|Elder DeLeon and his Greenie and Elder Nelson with his Greenie, Elder Mariscal|
Dear Dust Bowl Family,
That foto probably competes with a few textbook fotos of the dust bowl in Oklahoma that was a cause of the Great Depression, just my little tidbit of history for today. (*We had a huge dust storm roll into town last night. I sent him a picture that really does look like the end of the world rolling into town.)
So it finally happened, yes it was hard, yes, I cried in every house, and yes I wasn´t even sure I could be an effective missionary without the knowledge I had gained of my previous area. I took a ton of fotos and went to the offices at 7 in the morning to find out who my companion would be. As we were standing there in the soccer field waiting to hear our names and where we would serve I listened as my companion was told he would be training. Another newbie in Buenos Aires I thought, that’s great. Then I heard the secretary call my name, Elder Nelson, you will be serving in the Area Año Nuevo 2, Zona Comas, and you will be training a new missionary, please wait over here. WHAT?! I was excited and proud and a little worried all at once. Not only did a have to leave my area, but I would be learning a new area with a new missionary. What an opportunity to depend fully on the mercy of my Savior. An elder came over to me that would also be receiving a newbie, he introduced himself as the district leader from Año Nuevo 1. He then told me something more to worry me just a touch...it’s a new area. So this week I met my new companion, Elder Mariscal, and we started the work of opening a new area, an area that has about 5 to 10% of the members in our ward, and even less of the work that had been happening, no existing investigators and no area book to look through for help. Starting from scratch literally. The good news now, this ward is incredibly supportive of the missionary work. The ward mission leader is going to leave in November for his mission in Bolivia, and had set apart this week to come with us every single day. The Lord knows I can´t do this on my own, so he sent me to a ward that makes sure we don´t do it on our own.
So we did a lot of contacting this week and ended up with a less active family and one other family that we are now teaching, we are feeling a little bit more comfortable in our area and are working hard to build an area book that other missionaries can really use in about 4 or 5 months, or however much time we spend here. Elder Mariscal is from here in Lima, but the North is his mission. Literally 4 or 5 times a day a bus passes that will pass by his house in a little over an hour and a half. He was baptized as a convert at 8 years old, but went inactive at about 13 until a year and a half ago, when he says he had an experience pretty sacred to him, that made him come back to church. He´s super committed to being obedient and excited to do work. I´m so glad he´s like that. I´ve actually had to explain the sad truth to him that there are some missionaries in the field that don´t like to be obedient. The house we live in is much bigger than the house in the other area, and we are really just kind of setting it up. We are still waiting on a couple of things to come like a clothes rack to hang up our clothes but other than that it’s a really great house. The new zone has 19 missionaries including 5 sisters, so it’s definitely distinct, my old zone had 10 elders, no mas.
What you say about the missionaries smiling is so true. We have had more than one training recently on the fact that as missionaries, we send a message in the street whether we actually contact the people or not, they see our rostros and thats enough, they know that we are the "mormons" without a second thought, and we tell them that we share a message about the gospel of Jesus Christ, lo cual trae felicidad a los que lo viva y lo acepte, (Which brings happiness to those who live and accept), if we aren´t smiling, who’s going to believe us? Smiling is actually something that is recorded that Christ did when he was among the Nefites, if you look I think in chapter 18 it says two different times that He smiled upon them. How much do we love the Savior and want to emulate Him? That call also includes smiling :)
Times about up, but remember that I love you all, I pray for you, and hope you are all excited like I am for conference coming up soon!