Hey hi hello there,
I, as my companion aptly put it, "andando regocijando" (walking rejoicing) as this transfer comes to an end. But not, as I was expecting, because Elder H***** is leaving. I have come to realize a few things this transfer:
1. Having trials with your companion often brings you closer together, if both of you are working to change. I am actually rather sad that Elder H***** is leaving, because in the last two weeks we´ve become really good friends. Although he has a sense of humor far different from mine, and although he´s okay to joke about things to a level that scares me, we have learned how to get along and actually have quite a few inside jokes and stuff.
2. When you´re prideful, you need fire (not little encouragements) to realize it and change it. I have been using a lot the example of gold. When it is mined, you get chunks of rock with flecks and veins of gold inside. To purify it, you have to smash it into tiny pieces and toss it in a furnace for a good while for it to come out pure. Usually, you have to refine it more than once to get the best purity out of it. Thus it has been with me this transfer. While I´m nowhere near a perfect missionary, and while I still have a long ways to go, I can see that I´ve been refined by the fire I´ve faced this transfer. Elder H***** has taught me a ton about the value of obedience even when given opportunity for disobedience, and about how to become friends with and develop a true love for your companion. Speaking of which,
3. If you and your companion are having troubles, forget yourself and serve him! Especially with being trapped in the house for 4 days straight with Elder H***** bedridden with a lovely puncture wound, making food, cleaning the house, doing laundry, ironing shirts, and any other little thing help A TON. Although he felt kind of like he was "abusing" me because I was doing everything for him, it felt really good to say "no, it´s because I love you" and to have him respond "te amo, ya tú sabes."
4. Even if you can´t see it in the moment, the Lord blesses you for your obedience. Although we didn´t see it almost the whole transfer, in this week alone we have set up an incredible amount of potential for my next transfer in Los Tres Brazos with Elder D*****. We received over 10 references in the last week and a half. We now have a "Golden Family" in C***** and A***** and their children. Although they´re only in "unión libre" (free union or unmarried) they are continually asking us to come back, what more they need to know to be able to be baptized and join the Church, and to visit more often because they feel a special presence in their home even before we get there and they see it in our faces. We found a reference, A*****, who already knows almost everything and who has already accepted a baptismal date for another Noche Blanca we´re going to have the. We will need to work more with his girlfriend-wife (unión libre), but the Lord works miracles, and as He has helped before I have faith that He will help again to unite yet another family in Christ. We came across a less-active member, C****, who just married his girlfriend, and who came to us saying he wanted to be active again and that he and his wife want to be sealed in the temple. We have started to visit with them, with C**** as review and with L**** as an investigator. Through visiting them, we also came across some young, returned-missionary, stake leadership members of our ward, who have offered to go out with us whenever they´re available. We got a calendar of members going (as far as who will go out with us what day of the week at what time). I have an incredible amount of hope and am excited for the future, and look forward to the transfer ahead.
It is great to hear, as always, that everything is good at home. I really do feel the support and effect of all the prayers said and love given--it really helps.
I love you guys... be safer than I am in this country, don´t do drugs, stay in school, and keep being awesome. (And study your scriptures and pray every day--the little things make the biggest difference!)