This week was really good. We saw a lot of miracles this week. We had a goal to get all of our lessons and contacts done by Friday so we could focus on the investigators we hoped to have in Sacrament meeting on Saturday. On Thursday we only had 4 lessons with members and didn´t know if we would be able to make it. We got 3 of the youth to come with us on Friday and got all 9 of the lessons we needed done. That was a miracle. On Saturday we went by all of the investigators we had planned to teach and invite to church, but only one was home (and he didn´t come on Sunday). We went to bed that night praying really hard for a miracle. We worked really hard, but weren´t able to talk to barely any of our investigators. We went to church and kept praying. We had one show up during Gospel Principles, towards the end and we were excited about that, but we had a goal to have 5 in Sacrament meeting. We sat down in Sacrament meeting and the meeting began. Our bishop was released and a new one called. During the meeting, the new bishop´s son and his family, who aren´t members, walked in. Miracluously we had 5 investigators in the meeting. I was absolutely amazed. Hermana Reales and I were smiling the whole way home. President Benson was right. The secret to having joy in missionary work is work.
I´m communicating better with the people now, especially with the ward, but I still struggle with conversation. I always have, though. I´m sincerely interested in other people´s lives, but don´t know how to ask the right questions to get them to tell me about themselves. I don´t really need a whole lot of probing to get me to talk and so I don´t really know what it takes. That´s something I hoped to learn before I left, but sadly didn´t master. Any ideas? I really want to make friends in the ward, but more than that have them feel like they can trust me with the work and with their friends. That´s one of my goals for the year. I want to learn how to listen better and get people to talk about themselves. It´s really the only way I´ll get to know them and be able to discern their needs. In reality it´s the only way I´ll be able to teach them what they need and help them understand how the gospel can bless their lives.
It was incredibly hot this last week, but it´s a little better now and not too humid. One of the days it was 41 degrees celsius. You can do the math for that. All I know is that it´s over 100 degree farenheight. It was awful, especially since we work during the hottest time of the day. We´re trying to drink a lot of water and I´m using sunscreen almost every day. Sometimes it doesn´t really do much, though. I sweat it off. I have some pretty sweet tan lines on my feet now, which is another miracle. The sad thing is that the tan hasn´t spread to my legs yet. I¨m still pretty pasty white there. :) Oh well. Hermana Reales says it gets bitter cold here in the winter, though.
I´m still working on getting to know the area. I´m going to try something new this week to learn them because my efforts in the past haven´t seemed to do a whole lot. The area is divided into sectors and I´m going to try and learn it that way. We spend our time in different sectors each day, so I´m going to focus on the streets in each sector when we´re there this week. Hopefully that works a little better.
The work is going well, though it has its ups and downs. Investigators can go from progressing to not in one day and their baptismal dates can fall through if the don´t come to church on Sunday. We had two dates fall through this week and we´re down to one progressing investigator. He´s really great, though. He´s a philosopher and has a lot of questions about the doctrine. He has come to church the last two Sundays by himself and is reading the Book of Mormon. We haven´t been able to really teach him any of the lessons yet, but we´re working on building his faith as he´s more logic based. We trying to help him understand that God speaks to us in our hearts and our minds. He said after Sacrament meeting yesterday, "These things are profound, but simple at the same time." We were really excited to hear that. We´re going to try and commit him to baptism this week.
I love hearing about what you´re learning and becoming. It´s amazing how much we learn and the things we learn at different stages of our lives. We learn to value what´s most important and how to balance the rest.
I wish I could write more, but I´m out of time. I love you.