From the Parent of a Missionary
They say that every week is special in the mission, but this may have been the week that changed me most.
It all started on Wednesday morning, when I had my first every district leader training! It was extremely boring and definitely NOT worth the 2 hour drive to get to the meeting. But I can see how the Lord is teaching me and training me every step of the way! What made the day even better was that I completed 8 months in the mission. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by.
We had a great day on Thursday as well! There is a sweet old man named Fernando who lives in one of the tiny aldeas of Ipala called Las Ceniceras. It´s about an hour away in the bus, and he comes alone every week to church despite the long drive. So this week we decided to visit him. We had an interesting adventure finding his tiny little house in an isolated village, and it was amazing to see the difference of village life. Everyone seems to know each other! And we were like a walking phenomenon there in the village. Everyone was looking at us funny. But we had a great visit with Fernando!
The real life changing day was on Friday. Elder Martino, the Area President of Central America, did a mission tour and gave a zone conference to us. What made it even better was that he served his mission in Guatemala, and one of his areas was Zacapa. And back in the old days, the area was so large that it practically consisted of what is now our entire zone. When he got to Zacapa, there were 15 members that came to church every week. When he left Zacapa, there were 103 members coming to church, and all in a period of about 6 months.
Elder Martino told us that we have no excuses. He didn’t tolerate a single excuse or complaint: He told us that we had to leave our areas better than we found them. And the best part was when he promised us that if we worked hard, we could get to 80 in attendance within 2 months.
He told us a lot of ways to work with the members better and to get investigators, and then sent us on our way with high expectations.
Those couple of hours that we had with him were some of the most powerful hours in my entire mission. I have no doubt that he was called and sent to us with authority and revelation, and that we can fulfill the promises that he made us. So my companions and I got to work right when we got back.
We developed what we called the Plan to get to 80. It consists of a two week overhaul on our active members, including new systems of keeping track of member progress and fortifying families, followed by a huge expansion into working with member and investigators. On Sunday, we started the plan by presenting it in sacrament talks and ward council, and then by visiting every active family and doing an AWESOME lesson that we came up with. The Book of Mormon teaches that when the Lamanites received their true conversion, they buried their weapons of war. With every family, we wrote our “weapons of war” or our personal sins, onto little pieces of paper. Then we walked outside, dug a hole, and buried our weapons of war. It was a very spiritual moment in every house, and now everyone is committed to get to 80!
I know I´ve said it before, but now more than ever I know that we are going to change the world! I wake up every day with joy in my heart because I know that am I helping people around me. And to top it all off, Maria and Axel are getting baptized this Sunday, and Juan and Vilma are going to get married on the 16th.
And I’m going to the temple tomorrow! I’ve never been more excited! If you want to join me, start your own Temple Tuesday.
Love you all.