Sunday, March 17, 2013

"see the fruits of working with the members?" (Sam)

Alma 27
17   Now the joy of Ammon was so great even that he was full; yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength; and he fell again to the earth. 

18   Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness.
¡Hola familia!

   Hello! from the other side of the world!
   Things are great here in the mission. Teaching a TON... constantly on the run... but thats what makes it fun..... RHYME......... no more rhyming and I mean it! Anybody wanna peanut?
   Bueno.. :) Yeah things are great. We get to our apartment everynight suuper exhausted almost not wanting to do planning, just ready to jump in bed. We wake up with energy pumped for the people we are going to visit and the lessons we´re gonna teach. Its great. Its how the work should be! We are teaching on average, 3-4ish lessons a day. And its interesting.. in the last two weeks, we have taught 48 lessons... in 45 of those 48 lessons, members have been involved.  I´ll explain it to you....... many think, as well I as I have always thought, that "missionary work" is going to those who don´t know about the church to help them to know more about the church (aka knocking doors, talking in the streets, etc.). What I have realized in the mission especially recently, is that the mission is a lot more productive and you have LONGER LASTING SUCCESS when you work with those that already know about the church to take initiative and act on what they know. The majority of those that already have knowledge about the church have learned it through friends or family that are members. We use those same members in our lessons to teach their friends, but also to help build the member´s testimonies and teaching abilities. 45 of our 48 lessons this last two weeks have had to do with members because we visit less actives, recent converts, part member families, and we bring members to the houses of the non members. We actually rarely visit houses of all active going members. We obviously can if we want, but there are more productive ways to work. Its fun to compare and combine experience in the companionship because we always come out knowing a little bit more than we knew before we met. I'm learning a lot from Elder Blanch... How to work with the members effectively being one of those things.
   Mom, the week has been great. I am happy, healthy, and busy. :) I´m... getting more and more familiar with the area.. Its really big. Go to google map..... search Sevilla...... now look to the left of Sevilla on the coast and you´ll see Huelva. Our District Leader is in Huelva with his comp so our area is basically starting at Sevilla and going halfway to Huelva.... all of those pueblos ......... so its significantly different than other  "areas" in the mission :) Cuz we´re not trying to memorize names of streets or the fastest path to take to the church... rather..... "am I driving noorrrrth....? or south......? OPE... just missed my exit.... Ooooooooo just took it from 5th gear to 4th gear instead of 5th to 6th.... ope! just missed the next exit I was gonna take..." Those are the things we worry about now... :D haha But really, things are actually going super well. I´m learning my way around. :) What I don´t know is if my international drivers license is going to expire soon or not. I´ll check and update you. 

   WE HAD A BAPTISM YESTERDAY! :P an awesome guy named J! It was a guy they were teaching here in this area when I got here. He´s an awesome country guy that lives waaaay waay out in these little ranches with his mom, his wife and her mom. His wife was less active and that's how they found him and she has since been reactivated and he was baptized yesterday afternoon! (see the fruits of working with the members??? ... baptizing the husband, re-activating his wife... and now J´s mom wants to be baptized...  :)
   Mom! ¡No te des por vencida! Don´t give up! :) If I could only tell you how many times I have drawn completely blank trying to answer people or even understand them! That´s what harder for me.. understanding everything.. but anyways, just keep going. Little by little. Just try to constantly be thinking Spanish. Say what you can say in spanish. for example, a recent convert here in this ward knows ONE WORD of english...... and she LOVES saying it! "YES. YES! YES!" She knows the word "yes" and she loves saying it! its hilarious. She is a great example to me of being grateful for what I have and know instead of being sad about what I don´t know. She is amazing!
   Anyways, I have writen a lot of blaa nada but its alright. I hope I´ve gotten my message through. I love you all and I will see you all soon enough! Go be missionaries!
Love you!   -Elder Norton

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