Wooo! Another week down! Haha! I can’t believe that it has been 35 weeks! Is that real?!
This week was good. It was a pretty solid week for Retiro. No complaints. I felt satisfied with the work that we did.
We had a normal P-day and not much happened in the morning besides shopping and preparing for the week. We were able to visit Eliana the convert and share a message and a video. It was a good visit. We are getting closer with her. She fell away from going to church as soon as the sister missionaries left Retiro. It’s going to be a long climb with her.
We also visited Alejandro and Evelyn that night (The investigators who go to church but just won’t get married). We get along really good. I'm getting to be good friends with Alejandro. We tell lots of jokes and have a good time. We shared a brief message and left to go home.
We had a great district class and we learned more about the section in preach my gospel about “How to Begin Teaching”. We had a small lunch at our house and got ready for the day. We went out and worked just like any day. We were able to contact a reference we got from Parral of a woman named Mauricia Fuentes. She was busy at the moment but we set up an appointment for the next day at the same hour. (We tried all week long to contact her again but she was never there. We never got to teach her and that family.)
We were able to talk with Arny, a MA and share a good message about our Savior. It was interesting. She had been going through some rough times with the family, and we visited her at the right time. We also met with our branch mission leader and planned some things for the upcoming week. We finished there and headed home.
Throughout the two days we were able to meet with Bernarda Fuentes, The Campos Family, The Saldaña's, Miriam, and a few other MA's they were pretty regular days of work. We tried all of our investigators but shockingly, ALL of them were suddenly busy. We had planned all the appointments but they all fell.
We were able to get the help of Pancho on Thursday. He is a member from Parral. He is pretty young (I’d say like 20). He likes to help all the missionaries he can, so he came to Retiro to help us out. We went around and visited some members and MA’s cause all our plans for investigators fell.
We headed out to our investigators but they were all busy again. At this point we were keeping up with our contacts so we had found a lot of future investigators, we decided to go and look for some of those people. We could find none of them. We left with Hermano Juan Lastra, and visited German in the afternoon. It was a great lesson and we felt the spirit. Even German's Dad joined in and participated. We taught The Plan of Salvation and used some visuals to help teach (THANKS DAD). They helped a ton. We had a family home evening planned with some MA, but when we got there they weren't home. We continued through the freezing cold and contacted till the end of the night.
We had the help of Pancho again. We went on a visiting spree and taught 3 MA families. The afternoon went well. We had fun together. All our main plans for the latter part of the day fell. We were left to just visit futures and members. We couldn't find anyone else.
We had a good church meeting. After all the work we had put into visiting the MA this week, only one that we had taught showed up. It was disappointing. It’s really hard staying animated when the same things happens over and over again. It’s definitely a test. We had lunch at Alejandro's and Evelyn's and had fried fish. We had hilarious conversations. We eventually ended and went back to plan.
For the rest of the afternoon, we went and visited members. We are now realizing that the members are our biggest investigators here. They aren't getting along, there are lots of problems between them, and they don't know the gospel. It’s a big burden to carry to start building from the bottom up. We basically have to start all over again, because we are having a hard time finding anyone, and the members don't have any excitement whatsoever.
It is a point to start over really. I’ve hit this same destination over and over here in Retiro. It’s really frustrating. I am going to just have to be humble and directly obey and follow what our Heavenly Father wants done here.
I have gotten pretty discouraged about all these situations. It’s been hard to continue fighting after things just keep going wrong. I have learned a great deal about gratitude here in Retiro. It has really humbled me here. I am so grateful for the slightest sign of the help of the Lord. I am so grateful for His hand to guide us. I know that we can never accomplish this work on our own strength. I now know that we all depend on our Heavenly Father 100%. Not just 99.999% but, yes, 100%. I can do nothing without His help. I have really learned a lot out here. I'm grateful for these things. I am grateful to have another week in front of us. I am so ready to give it my all.
In Ether 12 we read:
27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
I know that this is true. I know that I am in Retiro to make my weaknesses stronger. I believe that our trials sting so bad because they are actually tailored to us. They are personal. I, for one, feel like my hard times here, are hitting every single one of my weak points. I have a testimony that our Father in Heaven knows us, as well as His son, Jesus Christ. I know that trials are for a reason. There must be opposition in all things. I am grateful for a caring Savior and a Father in Heaven who know me perfectly, and allow me to be tested so that I may be stronger. I know they live. I love them.
Thank you for all you do. I love you more than I can type out or write down. I am so grateful for your support. Thank you all for the birthday wishes. I felt them all. I love you! Until next week!
Elder Ethan Haws