This last week has been full of ups and downs! We had a tough time in several aspects of the obra but the week ended on a very high note.
Yesterday was a very, very tiring day... We started the day in the church at 8:30 AM with PEC and went through until church was over at 1:30 PM, then we went back from 5:00-7:00 PM for Ward Council. AHHH!!! Everything went way more smoothly than I expected with the meetings, Obispo Catricura has a pretty good grasp of what he is supposed to do and is really working on acting on that. We didn't have to worry about correcting too much apostasy (like in other wards) so that was a nice break. We have however been working extensively with MLS as far as the correction of membership records goes, so that has kept me pretty busy when I've got access to the secretaria (clerk's office). It is good to have the confidence of the bishop enough that he trusts us to do that.
I'm absolutely loving this ward! That isn't to say that it isn't tough sometimes, because it is, but we are trying to work hard at least. I've come to realize exactly how different I am from Elder Brunt, and sometimes that stresses our relationship a little bit... We've got very different points of view on a lot of aspects of missionary work. I've been having a really hard time this week with that. I'm trying to work diligently and be the example that I need to be, but it's very difficult. The change from the office to a normal sector has been very difficult for me, I love the new atmosphere, but I would almost describe my assignment now as having more responsibility. Before in the office I had the responsibility over a few things, but the only person I was really responsible for keeping focused and on track was me. Now I've got 6 of us! And better yet, almost all of the other 5 have less than a year in the mission (Elder Sáenz has 14 months in the mission). It's tough!
Sometimes I feel like I can't confide in those missionaries with whom I'm serving. I know that sounds bad, but that isn't the way I mean it... Before the mission I had a hard time opening up to people, but now I feel like a lot of that fear is gone. However, sometimes people make it hard for one to open up to them! This week I feel like I've been purely criticized by my companion. He keeps talking about how things were so different with his last companion and how he was such a great missionary, but I feel like it is directed at me... I've improved a lot on my patience and my tolerance in these last couple of weeks, it has been hard, but I can tell there is a drastic difference from who I was before. I don't wish I could be the missionary Elder Brunt wants me to be, I'm fine with what I'm doing to improve and I know it is only important to be the kind of missionary the Lord wants me to be. I don't know how I can help him to see that though!
On a much brighter note... Mario and Marisol, the couple formerly known as eternal investigators, are having their wedding on Saturday and will be baptized Sunday afternoon! I don't know that I've been vital in their conversion, but I'd like to think that maybe I helped in something. This is just one of those instances of being in the right place at the right time, and I've received that blessing. Now the responsability that comes with that is that there are 6 other people between their family and the family of their daughter's mother-in-law that need to be baptized! LOL. We are working on that already, as 9 of the 10 between the two families were at church yesterday, and will be for the next 2 weeks as well (at least).
About the other e-mail that I sent... If you want to put it on the blog you are more than welcome to. I was very much inspired by the words of President King about this missionary and the new mission to which he has been called. I can't imagine the pain that his family must be going through right now, but at least they have the peace that comes from the Plan of Salvation and that he was doing what he was supposed to be doing. The letter from President King brought a scripture to mind: "And whoso layeth down his life in my cause, for my name’s sake, shall find it again, even life eternal." (D&C 98:13).
Congratulations to Ryah for the graduation this week! I got the announcement on Tuesday, I couldn't help but show it off (and recognize the Vans)! This ought to be a fun-filled week. What is CHS planning for Project Celebration this year? And what is Ryah's calling, since she didn't write me?... again!
I'm liking very much the goal of being in the house before Dad heads out to California! That does, however, mean that there is a lot of work within the next couple of weeks... and I bet Gabe and Ryah are super willing to help!!! Right?!?!?
Good news, the world didn't end on May 21st! Bad news, the world didn't end on May 21st! We got to searching for the scripture that everyone said corresponded with the prophesy of the loon that said we were all headed toward doomsday, and it has to do with Jonah! Apparently this guy is the same guy that predicted Christ was going to return for the Second Coming in 1994, missed that one too. It was pretty funny though because the whole spill was believed by all of the Evangelical Christians, in the USA there are a few, but about 1 in every 2 people here in Chile is in some way, shape, or form Evangelical. There is no Methodist, Pentecostal, Assembly of God, or Baptist church that doesn't have Evangelical somewhere in its name! I found the whole idea very comical. Keep holding on for the wild ride between now and when the world "really" ends!!!
I love ya'll and miss ya'll! Keep your prayers with the family of the late Elder Jennings!
-- Élder Todd