Monday, November 18, 2013

El Crecimiento de la Rama*

*Growth of the Branch

Well, most importantly, I´m still alive. Haha, even more important, we are still on our way to having a baptism and wedding this Saturday. I don´t know if I mentioned that another couple from Atyrá (one of the small groups within our branch boundaries) will get married and baptized at the same time. We´ve seen a lot of progress in Delfina. I don´t know if I mentioned that she was very shy at the beginning, but she smiles and laughs a lot more, and she even shared a spiritual experience about how she prayed to find her daughter who had been kidnapped.

We´re finding lots of new people to teach, normally thanks to our efforts in reactivation. We have Hugo and Estela, who said the following when we were getting to know their situation, "We just moved here; he´s out of work and I have been very sick, but we are looking for a new church to join." Those are all great things to hear to help someone accept the gospel! They talked a we didn´t teach much. And we have to take a bus to get to their house. But we´ll be back there soon.

In another far area, we found the Rodriguez family, which are 5 or 6 humble families that live right next to each other. There are a lot of very young mothers and grandmothers there (very common in this area), but they seem willing to listen. The Centurión family are members who used to be very active but got offended because of some things that really shouldn´t bother them anymore. They are a great family that we hope to reactivate soon.

And one more great family we´ve found are the Garcias, recent converts who have a 9-old-son to baptize.They have a problem that we are finding a LOT, which is that they work Sundays because they are barely making enough to get by. I am going to be studying a lot about that--3 Nephi 13 and 1 Kings 17 this morning--and I would love your input as to how to help people have the faith to come to church so they can receive even more blessings than they would for working.

Other news about people--I found out that my convert Diego from Amambay recently baptized someone. And Elder Jessop is already a District Leader. I saw him at the conference with Elder Christofferson, which was very interesting. Elder Walter F. Gonzalez, (Area Pres.) Elder DiGiovanni (70), and their wives gave brief talks. Then all Elder Christofferson did was ask about our comments on those talks and open it up for other questions. Someone asked about how to help people who don´t read very much (very common problem), and it was interesting to see that Elder Christofferson was able to give us some inspired but general adivce (love and persistence), but Elder Gonzalez and the Mission Presidents were able to give us more area-specific counsel. Moral of the story--apostles are awesome, but we should also listen to local leaders because they´ve also experienced what we´re going through.

I also did my first calling interview for a Young Men´s counselor. That was so awkward. I am so inexperienced. But luckily he is a great guy (recent convert) who is willing to help. I´m sure I´ll get the hang of these things soon. We called Liza Melgarejo to be in charge of organizing the church cleaning. The other missionaries are also working hard in their callings. Elder Godoy actually reminds me a lot of Tony--very similar personalities. Funny to hear that he works with Sophie´s dad!

On the other hand, it is rough to hear about Patriarch Cooper. I won´t be seeing quite as many of the faces as I was hoping to when I get back, but I guess that´s just part of life. I hope all goes well with the rest of the ward. Remember how blessed you are to have such worthy, obedient leaders.

Elder Morgan the Older

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