Sunday, July 17, 2011

All Is Well :)

I think Elder Aguilar has been given a new p-day since we didn't hear from him until Thursday.  He offers no explanation for the delay, but I seem to remember that the Elders in the office have Thursday p-day instead of Monday.  So this is what we got Thursday.  We were out of town, so I am just posting it now.

Hey Family!!!

How is everybody? I'm doing good. This week has been good. Finally starting to get a hang of the new secretary job. The responsibilities that I'll have are prepare visa papers for newly arrived missionaries and make sure they're legal. Renew visas for older missionaries. Plan the travel and buy plane tickets for missionaries that are going home. Notify incoming missionaries' families of certain things expected in the mission before the missionaries get sent out. Notify families of missionaries going home about travel plans and get them letters and stuff about things the President wants them to know. Keep the information on transfers and missionary contact info. etc. updated. And just little jobs that I might get from the President or Sister Jesperson. The hardest part is going to be the visa stuff. That'll be the most stressful as well, because if the missionaries aren't in line with their status in the country and stuff like that, it can make it difficult for the Church to be able to continue sending missionaries in from out of Mexico. Aside from the secretary stuff, my responsibility is to continue inviting others to come unto Christ. We start preaching each day at three, unless of an emergency in the secretary duties. My goal is to get my responsibilities as a secretary super organized and prioritized so that I can spend as much time proselyting as possible. It shouldn't be hard at all, this week we've had no problem getting out to preach on time each day.

Anyway. The ward I'm in is great. The members are really incredible. It's easily the strongest ward I've been in so far on my mission (out of all four of the wards that I've been in. Haha.). The members really support the missionaries, and President Jesperson refers to it as the "gold mine" ward, because if we work well with the members here anything can be possible. At church the members were actually talking to us first to ask when we have time to do splits with them. WOW. Sweet.

Right now we have very few investigators in teaching, and only one is progressing. His name is Carlos. He's fifteen, and he spends most of his time at the house of a family in the ward. I'm not sure why but I get the feeling his own family situation isn't in very good shape. He's been coming to church every week for about a month now, and is back and forth about his decision of whether or not he wants to be baptized. He'll also need permission from his mom, and she feels that it's too soon. We'll see what happens.

These past couple of weeks I've been trying to take advantage of all the opportunities I get to testify. Testimony is just so awesome. It's cool to see that the most clever, smartest, best person/missionary in the whole world could reason, explain, and convince all day long and still not see many hearts open to the gospel, while the newest, most humble, scared missionary that barely even speaks the language, and struggles to remember all the doctrines in the Preach My Gospel lessons, can bare his sincere heartfelt testimony and reach the heart of every person in the room by the power of the Holy Ghost. There's a quote from President Hinckley about prayer in Preach My Gospel that talks about that.

I've been studying a little bit lately about how to apply the principles of the gospel, and especially the power of the atonement in our lives. I like the scripture in 2 Peter 1: 5-10. I originally read the quote from the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he talked about adding knowledge to virtue. Then when I started to study it a little more in the scriptures and with references from talks from church leaders, I realized that in that scripture we're basically given a step by step process that leads us to reach the potential that the Savior invites/commands us to work towards (Matthew 5: 48; 3 Nephi 12: 48). Right now I'm studying a little more about faith, which is the first step. I've learned that in exercising faith there are three steps. The first is assurance, followed by action, then evidence. In a simple situation that could mean that I have an assurance that if I press the keys on the keyboard, the letters will be written on the screen. So I take action and press the keys, then I see the evidence as the words appear on the screen. Or something much larger, as Moses was standing on the bank of the Red Sea with an army of killers behind him, a sea in front of him, and desert/mountains on either side, and the lives of so many people depending on his actions. He first received the assurance by the promptings of the Spirit that if he took a simple action with his staff, the Lord would provide a miracle. Then he took the action. And then, after his trial of faith, he saw the evidence, as the Lord opened the sea, and all were able to cross to safety on dry land. Those principles of faith are present in everything we do, however big or small.

Bam- I did get your package on time. haha. I arrived here to the offices on the 4th of July, which was pretty good timing, since my 4th of July package was in the offices. We had lunch with the sweet patriotic decorations, and enjoyed all the toys and treats. I'll send the pictures next week because they're on another missionary's camera so I don't have them right now. Thanks for the package and for your letters Bam. You're the best. Love you! have a great week!

Gram- Thanks for that e mail Gram. It's always nice to get caught up on all the little things going on back home. I appreciate the encouragement and support. A few words from a loved one make a pretty big difference. Thank you. Love you! have a great week!

Shash- Sounds like you're tearing it up in Jazz Attitude Shash! Awesome. Keep up the hard work! Love you! have a great week!

Den- DEACON! Awesome Denny-o. I bet you're setting a great example there in the ward. I can't wait to see you pass the sacrament in about six months! haha. Love you! have a great week!

Nay- Way to face your fears. haha. I had an experience with that yesterday. I'm super scared of fighter dogs, and yesterday at the house of some inactive members, their 60 pound pit bull was playing fight with it's puppy right in front of where I was sitting on the couch. I was scared out of my mind. haha. Nothing bad happened though. Thanks for your comments Nay. About my favorite scripture... I have no idea. I've been especially into the teachings of Christ during his earthly ministry lately. They're like a perfect map of how to live and love like Christ did. Love you! have a great week!

Dig- Have a blast on those trips man. They're all a blast. Let me know how they all go. The week long ought to be pretty awesome. Love you! have a great week!

Mom- The package from the fam also got here. I forgot to mention it in my last e mail. Thanks for the oreos and the gatorade and powerade mix! It's exactly what I wanted. It was a relief to finally get the new slacks too. It gives me a tiny bit more of an option when I get ready in the morning. haha. Just kidding. Thanks for forwarding that e mail from Elder Dial. It wouldn't be a bad idea to introduce him and Nay. haha. Love you! have a great week!

Dad- Thanks for that story about Elder Elmer. That is pretty interesting about the timing with everything. I guess I'll probably be giving a similar report at the end of the Mish. Love you! have a great week!

Love you all!
Elder Aguilar

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