Pineapple! I eat these every day! With salt!
Sa aking pinakamamahal na pamilya, (to my beloved family)
Kumusta kayo lahat?! (how are you all?)
Haha how's everyone doing? It was great to read your emails today. I'm glad that everyone had an enjoyable Magrath days. I'm sure that Josh enjoyed being in the parade ;) haha. I'm also glad that you guys didn't have an earthquake or Tsunami or something hit this week (we didn't either), and that Jameson and Jarom made it through the fireworks okay. That's also cool that the parade goes in front of our house now. I bet the property value shot up because of that, haha. That's also really good news that Isaac is found and okay...what a cool story. If I've learned anything on my mission, it's that prayer is effective. It actually works, haha.
Mmm...potato salad...haha. I saw some at 7-11 the other day...it was maybe like a bite and a half and it cost like 50 pesos (too much). It most definitely didn't taste like mom's.
It's been a pretty good week. It was actually most likely my last full week here in Talavera...transfers are coming up next Thrusday and I am 98% sure that I'll be transferred out. I've been here for over four months and it has been incredible. Incredibly fast and incredibly great. I remember when I first heard that I was opening an area, it really freaked me out. I didn't feel ready at all to take a responsibility like that. When I first got here, I had a lot of problems with my one companion, and it didn't feel like the work was going anywhere. All we had to work with were a few members in the group, most of whom were just baptized this year. I remember being stressed out of my mind and worried that we wouldn't be able to build a teaching pool. When I found out that I would be training here, it didn't help with the stress part of things, haha.
What I realized though, as Elder Magno and I really just did our best and worked hard, is that the Lord has a reason for everything out here. A reason for the area, a reason for the companions and assignments that we have...everything. I noticed a big change in my attitude and in the quality of the work as we did the training program and built up the teaching pool here. The Lord helped us out as we worked our best, and somehow we were guided to people that were ready to hear the Gospel. We went from not knowing anything about the area to having a great teaching pool. We are currently teaching two families of five who will almost certainly be baptized in the next couple of months, as well as several other individuals who are preparing to e baptized as well. There will probably be twelve or thirteen people baptized in this area by October...which is also the month that the new meeting house will be finished in Bertese and the branch will be officially established.
Part of me is really sad that I won't be around to be a part of the 'fruits' of our labor, but I feel good knowing that I played a part in helping them come closer to Christ. I can't wait to check my email in the next few months and see all of our investigators pictures on the mission slideshow from their baptisms. It will be almost as good as if I was there.
We had a pretty good week...it was hectic because we had exchanges, but we got a lot done at the same time. We taught the Feje family yesterday and extended another baptismal invitation...which they didn't really accept. The oldest daughter is definitely ready, and I'm sure that the father is ready (he is really shy but he feels the spirit really strongly in the lessons). I think the Mom is just worried still about what her extended family will think. They also have some concerns about tithing. But oh well, they will be ready. I know it. We are going to visit them on Wednesday night and do a family home evening with them. It'll be my last visit here.
I've learned so much in this area...I've learned how important it is to be humble, and to be able to identify the things in our attitudes that would prevent us from being a more effective missionary. I have a list of things that I want to stop doing (little things, like humming babylonian music or taking naps) and am currently doing a fast from all of those things. I've noticed a lot of little differences...I feel a lot calmer in the lessons and I seem to know just what to say at times. I feel more focused on the work, and more loving towards the people around me. We met this old man this week and tried to talk to him about the gospel...he turned us down and said that he didn't believe that God had a plan for him because his wife had died. He didn't want to listen to us. I felt disappointed, but even more than that, I really felt sorry for him. I told him not to worry and that God loves him so much. We talked a little bit about the Plan of Salvation and left. It was a good experience, even though we didn't get a lesson out of it. I'm really starting to realize that it's more about simple acts and service and love than anything...we have to treat everyone how the savior would.
I am healthy and doing well. I will hopefully have a lot of adventures for you all next week in my next area. I am excited to find out where I'll be. (I had a dream that I was transferred to Guimba, but I'll see if that happens, haha).
I love you guys.
Have a great week.