Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 29 - 10 Days until Christmas

So this week was really interesting in a lot of different ways. Well we got called in to work on Pday a couple of hours early because our numbers were low, so they brought the whole zone in and an assistant talked to all of us, it was honestly a really interesting experience, but it made the week super hard to end Pday early because I felt just absolutely exhausted and stressed the whole week, because the weeks ended up kind of just blending together. Anyways, the next day we had Zone Conference, which was super valuable, Presidente Cordova is honestly just a master teacher, and has a talent in that area that I really just want to develop more than anything right now. He stressed more than anything the importance of teaching with questions and with scriptures. He could teach any principle from Preach my Gospel  with just a single scripture and questions, honestly amazing. We have had really low assistance at church recently, and between going to the devotional and a bunch of other things, we had not a single investigator at church, which really made for a disappointing Sunday. Here in Mexico that is especially bad because before someone can get baptized they have to go to church 5 times, meaning that we are nearly guaranteed to have multiple weeks without baptisms. That being said, it really taught me the importance of stressing Church assistance to help people move forward. I was thinking about if I were to look at 1 number to tell me how I am doing that Church assistance would be it, because those are the investigators that are really progressing (assistance, reading, and praying). So I am really going to focus on that this week. I also really learned how important it is to just talk to people, you never know who is receptive and how isn't, and I have honestly found that the Lord prepares people in our paths that if we are willing to take 2 minutes to talk to, might be receptive to this message. With that in mind, I really realized this week that most of what I do as a missionary should be something that I do for the rest of my life. Every man who is given the Melchezideck Priesthood has the same rights and duties to preach exhort and correct. Once I finish as a missionary, I still have the same duty to talk with everyone and try and find someone that the missionaries can teach, that is part of my Priesthood responsibilities. In fact, as a missionary, I do receive the calling to dd this full time, and have all the rules and all that, but at any time I can go and teach a lesson about the Gospel to any person, and could at any time go contacting and try meeting people for the missionaries to teach, in fact to do so is part of the covenant of baptism to be a witness at all times and in all places (that is not to say that if I do not go contacting every Sunday we are breaking our baptismal covenant, but if there is free time Sunday, maybe talking to a neighbor about the gospel is a good idea). I honestly have really grown to appreciate and respect this work, we are like little honeybees, no one does very much on their own. If you add up all that I will do on my mission as an individual it wont be very much, but if you add up all 90,000 missionaries and all the work of all the members, that is a lot of good.

With that said, I really have grown to love the sisters here in the ward, they honestly take such good care of us, and are so sweet and kind, it is honestly amazing to me, I wish that I could find some way to repay them for all that they do. 

Oh, by the way, this week is transfers, so I will be getting a white guy for the first time in a long time!!!! Finally some English (its honestly the same at this point for most things, I cannot speak either language without mixing them together sometimes, and dream in a weird mix of the two). His name is Elder Bennet, and Elder Quille (the poderoso peruano) will be leaving for home tomorrow, so that's exciting. I will be staying here another transfer, and that's all for now.

I love you all lots, really enjoy Christmas, its honestly a beautiful time that we have to remember the birth of the savior. So many times I have failed to recognize what a gift that Jesus Christ is for all of us, but the longer I am out here, and the more I study and ponder about him, the more my admiration grows, and my love for him grows. I hope you all enjoy a wonderful Christmas, 

Elder Standridge

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