(written June 21st)
The last two weeks have been pretty busy and last week I didn't get a P-day at all because we had to travel to San Luis for a stake conference so that is why I didn't get to write.
Last week we did a final tour of the mission with President Ávila. It was a special training that we presented to all the zones in the mission. Elder Quadros and I had a short part on a model of teaching that Elder Zwick taught to the mission when he was here over a year ago (before I got to the mission). President and Sister Ávila spoke on who we are and the plan of salvation. It was very powerful and will will miss them so much as a mission. There were lots of teary good-byes.
While there is sadness about the departure of the Ávilas we are all anxious to see what the mission will be like with the arrival or President and Sister Goates. However, I will admit that I will be one of those shedding a tear as we drop President Ávila off in the airport next week. His example of a leader has left a great impact on me.
This week we said sent off a group of 6 missionaries and received 7. The new missionaries that came are real game changers! I can tell that they are a special group and have so much potential. It was cool getting to know them and they were put into good hands as their trainers are great missionaries as well. Really, the mission is looking up! There are lot of missionaries that are doing BIG things in their areas and setting an example for others.
This week we had about 5 hours to work in our area and the Lord has blessed us to be able to do what we could normally do in 10 hours in those 5. We found two new people that received us into their homes (they are actually old investigators of mine from when I was in this area the first time training Elder Rich). They seem more desirous now and committed to listening to us. I will update you more on them as we continue to work with them.
I am doing really well now. Even though the stress levels are high I am learning to deal with them and work at a higher pace with less sleep. Although I do like sleep I have always been jealous of people who can sleep so little and feel fine. Right now I am perfecting that art :) I am tired but I am functioning fine on the energy I have. I know a big part of that, however, is the Lord giving me the strength to do what I need to do. As I have been here in the offices I can see numerous ways in which the Lord has blessed me and if I take the time to think about as many as I can the list just doesn't stop.
I am so grateful to the Lord for the opportunities I have been given since returning on my mission. I've had some trials in my life - the biggest of which was returning home from my mission. But now I can only see it as a blessing as I was able to use the power of the Atonement to make it out as a happier, stronger, changed person. Since being here I have faced the challenges of missionary work and have been able to build upon that testimony I have of the Atonement as I use it to not only to ask for forgiveness for my weaknesses but as a force to take on the trials. Every responsibility, being big or small, has brought its challenges and it's always a humbling reminder that the only way out is through His Atoning Grace.
We can search for solutions to our trials in many places but there is only one place to find them. It is hard because it's humbling. But I have seen that humbling ourselves before the Lord is usually the final effort we have to give before things start looking up. It brings a lot more meaning to the phrase "depths of humility." It's hard, it might make us feel weak because we can't do it ourselves, but looking back we only realize that we are strong and that it was worth it.
Elder Bednar left us with a great message in general conference about our trials and how they make us stronger. Take a few minutes to read it or listen to it.
Love you all!
The picture I have attached is of a nice restaurant we went to after receiving the new missionaries. We also went there the night before as a farewell dinner to those that left. Usually the dinners are in the mission home but being that the mission home is under construction for the arrival of the Goates we went there. That is good ól argentine asado!