Well, this week has been good. Hermana Nelsen is one trooper. I love her to death and she keeps me laughing all day every day. She is so amazing and I know the Lord has a way of sending us exactly what we need instead of sometimes what we want in life. I'm eternally grateful for her and her support and her charming effort in everything she does. I'm absolutely blown away at how well she is understanding and speaking the spanish. We make a great team. Even though we aren't always grammatically correct we make our point and the other people definitely can feel it when they need to. It's amazing to get the members to go out with us. They help us so much and it puts a bond between you and the members. It is really fun. Our ward correlator helps us a lot, The relief society president is my favorite to get to take out with us. She is so wonderful. Her name is Hermana Hoyos and she is from Columbia. She has been a member for just about 4 years now. Her husband joined about a year after her and they are just solid rocks in the church. I think about them and how they talk about their missionaries. If their missionaries could now see all the wonderful things that they are doing for others now and the strong leaders that they are in our ward. It's so cool to think that the Lord blesses us missionaries to be instruments for good and help people start a journey with blessings they can't comprehend yet. Somehow when the people find their rock as their redeemer their whole being and focus changes. They become people that they don't really know yet. It's sweet!
Fast and testimony meeting was really awesome. We had a mission fast for an Elder in our mission that just recently went home becuase of health issues. They finally found out that he has a form of lymphomic cancer which was really hard to hear but the good news is that it is one of the most treatable types of cancer so there is hope and odds are good. So keep him and his family in your prayers. I also love testimony meetings here. The ward members have such deep and sincere testimonies. I was talking to Jonathan Armijos (the investigator) about how profound it is to hear the members testimonies and feel their strength. Most of the people here in New York are first generation converts. They really are here for the right reasons they are doing things for themselves and not out of tradition or family or expectation, norm etc. It's really admirable and I really wonder sometimes how my life would be if I hadn't always been a member and was a convert. How would I be different? What would my conversion story be about? Its always good for people to come to church but I was really impressed with the effort that jonathan made to come. He has so much on his plate. It's getting to be that time where the Satan starts making the world come a tumbling down to try and cast doubt into your mind. So not only did Jonathan work all week long but he worked until 3am Sunday then came to church at 9am and had someone else cover for him until 11 where he had to go back into work all the way to Manhatten hasta a las 5pm. No that is dedication right there. Where there is a will there is a way even if you kinda half way die trying. He also asked for a blessing from the elders before he left. He received some really powerful statements and I hope he just ate them up for all they were worth. I know it was an answer at least to my prayers and I know that it was in reality a blessing and guidance from his loving Heavenly Father. Those elders didn't know half significance and depth of half the stuff they were saying. But it didn't matter becuase Jonathan and God did. That's something that is just really cool about the work. When you are blessed with the opportunitiy to work through the spirit. yYou both can feel it yet sometimes you don't know the extent of how the other person is applying it to their life. you just know that it is going to be the right thing becuase that's what god wants you to say. So cool. So Jonathan definitley got some good blessings from doing his duty of going to church. Even if it was hard Yet God promises you blessings if you fulfill your end and you could definitely see Jonathan leaving a different person than he came in. Weird how that works but true.
I'm so excited for General Conference. It is going to be amazing! It is really awesome. There just isn't anything like conference in the mission. It's going to be interesting watching it in Spanish? Actually I really don't know how that works out. I'll have to let you know. So crazy.
I'm doing some serious organization of the area. We have a new mission plan to work through the members. For instance, we are the Rego spanish sisters and our area is huge. We have some areas that are densely compacted with members and then also some areas that have harldy any members to speak. Doesn't it make more sense to plot the members out and concentrate on finding people where there is already a built in support nextwork that can help fellowship and keep them strong? Of course.... so as we go to visit members, as we go reactivate Less actives. We knock and look for people around those that we are working with. We teach with the members. We obtain referrals through the members. Do you know how much the rates and percentages of baptisms go up as you teach with members or better yet teach in members homes? Like sky rockets out the roof. Same with member referrals. Just think if every person in the church gave 2 member referral a year the church would almost double according to the statistics! Member referrals are golden most of the times and half the time they get baptized because they already have a relationship of trust with the member etc etc etc. I feel like the ability of the members to help the work of the mission go forward is so essential when I get home... oh snap.
I have had a lot of leadership training meetings lately. I had one this past week on the importance of planning. Successful missionaries are the ones that know how to plan effectively. Time is the most precious resource God has given us the way we choose to use it is priceless. Planning should be a revelatory experience and done through the spirit. Hard work and diligence reveals capacity.
Still having cool random contacting experiences. Love them. We have an appointment with one of our train contacts tonight at the church. His name is Sebastian from Mexico and we 've taught him already once last week. Good potential. I can feel it. :) I'm not saying I know but I'm interested to see what progresses.
Also found a cute Colombian Girl and her other friend. Shirley and Carolina. Shirley just loves to play. She is 30 yet acts 18 :) and Carolina is a little skeptical but you can tell she is taking in everything we say to one point or another. I'm hoping they create a little bit of a desire in the next little bit and we can really get them going but we will have to see.
I can't believe Tanner and Kelsi are engaged. (to different people) lol. That just blows my socks and I'm so happy for both of them. Mckay, alex, and sheen will be there in the same boat before too long. Crazy.... haha. I wish you all my very best. lol. Just make sure I get announcments. That is my only request. :) I feel like my life is on pause in Utah but I forget everyone elses is pushing forward. Adelante! :)
Mom y familia! Thank you so much from the package! Mom, just so you know it doesn't bother me when you call me by my first name in my letters. I'm your daughter for goodness sakes. Call me whatever your heart desires. And also I was going to tell you I love your letters. They make me feel very loved and they are very inspiring. I don't think most mothers write their daughters about the stuff we talk about. You help me a lot in progressing with the work and keeping my eye on the goal etc. Thanks so much I think its great and we'll see if it lasts the next year. The other Elders in my district say you won't keep up at the same pace by the holidays. I told them "they don't know my mom" hahah. I'm glad your taking care of tawn. Thanks so much! You just give her a big hug from me. Our apartment is decorated with the cute little easter eggs and such for Easter.The bread is absoltuely divine. I had to beg Hermano Ovalle for it because he told me it was too good and that he wanted it for payment as his delivery. Even though you gave him his own loaf. lol. Thank you for the Jump drive it's exactly what I needed and the letters etc. However, mom/dad whoever bought the gospel principles.... you know that I Got my missionary call to speak spanish right?.... lol. As much as I love Portuguese and it is very similar to Spanish... the portuguese understand a lot more spanish than the spanish understand portuguese. Entonces, no puedo entender mi Principios del Evangelio porque escribio en Portuguese. What do you want me to do with it? Do you want me to send it back or just put it on a shelf? Or give it to the Brazilian Elder that lives next door lol? Sorry, I know that's got to be frustrating. Oh but the DVD is awesome! Exactly what I wanted! It's perfect!
Love you much!