Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 16 - One Picture of Kevin's Companion

Well just another awesome week in Santiago!!! Me disfruté mucho!!!! I honestly love my Little town, it’s funny how well you come to know a place, but wow I have been here for 2 months. Interesting news, we are going to be indoors tonight because it is Mexican Independence day tomorrow!!!! Which means there are going to be some fun sights to see tomorrow (not really, it’s not a big deal in Santiago, mainly just a lot of people doing stupid things because they drank all night, but still) Oh this week we had Zone Conference and President came and planched (to planch is a missionary term meaning chastised) us a new one in general. He told us how we needed to put our goals lower because no one was ever accomplishing their goals. So for example when we put a goal of baptisms for the month we would put like 4 and then baptize 2. The interesting thing though was the doctrine that he taught us, and I´d mainly like to share that this week. First off, the objective of Missionary work is the Salvation of people, are in other words giving them the chance to do the work of Salvation. In order to truly be saved (from spiritual death, not physical death) we need to complete 6 different ordinances. We need to focus our efforts in helping people to complete all 6, and not just the first (being baptism). That means that we need to help people to pay their tithing so that they can go to the temple. We need to help men prepare to get the priesthood, all of that. Speaking of Priesthood, he talked to us about the importance of finding Priesthood holders because they are the foundation by which the church grows, especially so that districts can become stakes. I realized that this is more true here in Mexico. I know multiple women who would love to go to church, but cannot because their husbands will not allow them to, the same with kids . Additionally 7% of children baptized without their parents actually remain active worldwide (this is probably lower here). I also found it really interesting how he talked about the problem of prospective Elders here. There are a ton of people who could receive the Priesthood, but do not for whatever reason (less than 1% of those eligible have it). So we really have changed our focus from a baptism focus to a reactivation and an ordinance focused mission. I am actually really happy about it, the spirit really confirms that its right to me. The last thing he stressed was actually something from the red handbook, and how sad it was that he asked in a Stake Conference of 1000 people for someone to tell him the 6 duties that the members of the Church have according to the red handbook, and not a single person could tell him (I would have been among them). So that is a Little homework to go look that up if you don’t know it, I believe it is in chapter 5. Anyways, as far as the work in Santiago goes, things are pretty good here, Elder Espinoza and I are working our butts off, its hard because it feels like we work and work, but never get anywhere, but then I realized that it’s not the outward results that matter, it’s what I am doing to get the outward results. (yes this letter is all over the place, sorry) We decided at one point this week, that the thing that mattered in teaching was the spirit. We talked, and decided the most powerful lesson to bring the spirit is the atonement. So we started off this week and gave the first lesson to contacts about the atonement, and wow that made a big difference, like I could really feel the difference, and the people were a lot more receptive. I cannot believe I have been with Elder Espinoza for a month now, that is a surprise! Anyways, I am doing great, learning from the scriptures, no longer any problems with Spanish, have developed a taste for Tuna (it took a Little while), love memellas (something only found in the Jungles of Veracruz) and am considering selling them for a living when I get back, still running everyday and pretty much all of Santiago knows me as the guerro that runs in the mornings, and ya, the misión is great. I love you all very much, I cannot believe how many people have left or are leaving, before I know it, I am going to hit my 6 month mark (which falls on my bday btw), now isn’t that awesome. Anyways, I love getting your letters, and try my best to respond. Miss you all

Elder Standridge  

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