Monday, March 10, 2014

The Streak Continues

"The district activity last Monday--we played soccer."
Well, our streak continues, as this week we had two baptisms. Melisa Paez, who is nine years old, was baptized. Her mom came to church for the first time in a long time. Her sisters are already active, and her nonmember brothers seem to be a little more interested in talking to us (when we bring food, haha). The other one is Nila, who has a very large family (children, cousins, etc.), almost all of whom are living in a fairly small house. Not all of them are members, so we´ll keep passing by there to see who else we can help. The girl in the navy blue shirt is Tomasita, Nila´s niece who came to sacrament meeting and said she really likes it.

We don´t have anyone committed to be baptized this Saturday, but we´ll see what happens. We have some possibilities. Santiago keeps coming to church, and his girlfriend keeps refusing to get married. We also have Emilia, the missionary mom I mentioned, who also attended church. We went by her house with three young adults who live nearby. They were great to help us, but she is very stubborn about wanting to wait until she is absolutely sure of her decision. Patience.

The other investigators who I am hoping for are Liz and Alejandra Vera. They are two teenage girls who remembered the Restoration perfectly when we went back for the second visit. They have some commitments in the Catholic Catechism (sp?), which is like seminary but requires much much more time. Speaking of that, they have seminary in this ward, which is nice. Hope to be able to update you on their progress next week.

The Zone training went well. One thing I wanted to mention. I think I said that most of what we taught came from Elder Ballard. One thing he said is that we shouldn´t look at the missionary handbook as a set of rules, but as a "guide to be a successful missionary." Very, very, very true. Those who obey the rules avoid certain problems and can give all their attention to teaching and working. The assistants, Elder Brown and Elder Arango came to the training. Elder Arango then worked with me in my area. It was a very wet day--rain up to our ankles. But we did get to teach quite a few people. He´s a recent convert with no support from his family, but before the mission he was a tour guide and party host, so he always seems happy and excited. Lots of fun.

Elder Arango and Elder Morgan
Other fun facts: Everyone says I am much skinnier than when I got here. Our chapel is on the corner of the streets Jerusalem and Jericho. Pretty cool. Not to worry you, but Pa´i Ñu is a little "village" wedged between Ñemby, and San Lorenzo, two bigger cities. So we end up with a lot of the not-so-good people from both sides. There are a lot of marijuana smokers, but as long as we stay in the right areas at the right time, there´s no real threat (there you go with Elder Ballard´s advice--it´s not a rule, it´s a guide to success).

We also had a meeting with President Romero, the stake president, and President Agazzani. Pres. Romero didn´t remember me from a year ago, haha. The overriding theme was that the missionaries are baptizing more and more, but due to lack of retention efforts, statistics like church attendance are not improving at all. We talked a lot about how to improve that. It is always interesting to see how the organization of the church works.

Keep me posted on how everyone is doing. Send me some photos if you can. I am starting to feel like the hourglass is running out of sand. But I won´t let that keep me from doing the same things I have been doing every day. There is still lots of work to do, and I am committed to change people´s lives. The church is true, and no amount of opposition can change that. I am so grateful to be a missionary. It is an unforgettable experience. Love you all!

-Elder Wesley Morgan

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