I feel super lame not having anything to share week after week, but there is really not a lot going on in this area. To be completely honest, these last couple of weeks had been really tough ones for me. Until this point in my mission, I have not had an area in which it is so difficult to have any kind of success. We haven´t had any investigators in church the whole transfer (for 5 weeks), and before, I have never gone two weeks in a row without investigators in church. We´ve definitely been going through some trials, and honestly I've let it get a little bit to my faith. As we were starting this week, I was frustrated with everything--with my companion, with the branch, with the area, with the fact that every baptism in the last year is now inactive, and because the few investigators that we do have haven´t been able to see us or come to church. I was starting to believe that success doesn´t exist in this area. Thursday, I was listening to the "The Work" CD just after waking up (I don´t know if you´ve had a chance to listen to it more, but it is an AWESOME CD). The song "The Only Prayer that Matters"came on and there´s a part that says, "This is my work and glory. If you love me, feed my sheep. Love with your heart wide open, and you´ll see the world through me." The first time I heard that, it hit me really really hard. I´m sure it hit me hard in that moment because my Father in Heaven knew that I was not living up to my potential as His son, and He lovingly reminded me of what I need to be doing. The days since then, I´ve worked harder than I ever have. And I´ll be honest, we still haven´t had much success, but I'm happy--so much happier than I´ve been my entire mission. Preach My Gospel (in chapter one) is right on when it talks about what a successful missionary is. I know that the Lord's will will be done in this area. I know He loves His children, and I know that in some corner of our area, someone is being prepared to embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ and receive all of His blessings. That´s all I have this week. I love you all very much. I hope that as you start this new year, your highest priority is to follow our Savior, to become more fully converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to love others as He loves us.
Con mucho amor,
Elder Andrew Nickerl