Feliz Cumpleanos--21

 Happy Birthday Elder Lund

What a week. Well, first things first, I hit the "9 months to go" mark so I took a pic to commemorate.
At the beginning of the week, I wasn´t in our area too much. I did two divisions this past week - Miercoles with Elder W in Los Almendros 2 and Thursday with Elder O in La Jutosa. See pics.
Wednesday was a really good day. We worked really hard and because everything is close, we were able to enter "into houses" (really just sitting down on the front porches) and taught lessons. We ended the day with 1 lesson with member and 8 other lessons with a handful of Libros de Mormón entregados and desafíos bautismales. Elder W is from Atascadero, California and he played football and basketball so we talked a lot that night about the mission, sports, etc. Carmel had played Atascadero in 7 on 7 in Arroyo Grande and they played some preseason games versus schools like Seaside and Salinas. It was cool to talk about stuff before the mission and actually being able to relate. He is an awesome missionary with a ton of enthusiasm. He´s planning on perhaps going to BYU after the mission.
On Thursday, I went back with my companion for weekly planning and then went on divisions with Elder O in La Jutosa after lunch. He was born in Colombia, but grew up in Canada (so he knows both english and spanish perfectly), and his family is actually now living in Weston, Florida, just northwest of Miami. We had some citas that fell, but overall a really good day. He is a really good teacher and I was able to learn a lot from him.
On Saturday, we had a multi-mission conference. Misión Oeste and Este combined to receive capacitaion from 4 General Authorities - Elder Ochoa from the Area Presidency, Elder Davies from the Presiding Bishopric, Elder Maynes from the Presidency of the 70, and Elder Neil L. Andersen from the Quorum of the Twelve. SUPER MACISO! We learned a lot about conversion and the Atonement from Elder Andersen and about the mission in general from the other Autoridades Generales.
We had a great Sunday as well. 9 investigators came to church and the 10th was outside because he had some pena because he came in shorts and sandals.
Unfortunately, we didn´t have any baptisms. We were going to have a baptism for A, an 11 year old who lives with her grandma who is a member. We were going to try to have it, but too many things happened and it would have been pushing it. She was with her dad and couldn´t come to church the week before, she was having trouble with baptismal interview questions, and we never really received a 100% sure signature from her parents for permission. We told the grandma if she could get the signature from one of the parents. You know in school when the teacher asks the struggling student to show his parents his poor grades. He has to get a signature from his parents so the teacher knows they saw the grades but the young student tries to forge it out of fear, and the forged signature is totally noticeable. Well, that´s what our signature of the registro bautismal looked like. It was in block letters and they put "4:00" as the fecha. My companion and I looked at it in the house, laughed a bit, and asked them to get a new one. But, she came to church and is preparing for the interview so she should be getting baptized this Saturday.
We also have another baptism this saturday for I. He didn´t go to church last week because he had gotten drunk the night before (for his birthday) and was smoking a cigarrete when we came to pick him up. De hecho, he when he saw us, he was super embarrased,  We met with him that afternoon and taught Word of Wisdom again and the importance of reading the LDM every day. Since that day, the Lord has worked miracles and a mighty change in his heart. He threw away his cigarretes, he´s reading, and he´s a lot more pilas. He told us he wanted to be baptized this Saturday and we didn´t have to "empujarle" towards the fecha. His older brother is a recent convert and is giving a lot of support.
We are seeing a lot of miracles, large and small, right now in this area. I recognize them as miracles because the Lord is doing the heavy lifting. Realmente, He is the one that touches and changes hearts. He prepares the people, we just need to be instruments, work hard, have the spirit, and do His will.
Good P-day today. We went as a zone to Puerto Cortez. We actually went a little bit further down the coast to Omoa. It was really cool seeing the beach again. We went to el Castillo de Omoa and took a lot of pics. We ran out of time to eat lunch there, so we came back. Oh ya, it´s my birthday. 21. Wow, time flies. I got the package from Grandma and Grandpa Jones, but still haven´t gotten your packages yet. Probably tomorrow. Enjoyable birthday, great P-day. "Just another day in Paradise."
Well, I have a lot more stories, people progressing (14 with fechas bautismales) and a lot of funny moments. There are still some tough moments, but as the scriptures always say, "and it came to pass"...

-Elder Lund

Los Almendros, Zona Choloma 3/9/14 - 3/16/15

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