Mi querida familia,
I hope you have all enjoyed your week very much. I know I did. Elder Randolph and I have been working here in Zapata trying our hardest to strengthen our members and support them in their callings. We met frequently with Pres. Stenny (our branch president) and his counselors to try and train them a bit more. But as they are very well accustomed to doing things the old ways, we have to help them by reading the manual and often "learning together" with them as not to offend them by correcting them. It is working, because they are starting to hold more purposeful meetings, especially the branch council meeting on Sunday which Pres. Stenny directed way more organized than usual this week. It was awesome. As you know me, it just warms my soul to see things done right the first time. We are helping the branch to ordain and train more priesthood holders (both Aaronic and Melchizedek) so that we can see more leaders here in the future.
Wasn't the Christmas Devotional simply excellent?! Let me tell you, I loved it! And you can be dang sure that I was singing Silent Night almost by myself at the end because the words were in English (Atilana sang too because she knows English way good haha). I love that song. Actually, I think I just love hymns in English to be completely honest. For now that I hear any music in English, I always pay way focused attention to the words. And the hymns are just so beautiful.
Quick thought of the week. While we were teaching Victor on Wednesday we were talking about Pres. Uchtdorf's talk about "Waiting on the Road to Damascus". While we were teaching I just had some way heavy inspiration come to my mind about representatives of Jesus Christ. Truthfully, it came in handy later because later that same night I had a good talk with a troublesome Elder in our zone who has just been a bit distracted these past couple of weeks. While talking, I remembered what I had written in the lesson earlier and decided to share it with him, I thought it helped a lot. When I wrote it, I just paused myself out of the lesson for like 2 minutes and wrote the thought down fast in my agenda really quick before I lost it. I'm just going to share with you what my agenda says, but feel free to expand upon the thought more and let it work in your minds:
"I feel that being a missionary is, at the same time, an ENORMOUS blessing and a GREAT responsibility. As missionaries, we must conserve ourselves clean and pure in order to be able to reflect what is the light of Christ to all of His precious children. If I stain myself with the slightest sin, I will therefore NOT be able to properly reflect the whole light to them. It is expected of me to be worthy and ready, to be a useful MIRROR for light of the Son of God. His light is a perfect one, ALWAYS shining upon the earth, with an INCREDIBLE power to heal and free His children from the pains in this life. Now, if I fail to effectively reflect this light, I will therefore be the one responsible for the lack of light directed to such children. I will, also therefore, be RESPONSIBLE for the lack of light reflected, for those souls lost in the darkness. Those who depend on my usefulness as a tool in the hands of God to refect His bright light to them. For 'inasmuch as they are not the saviors of men, they are as salt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.' (D&C 103:10). We MUST be worthy and clean, we MUST be ready for when the Lord needs us. We cannot afford to lose those precious souls, nor our own much less.. This IS the work of the Lord. I know it. And I know that it is a serious one, in which all workers who waste time or work 'just enough to get by' will soon find out that really it is not enough. We must work, work, work, there is no other option if we wish to really bring to pass the will of our Father in Heaven. Will we do so?"
Love you, Elder Knight
P.S. President says you shouldn't come pick me up from the mission. Just wait for me to get home, do the whole airport homecoming thing, and yup. I guess it suggests against it in the President Mission Manual, as he read it straight to me over the phone yesterday. Also, if you're going to send me a package, I don't really need anything, but feel free to send candy =) Love it. And if anyone would like to write me a letter, those are always well appreciated. I have sent a few letters home, but I have absolutely no faith that they have gotten there. Elder Randolph sent a package a year ago, and it still hasn't gotten home yet (at least not to HIS home hahaha) Again, I love you! Until next week! Oh, and I share with you my new mormon.org profile picture haha