What a long week. Wow.
This is a very different place than the city. Very calm, less...busy. Like, we can meet with our investigators every day, the members have time to come with us, it's cool. Also, did I forget to mention that we have bikes? Pretty fun, but my legs are on fire always. Naturally, I got landed with a tiny, Mongoose bike like the one I had when I first learned how to ride, and pedaling that little thing all over the rocky streets of this little town is hilariously painful. But the weather is amazing, the mountains are absolutely gorgeous, I like it.
Elder Armengol is a horse. The man works and works and works. Apparently, his previous companion didn't want to do anything, and now he's bursting out of his cage. They normally had about 5 or 6 lessons with a member each week. This week we had 18. I'm learning a lot from him. Obviously, there is a reason I am here. It's sad to be away from Auditorio, but God wants me here and I'm going to find out why.
So being in a branch is a lot different than being in a ward. For example, this sunday I spoke in sacrament meeting, played piano, prepared the sacrament, and taught primary. Which is all fine, except for the primary part. THose kids are a lot of work. They combined the whole primary this week because the primary president just moved to mexico city (I don't blame her at all) and the other primary teacher went inactive (I do blame her). They were like a bunch of 4 foot whirling dirvishes. I don't even know what a whirling dirvish is, but that's what they were like. Sheish. Anyway, this branch really lacks priesthood leadership, there are only a handful of active men, and half of them are recent converts who don't really know anything. So that will really be the challenge here. We are focusing more on the members than the investigators right now. President Wagner said that if the attendance in the branch stays where it is at about 70 from now until december, they will construct a chapel here in Sayula. Right now we are meeting in a rented out building. It's beautiful and serves its purpose fine, but still, who doesn't want a chapel? So we are using that to motivate the members to come to church and to come with us to lessons, because we have a new mission rule that we can no longer teach investigators without a member present unless the lesson is in the chapel. No member, no lesson. Pray for the members here that they can be strengthened. We have been going around every day teaching them whatever we learned in our personal study in the morning, and it has been pretty effective. A marvelous work is about to come forth here.
I got sick this week. Tamales again, dang it. Better stay away from those. I spent two nights on the toilet with diarrhea. But speaking of food and the perks of Sayula, there are two members that own bakeries and one with a taco stand, so we pretty much have free reign of mexican pastries and tacos whenever we want. So great.
We might have a baptism this week. Her name is T and she has been going to church for a long time, but she has a really hard time understanding things. It is hard for her to progress because she can barely read the Book of Mormon and still doesn't get how to pray. It has taken a lot of patience. Pray for her please! We have a baptismal date for the 24th also, a 13 year old girl named C. She is friends with some members and has also been coming to church for a while now. We have taught her almost all the lessons this week and she is progressing really well.
I just want to take a minute to tell you how much I love you. Mom, Dad, thank you for being faithful members of the church who raised me well so I can be happy. I have been so blessed and I know it is because of decisions you made when you were my age and younger to choose the right and serve the Lord. It has been really hard to be all of a sudden sacked out of an area and away from the members, missionaries, and investigators that I loved so much, and to come here where I have no friends, no idea what is going on, and no one else who speaks English other than my Heavenly Father. I have been a little homesick this week, I am not going to lie, and I don't want to be like that. I want to be totally focused and consecrated to the Lord. What did you do in situations like that? I have definitely been praying a lot and learning lots of patience and humility, but I still don't feel...satisfied? I don't want to be so focused on me and how I feel, I want to care more about the people here. Advice? Pray for me please.
Timo, enjoy your last week of childhood! Keep being strong in the gospel. Read the Book of Mormon and pray every day. You are going to be an amazing missionary, I know it. Set a good example for the little guys.
Emily, keep being the wonderful person you are. Smile, be a friend to everyone like you already do, and Heavenly Father will use you to bless many lives.
Izak, you have the priesthood. Honor it, be a good boy and listen to mom and dad. You will be a great example to your friends and little brothers.
Micah and Zane, listen to the Holy Ghost. He will help you make good decisions. I love you!
Gwen, you're so great! Smile, be nice to your brothers and your friends, pay attention in primary. Be ready when it's time to get baptized in two years.
I love you! I pray for you every day! Trust in God and in Jesus Christ. He is your Savior, and through him, we can live together forever! Have a great week!
PS somebody tell Steph happy birthday this Saturday.