Monday, April 11, 2016

Surpirse! Emergency Transfer.

Hola Hola!

So guess what?? I had another surprise/emergency change! Last Thursday, I got a call from the Assistants (Elder Pribyl) telling me that an Elder in the zone, that was serving in El Jaguel, was going home and that President Thurgood wanted me to go to El Jaguel until the end of the transfer to work with that missionary’s companion, Elder Wilson, who is in his first transfer. So I packed a suitcase with clothes and stuff for a week or so. Then, that night a taxi came and picked me up and took me to El Jaguel, so I’m currently in El Jaguel with Elder Wilson. They didn’t tell me much.  I have no idea exactly how long I’ll be here or what will happen at transfers. When Elder Pribyl called it sounded like it would be just for the last week or so of the transfer, until Elder Wilson got a new companion and then I’d go back to 9 de Abril, but I’ve been thinking and it wouldn’t surprise me if President Thurgood just decided to keep me here and have me finish up Elder Wilson’s training. Elder Bravo stayed in 9 de Abril with the other two Elders that are there, Elder Jensen and Elder Sayaz, so they are in a trio right now. El Jaguel only has two Elders so I think that President Thurgood sent me here, instead of putting Elder Wilson in a trio in another area so that he wouldn’t have to close El Jaguel for 10 days because we have a few investigators here and it would have hurt the area a lot to close it for 10 days. Like I said, this is Elder Wilson’s first transfer so it’s not like they could have really gotten a mini missionary either. So yeah, I’m not sure what`ll happen, but I’m not too worried or anxious about it either. In my few days in El Jaguel, I’ve come to love the area and a few of the people and members I’ve met, so I’d be completely content to finish up here. I’d also be happy to finish up back in 9 de Abril.

From unexcitingly getting sent to the offices, to returning to 9 de Abril so quickly, to now getting sent to El Jaguel for at least a week, I’ve had a few surprising and unexpected changes in the last 6 months of my mission so I’ve come to kind of take things as they come and just trust in the Lord. Maybe I was sent back to 9 de Abril just so that I was close by, to then be sent to El Jaguel. Maybe I was sent to El Jaguel for a week to help someone, or help Elder Wilson, or to learn from Elder Wilson. In the end, I have no idea the reasons or His plans. I just trust in His plans and His wisdom and realize that they are not the same as mine. I’ve come to learn that the Lord truly does work in mysterious ways, but that He knows infinitely better than us. The mission is teaching me lots of things, but perhaps most of all, to just trust in my Heavenly Father.

These last few days with Elder Wilson have been great. He’s in his first transfer but his first companion didn’t teach him much of the area or about what’s going on, so to no fault of his, he just didn’t really know what was going on when we started working Friday morning. But he’s a great Elder.  He’s got a great heart and a desire to serve and learn. He’s kind of struggling with the language, but he’s new and it’s coming along. We found two new investigators the other day, well one was an old investigator. Rufina and Domingo are their names and they are old, haha. Then yesterday, we met some inactives and taught one of the sisters and her boyfriend. Cynthia and David are their names and they have two daughters and David accepted the invitation to be baptized but Cynthia has to get divorced first from a previous relationship 8 years ago so that her and David can get married. But yeah, we are getting things going here. They already had a few investigator, but only really one that was sort of progressing, a girl that’s like 11 years old that has a baptismal date for April 23.

As far as 9 de Abril is concerned, before I left at least, we still had not been able to teach Jose, Marilina, and Dora again. We were also unable to find Juan, but we did find Dani and set an appointment with him. He said he’d go to church yesterday but I haven’t talked to Elder Bravo yet to see if he did. So yeah, I’ll have to talk to Elder Bravo and see how it’s going over there. It’s probably been tough because 9 de Abril is a huge area and it`ll be hard to cover both our area and the area of the other Elders.

So this week I`ll be working with Elder Wilson. Hopefully, we can find some more investigators and see progress in the ones we already have. I guess that’s all for now. We`ll see what happens next week when I email and I know where I end up, ha-ha. I hope you guys have a great week!

Elder McFarland

PS This is part of the email I sent to President Thurgood this week and is similar to what I told you guys:

¨With some of the unexpected and somewhat surprising changes that I`ve had in my mission in the last 6 months of my mission, like going to the offices, returning to 9 de Abril, and now working in El Jaguel, I have learned that the Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways! ha-ha. But in all seriousness, I have come to more fully trust in my Heavenly Father and in His plan. I`m learning to trust myself in His hands as I see Him guiding me along the way. Sometimes it appears He is leading me into the dark, the unknown or the uncomfortable but I`ve learned to trust in Him and His wisdom. Then, as I continue in faith, I come to see what He sees. I come to realize that the course that He has led me on is perfect and that ¨He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of [His children].¨ (2 Nephi 26:24) I am eternally grateful for the mission and what it has taught me and the opportunities it’s provided me. Although sometimes we do not fully understand why some things happen or even why some things don’t happen, or why sometimes His plans seem to not make sense or seem so different from ours, I have a testimony that that verse (2 Nephi 26:24) is true. In that verse, I substitute His children for the world so that we can apply it to ourselves and our lives. He is our Father and His Son is our Savior. They will not do anything that is not for our benefit, or that will not further us on the path that leads back to them. It may be uncomfortable at times; it may be painful or it may be confusing or frustrating at times, but they desire our eternal happiness and joy more than our present but momentary comfort and pleasure. That is not to say we cannot have happiness and joy in this life; that it’s reserved for only the eternity. No, we learn in 2 Nephi 2:25 that we were made to have joy in this life and to be happy in our families. At the same time though, we must know that, like Elder Holland said, salvation is not a cheap experience, it never was. If it wasn’t easy for Jesus Christ, the son of God, how can we expect it`ll ever be easy for us.

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