So, we had another AWESOME week this week. Although it was a little bit disrupted by a hurricane. And nobody even advised us ahead of time. Which we did not appreciate very much and got very wet because of. Sorry, I don't have pictures because I still don´t have my camera charger. :( The Comitán zone leaders forgot it in their house which is very understandable because I think I´ve forgotten one thing each time I've gone to something in Tuxtla my entire mission). But that´s ok! So, we started off the week by going to Tuxtla for the Leaders of the Mission Council (the translation is something like that now. It´s not called "Zone Leaders Council" anymore because the sister missionary leaders are there too). And it was pretty cool. Each month we have one of those, and we have an "analysis of the zones." We look at all the numbers of the zones and the zone leaders whose numbers have gone down go up and make excuses for why and the ones who improve go up and talk about what they did to make it better (that´s basically what it comes down to). So, the month of April we had only had 3 baptisms in the entire zone (that´s a pretty low number), so we were trying to do a bunch of stuff this month to help the zone to improve. And this month we had 8. So we were pretty happy about that. And we´re even happier this month because we´re going to have 8 baptisms in this week alone. So, I think we're definitely improving :) and we like that. Then, later, we were in the consejo, and I just randomly had this thought pop into my head "the zone needs to be teaching more families". So I told my comp and he was like, "Huh, that´s funny, that´s exactly what I was just thinking". And we really felt like there is a complete family in each one of the areas in our zone ready to accept the Gospel. So, that´s pretty much what happened in Tuxtla.
Wednesday (the day of the hurricane), we had our zone training, and we talked to all the elders (we don´t have any hermanas in our zone) about what we felt in Tuxtla. That everyone needs to find that family. One of the areas has already found their family, and they´re preparing to be baptized at the end of this month. We're still in our search, but we know that we´re going to find them soon :) I hope I´ll be able to say by next week that we've found them. We´ll see what the Lord´s timeline looks like.
Afterwards, everybody came to our house a few blocks from the chapel to get materials, and we all got soaking wet. And then we went to eat, and while we were eating (we were in a very stable house, luckily) a very unusual amount of wind picked up. And started ripping trees out of the ground. It was kind of scary. But, we had appointments with the two sisters that are going to be baptized this week (Friday the 7th and Saturday the 8th), so we decided we needed to get going anyway and teach them the lessons that we had prepared. :) On our way, the ward mission leader (who is an RM and understands that the Gospel is still true even when it´s raining so as missionaries we keep working) told us that we were crazy and to go home. And we said, "OK!" and then we went to teach our lessons :) and then the wind stopped. It was a nice day--a really wet, nice day. Anyway, the next day, two of the elders in our zone (from a little town called Zapata) came to live and work with us for a couple of days because their area was the one that got REALLY flooded and they had a power outage for a couple of days and they didn´t have cell phone coverage and stuff. But, the Lord protects His missionaries, and we`re all fine here and where it passed through Chiapas they´re all fine, too.
Apart from that, the work keeps progressing quickly here. We´re seeing so many blessings from the Lord. This week we´re going to have two baptisms, one Friday night and one Saturday night. We also found another brother this week with very sincere desires to change and be a better person. He´s going to be baptized at the end of the month. We also have a couple of other sisters who we´re going to see if they get baptized this month or not. :) But we´re very happy and very, very grateful for these many blessings. The branch is starting to get really excited and we are all progressing!
I just want to tell you all that I love this work. My companion and I have come over the same promise again and again and again this week in our study of the Book of Mormon (it's definitely one of the central message that it contains): "Keep my commandments, and you will prosper in the land." It´s so simple and beautiful and true. The commandments aren´t restrictions. They´re more of a how-to manual on living a happy life. It comes again in Doctrine and Covenants: "Fear not, little flock, do good, let earth and hell combine against thee, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail." (DyC 6:34) and "But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come." (DyC 59:23) Do good, and prosper. So, it´s ok. :) Trials will come. Temptations will come. Just follow the commandments. Trust in Christ. Trust in His words: "Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me; and none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost. Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall." (DyC 50:41-42, 44)
I love you all very much. Have a great week.
Con mucho amor,
Elder Andrew nickerl