Sunday, August 16, 2015

10 August 2015

What an awesome week. Since it was the first week with my new companion, we spent a lot of time introducing him to members and all but man it's so cool to work with him. He´s very distinct from my past few companions. More than anything he's ready to just work hard and make this place amazing. I really appreciate that. We've been walking and talking till we drop all week long. Oh so you can see what he looks like here the only pic I've got as of right now. 

Seriously this week has been unreal. We've been making progress like no other week that I've been here. We went to visit some less active members and I remember two visits in specific because they were similar in a way. They are both sisters that have a hard time with depression and always seem a little down but I remember that in the lessons each one smiled more and even laughed here and there, which is something I hadn't seen from them in months. Then we were teaching another family where all are inactive but the mom, and it just went really really well. 
Around mid week we went with Luis (the 9 year old that just got baptized) to go over the lessons again but we made sure that we did it with his dad (who isn't a member) present. We taught the first lesson and it went so well. Luis remembered tons, Lizet (the mom) helped a lot and Javier (the dad) had questions and promised to start reading the Book of Mormon. We are planning on having a family home evening with them in about an hour from now and at the end they want to go to the temple grounds. i'm really hoping that it turns out to be an amazing experience for them and for us. 

Jesus Antonio couldn't make it to church again for scheduling problems but he is still progressing really well.
Consuelo and her kids are headed out to Mexicali this week so we´ll be sending that reference off to the Tijuana mission but they are so prepared.
Things are just going so well here. and this next week will be the best of them all. 
Also rumors are about that president will be opening up some of the smaller towns here in Sonora that missionaries haven't ever touched before so that should be an awesome thing, I can't wait to here how it goes (should it happen of course).

Sabbath day observance is a major theme here and so important. I love the quote (although I don't remember from where. I'm pretty sure its in gospel principals manual in some part but not the chapter about sabbath day ironically) that talks about how observance of that commandment has a direct correlation to how well we do both temporally and spiritually, personally obviously but as a nation itself, when the keeping of that commandment weakens so does that nations strength, economy, etc weaken.
Missing out on the sabbath day is like saying nah I'm good, I'll just go ahead and fend for myself, help accepted but nah not needed. Maybe it works for a bit but it can't last. And when you need help, it'll be a lot harder to get. I know a less active sister here who is going through some really hard times right now. She may lose everything which would be horrible. It's really hard to see and know that if she would just listen to the Lords counsel and go to church Sunday, pay tithing, keep the entire sabbath day holy, etc, that she would feel fine. The problems may come but when your right with the Lord, there is no need to worry. In contrast, in Pueblitos (my last area) the Navoa family told us about how there was a time they had nothing, living in a carton house and struggling to even find the basic food for them and their kids but how they never let themselves forget the Sabbath day and tithing. They talked about how miraculously they came through and are now doing much better. 
It's kinda funny how tithing and the Sabbath Day go hand in hand. I feel like one without the other is somewhat incomplete.

The other day we were talking with bishop and he told of the new plan president was making help with retention and reactivation. It's a great idea I cant wait to get started with. Each organization within the church will choose a few less actives and then we go with them and they present us missionaries to them and all. Then working with their home teachers we begin teaching the mission lessons. At the end of 5 weeks the goal is for them to have an interview with bishop and get a calling. Each person reactivated is like a baptism and we will be reporting the numbers and everything. I love the plan because it reminds me of how very important fellowshipping is. This plan basically ensures that people feel comfortable and that they have friends. Never stop being a friend to everyone. It makes all the difference and everyone wins. I always think of my Grandpa Ward as one of the best examples of  this. He's just a friendly happy person. I'm pretty sure that in his town there's not a single person that doesn't know him because he just talks to them all. Just smile and be friendly and life's just awesome. 

Keep being the amazing people you are and I hope you remember how very important you are in the eyes of God. Never forget your potential and never stop trying to reach it.
Love and miss you all!
Elder Smith

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