Date

July 31, 2017

Area

Candelaria de La Frontera

Companion

Elder Anderson

The Path to Obedience, a Better Way of Life

     So this week has been like a renovation of so many things. New companion, new goals, new investigators, new teaching style, and a new life style! I didn't think that so much could change while I stayed in the same area but I must say that all this change has been for the better. Is it ok if I tell a little story_ So once upon a time I was super impressed with our Zone Leader when he came on spits with the other elders and I thought man I need a companion like him because he knows how to teach. My new companion, Elder Anderson, is only struggling a little bit with Spanish even though he's been out a little over a year so maybe it's a little difficult for him to teach but I've already learned so much from him in just these past few days! He is really obedient and really trusts in the promises of the Lord and of our leaders. In only 5 days I've been able to see such a huge difference in our success and how we conduct ourselves in every day and I just feel better as a missionary and I feel so much closer to God. Elder Anderson is really awesome at praying and that is something I hope I'll be able to do like him for the rest of my life. It really feels personal and like God is really right there listening to us when we pray with faith and detailing everything that we have done and everything that we and every person individually need. I really love my companion a ton. He's my first Gringo companion and the first companion that I feel like has cared about me enough to serve me which in turn has made me more service oriented. I feel like an actual missionary. I wasn't super disobedient before but there was definitely room for improvement and Elder Anderson has brought it all. One thing that I love about the difference that I've felt since he has arrived here is that he's been open about his goals as a missionary and asked me about mine and then we set goals together. I feel like we have so much more power as we have planned out everything with an attitude of prayer and fasting. As we've made improvements in our obedience I have felt so much more joy and I've felt successful already because I'm learning how to live in accordance with ALL of the commandments and rules of God. I thought I needed a Zone Leader to progress but Elder Anderson has shown me what I really needed %obedience, diligence, and prayers of faith. I'm really content with the Lord for this change because it has taught me a lot of attributes of Christ such as Humility, Diligence, Obedience, Patience, Charity, Faith, and Hope. Basically all of the attributes of Christ that Preach my Gospel talks about. XD I'm super ready and excited for this change with Elder Anderson!     We fasted on Saturday and Sunday but thigs didn't really go as we had hoped because we had to drop one of our people with a date for their baptism which was super sad but I'm already starting to see blessings because our faith has increased and we quickly have found people who are really ready to accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Our existing investigators are keeping their commitments and their faith is becoming immovable. I feel so much more joy for each one of them as they are taking these steps towards baptism and their salvation.      Elder Anderson has taught me to be more service oriented and I love the results it's had. On Friday we were walking to an appointment and there was an older dude mixing cement and without really thinking I walked over to him and asked if he needed help. He said sure so we started mixing the cement and getting it all ready to pour. After we finished the job he had for us, he asked us so when can you two come and visit me. I was just blown out of my mind because we hadn't mentioned anything about being missionaries or wanting to teach but we set an appointment with him and then he introduced us to his family that lived in that house and we found like 6 people who live there. My companion told me about a return missionary who baptized more than 200 people in his mission so Elder Anderson asked him what was the secret. He said that the secret is to work the Lord's way. I'm learning how to work the Lord's way and I have felt a great improvement in my attitude, energy, and success.     Talking English has been pretty awesome. We talk in Spanglish a lot because our English vocab has shrunk so we just use the Spanish word. XD Sounds like we're going to be giving English classes pretty soon so we'll see how that goes. I've never taught another language before and I've barely even learned another language... XD But the Lord will bless us through our efforts.      The other day we were starting to teach one of our investigators with a hymn but he asked us if we would like him to play guitar as accompaniment. We said yes but a little hesitantly because the last time that we said yes it didn't go so well. But this time I thought really hard about a hymn that would go well with his style of playing the guitar and, by pure revelation, Battle hymn of the Republic came to my mind and it was SO FREAKING AWESOME!!! Elder Anderson and I were just smiling the whole time because it was just so beautiful. XD Salvador, our investigator, said that he would like to come to church and play a song like that with us so we'll see how that goes. Elder Anderson said that we should just form a band. XD     I feel like we've gained a lot of trust with the members as we've showed them that we really want to work which has been really awesome. I hope that our ward can grow a lot because it is in desperate need of growth and improvement. Technology, the plague of this generation. The bishop has talked to us almost every Sunday about turning off our phones, listening to the talks, reverence, etc. but nobody is listening which is really disappointing. I hope that we can help all the members and investigators have a more spiritually edifying experience in the church by our example and our loving exhortations. SMILEY FACE      I hope you all have a Brilliant week and remember that there is always room for improvement and the renovation starts TODAY! 
--
~Elder McKinnon




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