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Monday, September 3, 2012

September 3, 2012--Week 27

Hello family :)

So, I´m fairly convinced that Presidente is trying to tell me through these last two changes that because my first two changes as a greenie were peaceful in one spot with one comp, I now need some changes that will stress me out a little bit.  This morning at 8 o’clock, I learned that as Elder Alonso leaves to go home to Mexico City, my next companion will not be an ex-zone leader or assistant, or even another senior comp like we thought.  This change I’m going to be training.  So, I´m kind of freaking out a little bit right now, because I don´t even feel ready to be a senior comp, let alone a trainer.  But, I've also learned very well in the last couple of months that the Lord calls us in our weakness and qualifies us as we do His work and put our trust in Him. 

I’m a little nervous because I only have 4 months in Mexico and still have fairly frequent trip-ups with my Spanish.  Obviously it´s the responsibility of both missionaries, but being the junior comp I usually just trusted the judgment of my senior comp to make decisions, did my best to help and learn from him, and only disagreed when I felt really strongly about something.  Now everything falls first to me.  I´m scared, but I really am grateful for this oportunity to grow.  As the Lord promises us in Ether 12:27, He will help us overcome our weaknesses.  I´ve spent these past four months identifying many, many weaknesses, and now I know that it´s my time to just trust in the Lord and do all I can so that He can strengthen me to do what He has called me to do. 

How we do the trainings here is for each missionary they have two changes that they´re in their period of training.  My comp has already done his first change, so tomorrow he´s going to get here from Tuxtla (where he was in his first change) instead of me going there to pick him up.  I´m just now realizing all the things that I haven´t had to do because I´ve been the junior companion that I will now have to do.  I’m also really nervous because I know that in everything I do I´m setting the example for a new missionary.  But, in the midst of all of the panic, I feel really happy and at peace.  I know that this is a huge opportunity to humble myself and rely wholly upon the Lord to be able to overcome my many weaknesses.

My new comp is named Elder Esparza, which leads me to believe that I will be having another change to work closely with my Spanish. I won´t know until I meet him if he´s from the States or not.  Just judging by his last name, I would guess not.  But, then again, I also know a couple of very American elders who have Hispanic last names.  I’ll be with Elder Alonso until tomorrow at 3pm when he leaves on a bus for Tuxtla.  Then, I´ll be waiting in the OCC (the bus station in Tapachula) for about an hour until my new companion gets there.  I´m assuming there will be a few other Elders there waiting for companions that will be arriving on the same bus. 

For the work here:  Things are going really well right now!  The branch members are finally starting to be a little more animated and they´re helping us out with finding people.  Right now our main investigators are a family of three--the mother, Dionila, and her two sons, Juan and José.  The dad passed away a few years ago.  They’re doing well, but they´re just a little afraid of committing themselves in one place, so we´re trying to help them see why it´s so important.  We´re also still teaching the little sister of the Relief Society president (her name is Marisol).  She got really sick, though, and hasn´t been able to come to church.  She´s also going to Guatemala for a few weeks in a couple of days, so we´ll see what happens there.  Hopefully she comes back, because she´s a really good person and accepts very well what we teach and keeps her commitments.  We also found this week a young man named David.  He stopped us in the street to talk English with me.  He lived in Atlanta for 6 years, and speaks broken, but understandable English (more than anyone else I´ve found in Huixlta).  We´ve only been able to meet with him once since then, but he´s really eager to learn more and I´m excited to be able to keep teaching him.  Other than those people, the members of the branch brought 5 other investigators to church this week, which was awesome.  Two of them are an old couple (somewhere in their 70s I would imagine), and the other three people are a young family.  So, we´ve got a lot of work to do right now.  I hope my new comp is ready to work and walk a ton :) because we´re going to be doing a lot of both this week. 

Elder Alonso and I with el Hno. Roberto (el Presidente del Quorum de los Elderes).

So, I was going to send these pictures last week of this hateful spider (who thought it would be a good idea to crawl in our window at 6:30am), but I ran out of time.  I decided I was going to burn him if he came back.  He decided to return, so, as promised, I burned it.  According to Elder Alonso, it´s not a tarantula, it´s actually a "cara de niño" (child´s face), because it has a smiley face pattern underneath.  According to Elder Alonso (again, because I still just think it´s a tarantula), they do bite and they´re pretty poisonous.  But, don’t worry Mom, I´ll try not to get bitten. :) I hate spiders so the chance is that I´ll kill it before that happens.  And we do actually live right by a hospital, so that´s good just in case.

Just wanted to let you know as well that I will be sending my package off to you today.  Supposedly, it will get there in 8 days, but I´m not sure if I believe that or not.  Let me know.   

Hope you all have a great week!  Sorry I didn´t respond to anything that you guys told me this week :/ Keep up the good work with school, everyone! 

I love you all so much!

Con amor,
Elder Nickerl

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