Monday, October 14, 2013

Letter home 10/14/13- Tanner sounds great!

Hey fambam! First I´ll answer a few questions. I too have realized that I don´t really talk about any of my investigators lately. We´re certainly struggling in that aspect. We spend too much time searching and not really finding. Every once in a while we find a bunch of seemingly great people, but they never let us in a second time. So that´s been difficult. We live in a very small, extremely Catholic town, so people let us in once to be a good Christian, but generally don´t want to actually learn from us. But I´ve surprised myself that I´ve been able to maintain a positive attitude about it. The real challenge lately has been between me and my companion, and I´m sure that´s the real reason behind our lack of success. But he´s made a lot of spiritual progress while we´ve been together. He´s hated me for it, but I hope that he´ll at least look back 20 years from now and thank me for pushing him to be more obedient.

We have a small branch of about 20 members, and all of them are single mothers. There´s two young men, and lately an inactive man has started coming back to church. So usually Elders quorum is only us four missionaries. Our branch president got released a while ago and immediately moved away, but two weeks ago we were assigned a new branch president that will travel down from another city each weekend to preside. He seems like a fantastic man and has great plans to help our branch grow. So we expect good things. This sector would be perfect for sister missionaries because it´s so tranquil, but this branch needs priesthood holders. So we´re looking for some men who have a desire to repent and be baptized.

This week I did a lot of exchanges in other sectors to help some struggling missionaries. I really enjoyed getting to know them and help them. If I haven´t had any grand impact on any nonmembers here in Yumbel, I hope that I´ve at least helped some of the missionaries come unto Christ. It sure humbles me to learn of their difficult family situations and personal struggles. I´ve been so incredibly blessed my whole life.

One thing I´ve certainly learned and improved on while in the mission is developing a Christ-like love for others. Growing up I certainly cared deeply for others, but I became rather introverted towards the end of high school when I got tired of being used and felt underappreciated by so many people that I cared about. But here in the mission I´ve been able to open up a bit more and once again develop profound love for others. The best part is when I can feel that love reflected back to me. Christ is powerful in that way. I´ve learned to better understand what Christ meant when He often said that His bowels were filled with mercy towards others (Matt 9:36; Mark 1:41). I´ve felt that deep love towards others in a way that´s difficult to understand. It´s obviously much easier to do so with other missionaries that also help me feel loved, but I´ve certainly been filled with mercy towards others that are struggling. I am grateful that the Lord allows me to act as an instrument in His hands to help others come unto Him and seek rest. I know that Christ lives and loves us, and I sure love Him. Thanks so much for all of your letters! I love hearing from you. Have a wonderful week!
Elder Long :)

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