Saturday, February 15, 2014

Week 12 (End Of Cycle 2)

Hot hot hot, it's so hot right now. The weather here in Juarez has been nuts this past week. We had just gotten used to the freezing winds we had gotten these past few weeks and now it's really starting to heat up. It's really hard to tell what the weather is going to be like because you look outside and the sun is out and shining and then you step outside and it's freezing. Juarez is nuts. This past week has been all about preparing for the new changes coming up on Monday. Since this is the end of our 6-week cycle, the office has been roaring with activity and preparation for the new missionaries and changes. This has been the last week I will probably be in a trio companionship, and it's hard to believe that this cycle is over.

Even though we've been working hard in the office, we´ve also been working just as hard outside the office too. Last week we beat our zone for number of lessons given in a week and we've been working harder than ever to stay on top. I checked my feet last night for the first time and came to find out that I have a bunch of little blisters all over my foot (that was kinda cool, but gross at the same time). The hard work has paid off though, because we found a bunch of new investigators this week.

First off, is Nicholas Dominguez. He lives with his mom and his great great uncle was part of Pancho Villa's original gang. Quick history lesson about who Pancho Villa was. Pancho Villa started off as a bandit who was later inspired by reformer Francisco Madero, helping him to win the Mexican Revolution. In 1910, while still living as a fugitive, Pancho Villa joined Francisco's Madero successful uprising against Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz. Pancho Villa later became a military General who won many battles up here in the North (First Battle of Ciudad Juárez, First Battle of Agua Prieta, First Battle of Nogales, Battle of Columbus, plus a few more) and later became Governor of the state of Chihuahua. ANYWAY, back to our new investigator, Nicholas. He lives at home with his mom who is very catholic (surprise!) but was very interested in the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. His brother is a member in our ward, and we hope that he will keep his commitments.

In our area we have a lot of investigators, but we have come to notice that not a lot of them are progressing. I love all of my investigators, but I learned a valuable lesson from one my zone leaders. He told us that a lot of the time we focus all our energy on trying to convert people who are really really really tough and set in their ways, and not on the people who are more prepared than we imagine. This past week, we had to stop visiting one of our previous investigators who we had been spending a lot of time with, Fernando. It was really hard to let him go, because we have really come to love him and want the best for him. Unfortunately, he has been postponing baptism for a long time, and has expressed to us that he needs more time. So we let him go, but we have still been praying that his heart will soften and will be ready for baptism soon.

This week we had a baptism programmed for one of our investigators, Jonathan. Jonathan had been progressing so much and was just a golden investigator, or so we thought. We had taught him all the lessons and he was only missing his interview, but something has happened to him this last week, and we haven't even seen him. He got a new job 2 weeks ago working at a restaurant, and has not had any time to see or hear us. He has been having a lot of hard trials lately, and it is so incredibly frustrating and sad to see him so close...and then just drift away. AHGHHHH. As a missionary, you grow this inexplicable love for everyone, and it is devastating to see them fall. We have decided to stop visiting him, and focus our time on others. I pray for him every night, and I pray that he will draw closer to God soon.

I have really learned to be more prudent with my time here in the mission. Time is so precious, and it is crazy how fast it goes by. We are hastening the work of Salvation, and we cannot afford to be wasting time. 

Sorry I don't write much (I've seen some of the letters from other missionaries and it seems like they're writing a novel) but I have had experiences here in the mission that I won't ever forget. Stay safe and happy everyone.

Elder Velazquez

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