I decided I´m going to start copying the letter I send to President so you have more to read. I have changes this week, so I´m pretty excited for that.
I will attach the letter below.
Dear President Cordon,
“I would like to begin sending my weekly emails to my family, so I can spend more time updating you on the week. Because they do not understand spanish, I will write in english. If this is a problem, please notify me, and I will go back to what I was originally doing.
In my eyes, this was a miraculous week. We had a baptism of a man named Juan Cardona. Elder Gibson and I were fasting for success in the area, as well as a possible baptism in the month of September. The following day, Sunday, a man from Congo showed up with 2 attendances saying that he wanted to be baptized the following week here in Molino. His brother or friend was a member of a gang, and some of the gang members associated himself as part of the opposing gang. As a result, he finds it dangerous to go to the chapel in Congo for reasons of gang limits and boundaries. I made sure he never participated in any gangs, and his conviction to keep attending. He is an excellent convert that has great desires to serve God and stay on the straight and narrow path. I gave Elder Moran the opportunity to baptize him because they taught him the lessons. Even though as missionaries we didn´t do much, I´m grateful that the Lord could bless this ward this month by sending a new convert. We brought another investigator to church this week named Brenda, and we put a baptismal date with her for the 13th of October. She is almost 19 years old, and she has very strong conviction. She can´t read, so that will be a potential problem in the future. We´ll read with her from the Book of Mormon and see to it that she gains a testimony. We have an investigating family, that hasn´t went for reasons of work. This week they are committed to go to conference. He has fixed his work schedule, and he will be going this week. He has been reading the Book of Mormon for a year now. Before he received lessons from Elder Bunn and Guerrero. He likes the Book of Mormon because “it is clear” and it helps him understand the Bible. His name is Jose Romero.
I would like to apologize for the state of the zone these past few weeks. The lack of success in the area as well as the zone has brought me to alot of self-inspection. There are some things, or bad habits I have that will cease to continue as I go into the next zone. I will list them below.
Relationship and interaction with members: Right now, I feel a lot of love from the members of the ward and they are very willing to help. I am a very direct person, and I´ll say things as they are. If I see something wrong I will state my opinion. When I came to the area, I tried correcting the ward counsel and inviting us to do what the prophet had taught us. I stated it as clear as I could. Some chose to be offended because it went against the tradition of things. To all who were offended, I later apologized and corrected the situation. All the holes were filled and apologies made. This helped me realize the way to interact. If I want to change the situation, I must do so by example with faith and enthusiasm as the prophets taught. I must do so by love. Be tolerant, unshaking, but try to advise with love. I will change this in the coming transfer, and I will not make the same mistakes again. I will also put more emphasis in teaching in the house of member. To be honest, I´ve never put much focus on that, but seeing that is the inspired counsel, I will change and will influence the zone to change as well.
Realize my position and influence: I didn´t believe much, that one man could change the numbers of the zone. I saw as my numbers went down, so did theirs. As I put emphasis on something, so did they. Just as a cowboy can lead a herd of 500 cows, so can a ZL over some missionaries. When I see that the numbers step out of line, or the success of the zone starting to drift, I will correct it instantly. If you let one cow step out, the whole herd follows and they all get lost. I will put more pressure on the missionaries and observe them more closely. I feel like I was too tolerant, or too relaxed with the way I handled the zone. I now know, and I won´t make the same mistake.
Overcome the natural man: I´m known to make a lot of jokes, but sometimes I let that get too out of balance. Sometimes with my sense of humor, I can let some responsibilities slide, saying that “it´s ok,” or laugh about it. A sense of humor is a good thing, but when used in the appropriate and balanced manner. I feel the spirit leave when I do use it in the wrong time. This can, as well, affect the respect that the missionaries have for me in the zone. In the upcoming change, I will see that I establish this balance. I will respect full responsibility for what the zone does, and use humor to boost the spirits of the zone in the appropriate timing.
I like improving. I believe it is foolish to not be aware of our weaknesses because that slows down progression. This change I will improve many things, and will see to it that I become a honorable leader that can guide the missionaries where they need to go. Forgive me for my errors. I believe this time of the mission was necessary to wake me up.If you see something in me that must be improved to bring forth the work of the Lord, tell me. The mission is a great time to learn while we are so spiritually sensitive and malleable.
I´m sorry for the state of the zone, I´ve never been the one to worsen the situation, but sometimes bad things happen so we can learn and improve. I will change to bring about the Lord´s work without delay. Please have trust in me, I will never be the victim of circumstances again.”
It was a great week. This is a great time of my mission, parents. Not so much for the fruits, but for what I´m learning in this time.
Thank you for the support.
We wrangled up a baptism! How about that? One day before the month ends, and a miracle falls out of heaven. That made me feel grateful for the love that God has for us. Even in the harder times, he gives us a little sampler. I am grateful for the tender mercies of God. It is also a strong testimony of what fasting can do.
Well, love you family. I´ll send some pictures your way.