Friends and Fam,
Ok ok ok so I’ve got some big news this week! I’m not sure if I mentioned this last week but here are the circumstances real quick. Unfortunately last week one of the Elders in our zone had to go home due to illness and his companion (our District Leader, Elder Chia) had to stay with our zone leaders (who are a tri-companionship already so for 4 days they were a quintuplet haha) while he awaited instruction from President Hall. Well we got the news Monday evening. He was to be assigned to a different zone where there was a different tri-companionship that was to be split up, and one of those Elders would be his new companion. But then what happened to his old area in our zone you ask? Well, take a guess. Yep, Elder Varela and I were assigned it of course. So in the space of 12 hours our area went from a little 2×2 mile block in the western San Fernando Valley to literally the entire southwestern third of it. Yeah, no joke. We approximated it was about a 20x increase of area haha. Exciting right? And remember how we were on bike before? Still are. Just kidding haha, we would probably die. So now we have a car! And since I’m so responsible and all I was assigned to be the designated driver. 🙂 Having a car is pretty cool, but honestly just a lot more stressful haha. Parking is a nightmare every single time. If you go more than 5 seconds without seeing a sign that says “Private Parking: all violators to be towed” or something like that you’re no longer in our mission. Apparently cars being towed is a huge problem in the mission haha. So usually we have to park in a more residential area and walk a good 5-10 minutes to our appointment. And even some of those areas are pretty sketch so we have to be careful. That’s my exciting news of the week! Honestly, the rest of the week was way slow. I kid you not, every single one of our appointments scheduled from Thursday on until Sunday night cancelled or rescheduled. It was really rough. But that’s why we have back-up plans always. We spent most of our time getting to know our new area and some of the investigators that we inherited. Some of them are way awesome, and another small benefit of the new area is that we now have most of the members of our ward, so we shouldn’t ever have to cook our own dinners any more. 🙂
Like I said, the week was really slow lesson-wise. But we did have one super bien lesson with a new investigator of ours whose name is Octavio. The previous companionship had only met with him once, but Elder Chia mentioned to us that he was searching for the truth and was really prepared to receive our message. He lives in a room with a couple other buddies of his so he always prefers to meet in our chapel. The lesson went so great! Since the halls were so quiet and calm I could listen to the promptings of the Spirit really strongly. We introduced ourselves a bit and basically asked him to tell us any questions he had. He told us he wasn’t sure what our purpose is in life. Boom, we jumped right into the Plan of Salvation. It was perfect. I could see that the way he was thinking about our church changed right then and there. He also asked about our beliefs on marriage. Boom, eternal marriage. Great also. Finally, he asked if we have multiple wives haha. Boom, no more polygamy. We had an answer for every single question of his and he was impressed. He also told us he’s been reading in the Book of Mormon and was already in Mosiah! We couldn’t believe it. So of course we asked him if he was willing to be baptized but he said he wasn’t sure yet but wanted to learn more.
Another cool thing that happened this week was during our weekly planning session on Thursday (yes, that’s how we spent our New Year’s Day haha). We were coming up to the end and since it was the first week of the month we set monthly goals. We went through each key indicator and kind of just put down numbers, not feeling super great about them. At the very end we said a prayer together asking if these numbers were reasonable enough that we could accomplish them, but that would still make us “stretch,” as Preach My Gospel says. Elder Varela offered it and went through each category one by one, stating the name and asking if the specific number was correct. As he said baptismal dates the impression came to my mind that it needed to be more. I was a little uncertain about it, but when he finished I mentioned it to him. He said he felt the same impression! Same new number and everything. That experience strengthened my testimony of the promptings of the Spirit. Sometimes it’s just a small idea that comes to your head, but if you act upon it you will see “after the trial of your faith” that it was sent from God.
Here’s a couple quick things now. I bought a new tennis racket for Preparation Day! The Federer: $20 at Walmart haha. Pretty high quality stuff. I seriously love playing tennis. I’m pretty awful at it, but so are the other Elders so it evens out. We also had Zone Conference on Friday, and there was a scripture shared that I really liked. D&C 24:12 “And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men.” Sweet right? It’s a nice little motivation scripture that’s encouraged me a lot. If we declare the gospel at all times, our voice will be as a trump and we will be given strength that is unknown among men. Wow. Take that to heart as you share the gospel with your friends or family!
Finally, New Years Eve I guess. Again, don’t get too excited haha. We stuck to the schedule and went to bed at 10:30 as always haha. I guess most other missions had a curfew but we were normal. Just another normal day in the mission! We taught Octavio that day, so I guess that was my highlight. And on New Year’s Day we did weekly planning like I mentioned earlier. But I did set goals for the new year! Each of you did so also right? One of my goals is to be 100% fluent in Spanish by my 1-year mark in November. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and planning but I’m going to do it! I set some methods/things to do to act on that goal. I hope you all do the same. Because a goal without a plan to accomplish it is useless!
Anyways, I hope everyone else had some fun this week. I honestly kind of missed setting of fireworks but exact obedience is more important! Be good this week, best of luck starting school and work again! Sadly I forgot my notepad with my Elder Bednar notes on it, so you’re just going to have to be patient for a week. Sorry! Look at is as an opportunity to develop Christlike attributes. 🙂 Until next week!
Nos vemos pues bye,
p.s. your son just left the computer, so his zone leader got on. You have an absolutely fantastic child. This Elder is seriously one of the best I’ve ever worked with. Thank you for helping him come on a mission 🙂 He’s already changed so many lives, including ours 🙂 muy bien hecho ❤ elder searle