This week was super amazing for me because we got to visit with Elder Uceda, one of the members of the seventy!! He really impacted me and I feel like a whole new missionary again! We talked a lot about the importance of those primary answers: prayer, scripture study, and attending church.
It`s funny how before the mission, you always think of those things as such simple steps in life. Now, as a missionary, I desire more than anything to see my investigators read, pray, and attend church. I will do anything possible to help them do it, and am always looking for new ways to help them.
In the multizone conference, Elder Uceda talked about how we need to focus in on helping our investigators learn to pray, read, and attend church. We talked about how many times, they simply don`t know how to say a sincere prayer. I think there are even a lot of missionaries that need to work on that, me included! He also talked about how to read the scriptures, how we really need to dive in deep, and not just read the surface. We have to help our investigators do that too. That`s another thing that our missionaries need to get better at! Thankfully, he gave us quite a few pointers to help us out.
After having the HUGE meeting with Elder Uceda, we got to meet with him as Zone Leaders. It was truly a great meeting. We talked about some of the challenges we are seeing here in the mission and how we can improve. Elder Uceda really helped us to see a lot of things that need improving. We talked about how to take all of this to the elders in our zone and something he said caught my attention. He said, When I listen, I forgot. When I read, I remember, but when I do, I learn. He really wanted us to understand that we have to give the elders an opportunity to actually DO. Not just listen, not just read, but DO what we`re teaching them.
Really, it was a great week with Elder Uceda. Haha, it was kinda funny to...he basically burned the translation of the Book of Mormon. :) Well, he didn`t say anything disrespectful, but he talked about how it`s just so much better in English. The translation does make a few things harder to catch. It was a bit funny to see the reactions of some of my latin companions. Maybe they`ll try a little harder to learn to read english like they`re supposed to!
Other than the conference with Elder Uceda, I have been super busy running from my duties as Zone Leader and here in Tacalà. This week we made two work visits! One of them was to Morropon, which is the furthest point east in our mission. Elder Tylen Smith, who came to Peru with me, is there with Elder Delgado. It was a fun time to be with him and talk about how different our mission experiences has been. Elder Smith is super awesome and I`m excited for him!
The other work visit was with Elder Sierra and Elder Vargas. Elder Sierra came with me in Tacalà and we had a good time together as well. He`s kinda been a problem here with his companion. They just don`t get along! Actually, Elder Sierra hasn`t been able to get along with hardly any of his companions. He`s just stubborn and he also gets kind of depressed quickly. I tried to help him out, but there`s really not a lot I can do. I realized that he really isn`t listening to anyone. He just does it his own way.
Lesson learned: we have to be humble in order to be helped.
The last thing that was kinda sad to hear about were two elders in Chulucanas, who are in Elder Smith`s district. When they called in to report, they had ALL ZEROS! They did absolutely nothing this week!!! That`s really sad for me to say, because I know that they have been called as representatives of Jesus Christ, and they simply failed to complete their duty this week. Sadly, we are not perfect as missionaries either.
Talking with Elder Smith, we were both worried about what could be done. As Zone Leaders, we can`t do work visits with elders that aren`t District Leaders, so Elder Smith is going to do one this week, and we`ll see what happens. These two elders are really great! I know that one of them is probably super trunky because he goes home in two weeks, but that really isn`t an excuse. We`ll see what we can do to help them catch the mission spirit again...mostly a lot of praying.
I am so grateful for this time in my life. I am getting closer and closer to the end...I don`t like to think about it. My companion is going home in just 8 weeks as well! That will be an interesting thing to see happen as well, that is if I get the priviledge of being his last companion.
I know that this is God`s work. Even if we don`t necessarily represent Christ the way He wants us to, I know that His work is done. Somehow, someway, He provides for the salvation of His children. I`m grateful to be, at times, an instrument in His hands. I know that if I just work hard, I will be able to become a powerful instrument: someone prepared and willing to go where He wants me to go, or say what He wants me to say.
I hope that you all are doing well back in the states! Make sure to keep up with your primary basics! Don`t make light of it either...a prayer said just with words and without feeling really doesn`t do any good! Neither does going to church without looking for inspiration, or merely reading the scriptures and not SEARCHING them. Do it all, and life will be much easier. :)