Monday, September 1, 2014

The Refiner's Fire...


Muchas gracias por the email! Always good to hear how things are going back in the ville. Mom I knew you would like my last email.  I just get home at night and take 5 or 10 minutes and write a bit on my Alphasmart and it seems to be working so far.  So hopefully I can keep up the detailed emails! Yes, I got that stinkin' mouse.  Not sure how... Haha we came home one day and he was dead on the floor.  That's what he gets for eating my bananas.  But, we did find another one last night.  I tried to catch him, but he got away.  We'll get him though, no worries!  

SO, this week, it's been good.  Not too much has happened, but we have taken a new approach at moving along the work of salvation.  We have just started to ask all of the members all of the less or inactives that live by them and then we go and visit them.  That way we can meet new members and help reactivate them, and also usually find some new investigators because the majority of the time there will be at least one person in the family who didn't get baptized that we can teach.  It has started to work pretty well for us and we have found that there are sooo many inactive people in this area.  We talked to the old bishop of the ward, the old guy who has lived here his whole life so he knows everyone in town and their dog.  He gave us about 30 names and told us that there is probably about 400 people that are members, but we only have around 80-100 in church every sunday. So, we have a lot of work to do.  We have always visited the less actives, but now I have realized that it is something that we need to focus on a lot more here.  So I'm actually really excited to keep going with it.  We are meeting a ton of new people and are starting to commit some to go to church this week, so we'll see how it goes!
Tomorrow is Friday, again. Boy these days just fly by.  We had zone and district meetings today.  I can't remember if I explained those very well before, but we have them every thursday. First Zone meeting, then district.  It's mostly to pump up the faith and animo of the missionaries and also to talk about what we need to do better on and if any areas need help with their investigators.  The meetings were so hard for me at the first of my mission, haha, I had a hard time staying awake through them all.  But now I get excited to go and learn more, its funny how that has changed. But the meetings were good, we read the story about the refiners fire.  In the story, there's one guy who describes how the fire works with the gold and stuff.  They asked him how he knows when the gold is ready and completely pure and he said he knows when he can see his own reflection in it.  SO that is the same with our Heavenly Father, he will put us through tough challenges and trials, the refiners fire, until he can see his own reflection in us.  We may not get to that point in this life, but that is our main goal.  And with every trial and challenge, we get one step closer to that goal. Pretty neat, right? We had a pretty good day of work too, not too much happened but it was a good day.  I realized today how much I love this area.  I really hope I stay here for awhile longer! There is just a lot of work to do and I finally feel like I know what I'm doing as a missionary and know how to help people.  It is so cool! 
Well today, friday, was interesting.  We were getting ready in the morning to go and do some service when we get the call that Elder Lopez's visa is ready to go and we have to go to San Salvador to pick it up.  We had to be there at 2 so we went and did some service, then got ready to go.  We ended up waiting for a bus for almost an hour and a half before it finally came. We got there, got the visa, and then had to wait in the office of the temple for another 2 and a half hours to get his flight figured out. So there was a lot of just sitting and waiting around. To top it all off, the bus ride home was a very tight squeeze... we were squished against the window because a rather large lady decided to sit next to us.  That was a very long ride home. Poor Elder Lopez was stuck in the middle haha.  But, we made it back to Atiquizaya around 8pm, and had just enough time to have a great lesson with L.  The ZLs came and did a baptism interview with him aand tried to tell him that he is ready to be baptized.  He says he believes its all true but is just a little scared to do it.  But we gave him a blessing to help him get over his fear and it was really powerful.  So we'll see how that goes.
We had a Baptism on Saturday! Jair Hernandez is his name and he was baptized and confirmed this week.  We had been teaching his mom for a bit and then realized that he was 9 years old and hadn't been baptized yet.  His two older siblings are members, but him no. So we asked him if he wanted to be baptized and he was so excited he could hardly stand it.  So he got baptized saturday and his mom is going to be baptized on the 26 of this month.  L was finally able to see a baptism and it all went great.  We had a great lesson with L after the baptism and another great one sunday night, but he says he wants to wait a little longer to be baptized.  He is afraid of going inactive after his baptism and so thats what is keeping him from saying yes.  But Sunday night we had an amazing lesson and he told us that he knows he will be baptized, but he just wants a little more time.  He really opened up to us about his relationship with his brother and how much it means to him and all that, it was awesome.  I know he will be baptized soon.
So, crazy news.  Elder Lopez is chuckin a duece and heading to Brazil on tuesday.  So I am getting a new comp who is actually a mini missionary.  Supposedly I am going to be training, again, but the kid I am training had some problems with his papers to get down here so he is serving in a stateside mission right now and he will come down here in a few weeks.  Not sure why they are deciding to give elder Thorpe all of the kids with visa problems but, haha that's okay.  I'm really excited to see what happens! It also means I will be staying in this area for possibly another 12 weeks.  Good thing I love it here! 
Well, I love you all like crazy and miss ya a ton as well! Hope you enjoy the pics I put on, some are of the service we did, and others of Jairs baptism.  
Hope you are having a great Labor day! 

Elder Thorpe


Jair's baptism

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