Monday, September 22, 2014

Amazing Zone Conference with Elder Ochoa

Sugar cane

Sup Familia!

Happy to hear that Mom and Dad had fun in Powell and got home safely.  The pics look sweet! That houseboat is so cool! Tell Rob they have to go next year again so I can go! With football, yeah, timpview... love those guys.  Sounds like everyone was psyched out before, hate when that happens.  Brooks and Nick congrats on the wins! And Jants, well there's always next week! Hermana Groneman is right here sitting next to me and told me that Utah beat Michigan this past week and are 3-0 so far.  That's sweet! Oh, so L's mom is doing good, much better.  Her son on the mission is doing great and the english is coming along, sounds like he got a little sick with the change of weather starting, but he's good.  Alright, well, I wrote a ton this week so enjoy! We had a real great week and learned lots!

Well, we've had a pretty good week so far.  It's Tuesday today. Yesterday was Independence day here and there were a lot of parades going on.  All of Atiquizaya was down at the park watching the parade, it was crazy.  We got to see some of it, then we went up to another city called Ahuachapan where we buy our food, and we got to catch the end of their parade too.  We went to go eat at this fast food place and as we were waiting for our food it started to rain really hard, so all of those people that were out watching the parade got soaked. A ton of them came into the restaurant dripping wet. Today, tuesday, was a surprisingly good day. We had okay plans for the day, but it turned out to be great.  We were able to visit some less actives with some members and found a few positive new investigators.

Here it is Wednesday and I learned a TON.  We had such a good Zone Conference with Elder Ochoa, the first counselor of the area presidency here in Centro America.  He is a super cool guy and sure is a man called of God.  The first part of the conference, he asked us what questions we wanted answered so he picked 5 and answered them all like he had planned it all out and knew what questions were going to be asked.  Everyone really loved it and all of us learned so much.  I was so pumped to get back to my area and start putting into practice the stuff that we learned.  He answered a lot of the questions that I had and problems that we currently have with our investigators.  He talked all about Faith and Repentance and how they go hand in hand with one another.  You MUST have faith to be able to repent. He also explained how this entire world and plan that God created was created by Faith.  He also made me realize a little more about the importance of being set apart as a missionary.  You are literally given the power to look into someones eyes and tell if they have the desire to change and except the Gospel.  He put it into perspective by telling us that we have more confidence, and it is so true.  He said, I bet you guys wouldn't have thought you could go into a strangers home, sit down with their family and look into their eyes and tell if they wanted to change, and teach them how they can do it, before your mission.  I would have NEVER done that before the mission, and now it has become a thing I do several times each day. So I learned a lot more about the importance of the term being "set apart".  It was an awesome Conference, the whole 7 hours that we were there went by so fast and I wanted to hear more! It was a good day, and to top it all off, Elder Isom and I made us some pretty incredible pancakes for dinner.
It's Friday today and we had a good day.  I'm dead tired, but we got a lot of stuff done.  We had to be really strict with our time today because I had to do 2 baptism intervews at two different times and we also had important appointments inbetween so we were running all over town.  But we got everything done that we wanted to do. We are really trying to find more people to teach now.  Elder Ochoa told us that we should have a plan to baptize every week, which we had but it just wasn't all that great.  We made  new one's with the investigators we have now and put them in the weeks that we think they can be baptized in, and we realized that we need more people to get into this rotation.  So that's what we are kind of focusing on a lot right now.  A big thing I saw today was how easy it is to fall into the temptations that Satan throws out there. I was able to see it in a few different situations and it was just a reminder of how important it is to have the Gospel and Spirit in our lives. I really felt a stong love for the people today, a lot more than usual.  One recent convert's husband, who is a member and great guy, has made some dumb decisions lately that are starting to tear the family apart.  The recent convert told us everything today and it was really hard to see the pain in her eyes.  It has just been another testimony builder that the Gospel really blesses the family when we are living what it teaches us.   Hopefully everything turns out okay for them. 
We had a good Saturday today. We walked all over the place and are way tired, but we found a very positive lady today.  She was a reference from the sister missionaries, Hermana Groneman actually. (yeah, springville is working hard down here) This lady lives about on the edge of our area and it's in a place that we don't usual go to because it's so far and there hasn't been much success there, but we fnally found her.  She is one of the people that worked at the small school where I went and did a few english classes back in May.  She told me she had seen me over there before, and that she had always been interested in the missionaries but never could talk to us about the Gospel at the school because it wasn't aloud.  But somehow the sisters found her and now we are teaching her.  She is a really nice lady and is very interested in the church.  The really weird thing is that she actually understands the things that we teach her.  Most people don't quite get it all, but she is understanding and asks awesome questions. It will be fun to see what happens with her. So that was a miracle that we got to see today. 
Today was sunday and it was pretty good, mostly because of the weather.  I'm trying to enjoy these rainy days when they come because we haven't had many of them and the rainy season is about to end.  It was cloudy and was like a mist rain almost all afternoon, it was so sweet. I gave a talk today in church on Faith and Repentance and used the story of the 2000 stripling warriors as an example of incredible repentance, by their fathers, and faith on their part to fight for their families and freedom.  Elder Isom gave his first talk in spanish and did great! He is coming along with the Español.  We went out to kind of a far away part of our area today where we don't usually work because its a long walk and there aren't as many people, but we got a reference that lived out there so we went and contacted him, and also found a few other people that were pretty receptive to us.  I felt bad for making Elder Isom walk clear out there cuz he wasn't feeling to hot.  But he was a trooper and did just fine and is now feeling a bit better.  Another 2 other elders in my district are sick, one has to go get tests done to see if he has dengue tomorrow, and the other has a nasty cold.  It has made me very grateful for my health! Hope mine stays good. Hey, Jantsen, Nick and Brooks, hope you kids are keeping up on your daily scripture study! I have been reading in the last chapters of Alma and they are so sweet.  They're the battle chapters.  Starting in 44 until the end of Alma makes for some pretty sick scripture study.     
Well have a great week guys, miss ya'll like crazy and Love ya lots too! Jants have fun at Homecoming this week, hope to see some pics of that.  I sent you guys some, one of a fish that I ate for lunch last week, it was really good. One of a pet mouse that some investigators have, and one of me standing in the middle of some Sugar cane.
Love ya!

Elder Thorpe

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