Saturday, November 17, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012 - Changes!

Hola Mi Familia! Sounds like you all had a nice week with the Halloween happenings and all that jazz! Seeing all the kids here dressed up and going trick or treating made me miss home and the good old days of my youth! So when I wished you all happy voting last week, I was thinking that voting was on the 2nd of November, so I was expecting news in emails today. But it is actually the 2nd Tuesday in November. I think the 2nd WAS a Tuesday last time which made me think that...oops! How embarrassing! Shows what I know about my country's voting system! Ha! So this was a week with a few things that happened and a lot of changes announced. This week on the 30th, I celebrated "Wicked Day" which is the 9th Anniversary of "Wicked" on Broadway! I wore black pants and my green and black tie. I meant to take a picture, but forgot.... :( My sickness has sort of continued this week. My cough worsened and I started to feel a vibration or rattle in my upper chest when I coughed. My nose got better, but the cough was horrible. Saturday was not a good health day for me. I felt kind of nauseous all day and got tired really easily and my body ached. I have not wanted to go to the doctor because I just thought it was a cold I would get over or just a reaction to the flu shot I got. I asked my comp for a blessing Saturday night and then I went to bed. Since then, my conditions have been improving and I feel quite fine today. I have little to no cough and my throat doesn't feel as swollen or hurts too bad. Hopefully I'm on the uphill? With the news last week that they might be closing the area we really pushed to get Hector, his sister and his mom baptized this week in the case that they closed the area and there wouldn't be missionaries here to baptize them for a long while. We had a special lesson discussing the importance of baptism and then we invited them to be baptized. Hector immediately accepted. His mom said that she would, but she said she wasn't ready just yet. His sister once said she wanted to get baptized, but then got scared and said no, and so when we asked he again this time, she was a little wishy washy. With at least one firm yes, the next step was talk to the dad to get his permission. This was going to be hard since he has never wanted to meet with us or listen to us before. But, Elder Cruz wrote him a note saying we wanted to meet with him and Thursday we went and he was working outside and we helped him move some wood and had a little chat with him. We prayed good and hard before hand that this would go well. We taught him a little bit about what we do as missionaries and our message that we teach. We then talked to him about the importance of baptism and that his family had the desire to be baptized. He said that if that is what they wanted to do, he didn't have a problem with that. So we excitedly set up an interview and started getting a baptism ready. On Saturday, the family invited us over for carne asada tacos (most famous and most delicious tacos from Sonora) and cake for Hector's birthday. This night, we also had the baptismal interview and everything went well! Sunday morning we went to the church early to clean the baptismal font which, like Sonoyta, is outside. We filled the font during church, and afterwards, we had a baptism! I directed the services and had a few of the youth give spiritual thought and messages. I also sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" and Elder Cruz performed the ordinance. It was a really special day. This kid has made such a change in his life. After being involved with drugs, he started going to seminary every morning and was learning so much and loved to share with us what he was learning. He has become good friends with the youth, and they all love him. And his desire he had to be baptized was so wonderful! He is such an example for his mom and sister and cousin who also want to get baptized, so we are going work hard this transfer and see if we can't have more baptisms before Nacozari closes. This week, the Zone Leaders went to Hermosillo for their monthly meeting with the President. They came back and organized a zone meeting to share with us what the President told them in Hermosillo. Wow is all I can say! There are quite some changes taking place in missionary work! First off, we are going from 6 week transfer to only 5 week transfers. One of the biggest changes is that the church area presidency for Mexico has decided that all missions in Mexico will no longer be doing door contacting! Isn't that crazy! I think that Mormon Missionaries are famous for coming to your door and sharing a message, but we will not long be doing that. Not really for security reasons, although that is a small percent, but mostly because missionary work is with the members! We will be now relying heavily on member references and help from the members. Our work and success as missionaries will now depend more the members and their involvement. But it makes total sense. People are more likely to remain active if they have a friend they know in the church. It makes them feel more comfortable and provides a support system. As opposed to people who become good friends with the missionaries and when they leave, the members become inactive. This is supposed to decrease the number of converts who go inactive and increase the number of true CONVERTS as opposed to just numbers of baptisms. For this reason they are closing smaller areas that don't have complete church organization, because we need the help of complete organizations and members. So today is transfers and we didn't close Nacozari this transfer, but apparently next transfer in December is when it will happen. Elder Cruz was transferred back to his area in Obregon that he came from before and he will be training. I have been appointed as Senior companion now and will receive Elder Alvarado. I feel ready to be senior and then again, not. I'm not sure what how much we will be able to do this transfer not being able to contact anymore and since the members don't really help, us I'm not quite sure where we will get out teaching pool either. And since they are just going to close the area at the end of this change, I don't know how much progress we will be able to make. Oh this transfer will go, I do not even know! It will be quite different to have a companion that has less time in the mission than me. That is a weird feeling to have so many Elders that I know going home and many new ones coming in and that I am slowly becoming one of the oldest in the mission. What a crazy, weird feeling! Speaking of transfers, I found out that "mi papa" my trainer, Elder Melchor was made Assistant to the President this transfer! That is crazy! I am happy for him! I feel like there was one other change that we had in the mission, but I don't remember what it was...maybe that was all.... Well, that seems to be about all for now. I feel like I didn't really write that much, but hopefully enough to keep you all happy! :) This week, I complete 9 months in the mission! Isn't that crazy! Just 3 more and we have 1 year down and 1 to do! It is hard to believe that it is November already! How fast October went! I love and miss you all dearly and hope all is well! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner

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