Monday, January 21, 2013

The Future is as Bright as Your Faith

Well, there is a picture of our missionaries getting ready for the Zone training. As always, it didn't go exactly as I planned, but I felt like it went fairly well. Most meetings start off with having everyone talk about how they did the last month, but seeing as December and January have been hard months for everyone, I decided to change it to be more positive. We had everyone say 5 things they are doing well, 5 things their companion does well, and 5 reasons they know the Lord is with them. It was a great opportunity to compliment ourselves and our companions (two things we do not do often enough). The other great part was at the end when we sat down and read Mark 10:17-30,35-45 to talk about making sure we have really left everything behind and are focused on the mission. You could really feel the Spirit there. We also talked about the importance of being worthy of personal revelation, the new standards of excellence, our "Vision, Goals, Plans"  for the month, and practiced inviting investigators to be baptized while also explaining what they'll need to do to prepare (attend church 3 times, learn 5 or 6 more lessons, etc.). We spent a little too much time on some of those things and didn't get to talk about what may have been the most important--understanding what baptism really is so we work hard for these people to receive the incredible blessings (not just for numbers). But we learned a lot of things we can improve for the next time.

One of the streets in front of Elder Morgan's apartment
I am glad you understand why I don't want to be negative in these emails. But I definitely don't want to be fake either. There are some things we are not allowed to say, such as negative things about the culture or our leaders, and we are supposed to focus on the good things our companions do. My companion really is a good leader who knows a lot about how to work effectively and teach other missionaries. Like I said, he is getting a bit tired and robotic. He was really hoping to get the call on Sunday to be an assistant (like I did to be a Zone Leader) because he wants something new and exciting to do. That's not the best reason, and I think that if he is an assistant soon, there are some things I´ll need to help him with as far as diligence, leadership, and teaching by the Spirit (I hope that doesn't sounds like I am perfect...I still have a mountain of things to improve). It's going to be tough, but for some reason I am actually excited. That's weird, because usually I dread hard or uncomfortable things, but I am looking forward to the opportunity to help him change and to really become the leader the Lord needs me to be. 

Entryway of Elder Morgan's apartment
First we are starting with our area. I thought of an analogy a few weeks ago I never shared. I have felt that we are like farmers working with a tractor that doesn't function properly--our area book is very complicated and needs a lot of work, we need to work more with members, and we spend way too much time doing exchanges in other areas. Because our "tractor" does not work, we sometimes do more damage than we do good, but we have to work a certain amount of time each day no matter what, which leaves little time to fix the tractor. Finally, we are improving the way we work, fixing the area book and map, and focusing more on this area. There is still a long way to go, but I do have hope for the future.

Elder Morgan's study area
I have also discovered that I am much happier when I talk to more people--one reason numbers are good when they motivate us to good things. So I am trying to contact as many people on the street as I can, even though most of them live out of our area. That is one of the difficulties of being in the Center of Asunción, but we are giving a ton of references to other areas. One other thing about the city: there are so many people who come on the busses selling things--coke, snacks, cleaning supplies, medicine, etc. There was a little of that in CDE, but it is huge here.

Elder Morgan's kitchen
As far as people go, Mauricio does not want to get married, but he decided to move out so he can get baptized this week. Not the eternal family we are hoping for, but it is a great step in the right direction. The other prospective baptism we have right now is David, whose uncle is a member. He knows pretty much everything, but he is a little different. He accepted the baptismal invitation, and then he started telling us that vampires exist. Haha, we'll see what happens. If nothing else, I sure have a lot of opportunities to laugh here in Amambay.

Elder Morgan's bathroom
We also have Nestor Benitez, a 20-year-old who wants to become active again so he can go on a mission. I had a really spritual experience teaching him lesson 1 and testifying of the importance of what we do as missionaries. We really are here to invite everyone to come unto Christ, and even if it doesn't always turn out the way we want it to, that is a miraculous opportunity.

Elder Morgan's bedroom
We are waiting to get a call about who is coming and going in our Zone, so I am a little anxious. The future is exciting, and I hope I can be faithful and learn through the difficulties so I can enjoy this amazing experience as a missionary.

Much love,
Elder Wesley Morgan

"I got a package from the primary a couple weeks ago with a Christmas tree and some Snickers bars (melted, but wonderful). This ornament was by far my favorite. Makes me smile every time."

"We also had the District activity this last Monday. We went to that Pizza Hut buffet again. And there is a member in Centro who works in a tall building, which he let us go to the top of and take pictures of the city. So these pictures are not of my area, but the part of the city right next to my area. The only difference is that we don´t have a view of the river or quite as many skyscrapers and government buildings."

"Our district!"

"Elder Speedy broke his shoes (which were already falling apart) as we were running to take these pictures. Fun times!"

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