Monday, August 25, 2014

First Zone Conference

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hey! Wow this week was awesome!! So Tuesday we had a Zone Conference. I didn't understand much but it was so awesome. They talked about the pilot program and how they are just testing it out. It's not a replacement and so we should be helping the less actives but not forgetting about finding and teaching investigators. There was some other stuff but it was just so awesome. It got me so pumped for this work.

Tuesday afternoon to Thursday morning we did intercambios (exchanges) and I went with Elder Ramos who is the District Leader to Tomas Flores, which borders our area. We actually didn´t do a whole lot of work but I talked a lot with Elder Ramos and it was really good and helpful. He's like 22 I think and after like 16 months into the Mission he went home for 9 months because his Mom was really sick and now he's been back for 2 months, so its been like 28 months or something since he first got set apart as a missionary. I have a ton of respect for him. He has an interesting story and we talked a lot and he was just able to give me some advice and it was really good.

So one of our investigator families is still doing great. Unfortunately, because of the paperwork they won't be able to get married until October so the baptism will have to be put back but it's all good because they`re super strong.

We saw the other investigator family on Thursday because it was the wife's birthday so we had a lesson with her about her role as a mother and talked about the stripling warriors (a story in the Book of Mormon) and the example their mothers were for them. The family went around saying why they were thankful for her and then her and her kids came to church yesterday!! Her husband apparently didn't want to come so that was disappointing but it was great having the rest of the family there. Hopefully we can build off of that this week and keep them progressing. The wife's mother came to church too and I think we`re going to  try to set a baptismal date with her for the middle of September!

One of our new investigators from last week wasn't there both times we went by so hopefully we can catch him this week.

The other new investigator from last week and his aunt weren't there either so we didn't get to teach them but we have set appointments with them for today and Thursday!!
So the past couple days especially have been awesome. So Saturday we had two contacts from a member (two 8 year old boys that want to get baptized) that we stopped by to see. While meeting with one of them we got a text from the Mission saying we had a referral on the exact same street! Unfortunately we didn't have time to go by before lunch but we`ll stop by today. Then later in the night we went to go visit a less active sister,  but she wasn't there. At first I was like disappointed and a little annoyed because she said she`d be there but then as we were leaving we ran into a man that was baptized and has the priesthood but moved from Paraguay so he's been inactive. So we got his information and we`re going to  stop by this week! It gets better though. After that, we were going to go to a member's home but when we got there Elder Durham was like "let's pray and see if God wants us to go here or this other home nearby". So we said separate prayers and man right as I started to pray, I got the strongest impression to go to this other home and afterwards Elder Durham said the same thing. Now people might be like, big deal, 50/50 chance but then we get to this man's home (he`s a member but a less active) and we share a scripture and talk to him for a bit and he tells us that his Alcoholic Anonymous meeting was canceled that night and so he was feeling awful.  He was just having a bad night and was thinking about drinking but then we came and because we came he said he felt amazing and it gave him the strength to keep going and he said he'd  come to church, which he did. CRAZY RIGHT!? Like not a super crazy story but a miracle nonetheless. Heavenly Father knew where we`d be and knew this man needed us and He led us there and provided.  In his prayer at the end he thanked God for sending His angels to him again. Just awesome.

Then yesterday we had a lesson and because of that we didn't have time to stop by the investigator family that is doing really well and we were feeling bad and we were literally about to enter the apartment when we saw them walking down our street.... like they don't even live anywhere near us. Literally what are the odds. It wasn't a coincidence at all. We had a great day, had been working hard, and serving the Lord and we just didn't have time and felt bad but again Heavenly Father provided and placed them in front of us. So we talked to them for a few minutes and honestly it was probably more important for us to see them than for them to see us. Man things like that have just been happening the past couple days.

Appointments fall through and stuff but Heavenly Father always places someone else in our path. We met so many people last week and have so many people to contact this week that can be potential investigators. Just super, super awesome. Like the past couple days we felt like we've really been working our hardest and doing everything we can and it's all just kind of working out and we`re being blessed, but the amazing thing is we are not even doing anything. God is literally placing people and leading us to people that are being prepared and ready to hear the gospel. Awesome week and this week is going to be even better!

(Responding to some of our questions.) I don't mind hearing about things back home.  To be honest I`m going to  get homesick at times either way and it's nice hearing what's going on so whatever you want to right is fine. I do read the emails it's just hard most of the time to respond to all the questions. I love you guys!
Elder McFarland

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