I'm officially OLD!!! It is kinda hard to think that I just passed my "Hump Day". Thanks everyone for the Happy Hump Day letters/wishes! This week was a little more slow and tranquil, so that was a real blessing for my 1 year anniversary... not a lot of excitement, but I'm alright with that.
So Thursday came and went like any other day. I actually kinda forgot that I completed a year in the mission until a few other elders brought it up! It was work as usual, mostly just staying here in the office all day. Recently however we have been very blessed in our sectors, (the 3 office sectors), with many people to teach and a few baptisms coming up. September is going to be a month of white! Elder Moore and I are working hard here and are hoping to have at least 4 people in church tomorrow if all goes well, with the potential to have several more as well.
In this last week I've started to try to change a little bit how I do the work of the ministry. Recently we've had a lot of training meetings and we've been focused on several key points that the Church is suggesting/pushing that we incorporate in our work. Sometimes it is a little tough to change, but I know it is for the better and I know that there is no better time to change than now, at the end of my first year as a missionary. So far it looks as if we'll start this year off right with several baptisms and helping a few people "come unto Christ". Unfortunately focusing on these changes has pushed me back into the reserved mode that I had a little before and several people have noticed the change... I'm trying to figure out how I can balance the changes and be the missionary that I would like to be, but TODAY!!!
Sounds like fall in East Texas is getting underway pretty good! With football season starting back up (and Lufkin winning of course) and the weather starting to finally get a little cooler! We here in Santiago are finally starting to get a little bit warmer, there were actually a few days this week that we had short-sleeve shirt weather and we definitely took advantage of it! Also we are planning, as a district/zone/office (all the same) on having a Labor Day Barbecue this next weekend to celebrate. I think we are going to go as far as buy a small charcoal grill and cook out somewhere... LOL.
I WANT TO SEE THE HOUSE!!! When are y'all going to send me pictures? I keep hearing about all of these changes and I'm super excited about them, but unfortunately (yet fortunately at the same time) I'm thousands of miles away and can't see them. I'm getting my hopes up a lot about being in the house as soon as I get back, with my own room, bed, futon thing, and all the works... So now I just need to see what I'm coming back to, it may not be too different but I'd still like to see the progress.
More changes in the ward? I'm wasn't real clear on what they were but it sounds like a lot is changing up. Is McCabe still going to be teaching seminary this school year?
So Jared is planning on heading up to BYU Idaho? That is a little farther north than he was planning before the mission, but then again he knew he was going to find out what he was going to be doing for the rest of his life while he was on the mission. I really need to write that kid and see how he is doing... And working at good ol' Chick-fil-A again. Are Ryah and Dillon still working there? I haven't heard recently, nor have I heard from Ryah recently.
Sorry it seems like I don't comment much on what is in the letters, but I promise that I really do try pretty hard. Today I've been dealing with writers block, alot!!! And of course that means that I've got no idea what I'm saying, nor can I think of what to write... LOL. But I guess that is how it is sometimes!
Back to the missionary work this week. Yesterday was probably one of the most interesting days this week. We were in intercambios (divisions) and I was with Elder Young and Elder Barrett in their sector. Elder Barrett ended up leaving with Elder Taylor (since Hermana Taylor was sick) and working with him in the evening and Elder Young and I finally got to do some proselyting together. It was kinda funny because even when we were companions we didn't get a chance to work together! Also Elder Johns was in our sector with Elder Moore, leading it since he just left here weeks ago and knows more about it than Elder Moore does so far. They were able to pass by the home of a few investigators, Maritza and her 9 year-old son Benjamín. Maritza unfortunately wasn't home and they were planning on coming back later... BUT, Benjamín opened the door, let them in, and sat them down to have a lesson. Can you believe it?!?!? What 9 year-old kid would let two 20 year-old missionaries in his house with him alone and would start to talk about Jesus Christ, I think I've only met one!!! LOL. But he sat them down and offered to say the prayer, going on to thank God for the "Testigos de Jehova" [aka Jehovah's Witness] that were able to come talk about Christ with him (that was the semi-comical part). They went on teaching about baptism with him and had a full out lesson with a 9 YEAR-OLD!!! He even went as far as to invite them back for another lesson, so we will be passing by tonight at 7:30 to see how he and his mom are doing!!! LOL.
You've got to love the little tender mercies that randomly happen to us here in the work of the Lord. We find some of them comical but we really love them every time one comes around! I look forward to the experiences that this next year will bring in la gran Misión Chile Santiago Norte!!! (It still feels weird to say that I'm in my second year of the mission...).
I love this work, I'm not the same person I was before and I'm grateful for that! One of my greatest hopes is that Gabe can get in gear and start preparing for a mission, he could have left about 10 weeks ago (as long as you turn 19 while you are in the MTC) and it makes me sad that he doesn't even seem to be working towards it.
I love you all and miss y'all bunches! There isn't a day that passes by that I don't think about la casa (even for just a second) [not to the trunky point though].
Hope that all is well at home and we'll see you here in a year from Monday!!!
¡Besitos a todos!
-- Élder Todd Hendrickson