The Never-ending Struggle

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My new companion is Elder Espina. He is the kind of missionary who doesn’t care much about stats, or how many baptisms he has, but about making the most out of the mission, and forming lasting relationships people, and blessing their lives. For that reason, we get a long really well… jus like Elder Miles and did. We continue the fight against the bureaucratic District and Zone leaders. Elder Espina is kind of baggy though. He only has 5 weeks left on his mission. Nevertheless, I can usually get him to go out working. Because we have been able to make the work fun, we have been able to have a lot of success… which is also helping him maintain a desire to work.

Funny…everyone here thinks Elder Espina is an American. He has the skin and hair color of a “canche” (that’s what Guatemaltecos call us white boys). But Elder Espina is actually from the same country they are from. He’s a Chapine!

Here are some updates on the people with whom we are currently working:

  • Mirna is now current preparing herself for her baptismal date on the 5th of March. She believes it is what God wants for her, so that he can help her through her times of trials. She has felt so at peace at church on Sundays. She can’t until she can go again next week.
  • Yessica is still trying to re-strengthen her faith in God. She had begun losing her faith after she didn’t feel she was receiving help following her many supplications unto God… that is until we showed up at her door.
  • Bryan and Elizabeth are progressing very well. Before introducing them to the Book of Mormon, they had told us that they had always been interested in reading it since they were young; back when they accompanied their friends to church. They wanted to know if we could get them a copy, and now they have really started to read.
  • The Custodios are still right on track to get baptized as soon as their divorce papers are finalized, so they can get married.
  • Eric is still reading the Book of Mormon daily with his wife, who is the ex-missionary. He is going to church weekly, but he is still waiting on his response from the Spirit before he gets baptized.
  • Delia apparently didn’t end up going to church on Sunday. Her husband fought with her about going, but we planned an activity this week for the Elders Quorum to play soccer. We hope that Delia’s husband will go so activity, so he can get more acquainted with the Church.
  • We had a detailed lesson with Antonio about the apostasy and the restoration. He has accepted the restoration very well. He said it answered a lot of his questions, but for some reason he didn’t come to church on Sunday, like he had committed to do.

The thing I like about this new area is that the investigators here stay positive, because they actually read the Book of Mormon in between our appointments! Unlike our investigators in “Las Americas,” who were super positive for the first one-two appointments, but they rarely continued doing the things to keep that Spirit alive. After having so many investigators promise me… unspecified4even up to the day of that they are going to show up to church… and then not showed up, I had gotten to the point that I became pretty callused. Otherwise, I would let myself get too worked up about it. Chapines are so noncommittal! For example, this Sunday Antonio, who doesn’t want to go to a church unless he feels like it is the right church, told us that he was going to come to church without us even having to invite him; but then he didn’t end up coming. I didn’t get my hopes up… I never do. Here is another example… even the “golden investigators,” like Alfredo and Gabby, who sought us out in the street, asking us to come to their home to visit, didn’t even come to church like they promised the night before! At least they are reading the Book of Mormon, and are praying about whether they should get baptized on the March 26. And I have no idea what happened with Delia! Delia is the lady who can’t get baptized because of her ¨husband.” 30 minutes prior to church, she had told us she was going to come with her friend Mirna. Mirna actually showed up, but without Delia.

At least we had a few investigators come to church this week. After the amazing experience we had in finding Mirna, she ended up coming to church! And to think… if we had just kept making our way home that night, rather than following the promptings of the Spirit to contact Mirna (which seemed like a crazy idea due to what time it was), we would have never talked to her at the precise moment she had been pleading with God to help her through the trials she had been experiencing with her child in the hospital! And also the Custodio Family, who are waiting for their divorce papers to finalize, came to church. And Eric, the husband of the ex-missionary, came to church this Sunday as well!

Enough about my missionary work… what about your work as the new Ward Mission Leader back home? That is awesome that you might have your first 2 baptisms soon!

I love you guys, and although I try to keep my mind focused on the work, I don’t really think that I could stop myself from missing you. I love you guys, and I am grateful that you write me every single week. I love hearing from you guys!

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