts, 30 lessons, 10 new investigators, 6 in church, 4 with baptismal dates, and 1 baptismal service. We will do it! Pray for us so that we can do it. A lot depends on the agency of others, but we have not even come close to doing our part.
I love you all. Keep praying for me. Elder Gonzalez is really good, and a hard worker. This last week, we have been working on working more efficiently. This week I feel we will have more success!