February 24, 2009 (5 months and still a Gringo)
Whoa, I still can't believe I've been out 5 months! Where does the time go in this crazy world? Well, I'm into my third transfer here in Arica with a new companion, Elder Knackstedt, and it's amazing! I'm sending a few pictures. The first two are from last week with Elder Cañellas. We took these photos in front of el Morro. How pretty, huh? The last picture is of me and my new companion posing in the pensión.
Anyways, life is great. Thanks for the emails and love! It's always nice to have things to read. Oh, and to answer questions about Dearelders and other mail, it always depends here in Arica. I got a dearelder from mom yesterday. It took 10 days to arrive. However, sometimes it's longer, like one month. Weird, huh?
The first week of a new transfer is supposedly the worst number-wise. However, this week was incredible! We reached all of our goals and then some. And, although it was difficult and a lot of work, I can't deny the many miracles that I am privileged to see every day! Missionary work rocks! On Friday this week, we left with Jan, one of my converts in December. We went to visit one of his friends, but she was busy, so we made an appointment for the next day. We left, visited another member (Denis) and left with him, and still had little success. As all of our plans fell through, we stood on a street and contemplated what to do. As I was pondering, I felt that we should visit the house of one of our former investigators. We knocked on the door and were surprised when Jan and his friend answered the door! But more, they were with other friends and our former investigator. So, what could we do but have a big meeting and teach everyone there? As we taught, the spirit was powerful, and it was a real miracle! In one unplanned lesson, we gained a bunch of investigators who already have member friends and support in the church. I hope that something comes of this, so I'll just keeping working and praying for miracles.
Right now, we have 2 baptisms planned for March, but we're really focusing on retention and less-active members. We've been working with the members here a lot, and it's true that the members of the ward are the most important to find new investigators and also to retain new converts. We have a huge responsibility here on the mission to help the work of the Lord go forward, and at times it's overwhelming, but it's so true that our Heavenly Father is working by our side and helping us every step of the way. Have the days of miracles ceased? No! :)
JJJmmmm, todovia no sé que más puedo decir en español. No quiero contar muchas historias en castellano solamente porque ¡quiero que todos ustedes entiendan! Es un poco loco pero estoy hablando otro idioma. ¿Que honda? Si, tengo que aprender mucho mas, pero estoy disfrutando la vida mas y mas porque puedo entender cuando las personas estén hablando conmigo. La obra misional es genial, y la vida es buena. Voy a seguir adelante en la obra del Señor, y pido que contiúen en la fe -- ¡mi familia es capo! :) Ayuden los misioneros en su barrio -- es verdad que los miembros son lo mas importante para ayudar el progreso de la obra misional. ¡Vimos artas bendiciones del trabajo con los miembros!
babelfish: JJJmmmm, todovia I do not know that I can more say in Spanish. I do not want to only count many histories in Castilian because I want that all you understand! He is a little crazy but I am speaking another language. That deep? If, I must learn much more, but I am enjoying the life but and but because I can understand when the people are speaking with me. The missionary work is brilliant, and the life is good. I am going to follow ahead in the work of the Gentleman, and ask that they contiúen in the faith -- my family is hood! :) The missionaries in their district help -- it is truth that the members are but the important thing to help the progress of the missionary work. We saw artas blessings of the work with the members!