Monday, June 24, 2013

Hola, Élderes; Goodbye, Humphreys


This week was another crazy one, and hard, but good.

On Tuesday we made the switch from having four hermanas in the sector to having two elders and the two of us.  Elders Catrón (Beunos Aires, Argentina) and Gonzalez (Santiago, Chile) came and they immediately made a good impression.  We are excited to be working with them.  Elder Catròn is also our new district leader and even though he just started this transfer as a district leader he is already doing a great job.  They have a lot of ánimo and they work hard and we learn a lot from them, even though we only see them at lunches.

That has been a funny adjustment, to go from eating with four hermanas to having the elders.  We have to eat more now, and faster.  I am working on it.

As a mission we have a goal to baptize 150 people in the month of June, and we are getting close to our goal.  On Saturday we started a fast as a mission to be able to reach that goal and also to have people in church.  We fasted with everyone else, but I was feeling a little low on faith and didn`t wait on miracles even when the Assistants had called out district leaders to tell them that we should.  But the miracles came none the less!

Sunday morning came and we had not been able to commit as many people as we would have liked to come to church, but we did what we could to scrape up the few options we had that morning and we went to church.  Our one investigator we were certain would be there did not end up coming, but two others just appeared out of the woodworks!

First, earlier in the week we had stopped by to visit a recent convert and found one of her friends (or actually, the mother-in-law of one of her sons, as I understand it) there with her.  We taught the friend and invited her to baptism and to church, but she wasn`t really strongly committed to either idea, but in she walked, with her recent convert friend!  I was so happy!

The other amazing miracle we had was that another woman, who along with her daughter, is also a recent convert, showed up at church with her mother, a non-member, at her side.  I had not yet had the opportunity to meet the mother of this member, but from what I gather she had not had very kind feelings toward the missionaries before and would not even allow them to visit her daughter and granddaughter in the house where they live together.  But this Sunday she shows up at church and she tells us in Sunday school that she thinks that this is the path that God wants her to follow!  We were astounded, and grateful, to see the Lord provide this miracle in our ward.  So there you have it - fasting, it works.

Of course last night was the international broadcast on missionary work, where they announced some additional changes to the missionary program (missionaries on Facebook and guided church tours, for a start), and taught us a LOT about member missionary work and the role that members can and should play in the work of the Lord.  I am pleased to say that I hear from many of you that you are trying to do your own member missionary work, and I am so happy to hear it!  Thank you so much for your examples!!!!  Anyway, the broadcast was awesome, and I encourage all of you to watch it if you did not get the chance to attend last night.  In fact, let´s make it your commitment for this week.  Watch the broadcast or visit the webpage and make a plan for something you can do to further the work as a member missionary!  I can`t wait to hear about it!

Then today we had a mission-wide conference to bid farewell to President and Hermana Humphrey, who leave us this week, as well as the two stakes of missionaries who are headed north to Rancagua.  The Assistants asked me to sing in a quartet with Hermana Lovell and two elders.  We sang "A Child´s Prayer" in English, at President´s request.  It went well and I was really grateful for the opportunity to participate in the conference in such a special way.

The conference was good but sad.  They showed a video we had made for the Humphreys and gave them a scrapbook of photos with letters we had written.  One thing I really liked was that President Humphrey told us that he and Hermana Humphrey had been in the MTC in Santiago in the past week, and one of our old assistants, Élder Navarrete, is working there as a teacher now.  (Élder Navarrete was one of the most awesome assistants ever, by the way.)  Anyway, Élder Navarrete said to President Humphrey, "The Savior´s ministry was only three years long, the same length as yours, President.  But the last week of His ministry was definitely the most important."  I loved that.  I know that President and Hermana Humphrey definitely are NOT trunky, and I hope as a mission we are able to make this last week with them the most important and most successful they have seen!

We each got to go up and say goodbye to them individually, and President Humphrey gave each hermana a hug, and Hermana Humphrey had a hug for each elder.  Nobody tell President Monson.  I am going to miss them a lot.  I was especially close to Hermana Humphrey, having had to make my fair share of phone calls to her in my day.  She is like the world´s most amazing person.  She told me to add her as a friend on Facebook.  :)

The other super sad part about this conference is that I had to say goodbye to Hermana Fajardo, who is going to the Rancagua mission.  It was the worst.  She was such an amazing companion and we got to be such great friends and since she lives in Guatemala it´s just really not all that likely that I´ll ever see her again. We cried and cried and took pictures together even though we both look terrible from crying.  I swear I have never been more grateful to live in this era where we have such easy access to different parts of the globe.  At least we´ll have Google Hangout!

Anyway, at the end of this week our new mission president and his wife are coming.  I am excited to meet them!  I know they have been praying for us and for our mission and the people we are working with, and I know they have worked really hard and sacrificed a lot to be ready to come.  Everyone pray for President and Hermana Arrington, along with the Humphreys this week, please!  And pray that our mission will meet our goal for baptisms in June!

Well, that´s all for this week.  As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  I love you all so very much!



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