February 17, 2013
How are you? How is everything going? I hope that everything is going good! Here in the mission everything is going just fine! Last week was quite the week with transfers and everything, but we somehow got everything taken care of. Monday was prepare transfer day, run lots of errands, just lots of craziness! Tuesday, we actually had transfers, and I had to say goodbye to my buddies Elder Luzon and Elder Batista. They really have become some of my best friends, and I loved the time that I had to serve with them!
I guess that's something that I really want to talk about today. People. I think that as time has gone on in the mission I have learned a lot about the importance of people. As missionaries its really not that hard to run around and do "missionary work" to fill up a day, and report that you did a whole bunch of work. But that is not really the point now is it? As missionaries our purpose is invite others to come unto Christ, we focus on the person!
I was reading a talk that Elder Bryner shared with me that talks about leadership, and says that we should focus less on managing programs and be a lot more focused on people and ministering and helping people to learn and grow. Wow, how great is that? Its really easy to start "managing", with our families, our friends, in our callings, in just about every part of our life- whats important is focusing on the people. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to get to know so many missionaries. Sometimes I feel like they are my kids- they cause pain, but the joy I get from them is muy stronger! I love being able to talk to them and do my best to help them out, and I feel as if I am the one who leaves learning something.
Guess what? I have become 100% Latin. I feel more comfortable around Latins than Americans! I guess that's what living with a Latin for the last year does for ya! I'm extremely grateful for the companions that I have had in the mission. I really feel like I have made life-long friends- especially my companions from the office.
Anyways, back to the week! Wednesday we had Zone Council, and after we had to take a zone leader to get an ingrown toenail removed. Don't worry, I already knocked on wood! That always brings back good memories...NOT!
Thursday it was back to the grind! It felt really good to get back to work in our area after so long. We really had a lot of success this week, and I felt great that we could get so much done in such little time! I feel like the Lord just wants us to work just a little bit harder, and then a little bit harder, and then he's gonna open up the heavens and bless us!
A while back Elder Chinchilla and I were walking in the street when a guy on a scooter stopped us, and started asking us about the church. He spoke really broken Spanish, but said he was a member and wanted to go to church. We explained where is was, and the next week he came. He came in jeans and a t-shirt, so I in justly thought to myself that he was a "church on Christmas and Easter" kind of member. After the meeting, he asked me if I would be able to get him a triple and a bible, because he didn't have one, and I said that I would. Well, today, he came again and I told him I had his books but I had left them in the house. So, he said he would walk over with us after church to pick them up. On the way over, I started asking about him. I learned that he was a returned missionary, who served in TONGA, and finished 12 years ago. He then explained that he had been extremely blessed and had the chance to baptize over 150 people. He was zone leader, trainer, and an assistant. When he finished, he returned to his country, studied medicine, and now is a Doctor. His Dad was the first convert in an African country that I didnt understand, and his whole family is members. He was also Bishop for 7 years. All of this was shared in the most humble way, and with such gratitude to our father in heaven. I was blown away. He said he was here without any of his things, and for that he went to church dressed as he was, and that he couldnt work until he got his papers authorized. It was a truly humbling experience.
Well, things are definitely a lot different with my new companion! Its been quite the change, but I know that things are gonna be fine. He is pretty new, so I gotta show him the ropes quick so next transfer I can get our there and work Elder Luzons tail off his last transfer in Pedernales! Hahah!
I love you guys, thanks for everything! Mom, I know your packages never get here, but that's really not important. Just having your support is enough. I know that you and Dad have sacrificed lots so that I can be here, and I will be in debt eternally for that. It is my hope that I have become the son and man that you want me to be. Thanks for everything!
Elder Riley Ted Reeder