Monday, September 14, 2015

Having a Year Left in the Mission Didn't Mean Anything To Me Until Somebody Showed Me a Trailer for Pokemon Go‏

Sector update! Our investigator Dina is doing well. Unfortunately it seems like she won't be baptized this week but we'll see what happens. The problem is that she feels unprepared for some reason or another. She wants to be baptized, yes, but doesn't know when. But I feel more and more comfortable with her progress. What really helped us was that we brought her to a church activity Wednesday night and she miraculously started chatting it up with one of the young women here - which has never happened. That's been one of her big problems, just overcoming her shyness, but now we've got a perfect fellowshipper for her and not only that but this fellowshipper is one of the very few members that live in our sector and also the ones who live closest to Dina. So it was a pretty heaven-sent solution. We left Dina last night with the commitment to pray for a baptismal date so we'll so how things go! I'm feeling pretty relaxed about the whole thing. I feel like we've done our part.

The week overall was semi-rough. We had a hard time finding people even though we were searching a bunch. We did end up with a bunch of references that we're going to be contacting over the next few weeks, so that's good. It's always frustrating went people aren't at home or don't progress or whatever and we have a real heck of a time trying to get members to come with us mostly because we have trouble coordinating without a cellphone but things work out. It ended well because we had a bunch of people in church!

We're coming to the end of the transfer here and it's been a good time in Lago Agrio until now. There's a chance that they'll take me out of here but I doubt it. I certainly hope not. It's been awesome working out here in the jungle. It's a unique experience I'll never get again. The church is so new here and it's so cool seeing the growth taking place. There's just so much potential in this sector and although I might have not seen a lot of "success" I know it's just waiting over the horizon.

And yeah, I also hit my year mark this week! Nuts, huh? It doesn't even seem real to me. And I also turned 20. I'll admit I might have been thinking a bit more about home but the work continues just the same. I don't feel like I'm one year old in the mission nor twenty years old on planet earth. Things don't feel different though I think my brain is just not able to process right now that things are different now and there's no way that can get back to normal. But I guess that's how life really, normally is. It just won't stop changing.

I was talking with Elder Rubisch, the branch president here, who is going home next transfer. I asked him what his greatest success has been in the mission. He said it's basically been himself, and the change he's had, the person he's come to be.

Looking back on my year I'd say the same. Though I have been able to help many other people I think the most important person I've been able to help is myself. I have learned so much about myself and what God has in store for me. I have a much clearer vision of who I am and who I can be. And I'm getting there, too! I know I wouldn't have learned any of that without the mission - and what could matter more? We only take with ourselves into the next world ourselves. What we've become.

Early on in the mission one of my companions taught me part of the meaning of those verses we know so well in D&C 18:

15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

 16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

Now, who is that one soul? It's actually you, yourself. President Richardson reminded me of that a few weeks ago in my interview. The point is to bring ourselves unto God, first. Then we can find even more joy bringing others there as well.

I think I'm doing pretty good so far. :) You guys out there keep it up, too! The Lord sent us here to win, not to fail. The plan of salvation is not a level playing field.

I also testify that my call is divinely revealed because I'll be back home before Pokemon Go comes out.
 The birthday cake I bought myself.

We dropped on some less-actives improvisedly but hey they bought me ice cream, too. I like how the candle poses the difficult question of hold old am I actually turning.

 Eating encebollados on my one year day!

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