Another week is over!
I hope this week was a good one for everyone! It is good to hear from all of you and it is so nice to feel such inspiration week after week. I love hearing about how life is. The most microscopic details that don’t seem necessary are so important to me. It was good reading all of your thoughts and messages.
The week was a grind for Elder Bird and I. We are running into obstacle after obstacle. We are scrambling for answers and solutions to find how we can be a more unified companionship. We are seeing our progression slowing down and we believe it is due to some of the different opinions that we have. But all is well. We are working hard and we are determined to find the solution to all of it.
We had a more interesting week because our mission president is changing some other key indicators that we are focusing on in the mission. We are now pushing to get 10 contacts every day, have one lesson to an investigator accompanied by a member, and one lesson to a less active or a recent convert. Getting the support from the members has been getting a little more complicated. We don’t know why, but fewer members have been available or willing to go with us. It seems like a lot of our options were getting cut off this week.
We did a lot of preparing for the next week. Most of the visits we had set up got moved to the next week. Things in people’s schedules got really busy and they told us to pass by the next week. This next week should be good for that reason.
On Thursday we had an awesome opportunity to head to Concepcion for a zone conference. The best part was that we were meeting up with my first zone in the mission, Andalien. I got to go real close to my first sector, Nonguen. We got to Conce in the Collao terminal, a place that I have been a lot. It was pretty cool to go and walk the streets I did when I was just starting my mission. It was a blast from the past!
The conference was awesome. I learned so much. It was focused on how we can work with the members better and get more accomplished in the work of salvation. We also got permission to watch a segment of Deiter F. Uchtdorf’s talk from the conference to mission presidents this last summer! IT WAS INCREDIBLE. He discussed how Peter (Christ’s apostle) overcame his fear at times and became a powerful missionary and a disciple of Christ. He applied that to us and talked about God's love. I also want to share a quote that Hermana Arrington (Presidents Wife) shared with us. It’s from this last women’s conference.
“Whether you are 8 or 108, there is one thing that I hope you truly understand and know:
You are loved.
You are dear to your heavenly parents.
The infinite and eternal Creator of light and life knows you! He is mindful of you.
Yes, God loves you this very day and always.
He is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles. He is aware that you reach up to Him in heartfelt and hopeful prayer. He knows of the times you have held onto the fading light and believed—even in the midst of growing darkness. He knows of your sufferings. He knows of your remorse for the times you have fallen short or failed. And still He loves you.
And God knows of your successes; though they may seem small to you, He acknowledges and cherishes each one of them. He loves you for extending yourself to others. He loves you for reaching out and helping others bear their heavy burdens—even when you are struggling with your own.
He knows everything about you. He sees you clearly—He knows you as you really are. And He loves you—today and always!"
That quote helped me out a ton. It really gave me a boost. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father whose love never fails. I have been so dependent on that for my mission. I have a deep testimony that our Father in Heaven lives and his love can change us and any of his children. The gospel is real and true. It is the greatest blessing that we as people have in this life. I am grateful for Heavenly Fathers presence in my life and for his support and love during the deepening trials of life.
We worked hard this week and saw simple and subtle blessings pop up every once and a while. I am grateful for the mission and how it has taught me to be grateful for the smallest things that happen.
We are looking forward to a hopefully eventful week this coming week. Through all the things that are kind of running haywire, we are determined to make the necessary repairs and get this sector moving again! I am learning a great lesson in organization. Planning and organizing is always better.
I have learned to just laugh and smile even though things are hard sometimes. I am learning how much of a weapon a smile and good attitude can be! It’s helping me out a lot!!
Thank you all so much for your messages this week! Keep fighting in your daily lives. Put the gospel above everything else, and realize how much we all really do have! I love all of you so much and I am so grateful for all you do and for all your care that you show. I am so grateful for the inspiration that I receive from your messages week to week. I love you and miss you tons. I will be waiting to hear from you this next week, until then
Elder Ethan Haws