General Conference week! Whoo!! As missionaries, there are a couple of things we are super excited for. To name a few, Christmas, Mother's Day, Birthdays, and General Conference! We've had a countdown in our district for the past two weeks, we've been so excited! Being a missionary and having the privilege of watching general conference is a special experience. It is one of the only times in your life when your calling is the (almost) same as the Apostles—to testify of Jesus Christ. I know these past two days have been revelatory for me, not only for myself, but as a missionary in a field of labor for the Lord. I especially liked Elder Rasband's council from today to obey the prompting of the Spirit the first time they come, no matter if it be to answers to questions, or a call to action. Obedience to the prompting nine times out of ten will be right. That's definitely one of the words of council I needed to hear over the past two days.
I've mentioned it before, but Elder Vega and I have been focusing on cleaning out our Area Book, and I've learned so much about how to press forward when times are tough. I know that Heavenly Father is proud of us here in this part of His vineyard because I can feel it during my nightly prayers as I account to Him what we have done each day. There is a reason we are here in this area. People we need to touch the lives of. I've come to realize more...fully, that like Sister Tateoka's training at Zone Conference, that THAT is what makes me a successful missionary.
Silly story of the week:
Friday night, around 8:30ish we were sitting in our car, outside a random house, going over the plan for the person we were going to try to see. All of a sudden out of the corner of my eye, I saw a guy get close to the car on the passenger side. I jerked my head up and watched as a hand grabbed the door latch on the second row of seating, all the while trying to find the door lock with my other hand. I didn't find it in time, and it was thrown open, and what I could then see as a high school aged boy threw himself into the back of the car. I stopped freaking out internally at that point, and looked at him with a raised eyebrow, a curious "um..." escaping my lips. He then looked up at Elder Vega and I, and visibly startled, said "hey, you're not my uncle!" We affirmed that no, we weren't his uncle, and he got out of the car, pretty embarrassed. We successfully kept it together as he exited, though as soon as he shut the door, we both lost it. After a solid 30 seconds, I got enough breath back to tell Elder Vega that I had done that exact thing a couple of times before in the past, which made it even funnier for me! We laughed even more after that. :)
I have the privilege of having a companion who has the pure love of Christ for all we teach. Sometimes it's hard to show Elder Vega that we have to move on from those who aren't interested in our message, so I've been dealing with that for a little while too. Transfer calls were on Saturday! Not a whole lot is changing actually. Elder Vega and I are staying the area for another six weeks! Elder Bowen and Elder Wang also stayed the same, the only changes are from Elder Clark, since he's going home. Other than that, it's pretty much the same as before.
Tuesday before Zone Training Meeting we had a zone breakfast with the Stake President, President Moore. We talked with him, and he told us we could finally figure out next week the vision he has for the Spanish work in this Stake. President Moore was called as Stake President when I got to the area, so he's pretty new still.
Our work this past week has been focused on finding the less active Spanish speakers in the stake. After being in the area for 6 months, Elder Vega has probably met with half of them? Probably less. It's tough when they're spread all over the stake... There have been days where we speak with only two or three people, and of that only one lets us in. I'm not going to lie, it's been tough. Yet, that's when I feel most like the Savior. That's when I know a tiny bit of the rejection he faced. I am infinitely grateful that He is my perfect example of missionary work. There's a saying we like to use: for every door that is slammed in our face, someone is baptized in South America! On days that are tough and hard, we just tell ourselves that, and somehow EVERY DAY, no matter how tough I think it was, has been successful. When I look back all I can see is success. Maybe they aren't the huge steps I'm hoping they'll be, but at the very least I am becoming the man Heavenly Father needs me to be.
I have a testimony that this is God's restored, true church once again upon the earth. We are led and guided by a prophet of the Lord, Thomas S Monson today. Yo sé que este es la verdad, y la única lugar donde podemos encontrarle. Este es porque yo he escogido a ser un misionero por Él por dos años de me vida, a este tiempo. Estoy agraviados eternamente, por la bendición a servir en la misión de Oregón, Salem. Hay personas aquí con quien necesito a hablar. Dios nos ama mucho, porque somos sus hijos. Tengo un testimonio que Jesucristo es nuestro Salvador, y Redentor. Que el ha hecho arrepentimiento posible por cada uno de nosotros a regresar a el un día si podaremos escoger correctamente.