Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 2 in La Paloma

Hola Familia,

So glad to hear that you are all doing well and that everyone is doing well. We're doing great here in La Paloma. Fun fact of the day: today the 20th of October is officially 365 days until my official release date. But... far too early to be thinking about that.

We are doing well in the branch. We had a rather successful week. We had different people in the chapel, but some of the people that normally come didn't come, so the church attendance didn't change. We had 18 people in the chapel, including the 6 little kids in the primary. The Canadian tourist Joshua Thom came again (he is a recent convert) so I got to translate for him in combined priesthood/relief society and for the Sacrament meeting. I taught the Sunday school lesson about Hosea (Mildly cryptic, and a little difficult to understand it, let alone explain it to a class of mostly less active members in a different language), then I gave a 25 min talk in sacrament meeting because the two people who were going to give the others didn't come. My companion also gave a great talk and it was almost completely understandable. It looks like every week at least one of us will be giving a talk if not the two.

This next week is the week of elections. In Uruguay, everyone needs to go back to their town of birth to vote (sort of like the taxing and census in the times of Jesus). Since the majority of our members are not actually from La Paloma they will be traveling that day to make the vote. That includes the Branch President, 2 of the active members, and the sister that has the assignment from the district to teach Relief Society/Priesthood hour. We're going to have to pray real hard that everyone else comes and we can have at least the sacrament meeting with the few people that can come. 

We are spending a lot of time outside looking for more new people to teach. We had a good list of people to pass by when we got here, but it seems like the majority of them are only accepting us to be polite and to talk, but are not really keeping up their end of the commitment, such as reading the materials. We will need to express to them the importance of keeping their commitments with regard to their investigation. We can only make sure that we teach with power and authority so they can feel the Spirit, but if they are not going to act upon those feeling they might just need a little time before other missionaries pass by. We're going to keep passing by every once in a while, but less often and instead use the time to search for people that are willing to do their part. 

Every day we see more and more miracles. This area has been a big change. It has been and still is a big learning experience, and I am loving every moment. My companion is teaching more and more and taking more and more initiative to speak up in the lessons. It's so fun to see him grow in his language and be come a powerful testifier of the truth. I know without a doubt that this transfer cycle was inspired and I just want to take advantage of every moment I have here to learn from my companion and from this branch.

In other news, my English is getting way worse (I put everything out of order and sometimes forget the subjects of the sentence and forget basic expressions in English). I don't know how this happened, especially being with an American companion. Hopefully when we talk on Christmas it won't be completely gone.
Well everything is doing well here. I miss you so much, but I love you even more.

Things to send:
More maple syrup flavoring (it's been great) and chocolate chips (if you can) and gram's chocolate chip cookie recipe. Chocolate chips don't exist down here.


We don't receive lunch here in this branch because there are so few people and the other people that would like to are very humble. It might be possible that eventually I will need to take out money for food and travel, I won't take out more than I need. Just advising you in case you see that I take out money from my card unexpectedly.

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