Hey, hey, hey!!!
Week 1 of the 12 week training period has come to an end and I still haven't pulled all of my hair out... that's progression! Right?
This last week was a rather interesting one, to tell the truth! Monday I was on exchanges with Elder Wilkes working in both of our sectors, since we share a ward, so that turned out to be kinda frustrating juggling our time. Monday feels like it was a year ago though... Tuesday we had to be in the mission home at 1:30 PM to meet our trainees. In our meeting with the other trainers I realized that only one of them, besides me, has over a year in the mission! I felt/feel really old! At around 4:00 PM we left the mission home with our new companions. My companion is Elder Fuentes from Lima, Peru. He was baptized the same day that I was set apart as a missionary!!!
It is interesting being with a brand new companion, but this week was great! I've really come to notice the advantage that the Latino missionaries have compared to the North Americans, they get here and they can still speak the language... isn't it great!!!
Sounds like the trip to California for Dad, Gabe, & Ryah has turned out fairly interesting up until now! I can't believe Ryah is driving Grandma's car back alone; if I could have gone on the trip that would probably be me... I'm sure Ryah would beg to differ. It is kinda hard for me right now to fathom 1 week of almost pure travelling! And with car troubles and everything... Wow! It is excellent that they found them when they did and not when they were in the middle of the next 23 hours worth of pure desert! And they got to spend a little bit of extra time with Aunt Kristen too.
This week has brought a lot of action on the homefront, from the sound of it. Truck repairs, car repairs, moving, cleaning, packing... I can't really say that I've missed it all too much, but then again I don't think that there is one of those that I haven't done in the mission! (We can thank the mission office for that one).
We are currently teaching about 21 people here in our sector. A few of them aren't progressing very well, but the rest have some real potential! This week we put the daughter & "son-in-law" of Marisol with a baptismal date. They've still got the challenge that they have to get married first, so they won't be baptized until November, but they will be baptized!!! (I'll still have converts after I've been out of the mission for more than 2 months)... LOL. A lot of the people we are teaching are family members of active members, and for many recent converts as well, so we are seeing a lot of progression with them. It's kinda sad that it took me until now to really recognize how much more efficient missionary work is when you are working almost completely with the members.
Yesterday was Ward Conference here in Dorsal, that marked the first time in a year that the stake president has participated in the entire block of meetings in our ward. The theme of the conference was based on the scripture in John 13:14-15, "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." The focus was towards those who are not currently serving in callings and those that are serving and are not "magnifying" they're callings at this time, that means that the entire conference applied to about 90-95% of the ward. We've all got things that we can improve, the upside is that I've seen a lot of changes in the last 7 weeks here in this ward... we are definitely on headed uphill! Slowly, but surely! I love it here in Dorsal, but lots of time it looks like this ward gets the short end of the stick when it comes to anything concerning the stake! I'm excited to see the changes here in the coming 11 weeks (yes, I said it) and even after I'm back home. There is still lots of work for me to do in the little time I've got left!
Time is winding down here in Chile, but the mission is still here... better make the best of it! Hope everything is alright with Grandpa and that Dad & the crew get home safely today!
-- Élder Todd