How is everybody?! I'm doing great.
So last night there were changes in the mission. We let everybody know that it was probably my time to go, since I've been in this area since 'Nam (commonly used phrase in the mission). So we took some pictures with a couple families and all that stuff getting ready for me to move to a new area. The zone leaders usually call at about eleven or eleven thirty to notify about the changes, which is right after we go to bed. So I went to bed pretty excited to find out where my new area would be. I woke up at about two in the morning, and thought to myself "oh well, I guess there weren't any changes." Just as I layed my head back down to sleep the phone rang! I thought "yes there are changes! I'm finally going to get to know another part of Mexico!" I grabbed the phone, and sure enough it was the zone leaders. I answered the phone, and one of the zone leaders said "hey could you go upstairs and wake up Elder Garcia? He won't answer his phone, and he's got changes." "Oh.... sure." I said. Anyway. So I'm still here in my very first area of the mission, and I'm thankful. We've seen a ton of miracles in our investigators lives recently, and especially yesterday went very well in church and each of our lessons, and I was secretly hoping to stay here for at least one more change. As long as I'm where the Lord wants me to be, everything is good!
The other day, Elder Ripley and I were studying in Preach My Gospel under the topic "talk with everyone." We began studying the scripture passages provided in that section, and came to a major realization that we needed to contact more people in the street, and a little less in times we set apart for contacting in the day. We've been talking to literally every single person we've seen in the street, and it's been going well! It's so cool to contact because when we follow what the Spirit indicates, we'll be saying something different to each person. When we come across someone who's prepared for the gospel, the contact just goes perfectly. Something interesting that we learned when Elder Bednar visited at the start of the year, is he said he'd spoken with many recent converts recently, and the majority of them said that they decided to talk to the missionaries not because of their smooth contacting or social skills, but because of the light in their eyes. Sweet. So as long as we make sure we're following the Spirit when we do missionary work, we can trust that those who are prepared by the Lord will recognize the truth.
We've been studying a couple of talks to prepare for the zone conference that will be tomorrow. The talks are about becoming, and not just going through actions. I especially like one from Elder Oaks called "the challenge of becoming." In the talk he points out that in various places in the scriptures it mentions that after this life we'll be judged by our actions coupled with our desires. He then points out other scripture passages that help us to recognize that it's not just having a testimony or desire and taking actions, but actually coming to be the person that the Lord wants us to be. He refers to the parable that talks about the workers in the Lord's vinyard. In that parable there are various workers that begin working at the beginning of the day, others that join in mid-day, and more that join in the work right at the end of the day. When the Lord arrives to pay them, they all recieve the same amount of money. The point is, that it's not so much that we'll be rewarded for the big difference we made in the Lord's work, so much as the fact that we actually became one of His servants. Many people can know and declare, and many people can abound in good works. But to actually become what the Lord wants us to become, we have to have a real change of heart. The person we really are, actually has to become something more. A good example of that is when the Savior explains to his Apostles towards the end of His ministry, that they still need to become as a child to enter the kingdom of God. Before that moment his Apostles had, on many occasions, demonstrated the strength of their testimonies, and taken action to follow Christ, but they still needed to go through that process of becoming what the Lord wanted them to be. The way in which we can do that is through following the principles of the gospel of Christ, and obtaining charity, the pure love of Christ. Elder Oaks mentioned that a good indicator that we've had that mighty change of heart, is when we actually no longer have any desires to do any evil. That's not just a decision, but a change that makes our heart and actual desires so pure, that we no longer, in any sense, have even the slightest desire to go agains anything that would be the will of God. I loved studying that talk.
