Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas vision...

Hey Familia!

Sounds and looks like it was a fun week for all of you! Mom that is super cool that you went to that baptism and the sisters were there! Do you remember their names? There is one sister from alabama that is serving in that mission where we live and she was in the MTC with me. But she is speaking spanish so maybe it wasn't her. Haha but yes, that is exactly what I am doing and saying down here! Cool that you got to see that. Nick and brooks! Super proud of you boys and the goodness that you're spreading through your instagram! Keep it up! Jants, I still can't figure out why all of these cute girls are hanging around you... ;) But I'm glad you had fun at the dance! Hahah I love those sweaters!! Dad thanks a ton for your quotes and the advice.  It always comes at a great time! The branch is doing good, kind of struggling a bit.  It is hard work in a branch.  I don't speak too much, but  I did yesterday and I also am teaching the Gospel Doctrine class almost every sunday. But I like it! The rain has stopped so everything is just turning brown and dry. Haha its ugly. But we are all stoked for Christmas!

Well its just another week here in Apaneca.  It's still cold, and supposedly its going to get colder.  Today was wednesday and I headed down to the sisters area, Ataco, to try and set a baptismal date with a girl that they are teaching.   It was a good learning experience for all of us missionaries there because we all realized that no matter how bad we want our investigators to change and to accept the gospel, it always will come down to their decision and if they don't want it, we just have to accept that. Personal agency is a frustrating thing as a missionary sometimes. :) Other than that we are still working pretty hard with the whole "He is the Gift" thing.  That video is so cool, even if I have seen it a million times.  It is helping us to find new investigators…and sometimes not.  There are a few Evangelical churches here that don't celebrate Christmas(Crazy right?) And so they always ask us why we celebrate it if Jesus wasn't even born in December.  The people here have some very interesting opinions on things.
Well, a lot has happened this week.  Its been a tough week really.  Its been hard to find people to teach and bring the ones that we have to church. I am still trying to figure out why its harder to have success here than it is in other areas, and I'm trying to make the changes necessary to have that success.  Today was sunday and we only brought one to church, so that was a bummer. But, we just keep working. The blessings will come, I know. We had agreat Multi Zone conference with Pres. Spjut on friday.  I had the opportunity to lead the music for the whole mtg, that was interesting haha. But I learned a bunch and they focused a lot on the Vision we need to have as missionaries.  They started with the example of professional athletes and how they have the vision of winning the Championship, and then they explained the little things that those athletes have to do everyday in order to achieve that vision or goal. Then, the next example was of Jesus Christ and the vision he had. " bring to pass the inmortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39) And the thing that he had to do to achieve that goal, which was the atonement. They then talked about the vision we should have as missionaries and not only be preparing our investigators for baptism but more for going to the temple and being sealed as a family.  I used this example in my talk in church today as well and said that us as members of the church need to have our own personal vision so we know where we are going and what we need to do to get there. It went pretty good I think.
With our investigators, well haha its been tough.  We are teaching a few families that are way cool and super nice, but they just don't want to get married.  And the one family that does can't because they are waiting for the dad's papers so he can get divorced, then married.  So we are looking hard right now for those new people that are waiting and ready to hear the gospel. I have some new people committed to come to my english class this tuesday so maybe we will have some success there.  We are all in the Christmas mode here.  I'll send some pictures of my decorations that I've put up.  Caroline sent me an awesome package that I got this past week with canned turkey, boxed mashed potatoes and stuffing so we are going to eat well for Christmas. No tortillas, rice or beans! I hope you all are in the Christmas spirit these days and that it will start snowing there soon! The wind has died down here so it has gotten a little warmer, but still is pretty cold at night. 

I love you all so much! Miss ya like crazy! I am still looking for a place to  call you guys for Christmas. But I will be able to use the google hangout thing, no worries! 
Talk to ya next week! 

Elder P R. Thorpe

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