Van Nuys Week 13

Friends and Fam,

This week was crazy good!! To spoil the surprise already my new companion’s name is Elder Green. He’s directly from Guatemala (La Capital) and came into the field the same day as me. If I remember right I think I actually sat next to him in the van ride up to transfers after I flew here from the MTC? Anyways, back then me being super naive young Spanish missionary I thought it was super hilarious that his last name was “Green” even though he spoke primarily Spanish there (“Shouldn’t it be Verde??”) haha. But he’s a sweet missionary. He was actually the District Leader over in El Camino after I was transferred out, so I got the inside scoop on what was going on over there. Apparently Angel, one of my nino converts, received the Aaronic Priesthood and passed the sacrament a couple times! That made me so happy. I’ve been hitting the jackpot lately with these companions lately. Especially the paisa ones. He’s been teaching me some Guatemala slang…I’m determined to become chapin. I guess there’s also a ton of native dialects (ex: Quiche) that are spoken over there that he knows some phrases of, so I’ve been learning those just for fun haha. But it’s been a blast working with him.

So after the chaos that is transfer meeting we finally got some decent time to get out and just work. Something new that our new mission president, President Henrie, has implemented here is that every day, from 4-6pm, we knock doors! We talk with people! We find! From this there has been rampant success throughout the mission. The coolest part is that beforehand, at 3:55 we all get on our knees and pray to God that He guides us toward those He has prepared to receive this message. Imagine that, ~150 missionaries all praying at the same exact time for the same exact purpose. It blows my mind to think about the power that holds. We’ve also been trying to involve our stake and ward leaders to encourage participation in this as well. Can you imagine what could happen in every single member in this valley prayed for that same purpose: praying for the missionaries, the investigators, and everyone else? Wow. Those of you at home, feel free to participate as well!

I feel like a lot of our success this week derived from this new implementation. This past week Elder Green and I talked with more people in one week that I ever have in my entire mission. And several of those became new investigators! We found at least one new person every day this week with exception to Sunday. Phew. After just roughly 2 weeks of this “experiment” we’re already having this much success? It amazes me. President Henrie is an inspired man.

As far as investigator updates, here’s the basic message: most of the investigators we’re teaching are down to get baptized, but they literally all have just one small doubt which prevents them from doing so. For example, divorces from previous spouses, working on Sundays, belief that Catholic baptism is good enough, etc. And that’s just to name a few. But we’re so stinking close with several of these people. We set a new baptismal date with someone this week! First new one in forever. His name is Alfredo, from Guatemala. We found him after a random guy in the street gave him as a referral to us, so we went right there, taught him, set return cita, came back, and set a fecha. Boom, just like that. He’s sweet. He’s was taught by the missionaries before in Guatemala and loves our message. Literally every time we go over there he’ll let us in. We’re looking forward to working with him more this week.

We did go on one exchange this week: with the Ayudantes on Friday-Saturday. It was good, we saw some miracles, talked with a ton of people, etc. The recent focus of President Henrie has been trying to establish a new mission culture: a culture of baptizing. We’ll be taking the training we received from them to our district leaders this week on our exchanges with them. Speaking of district leaders, literally all of them in our zone are first timers! Lots of training opportunities ahead. Elder Green is also a first time zone leader so there’s kind of a lot of pressure on me to get these Elders on the right path haha. But it’s been great. Should be an excellent transfer.

Was that better this week? Let me know if I’m forgetting anything… I think I mentioned this last week but half of our missionaries are new to the zone. Side note, basically half of the mission is pretty new as well, most with about 6 months or less. Talk about “baby boom”. 28 missionaries (included ex-Elder Kimball [that kills me to write]) went home last Wednesday… Time for us young guys to step up. But good times ahead for sure.

It’s looking to be, once again, another busy week. Exchanges. Exchanges. Exchanges. 3 to be exact (see what I did there). But have a great week everyone!

Con carino,

Elder Allen

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