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Monday, June 1, 2015

Week #49: Mazatenago, Elder Ochoa and changes

Well I am sure you have guessed it and at the least probably know that I have had changes. I am now actually in the same Zone as my trainer and  Elders Hala, Cook and Cano from my CCM group.  I am in an area called San Bernadino Mazatenago.  It is probably one of the coolest zones in the mission. I guess after being in Rio Blanco for so long, deprived of all American food,  President Ruiz decided it was time for me to come down from my cave and into the City.
       It is really cool here. Not cold by any means, that is not what I mean,  but it is pretty sweet to be here. The only weird part would be that I am now a district leader and Elder Goodman my trainer is the other district leader, but in the same way it is weird it is actually convenient.  If there are any questions that I have I can just go to him. It is a bit different being responsible of something more than just your area. In fact its weird that I am really not in charge of my area per say at all.  I have now started to get accustomed to long nights, much more to plan, pray about, and much, much more to do.
       A lot has changed in the mission is just the tiniest bit of time. Just about all of the people in our group are training now and all of the people that we knew when we entered the mission have just finished the mission or are just about to. At lunch today I was talking to Elder Cook and someone started asking about how much time we have in the mission.  We told them and started to think, wow we are pretty much at the year mark. In a week and year our time in the mission will be done and we will go back home into the weird world that the States are. We started to make a few plans for after the mission, a little premature but sometimes looking to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow makes the journey just a little bit more exciting.
     So it was my first week in the area and I don't really know anything about it.  There are a lot of new people to meet, members to get to know, and much to learn about, not just in my area but in the areas in the district in general. I keep having moments here were I have to say to myself. well "your not in Rio Blanco (Kansas) anymore".  Oh how this is true!  I don't know if a bigger change even could have been possible.
    This week was Stake conference. (Oh by the way this is my first ward in the mission as well.) And well it was calidad. President Ochoa of the 70 was here as well as our Mission President and even the President of the the Xela Temple.  First thing that was amazing was our Mission President, President Ruiz. He sang a solo in his testimony only moments later to be called back up to the stand to do a duet with Elder Ochoa. In the same conference our mission president taught the restoration in his testimony and challenged everyone to be baptized. Yeah he is kinda one of the coolest mission Presidents in the world.
     Though there was another message that really struck a cord in the chapel. As you could imagine they talked a lot about sharing the gospel. Elder Ochoa in specific reiterated a story he had told us months before about an opportunity he had to share the gospel. One day he was in an elevator with two missionaries going about his normal day. He was thinking to himself at this time, "What would the Savior say to me if I had but only a short little elevator ride to talk to him. What would he do? would he simply look around the elevator? look down at the ground and think of whatever was going on in the day? or would he look into my eyes reading and reaching into my soul searching for the words that I needed to hear in that moment. what would he say to me so that I may know him and know what I need to do."  No sooner did I begin to contemplate this than did a man enter the elevator. He turned to the man looking into his eyes and asked, Are you a member? the man replied "of what?", "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" replied Elder Ochoa.  Then the man said something that left the Elders in the elevator just a little dumbfounded. "No. But what do I need to do to become one."  After some preparation from the missionaries this man was baptized, shortly after with his family and many others.  At this moment some 43 people have been baptized through this one man and the simple courage one man had to talk to someone about the church.  Surely this will not happen every time, but the thing is, if this happens even every once in a hundred times how will you feel?!  How much joy will it bring to your soul to know,  I was an instrument of God and helped someone find the Iron Rod. What can all of us possibly do if we simply have a shred of courage to talk to those around us?

My new companion is Elder Cano from Honduras, a great missionary.  I took the place of Elder Rasmusnon, he is from the Murrieta Stake back home, maybe you could look up the family say hi.  We have a really cool living situation, we live on a ranch in a bamboo hut - this will be great for the air flow as it is back to hot, sticky humidity...there isn't any hot showers...but then again with the heat, who wants a hot shower.

Oh and Mom, thank you so much for the package, it felt very heavy and looked really cool.  I surely hope the man that stole it on the bus ride enjoyed it and feels inspired to learn more about the church...that was the package that had Meet The Mormons DVD in it right?

Overall I am excited and animated for the new challenges of life that are coming my way. life is pretty awesome right now and I look forward to see what lies ahead here.

Sunset on the white field...

When your tie needs ironing and you are in a hurry!

My new home...

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