Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Almost a month

So i realize that today i have been in Mexico for exactly 4 weeks! Almost one month to the day. Sooo crazy! This week has been super eventful and way busy, but it has been another good one:) So on Tuesday we had zone conference, and the AP's and President and Sister Swapp came and we had some trainings and practices and lots of food! It was really cool and super helpful, the big theme that President Swapp talked about was gratitude, which wasn't what I was expecting at all. But it made me realize how important gratitude really is. He told the story of Jesus and the 10 lepers (idk if i spelled that right, everything on this computer is in Spanish so it says i spell every word wrong), but out of the 10 lepers only one came back to thank Christ, and for that he was blessed. It's so easy to take things for granted and to not give thanks where it's due, but it's so important! But zone conference lasted until 5 or 6 so we didn't have too much time to work but we were able to visit some references and set up some dates throughout the week! 

Wednesday though, oh man. EVERYTHING went wrong for the first half of the day! So first the family we were supposed to eat with called at like 6:15 in the morning to cancel on us, and then we had a scheduled meeting with our ward mission leader, who lives about 45 minutes away at noon, and when we got there he wasn't there! So we waited for a while with no luck and decided to go get something to eat. We've literally been trying to eat Chinese food since the day we got here so we decided to walk the 45 minutes back to the Chinese restaurant and of course... it was closed! So then we were right by a Soriana, which is basically a Walmart, and they have a cafe in there so we decided to eat in there but we can't go in with our backpacks so we have to put them in a locker at the front of the store but you need a 5 peso coin piece to use the locker and we only had 1,2, and 10 piece... haha. so we asked around for a good 30 minutes before we found someone with a 5 coin piece so we could put away our backpacks so we could finally eat. It was kinda funny how bad our luck was. BUT later that day we met M.! Who has been our most successful investigator this week. She is the mom of a 15 year old in the ward named Enrique. So we met with her on Wednesday and taught her for about an hour and she agreed to come to church this week! And this week was fast and testimony meeting and Enrique bore his testimony and it was SUPER powerful and she came up to us after telling us that she felt the spirit and wants to be baptized. Wooh! so as of now our plan is to meet with her Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday so that we will have everything ready by Sunday to baptize her. Her one challenge right now is that she is afraid to get baptized because her entire family is very catholic. But we have been working with her and she has accepted everything we have taught her. So that's been way cool! We also had some luck with another investigator this week, Alejandro, who is the 19 year old son of a less active family. But he actually contacted us in the store last P-Day and asked us to visit him so we did on.. Thursday and we have plans to visit him again this week! He is really interested in everything and seemed really excited for us to come back. So as of now those are our 2 most promising investigators, but i will bring more news next week :) 

So since... Thursday we have actually been in a trio with Elder Hernandez! His companion, Elder Vargas, had to get surgery and so is in the hospital in Monterrey until Thursday, so Elder Hernandez has been with us for a few days. And it's been fun! He's the goofiest guy I've ever met and we've had some crazy stories with him the last few days. and he only has...15 days left on his mission so he has a lot of good tips. But i think he is going with other Elders in our district tomorrow so we will be back to just me and Elder Islas. Some good news of the week, we finally got gas! A hermano who lives across the street took us to refill our gas tank and so we finally have hot water. BUT, the problem is with no gas, we have freezing cold gas. If the gas is on for more than 2 days then the water is SUPER hot, and you can't adjust the temperature or anything. So we have to switch the gas on and off every other day so we don't freeze/burn. But having warm water has been way nice.

So at the Zone conference they passed out Liahonas from the past few months for us to have in the house, and luckily there were some in English! So I got the last conference session edition and have been reading all the talks, and there was part of  a talk by.. i don't remember. haha, i didn't write down the name. But he said this: ´´Conversion is not a onetime event, it is a lifelong quest to become more like the Savior. To know is not enough, to be truly ´converted´ requires us to DO and to BECOME´´ And i've been thinking a lot about that this week. one of the big problems in this area is the retention of the members of the church, they will be baptized but then become inactive shortly thereafter. And all the inactive members that we have visited say almost the exact same thing: that they have a testimony of the gospel, but it's just hard to go to church. And I have been thinking a lot about that, because I have always learned the importance of gaining a testimony. Which, obviously is super important. Your testimony should be your most precious possession. BUT, it's what you do with that testimony that matters. Become truly converted to the gospel means acting on that faith. In James 2:17-18 it talks about faith, without works is dead. Faith is important, and it's essential that we have it, but if we don't act according to the teachings of Christ with that faith that we have, then our faith is "dead". A scripture I have come to love so far in the mission is Alma 37:6-7, by small things are great things come to pass. And it's the little things we do, the little actions of faith, that will make a huge difference in the long run. Most of the time we aren't going to have the results that we want without doing the little things. And it's through these little things that we do to act on our faith that will help us become truly converted unto Christ, and this is a message that we have been teaching to our investigators, and I think it's one that as lifetime members of the church we sometimes forget. So, I invite you guys to try to concentrate on what little things you can do to strengthen your faith in Christ and to become more converted to Him. I Love you guys! miss you! Also, I'm excited to see pictures of Lori and Doug and Grandpa's trip to Africa! I'm kinda jealous! and when is Ebranezra due? and when is Kevin and Courtney's wedding again?! I forget these things! I love you guys! have a great week :)
Elder Bird

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