Sorry I didn´t send a blog email home last week. I tried giving good responses to everyone who emailed me for once but it left me with no time in the end.
Opening an area has really been a challenge for Elder Rich and I. Starting from zero is quite the task but we have built up quite a selection of people that are willing to listen. When we first got here we were meeting with lots of members of the church to find out who they know, talking with people in the streets, and knocking on doors... but I am happy to say that most of our time now is involved in talking to the people we have met (as well, of course, finding new people).
The people here are a different breed and come from very different backgrounds than the people in my last area. Adjusting was hard at first but now I have a better hang on things.
We have some investigators that are very excited to listen to us and have a true interest and hope that what we have to share will better their lives. And it is true, what we teach does change lives.
One thought that I have reflected on a lot lately is the fact that we, as humans, all sin. And all of these sins, now matter who you are, place a burden upon you. That´s just how it is... and most people don't know that or understand it. But what we teach, the gospel of Jesus Christ, contains what we need to healed, to feel clean, to feel relief from these burdens. As a missionary I have the knoweldge of what heals and it would be selfish not to give everyone the opportunity to listen. Through this thought method I have changed my whole approach of who I talk to. I have gone for picking out families or people that look like they would be receptive to talking to everyone. I know I could have came to this conclusion by looking at the example of Christ as he was no respecter of persons... but this is what helped me.
About a week and a half ago a member of the area seventy from Chile, Elder Nuñez, came and spoke to our mission. I took notes on what he shared but the notes are back in our house. One big thing that I got from it, however, is a story he shared about about his mission. He said that he wasted 22 months of his mission just being good and obedient... at 22 months he read the scripture in Alma that says, "O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!"
He said after reading this scripture he got on his knees and began praying to have this desire... a true desire to serve God and help people and it made a remarkable difference in his succes as a misionary. I have been applying this principle in my prayers as well. Though I have a long ways to go I am growing every day in my desire to teach with great power not just to have success but because I want people to receive salvation.
Hope all is well back home and I am sending my prayers to you all.