Sunday, July 6, 2014

What it means to Assist

Dear Familia,                                                                                                                                      

That´s a little bit smaller now, but I know that however spread all over the globe we are, we are still united, and we are all still striving to do our best to live the perfect life plan, the gospel. Don´t worry about thinking about when I come home, just try not to mention it too much to me ;) Share with me how your lives are, what your doing, whenever my friends start coming home tell me about that. My group is very small, but the zone leader that is over the stake that houses the offices is from my group, Elder Bullock. He tried to tell his zone at the welcome meeting at the beginning of the transfer that he had 17 months in the mission (this was last month) had to correct him, feeling old, and trying not to rush the time by. 

Well, my companion has 14 months in the mission, but had been a zone leader from a couple of transfers before me. He wants really badly to learn to speak English sufficient to go to the US and to BYU and so he initiates conversations in English all the time. We probably talk 60-70% Spanish and 30-40% English daily. He speaks very well and understands a lot more. Together, we are the assistants, which means we do what the presidente wants, when he wants it done, and in the way he would want it done. More specifically, we analyze the 12 zones of the mission to see that what presidente has put forward as principles key to our success are being put into action. We do that through work visits, through morning visits called ammonitas, studies visits, and the mission schedule of events like interviews with presidente and multi-zone conferences.

This month we are doing the interviews with president, that means that Elder Barrientos stays with president in the stake building, giving a training on a topic assigned by presidente, while I go with Hermana Erickson and Hermano Ortega to do room revisions. The zone leaders for the zone that we visit during the day do divisions with us and we go see how clean the elders and hermanas have their rooms. It’s also a chance to see if the living situation fits the standard that Hermana Erickson has set, revise their suitcases for contraband things, and verify their language studies.

The first zone we visited was Magnolias, where I was "born". We visited a lot of the rooms that I already was familiar with and mid morning we visited the elders in Buenos Aires. They still have Hermana Francisca as their pensionista and they live closer now, in a building owned by her daughter and son-in-law. I asked Sister Erickson for an opportunity to knock on my pensionistas door and she said yes! I was nervous as all get out but I knocked on the door and she came out with this giant smile on her face. She remembered my name right away and started calling her family together to see me. It was a crazy get together and only lasted a few minutes, but seeing the progress in the family -- their oldest grandson is ready to leave on the mission and sent in his papers last week, the baby grandsons are talking and walking respectively and she (the pensionista) still is working her 15 hour days (we tried to get her to repent of that, but she enjoys the work and feels the need to be doing something) -- surprised me. 

Apart from that we gave a training to the ward council members this week on the conversion and truly being a disciple of Christ, being a shepherd of lost sheep, and receiving revelation to find out where they have descarried themselves to. The ward is very very mature, and sometimes it makes it seem a little like a piece of the US, in that the members are second generation and have a ton of knowledge of the gospel but aren´t applying it fully. That´s something that´s been a big theme as of late. We need to move past just having a testimony and try to be fully converted, members who will sacrifice what is necessary to achieve eternal life. 

Yep, I received the grad announcement and now as I read about Kolby going into the field I know I´ve missed a huge phase of maturing in his life. I remember that time, and I know Braden missed it for me, but I know that the changes I went through had to happen when I was ready to make them. Kolby will be an incredible missionary, he has the tools, he has a testimony, and he´s about to gain the knowledge.

I love you all and hope that this week we can focus on being just that little bit more converted that is missing to being true disciples of Christ!

Love, Elder Nelson

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