well today i officially complete 22 months in the mission. it is so weird to think about. in many ways it feels like the life before doesnt exist, and in others it doesnt seem too long ago. either way i am loving the mission and am learning a ton and having some really amazing experiences.
this week there was a lot of great things that happened. it was pretty hard at the start. we had to drop basically all of the people that had baptismal dates. there are a lot of ppl here that say that they have faith, but dont really have that much faith. it is like just the popular thing to say. my comp explained it really well. if you are told the same thing 100 times by a lot of different ppl usually you accept that as the truth. though it is just something that everyone says. everyone here says that they believe in jesus christ. and it might be true. but believing in christ and having faith in christ are two very differnet things. faith is always accompanied by works. and faith requires all of our works in every moment. when we are baptized we promise to take upon ourselves the name of christ and remember him always. that is what if means to be christian. (alma 47) be like christ.
though this week was hard, we worked really really hard and prayed a lot and fasted to be able to find success. we have had the focus to work more and more with the members. we have gone by a lot of them to set up family home evenings where they invite their friends to come listen to us. we have started to get a lot of success with that. the best way to reactive a family in the gospel (active or inactive in the church), is missionary work. we saw a big change in the ward in just this week when we went and visited the members. we shared a message and challeged them and they all accepted. it is a lot harder to do that to find ppl than to just go knock a door, but it is way more affective in the long run and helps us have real converts who are going to help the ward to be stronger. we talked with the bishop about our plan and on sunday he spoke and basically just repeated our talk with the whole ward, and then we had a special meeting with all the leaders of the ward to set up a ward mission plan and to put into practice the things that i did in minatitlan and the ideas we had. we set up a family night the house of the leaders of the church every week for the rest of the year, focused or bringing friends who arent members of the church. we set up activites. and also a day where all the leaders are going to go do visits to members and less actives. we could talk a bit and help motivate everyone and it was great to see that everyone was really excited to work.
this week on saturday we did a special fast to be able to help the ward and to find investigators ready to progress. we found a couple named ana maria and enrique. they are great and accepted to be baptized. sunday we were a little sad because they didnt show up. we have been working super hard. like harder than any other time in my mission but we havent seen much of success, just a lot of trials. and when sunday came and they didnt show up because they went to a ranch they have we were a little disapointed but i kept being happy. at the last hour of church the bishop called us out of class and introduced us to a women of about 20 years old with her little baby and said she wasnt a member. we talked to her and she came with her mother-in-law. she said that she stopped working sundays and now wants to start coming each week to church. she is from an area really far away. like 40 min. we took her to the baptismal room and we invited her to be baptized and she accepted. It was truly a miracle. god challenges us until we almost cant go further but if we keep faithful and with a positve attitude, he always blesses us.
i also found out that another couple is ready to be married and baptized that we have been teaching. so in the next few weeks we should have a lot of baptisms hopefully and the ward should start to really take off. we also got a ward mission leader called last week. another miracle i heard when i called elder johnston in minatitlan is that a girl i taught in mina who couldnt get baptized because of her husband walked into the church in mina looking for me. she said she moved and now can go to church one more week and get baptized!
i found out my area is even bigger than i thought. we have three whole counties. and part of villahermosa. we are going to try and tour it all in a few days like one county each day or something, but it is huge!
well love you all and miss you.hope you have a great next week. everything is great here.