Monday, October 22, 2012


I love my family, día 503, Week 72,
I love you! Each week seems to have very similar feelings attached to it. I feel that I haven't gotten everything done that I'd wanted to, there is never enough time, time goes by fast, I love being a missionary and serving the Lord, etc. One of the biggest mission lessons that I've learned is that no matter what there are always going to be things that I won't be able to do, time is limited and the best moment is now. I am getting scared that the mission will actually end one day. As President Uchtdorf said, we shouldn't live with regrets, so I want to live my mission. I know that this time only comes once. There is always so much to do and enjoy!
Monday! For the first time in a long time we played soccer with the zone. It was rather enjoyable and I attribute that to the nice field with a roof over it. Usually in the mornings the sun is so strong and blinding so playing soccer is much less enjoyable than it could be otherwise. So it appears that we're going to repeat last week's game, going to play at the nice field with the roof covering. Our Monday night wasn't so hot. Sometimes it can really be hit or miss working with the members. I feel like while we may lose a bit of time waiting around for them that the few times we actually “hit” make it worth the waits. We attempted a noche de hogar with the Cruz family, but not too much happened there. We were told to wait that it was going to start that just a few more minutes, etc. Frustrating, but at times necessary.
Tuesday! The day was pretty full of visits. It was nice! We visited the people who got baptized last week, contacted the current investigators. We're seeing a miracle with Juan Ernesto. He is doing all possible to stop smoking (both weed and cigarettes). He is succeeding. His wife has told us on various occasions that he hasn't smoked at all. He tells us that he's having trouble sleeping at night but that he continues to do his best. He is excited to get baptized. When we first found him at the beginning of September we weren't sure if he'd be able/want to give all that up, but we're seeing a big miracle. We're so excited for that. I know that there is a true power in the Atonement of Christ and prayer. He has developed the faith, hope, and confidence in the Lord necessary to overcome serious addictions. We were able to put a fecha bautismal with a new contact turned investigator. Her name is Cindy. We'll see. The day finished with a visit to Andrea, who's been an on and off investigator since we found her in June. She's finally starting to progress and understand the true importance of prayer and reading the scriptures to find out for herself if what we teach is true. We're working with her so that she realizes how important it is for her to know for herself. She seems to be moving forward. The last thing we did, a little unexpectedly, was explain to a member taking some sort of feminist culture class at the university how she could correctly explain polygamy to her biast, sexist teacher and classmates. That was fun-ish.
Wednesday! The first time in my mission that I used family history was Wednesday. We brought someone from the ward involved with family history up to Juan Ernesto and his wife Gloria to talk about family history. It was a cool experience because Gloria, who's been very, very negative, still actively going to her church and constantly contending with us, said that she'd been praying to find a way to find out more information about her father that she never knew. Juan Ernesto always talks about how his roots come from Portugal. The best thing is that Gloria committed to come to church this coming Sunday. We're excited about that. The small miracles like that really show me that the Lord is watching over and wanting to help me. We did a bit of door touching, one of my least favorite things to do, but at times a necessary thing to do. The last visit of the day was to German y Angela with his long time music student Mauricio (from another ward). They really are progressing slowly, still haven't come to a normal sacrament meeting. The greatest thing was that despite not passing for about 3 weeks we discovered that they are still reading the Book of Mormon and at least he is praying asking if what we teach is true. We just need to find a way to get them to church! We challenged them for baptism. They didn't say, “yes,” but German says every single time that he, as we do, wants to know that what we teach is true.
Thursday! Divisiones! I went to the other area with Elder Araújo, of Brasil. After the house inspections of a week and a half ago some Elders need to find new houses so I went to go approve a new house for the Elders. After doing that the Elder with me took me all around and I met their people. I like doing divisiones because it lets me see a little bit of the miracles that are happening in other places. I really feel blessed and priveleged to have such a great zone. The Elders and Hermanas are all working hard and are obedient. We were supposedly going to have an early meeting in the office Friday morning so I came back to our area with Elder Araújo to have a sleep over so that we could be on time to the office, leaving directly from our house and not having me travel all the way back to our house, getting ready, then going to the office.
Friday! Almost the entire day we were out of the house. We left at about 07:30 to go to the office only to not have the meeting we thought we were going to. We were supposed to meet with the city ZL's to plan a city wide (4 stake) baptismal service but after waiting for an hour and a half we decided to go to the lawyer's to drop off all the necessary papers. The meeting started finally at 11:30. I feel like most of the other people in the world are clueless. I don't feel like we accomplished much because in the end we had to wait until Sunday when Presidente Hernandez had a giant meeting with all the Stake Presidencies of the city to decide the date and place for the baptismal service, but for some reason the other ZL's thought we should continue trying to plan this event without the two assignment determining details. Maybe I'm wrong! We got back to the area and time flew. Lately I have been having my watch in my pocket and not on my wrist because the band broke (not a bad thing) and I like it better. I haven't really been concerned with the time while we've been in visits and some how in the afternoon we went to three visits and the day was over. In the early afternoon we were taken to a reference from a member of another ward (again). They are four cousins living together studying here in the city. They are all from up north, just here for studies. The lesson was super positive the three that were there were all interested in the Book of Mormon. They live in the rich part of our area. I really do love teaching educated people because I love being able to use long sentences, not have to slow down much and expect them to remember everything that we teach. We gave all three of them Books of Mormon. They're also our literal neighbors. We live just around the corner. We visited the ever progressing Juan Ernesto and finally we could put a fecha bautismal with Andrea.
Saturday! The day was a bit long, a bit rainy, or a lot rainy, but it was a good day. The day just seems so long and gloomy when it gets dark super early and it's raining. We visited a long time investigator (of a year and a half), she's the mom of a girl that got baptized last year. She told us that this year she wanted to get baptized so we convinced her to put a date and to do it! She said December 15. While a bit distant, it was a great step for her! We were able to visit a few friends of an awesome returned sister missionary. The mission doesn't have to end! There is a real difference between contacts that we do and the references that members give. The rate of progression is much, much, faster.
Sunday! When we woke up it was cloudy and raining. I think it started raining at like 05:00 or something like that. No one came to church. The attendance for our ward was 64. The best part though was that Juan Ernesto came alone to the chapel. He is excited. He is such a great person. He greeted every single person personally with a handshake in the church thanking them for coming. He really feels comfortable here. He has told us that in all the other churches he's been rejected, judged, gossiped about for his former addictions and he says that we're the only ones that have actually helped and not judged. Literally all of our appointments fell so we stopped by various members houses teaching the Alma and Amulek story, trying to show the importance of members helping us!
All is well.
I love being a missionary. I miss you lots but I know that this is where I need to be now. I can't believe that Dannee is actually 19. It's almost time for the Christmas phone call. This week marks the 2 month countdown for the call!! Hooray!
Love and miss you,

Elder Clay

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