Ola para todos,
This week, as every week in the mission has been, went by very fast. The sad part is that Daniel wasn´t baptized (he had a small relapse with cigarettes and alchohol), but he´s much better now after the interview and he´s getting ready for this week. We had a couple other interesting things happen, too:
- Ward Council happened for the first time in almost 3 years. We´ve been needing it for a long time, mainly because the greater part of all the organization in the ward was being done by us and Bishop Moura. Now, with the whole Council functioning as it should be, we´ll be able to work much faster and much more efficiently. The main tools by which we´re getting organized are: Progress Records (every week, we make copies of the PR for each of the organizations in the ward. We then mark with a highlighter which responsibilities are for that specific organization and explain exactly what the member needs to do to make that particular person happy and well-integrated. [the Help Needed section is filled out during our weekly planning session and specific and simple instructions are put in to help every member know what his/her special assignment is] After the designation is given, we ask that all members call us back after doing what was asked for their organization [in each organization in the ward, there is now one counselor responsible for Missionary Work - we give the progress records to them and let them take care of other designations in their own organizations] and what needs to be done in the future, etc.), the Weekly Planning Session (this has been something that I´ve always prized in the mission and have always used, but now President has been really emphasizing the need of a good, inspired and goal-oriented planning session to insure our success. We analize each part of our work and establish goals behind each part. I´ve actually learned that this is one of my favorite things to do, period. I really enjoy planning for success, and I don´t mind spending a good chunk of time doing it, if it yields results. Lots of my companions haven´t had the patience to plan as much as I´ve wanted to, but Elder Lott and I were able to plan well and it really made the difference for us) and our weekly meetings with the Bishop and Ward Mission Leader, as well as our meeting with the recently-called ward missionaries (we train them as if it were District Meeting and give them special teaching assignments and study topics - it´s been working really well!).
Elder Lott was transferred after having stayed here for a good 9 months - the ward and I will miss him. My new companion is Elder Romm - he´s awesome! He´s from Washington and he´s exactly what I wanted in a comp. We´ll work really hard and very effectively.
Well, I am a little stunned to see how fast the time has gone. I knew it would go by fast, but I didn´t really know how fast. I have frequently felt very inadequate on the mission - as if I wasn´t doing my best, as if all my efforts were in vain, and as if something was always putting me under the microscope to magnify my faults and weaknesses. For this last transfer, I´m putting everything in practice that I´ve learned until now.
Here are some of my goals:
- I don´t want to have any regrets.
- help at least 7 more people be baptized before the end and become strong, active, contributing members of the church
- strengthen the ward infrastructure and help to hold up the Bishop´s arms
- lead by example and help others shine
- feel genuine peace at the end of every day
- talk to ALL that I possibly can about the Restored Gospel
There will be time for many things after the mission, and I will let those things wait as we work here. I have made a decision to, for at least these last 6 weeks, give myself and my will to the Lord. Even if I´m tired or don´t want to work, I have obtained a testimony as to the divinity of this work and I know that all who hear this message will be changed forever. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World - He lives. I know that through His Atonement we can receive opportunities to repent and show our worthiness. This act of repentance prepares us to more fully experience the joy that He wants us to feel, always. I know that I have much to learn, and that though it might not be easy, it will be worth it.
I love you all - let´s do this as it should be done.
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