Well, a lot have changes have happened since I last talked to you guys! I packed up my stuff and moved all the way to the other side of the mission down south, and it's definitely a lot different down here. My companion's name is Elder Sumner and he is a super awesome guy. He grew up in Virginia and then lived a couple of years in Utah before his mission. We white-washed into a new area, which means that we are two completely brand new elders in a new area, so we have no investigators and we don't know the members. I've done this once before with elder Carbajal when I trained him, and its always an adventure!
This area that we went into was just created, and we had to decide the boundaries. Previously we just had sisters that served in the Spanish branch down here, but they said they had enough work, and that they could use another set of missionaries. so we opened a new Spanish area, and Elder Sumner and I filled that area. We are still serving as zone leaders, just as the only completely Spanish zone leaders, other than the zone leaders over Zarahemla (that is the completely Spanish zone i was first in). It has been a lot of fun, and we have just been tracting a lot and having a lot of meetings. It's nice being back in the Spanish culture; they just seem to have a more open heart to the gospel. These past couple days, all we have had are copies of the Book of Mormon, and that is all that we have been using to tract. We have found some pretty solid people and we are really excited for them!
This week was amazing because of General Conference. There were so many messages that helped me focus more on my purpose as a missionary. One of my favorite talks of all the sessions was the one about "What Lack I Yet?". I feel, as a missionary, that I still lack many things, and I hope and pray that the Lord will reveal to me the next step that I can take to becoming a better servant of His. That talk had such a great message, as it points us inward on what we need to change. Not what our surroundings need to change, not what the people around us need to change, not anything like that. It reminds me a lot of the talk, "Lord is it I?"
I also loved the talk about centering your life on Christ, like a potter does when he is "throwing" clay. I did a lot of that in high school, and I could totally relate to them when they said they couldn't make anything without it being perfectly centered. When it was perfectly centered, you could make it into exactly what it needed to be. That's how it is with Christ; He will make us into exactly what we need to be.
One of the sweetest things of that conference was the talk by President Monson. As he spoke, he conveyed many things, one of them being that doubt and faith can't exist in the mind at the same time. I learned a lot from that talk, but the biggest thing that I learned from that talk was- to "waste and wear out my life in the service of God". President Monson truly has no guile in him, and as I sat and watched him struggle to speak from the pulpit, it gave me all the more love and confidence in him that he is a prophet of God. I know that he is, with all of my heart, and I will follow his counsel, for I know that it comes from God. I know without a doubt that, as he spoke over the pulpit, the spirit of God carried him through it. I love that man. I know that he is a man and that he is not perfect, but I have the utmost confidence that he will lead me to the promised land.
My birthday was a lot of fun. I didn't really tell anyone it was my birthday, just my companion. We went on just like any other day and I loved it. After the first session , we went to go and talk to people in a trailer park, and as we were leaving, I felt the impression to go and talk to a lady. I knew we would be late getting back for the afternoon session of conference, but I knew Heavenly Father had asked me to go and talk to that lady. So when the 3 new apostles were called in this dispensation, I wasn't sitting in someones home or at the church building; I was talking to a family and preaching the gospel to them. Nothing spectacular came out of it, but I am so glad that I could be doing the Lords work when that amazing moment happened. I love being on my mission and I hope that I can, just as Thomas S. Monson has done, waste and wear out my life in the service of God. I know this church is true and that it is led by a prophet of God.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen
I love you all!
|My new companion, Elder Sumner, and me|