Tuesday, February 26, 2013

February 6, 2013

Hey gatos (it means cats in spanish and anyone with clear eyes is called a cat here so youre all gatos now)
How ARE you? I hope youre all doing great. A lot has happened this week so lets get going......My week started out staying Monday night in Sebaco with all 8 sisters in my zone. While it was fun to be with all of them, Im reminded why I dont like sleepovers because they have nothing to do with sleep. But I love all of the sisters. We had to get up at 330 in the morning to catch the bus to Managua for the conference with Elder Amado at 8. I learned so much! Here are some of the highlights....
1. Personal revelation- He focused A TON on this. At the beginning of the conference he talked about how it didnt matter what he said during the conference. What mattered was what the spirit said to us. He challenged us to pray in our hearts continually through out the conference that the spirit would teach us something new we needed to know or change to be more effective missionaries and better people and write down these impressions. In the middle of a thought he would say, "Are you still praying? If you stopped praying, youre not learning what youre supposed to learn here." He said the most important thing we can do in any meeting we go to is write down the impressions of the spirit and act on them.
2. He said we need to be really grateful for hard companions because with them, we learn how to develop virtues that we never would have developed without them.
3. We had to report our stewardship to him- about how many baptisms we had in each area and our percentage of retencion of recent converts. After he saw the results he thanked us and said that reallly the results dont matter. He said what matters is that were giving it our all and that the Savior is pleased with the work that were doing.
4. He talked about how many times we are going to be called to positions where we dont think we are ready. He said when he was called to be one of the seventy he didnt feel ready. He explained that when the Lord calls us to a position where we feel inadequate, we need to look for what the Lord is trying to teach us.
5. Whatever problem we have in the mission field- with members, investigators, recent converts, we just need to teach pure doctrine and these problems will start to improve.
6. Without repentance, missionary work would never improve, we need to constantly reevaluate and be humble enough to change.
7. You think your mission is hard? Think about the mission that the Savior had.
Well there is a glimpse of what I learned and I hope they help you too. He was really funny and so inspiring. Its amazing the experiences that I get to have as a missionary.
After the conference on Tuesday we went to work hard. Confession: Its really stressful training. My comp. has come to the mission field with lots of ideas of how everything needs to be perfect. While we need to strive for perfection always, its really hard in a "nucleus" of the church where it barely has any leaders to work with. Hermana Chinchilla and Hermana Manning are training as well, and fortunately I have been able to talk with them. Im working hard to know how I can love her and help her reach her potential. She is a really hard worker with lots of strong opinions. To answer moms questions...she is not that easy to talk to and were trying to find things we have in common. She has lots of strange ideas (example: she believes in the myth that a baby will die if it looks a person thats been in the sun all day) so Im trying to learn how to work hard and have fun with her. Ive learned a lot these week about how the Lords answers are always better than anyone elses and how charity is the most important thing.
Last week was a really hard one. We had to drop a lot of families that werent progressing and started a fast on Saturday to find more families and bring families to church. We really didnt have much hope in bringing a family to church as we hadnt had success in committing very many. But we saw miracles on Sunday. We invited one family early in the morning that wasnt that positive and they arrived right at 9 and then through out the church meeting 2 more families arrived on their own and Elder Perez and Kasper brought one too. There were more than 50 people at church while normally there are only 30 or 40. The spirit confirmed to me that this was an answer to our prayers and were going to start having more success.

Were teaching the cousin of one of our recent converts that just received the priesthood. His name is Omar and he is 29. He has lived a live of drugs and alcohol and has stopped all of that to turn to God and is really looking for the truth. He is reading the Book of Mormon and gaining a testimony of it. In one day we left him the introduction page and he read up to 1 Nephi 14. He has a baptism date for the 16th.
We had a really fun "super pday" with all of the sisters and the presidents house on monday. We played games, had lunch and had a devotional. There are about 45 sisters in our mission and when I came there were only about 20. It was great. I love my mission president and his wife.
Well I hope all of you are happy and healthy. Stay warm and know that Im praying for you all the time.

PS thanks for all of your updates and wonderful experiences. Also it was great to hear from Grandma Johnson- sure love my grandparents.
PPS Family in Utah: Enjoy mom

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