The goal of this email will be to give everyone an idea of all the thoughts and feelings I´ve had this crazy week. It may be long, and it may be boring, so feel free to move on the the next one if you want;)
Wow! The first week in a new area is always tough. I miss Virú! The people, my companion, the city, the members. But, the members and people here really welcomed me warmly. The best welcome I´ve recieved from a ward so far! And only the third one...
One of the hardest things has been, of course, having to learn all the streets and names and faces! I normally talke lots of time during the week, just as we´re walking or in the apartment, to think about the work. What we´re doing, what´s not working, possible solutions, stuff like that. Well, all that pondering time has been replaced with learning all the new stuff! So in that regard, it´s been a temporal-rather-than-spiritual week, if you will.
My companion is super interesting. He´s a recent convert, who joined the church because of his girlfriend, who introduced him to the missionaries. He was baptized, and one year later came on the mission! He´s from the jungle; his town has no internet access. He found out what facebook was when he was 16! When I got here, I was kind of suprised to find that the work was kinda slow, and that the missionaries, though not lazy, were just a little more inclined to having fun than what I was used to! I love having fun, but there´s a time and a place, right? It´s completely to be expected though; I live with three other Elders (for now) and I´m the only one who was born in the gospel! So I´m looking forward to jump starting the work a tiny bit and just getting to work! Elder Fernandez is super willing, and I´m excited to work with him.
One interesting thing in this mission is that we do 0 street contacting. Nada. The "Talking with everyone" is lacking to say the least. It´s true that the best chance to find prepared people is through the members, but I feel that sometimes we have the mindset that we´re only missionaries from 2:30-9:00 (proselyting time), and the rest we´re something else. I have been feeling the need to really be better at opening my mouth, talking to people everywhere. I feel like at least it will help me feel that I´m a missionary 24/7! I´m sure that experience will be the best teacher, but any advice from past, current, or future missionaries would be helpful. How do you just start up a conversation with someone??
One thing I really want to work on is being more assertive, as a missionary and as a leader. I´m...not that assertive haha. All the good leaders in the scriptures were bold when they needed to be bold! It´s something I lack right now, but I´m really focusing on that and trying to be more like Ammon; on his third day, he took charge and saved the Lamanite flock!
I´m loving the war chapters of the Book of Mormon. Again, learning about leaders, one thing I love about Moroni is his ability to change weaknesses to strengths! I love that principle: a good leader makes strong what was weak. What a blessing to have Christ as our leader, the perfect one to make weak things become strong unto us!
And of course, Happy Halloween!!
Love you all, hope you have a stupendous week!