Monday, August 17, 2015

A Visit From Elder Pribyl

August 17, 2015

Hola Hola!

So guess what?? I saw Elder Pribyl this week!! Ha ha.  He is also a District Leader and this last Thursday we had a training meeting with all the District Leaders. I knew I was going see him but then Thursday morning he called me and told me to look outside my pension so I went outside and he was flippin outside the gate with an Elder that used to be in my District. It was nuts ha ha ha. It was super weird to see him after over a year, but the weird part was that actually after the first few minutes it wasn’t weird or strange. Even though it’d been so long and we are still in the mission, we started talking and it just felt like before. I don’t know, weird and hard to explain. I assume that’s similar to how it`ll feel after the mission. And probably what Scott meant when he said it felt like a dream. You get back, assuming it`ll be all different and maybe weird at first, only to realize it’s not weird being back home at all and it felt like you never left. Of course a lot more will have changed when I get back than when Scott got back, but still weird. Max, my friend from BYU, told me that some girls from our freshman ward are already getting back and others that are getting back in 3 or 4 months and I read that and it just was super, super weird to read. Like I don’t know, time is just passing by insanely fast. It’s crazy. I can’t believe it. Truly passing by like a dream.

At the training, President Thurgood told us a little about what’s going on in the mission. Right now there are 122 missionaries, the least amount of missionaries in a long, long time. But in September, 8 are going home and 22 are coming to the mission. Then in November, it’s about the same number that leaves and come.  But then in December, 8 are going home and like 20 are coming. So, in the coming months the mission will have more missionaries.  President Thurgood told me it’s very likely that in September, he`ll put 2 more missionaries in Parque Baron so we`ll have 4 Elders again. I was thinking I`ll leave next transfer but it’s also a possibility now that I might stay and go to one half of the area and Elder Gonzalez will stay in the other and we`ll receive new companions because they have a new pension on the other side of the area. But I might still go and they might do a whitewash. We`ll see what happens, but it`ll be interesting. The change in missions has been a little hard, I think, for many missionaries. A lot of us from the South Mission have noticed that many missionaries from the West Mission are very serious and very strict, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but as I talked to Elder Pribyl and have heard from some missionaries, the West Mission was very different from our mission. It appears the Mission President there was stricter. He had a lot more rules and a lot more things the Elders had to report. I mentioned when we Skyped that from the Area Presidency it’s required to only report the baptisms, confirmations and sacrament attendance and if the Mission Presidents want, they can add more. Up until now, President Thurgood hasn’t added any. And apart from the missionary handbook he doesn’t have many other rules. His way of leading the mission is summarized by a quote of Joseph Smith “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.” He likes to have trust in us. I think D&C 58:26-28 also describes his way of leading the mission.

26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.

27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

28 For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.

He expects us to be agents unto ourselves and make our own choices wisely. On the other hand, the West Mission President was the opposite. He pretty much micro managed his mission with lots of rules and lots of reporting. I’m not saying one is better than the other, just that they are different. But now it seems like it has created a little tension between missionaries and even missionaries and the members. There’s an Elder in my district that shares an area with the Hermanas in my district and the Hermanas told me he’s offending the members there. There just seems like be a lot of judging and comparing the missions going on and I personally don’t like it. So I think for a time it`ll be a little hard for the new missionaries to adjust to our mission and for everyone to kind of be on the same page and not have any problems between missionaries.

But this week was good. Fabian didn’t come to church. Cynthia was in the Capital again. Yesterday we had a good lesson with Silvia and we`ll see what happens this week. I got to go. Thanks for everything. Love you guys!

Elder McFarland

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