Well yesterday I officially completed 7 months as a missionary. This last month has felt EXTREMELY long, but yesterday creeped up out of no where! Hna Smith surprised me with a pancake with the number 7 on it and I thought maybe she thought it was my birthday. Almost to the half way mark and that is insane! Changes are the 14th of February... so we will see where the mission takes me then! I will probably leave our area and hna smith will stay, but really we have no idea!
I had a very exciting 7 month mark day.... surprise number 1: Hna Smith pancake surprise. Surprise 2: President showed up to our ward for the first time in my mission. surprise 3: our gospel principals teacher couldn't give the lesson so asked us to give the lesson... although it is something we study (fasting) it was still a little stresser surprise. surprise 4: president wants to come with us to our class... not only teach, but teach with president sitting in front of us.... surprise 5: we stressed about getting things ready to teach family tistoj how to make lasagna and in the end, they couldn't buy everything for it so we ended up not doing it anyway... and stressed for nothing! surprise 6: SCONES!! Hna smith had made dough to make rolls for our lasagna but since we weren't going to make it, and because their ovens are gas ovens and it takes A LOT of gas to run the oven rather than the stove, so we made scones instead... the only thing that could have made them better was honey butter.... rather than honey margarine. and the last thing wasn't a surprise but was definitely a slight cause of stress was president and hna bautista coming to our house for companionship study. It really helped a lot and I think we have a better way to plan lessons now and that we will be able to be more focused in our lessons and more powerful as well. We applied what we learned last night and I think it had the affect we wanted! it was a crazy day that probably knocked 2 years off my life....
Before I forget... Dad and megs, what did you send me in your package? I got the sweater and the candies and the fish oil pills... was there anything else? I realized after the fact that the mail place here had opened it and shut it again. That hasn't happened on any of my other packages and I don't think they took anything but just wanted to check. The mail actually is pretty safe, to my knowledge I have received everything people have sent me... if I haven't said thank you to anyone, maybe let me know that you sent something because maybe I haven't gotten it.
So this was a pretty good week. We had a meeting with Elder Falabella (look for him in your conference issue of the ensign... he is listed under the general authorities) anyway, president bautista and his wife spoke and then Elder Falabella and his wife spoke. I have about 10 pages of notes from our meeting and still need to study a bunch! One of the biggest things for me that he talked about was whether we do things because they are an obligation or a habit... for instance... I wake up at 6:30 every day out of obligation... so he talked about how that isnt good because if we are obligated to do something we wont make it into a habit. I explained to Hna Smith that perhaps I wont be waking up at 6:30 for the rest of my life but that waking up early will benefit me for the rest of my life... to have time to study from the scriptures and prepare for the day, rather than hurry and get ready to go and leave! So i really liked that, there are definitely other things... like some of the mission rules. I am completely willing to follow them, but out of obligation not out of habit. All though some of them wont be life habits, I think it is a principal that can apply in future jobs, family life etc. So that was great! He also talked to us about the importance of baptizing whole families... just to put into perspective... the most inactive group of the church are the young single adults. In a stake or something here they did a test to see how many of the inactive ysas in the stakes came from a familiy of members or if they were the only convert in their family. What they saw was that about 4% of children or youth baptized without their family stay active through their YSA years. It jumps up to 58% or so if their whole family is baptized. So you can definitely see the benefit, and also the fact that the gospel is a gospel of eternal families... not just one person. Anyway so that was a really great day filled with a mountain of learning!!!
This week we finally had another cita with Luki... she told us she decided to be baptized and Satan has been working on her and after that she decided no, not until her husband is ready. Carlos truly is amazing and very suportive of her being baptized, he even told her he'd go with her, but that she needs patience with him... that he'll eventually make the step but he isn't ready. Anyway, it was so nice finally hearing from her why she's been avoiding us. They still didn't come to church this week but I think she at least will stop avoiding us. The people here just don't understand the importance of going to church! It isn't an option, it is a commandment!! Sunday is vacation day here and it proves to be very hard to get people to church. Carlos has started working again (he is a teacher) so he is extremely busy but we are hoping to read in the scriptures with him for 10 minutes every day and we know he will get an answer.
Something else exciting from our meeting with elder falabella.... so he was telling us to use our talents to find people to teach... he asked all the missionaries who liked singing. Hna smith and I raised our hands and were told to come up front. We ended up having to do a role play of singing to somebody who door we contacted . Little nerve racking and of course after finishing he asked if we would do it that night... that we need to be TODAY missionaries not tomorrow missionaries. So we did it that night... pretty sure it was just as awkward for the person we did it do as for us, but we did get a cita with them after the fact. It was funny, but we definitely see the benefits of it and are going to keep trying to be creative to get people to want to listen to us. Anyway, sorry this week kind of all over the place! I didn't write down like usual what I wanted to share with you:) I learned a lot, and have LOTS to learn in the rest of my mission. I learned this week, more than any other week what it means when they say, a mission is hard! elder falabella told us to always pick the harder option... it will be hard but the blessings will be greater! I hope you all had a good week, and I will talk to you next week! Might be my last pday in las flores next monday!!!
Love, Hna Nelson