Monday, November 16, 2009

Good things happening in Coroñas

Well, I can’t really put into words how special and insightful this past week has been. It’s been a change, but I now know this is where the Lord wants me to be. I have felt such a comforting peace during my one week here and I am sure that something special is about to happen. I LOVE the ward here! They are so caring and so organized. They all are busy about the work. We sat in a meeting for the ward mission coordination. They had representatives from everyone, and coordinated who needed to be visited and gave us some families we needed to pass by. It made me so very happy to see them concerned for those who had gone astray. I LOVE it! We had some very awesome lessons in church as well, which ended the very tiring but spiritually filled week.

My companion Elder Gonzales is from La Serena Chile. He is such a stud! We have been getting to know each other really well, and my Spanish is improving in leaps and bounds because of him. I rarely speak in English, (I need to help him learn English as well) so it’s kind of nice to help each other out. We have had some really awesome and powerful spiritual experiences. He has such a great knowledge of the scriptures and is such an insightful person. And he likes to have fun. That’s important too!

Things are going very well here. We’ve found new people to teach and lots of friendly faces. Like I said, it was a weary week (lots of walking) which was hilarious when we didn’t have a map or know who the bishop was. We had to wait till Sunday to meet the majority of the members, but they were all calling us and helping us out. It really is like a big family here. I can’t wait till next week to tell you more. I have never felt more guided by the spirit in my life. I can feel His influence every day comforting me and guiding me.

A Surprise

November 10

We had a surprise change yesterday morning. I left Las Piedras and came to Coroñas in Montevideo which is pretty close to the neighborhood where the temple and offices are. It was really short notice. The assistants came and picked me up, and we got to our house finally, after some other quick stops, and we had to pick up my companion. Yes, it’s a white wash. (Meaning both of us are new.) And to top it all off, I have my first companion from South America. His name is Elder Gonzales from Chile. The house is really small and cozy. I was going to tell you all about Las Piedras yesterday, but oh well. I’ll go where He wants me to go. As most of you know, that’s just the mission for you. Never a dull moment. So now, we’re just going to go home, eat, and...well... do some contacts. I’m so excited. This is going to be such an adventure!

Leaving Melo

November 3

Well, these past few weeks, it seems like the work has been exploding. We have met so many wonderful people ready and willing to listen to the gospel and changing their lives in small ways. I wish I could tell you about each and every one of these experiences!

I'm in Montevideo right now in the bus terminal waiting to meet my new companion and to head to my new area, Las Piedras just 45 minutes or so north of Montevideo. His name is Elder Hoffling. I don't know anything about him yet.

It was REALLY hard to leave Melo. We passed by a lot of our dearest friends before we left and took some pictures and taught some nice lessons. I'm so excited for them. Even though I didn’t get to see them continue all the way to baptism, I’m glad to have at least played a part in their journey and to have been a tool in the hands of the Lord to extend the good news of the gospel of Christ. There are a few couples who I know will eventually continue on and seal their families in the temple. I can’t wait to hear about it!I feel like I left part of my heart and soul back there, and I guess that means I’m doing my job.

The owner of our house Sonia (I’ve told you about her, abuela) always cries when a missionary leaves. She has only been a member for a year, but I think she understands what it means to be a disciple of Christ more than most people. She ALWAYS had a smile and was ALWAYS giving food to the missionaries. I'll never forget her either.

Sheesh, it was just that hard leaving an area. I'm going to have to get used to it! It's tough to have to leave it in someone else’s care, but really it isn’t. They are always in the care of the Lord. We are just the Laborers in the vineyard. I love this wonderful gospel. I love the light and hope it brings into our lives. Each time I bear testimony of Eternal Families and how it was made possible through Christ, my love and appreciation for you and what you have done for me grows and grows. I’m sorry if I was ever ungrateful for anything. It’s funny. We never truly appreciate how much we truly treasure something until it’s taken away from us. The beautiful thing is that through Christ and the power of His gospel, everything will be restored to us. I am so thankful to be here sharing things I've known since I was a little child in Primary, but with a whole new understanding and appreciation. Well, I love you all. No doubt I’m going to be telling you all kinds of interesting and amazing stories about Las Piedras. Elder Painter was there before he came to Melo. He told me it was just as hard for him to leave there as it was for me to leave Melo. Pretty ironic.