Dear family and friends,
Wheewwww. haha that’s how I feel right now. Another week bites the dust and what a week it was gosh. But before I get into my week, I want to say thank you for all the emails I received this past week, words of encouragement and love and just happiness that you are all having in your own lives. Its kind of weird to think how much has changed back home because in my mind I still picture it how it was a year ago, but with Collin out of high school and mom going back to school and Calvin getting potty trained everything is just a tad bit different haha. But it’s a good different, life moves on and things happen, and we continue forward learning in this grand adventure we all have in our own lives. I especially want to make a shout out to curt in his continual job search, I hope that everything continues to work in your favor and I will be praying for you. I also want to congratulate my mother on her diligence in her new undertaking of school as I’m sure it’s something different and challenging. And of course I need to say… FELIZ CUMPLEANOS to Collin! I can’t believe your hitting the big 18 and you’re legally an adult. Crazy stuff, everyone in our family is technically an adult. Well I hope you have a good one, and of course I would love to be there, but there is a slight problem of being a couple thousand miles away in a different country right now, so I’ll have to take a rain check haha. But seriously, happy birthday, and you can expect a special email from me .
Well, now to inform you all on my eventful week… haha gosh it started of with a bang. So according to tradition of the office, every first of the month, all the elders in the office have a noche de hogar (Family Night) with president and his family, and one of the elders always gives the lesson. So it turns out since I’m the newest elder in the office, it was my turn to give the lesson. Now to say that I was nervous is kind of an understatement. First of all I had to prepare a lesson to give to my mission president and his family, but secondly, it just so happens that my mission president happens to be a general authority seventy. Yeah it was a bit daunting task at least for me. So I prepared and gave a lesson on trust in the lord, something that has been in my mind as of late, and it actually went pretty well. We did a trust fall activity with president and everything which was fun, and we talked about some scripture stories in Mosiah 24 and ether 2, and it went well, just that Presidente started diving into deep doctrine in ether 2 with the brother of Jared and everything and the focus of the lesson got kind of lost when we started to expound on that, but it was all good and kind of a nerve racking experience for me. Not many people can say that they have taught a family home evening lesson to a seventy and his family. I won’t be forgetting that anytime soon.
Also on kind of a random side note, the other day when we were eating lunch with president, Elder Newell, one of the APs was super thirsty and was saying that he could drink more water than anyone else. So long story short, president Maravilla challenged him to a water drinking contest to see who could actually drink the most water, so they both started putting down bottle after bottle of water, and I think they both got to like 3 liters of water when Elder Newell threw it all up on Presidents lawn hahaha. It was pretty awesome. President Maravilla is just so awesome, I don’t think many missionaries have seen a water drinking contest between their mission president and an elder haha, it was pretty cool.
Also a big thing that happened this week has to deal with the finances. So this past week we had a zone leader conference with president where we talk about a lot of different things, but basically things that are happening in the mission and what we need to do that we can do better. So recently in doing the finances, I have noticed that the zone leaders waste a lot of money, or their fund, on food. Food like going to restaurants and stuff when their on divisions with other elders. But a lot of money, like most of the money they spend with their allotted limit. I don’t want to say too much, but I reimburse their “fund” or the money the zone leaders get to pay mostly for transport in buses and tuc tucs and things. But a lot of the time, their “transport” is actually just a bunch of food receipts. So I came up with a few ideas on what I could do so that we cut down on waste and so that I’m not lying when I report to the area office that we used a certain amount of money on transport when it was actually food, because obviously that’s lying and I did not feel good about doing that. After I came up with a few things, president said that I was going to give a presentation in front of all the zone leaders to talk about the problems we are having with the money and what changes I am going to be doing with the finances. Yet another daunting task I had to do, so I prepped everything, and I got up their to talk and I didn’t exactly know what I was going to say to a bunch of zone leaders who have a lot more time in the mission that they are spending money wisely and that I was going to change that. Haha I was just a bit nervous again. But I got up there and I just started talking and telling them how it was and what was going to change, and im not going to lie, they were pretty mad at me, and right when they were asking all these accusing questions, out of nowhere president just stood up and started testifying of my words and that what I had said was true. I can’t sufficiently describe the moment, but it was something I probably wont forget. He just stood up there and told them that the things I was going to change were going into effect immediately, and that I had full power to reject any reimburses with food receipts and do the other changes I had made. Afterwards he came up to me and said that he was very satisfied with what I had done and that he was going to tell the area office what I had done and what had happened.
I don’t want to boast or sound proud, as that isn’t my point in telling this experience. I was pretty scared to do all that, and it was a humbling experience for me to follow the spirit the best I could and make changes that actually have an effect on the mission. It was something amazing to see, and something special to receive such compliments from president Maravilla. But like everything, there is always opposition. So although that experience was amazing and I did the best I could, all the zone leaders kind of hate me right now haha. Im mean they don’t really hate me, but they are not exactly happy with me and the changes im doing, so that has been a huge challenge for me this entire week.
Ive had a lot of times in my mission that I feel like better I do in my missionary work and responsibilities, or the more I love and serve others or try to be a better person, the more challenging it gets, the temptations and trials get harder, and success seems to be harder to achieve. It has gone like this my whole mission and although I know the answer why, its really hard to accept sometimes. When I was in the field I would see missionaries that weren’t doing the best things baptizing families, when I was trying to do the best that I can and the baptisms weren’t necessarily coming like others. As it is with the office. The more I try to learn and do my job better, the harder it gets and the opposition is stronger. It has been something I’ve had to overcome and work through, and although right now I don’t understand why I have such a hard time and I’m surrounded by so much difficulty, I know there is something I need to learn, and a way that I am going to grow more. Well unfortunately I can’t talk about everything that I experienced or felt this week, but I read a talk called “Trust in the lord” by Richard G. Scott in the 1995 October conference that I really enjoyed and kind of talks about this subject that I recommend that you all read.
Well my week was really crazy, and to end it, today we went with president to a theme park place called Xetulul. It’s the same place we went for the Christmas activity as a mission, but this time it was just us, the office, and president, and we got to go on all the rides and everything. It was pretty awesome and I’m going to attach some pictures. But anyway, I love you all and wish you the best in your own challenges and trials you have right now. Like always, thanks for your love and support and Keep Strong and Carry On!
Hoy, y para siempre,