So our investigator Margarita went through a difficult time this past week, as her father passed away about a week ago. She wasn't able to come to general conference because of his passing, and has had a difficult time. Yesterday we had our first appointment with her and her family since then. She explained to us that she's learned through the Book of Mormon, that if she has faith in the Savior, she won't have any fear or feelings of anger or sadness. She said that humanly she did cry alot over the death of her father, but on the inside her heart was rejoicing to know that the Lord has a plan prepared to make it possible for her to live with her family after this life as well. She is in a situation where she needs to get married, or have her boyfriend move out before she can get baptized. She said yesterday that she's getting baptized the twenty fourth of this month, and if her boyfriend can put together a wedding before then, they'll be married, but if not, he has to go. Sweet! She said that to her boyfriend too! He started planning the wedding today.
Thanks for everything Fam! I love getting your letters and I'm thankful for your prayers and support!
Bam- I still haven't recieved the last package you sent, but you wouldn't believe what happened. Last thursday, I recieved a dear elder that you had written just four days earlier! Maybe they're getting that whole system a little more organized. Hopefully they keep arriving in that sort of time. Thanks for always writing Bam! Love ya!
Mom- Have you been able to check for Cristobal's address in California? So I'm still working on your letter it should be on the way by next week. We had alot of cleaning to do today, and then I found out I've got to teach the lesson in the district meeting today so I had to take some time to prepare that as well and haven't had as much time to finish writing your letter. But next P day it's on the top of my priority list! I know what you mean about how it's tough to be a parent, because alot of the time when I think of my teenage years I feel like I wasn't a very thankful son, and we all heard about how important that gratitude is from President Monson. But Shash mentioned that her and the boys are heading to Idaho with dad this weekend. I don't know what the plans are that you and Nay have set but that'd be an awesome time to have some fun one on one time together! Maybe watch the Testaments, I love that show. I've seen it quite a few times now from the MTC and ward family nights. Oh yes I do remember Travis Latham, and that's cool that Merrill ran into our new house. Haha. Sounds like that was a fun night. Anyway. I was thinking about how you miss the KBYU devos. If I was you I would print off talks from Prophets on LDS.org. The words of modern day Prophets are just SWEET. Anyway, that letter will be coming your way soon mom. I love you! Have a great week!
Den- Sounds like you guys did pretty well in that last soccer game denny. I'm sure you did the best of all, even if you guys didn't end up winning. That's cool what you learned about Esther! And way to understand the importance of fasting! What a good example for your friends! Love ya denny o! Have a great week!
Nay- Yes I definitely agree that conference every day would make way more sense than so much school! That's a good idea. Maybe in the millenium. haha. You know it's tough to get advice like that from mom and dad. But looking back, I do wish I would have gone on more dates, and I'm glad I never really had a steady girlfriend, because that's a huge waste of time, until it's time to get married. haha. Seriously Nay I'm really impressed with how high you keep your standards, and I'm thankful for your example. It's going to make a big difference in how Shash's teenage life goes as well I bet. That's cool that you're excited to live outside of home. Haha. It's fun, but the first thing I learned when I left is that I didn't enjoy our time with the fam as much as I should have. I'm looking forward to that when I get back! Just remember nay, the real world is in our home, and in the scriptures, and the temple, and living a righteous life. Everything else is going to end someday. I love ya Nay! Have a great week!
Dad- I can't believe you guys didn't finish the ribs! haha. Just kidding. Those ribs are delicious though. So thanks for the tips on how the U is doing. It's too bad I'm missing such a good season, but what ever I sacrifice to be serving the Lord will come back a hundred fold. So when I get home the U will probably win all the BCS bowls, and the superbowl. That's cool that Dig is getting into the wrestling season. Those were good old days! Thanks for everything Dad. Love ya! Have a great week!
Dig- School is tough man. I remember how much I didn't like it there too. haha. That's awesome that you're so good at drafting though! I loved the drafting class that I took. Maybe after the mission you can give me some drafting tips that you learn while I'm gone. Sweet. Hey I wanted to give you a tip for wrestling. Pins are sweet and winning is always fun, but the matches I remember best that were the coolest were the ones that went all three rounds, were really tough, and I either barely won or lost. Haha. So don't get discouraged when that's the case! Love ya diggy! Have a great week!
Love you all!
Elder Dallas Robert Aguilar