Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Still in the same...

Things are still going about like they have been for the past transfer.  If I'm totally honest, this is really hard.  I'm certainly not getting discouraged, but it's hard not to be frustrated.  Elder Gaytan and I had a talk last night and he just said "I know I'm not getting any better, I know I'm not making an effort, and I'm not doing anything to change".  We went to the offices to talk to President today, but I don't know what's going to happen.  President promised me that I can still have success, and I know I need to have faith in that promise, but it's going to be a hard thing for me.  It's a good thing that in our family, "we do hard things".  As stupid as I used to think that was, I can't tell you how many times I've had to face a challenge and just say that to myself in order to get through it.  I know I can do hard things.
I'm glad to hear things are mostly well for everyone.  I got a letter from Alyssa L. as well, and she's just fine from the sound of things.  Thanks for writing.  I sent you a letter through Alyssa S., so watch for that.  I'm glad people like my expressive writing, but do they mention feeling the Spirit or having the desire to do the challenge I issued?  I would be very disappointed if that only got to "good writer" status.  Brig, I hope finals went well for you.  I'd sure love to hear from you sometime.  I'm sorry things are a little rough for Tara.  I spent a lot of my teenage years thinking about things like that, and you just have to push through it with faith.  I've really started to understand how important even simple faith is, and I can promise it will help you in the big decisions you've got coming up.  We're out of the rainy season.  I haven't been able to give away the christmas presents yet.  I'm trying to figure out who's going to be just the right candidate.  Emily and Sean, thanks for your contribution.  I don't know if you're still writing your monthly letters, but I haven't been getting them.  Either way, thanks for your support.  I'm so grateful for all you've done for me.  Our new apartment puts us closer to the comer (supermarket), but there's really nothing to shop for in our area besides food.  Our whole area is really far from all the other elders in the district and zone.  No matter where we are, we're far from them.  I haven't been able to use the music book Alyssa sent me.  I've played through all of them, but nobody ever has special musical numbers for any occassion.  The people here really just don't appreciate sacred music that much, to be honest.  We almost never teach in the branch.  They just don't give us opportunities.  I've got to know the members fairly well, and I feel they have a lot of confidence in me, but they still aren't helping us out much.  We're still trying to work with the mission leader.  He's decided that we can at least have weekly coordination meetings for real now, but only because he needs our progress records because the stake is going to check that he has them every three months... it's a start at least.  The ward has also started to try to make a ward mission plan, but nobody knows what it is, and they just want us to make it.  It's also difficult because only 4 or 5 members of the ward council come every week.  
I'm not really sure why I've been getting struggling companions lately.  There's obviously a lesson I need to learn from it, but I just haven't been able to figure out what.  I've been doing my best to help them, but it doesn't seem like my efforts really yield any fruits.  Elder Cox's new companion told me he's doing well, but he didn't give details.  Speaking of Jurica, Alfredo Jr. got baptized and Flor (Alfredo's wife) is now going to activities, but not church meetings.  That was very happy news.  Anyway, and now Elder Gaytan is doing worse than ever before even though I've received the witness that the help I'm trying to give is what the Lord wanted me to do.  I've learned a lot from the experience, but that doesn't make it a whole lot easier.  I definitely have learned to love more unconditionally, to be more tolerant and understanding, and I've developed a whole lot of patience.
Also, thanks Dad, for your email.  I don't have time to respond to everyone individually, but I'd still enjoy hearing from you more.  I'd sure love a word of counsel from you, or at least your thoughts on what's going on right now here and at home.
I know that Jesus is the Christ.  I testify of the infinite nature of His Atonement and of the healing and lifting powers it has.  I know that applying the Atonement will makes us better every day.  I know that any wound, hurt, sorrow, affliction, sin, or otherwise negative feeling can be healed.  The Son of Man did descend below all things.  None of us is too far gone, too alone, or too hurt to not be healed through Christ's Atonement.  I testify that the Book of Mormon is true, and was written for our day.  We are participating in the fulfillment of a great deal of the prophecies given therein, and a real study of the Book of Mormon will bring us closer to God, and give us the capacity to overcome, even as Christ overcame.  There is no greater knowledge in the world than the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We must freely share that which we have received, or even that which we have will be taken from us.  I testify that discipleship is the way to happiness.  Christ has "marked the path and led the way".  He is our leader, our King, and our Savior.  Difficult though it may be to follow exactly in His footsteps, I know the He will carry us in the paths that we for ourselves are incapable of following.  Our weaknesses can become strengths through His grace and His infinite love.
Elder Facer


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