Monday, February 24, 2014

Looking for lost sheep

No se preculpe papi. Segun un miembro aqui, ya hablamos "un monton de espanol." Si lo hablo. No tengo ningun miedo hablando con la gente, ensenando lecciones, o enviano correo electronicos en el idioma. Creo que nunca voy a hablar como los misioneros alla en El Salvador o otro lugar asi pero si ay gente bastante con que hablar y aprender. Tambien me compre el Libro de Mormon en diskos compactos. Escucho y repito las palabras bajas y suavas, (para no mencionar sagradas) para mejorar mi habilidad de pronunciar sin pensar.    

It was brought up in ward conference that this ward doesn't seem to be growing. I believe a new ward hasn't been organized in this area for many years. There seems to be many, many less actives and a few dedicated church attenders. Elder Downey suggested that perhaps this lower-class neighborhood is somewhere people are anxious to move out of. That could be, but I still wonder, what has happened to all the people that have been baptized here in the last twenty years? And what will happen to my baptisms? Elder Downey and I found two more lost sheep last week, making five since I arrived here. More needs to be done to look after all these people. Since I've been here, not one member I've asked is being visited by home teachers. I want to do more to strengthen this ward.

Elder Downey and I had a really great week. Especially this Saturday, when we taught five lessons. We really utilized our time well that day, had good plans and backups, but more importantly were guided by the spirit. I have really felt that we lived our purpose. Earlier in my mission I didn't do a lot to invite people early on. We have invited everyone we talk to to come to church, to hear a message. Everyone we teach we invite to be baptized.

We are teaching one man, he is pretty old, and speaks Spanish and English. It has been a struggle to get him to church. Because of his disabilities we have advised him to come to English ward at one, even though we meet at eleven in Spanish. He has yet to make it then. I am worried that his illnesses may keep him from ever coming to church, from being able to read the Book of Mormon and progressing. We've already spent a lot of time with this man. Mainly listening to his stories, piling his leaves, trimming his palm tree, pulling down Christmas lights, planting plants, eating his food, draining his foot bath water, and advising him to fire his terrible caretaker. With what time we have left we try to get through one or two verses of The Book of Mormon.

We brought Cesar to a lesson with an investigator this week. He brought his bike and everything, which was funny because I had a flat tire and walked anyway. He did a great job relating to our investigator and sharing his experience. He is also starting home teaching this week. It is exciting to see his progresssion.

I see more and more things that I don't want to do or be. I see addictions, bad marriages, self-damaging thought processes and just plain rude people. For the most part I really love the people here, I know that what I have will bless them, and really want to give it to them. The Gospel of Jesus Christ really is the solve-all cure everyone is looking for. I'm very grateful for this opportunity to see the difference the Gospel makes.

Elder Decker

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