¡Hola mis chicos!
I can hardly believe all of your folktales with the snow at home. When I read the first e-mail from Dad saying that it had snowed so much, I could almost feel that cold feeling of snow. Almost... Nah, not really but it was fun imagining! I was actually wondering earlier in the week what the weather was like back in the good ol’ John Denver Rocky Mountains because a couple members were asking me if I would be sad not having any snow for a couple years. Some days I miss the cool weather but I really prefer hot weather even if it is humid as the days!!This week we had a capacitacion (interview) with the leaders de zona. (zone leaders) Elder P. then went on splits with Elder V. and I after because Elder V. is the Lider de Distrito. (district leader) I definitely learned a lot from Elder P. that I really want to try and implement into how I teach. He is always full of energy and the investigators don't really have time to get bored during the lesson because he is always saying some sort of compliment, question, or joke. I don't know how else to explain it but simply put, I've been trying to be more upbeat this week. Not that I haven't been upbeat, I just think I've been really timid these first few months because I feel like my Spanish isn't very good. I've decided I'll take the risk of people laughing at me or if I can't understand, because people have been a lot more open to my "corker" personality (As mom would say). I mostly have just been more open and easy going with the members because I figure they will correct me with the language more willingly than investigators. Then, when I get even more comfortable with the idioma (language) I can be more like Elder P. with our investigators. All in all, being happy and fun-loving is definitely the best way to go in life!!
Also, in the capacitacion the lideres de zona (the interview, the zone leaders) introduced some very drastic news. I don't know if this is the same for the whole world but as of now, we are no longer allowed to go tracting as missionaries in Mexico. We can still contact in taxis, streets, things like that but the message was clear: no more door to door tracting!! The leaders of the church were looking over the numbers of recent converts and over the last three years, only 12,000 of the 120,000 convert baptisms have remained active. As you can probably guess, we're starting to focus more on reactivation as well as retention of recent converts. For starters, we had a consejo de Barrio (ward council) with the Bishop and other leaders in the ward to make a list of 40-50 menos activos (less actives) whom we feel have a good chance of returning with a little help. Along with that, we are going to visit EVERY active family in the ward and teach them the message of the Restauracion (restoration) again so they can just get back to the basics of everything, ¿me explico? (understand? Do I explain myself?) I have found that although those visits have absolutely nothing to do with the numbers we report, I really enjoy visiting the members. It seems like the ones who felt neutral towards us or even really didn't like the missionaries have begun to like us and they even want to help us teach/find investigators!! These next few weeks will definitely be slow as far as investigators go but I'm fine with working with members for now. I know that working with them will help us in the long run.Along with that news, in the consejo de Barrio (ward council meeting) the ward is planning to have a ward Christmas party this next month. Every group (young women, young men, priesthood, Relief Society) is doing some sort of talent/song/what-have-you. Elder Villanueva and I are thinking of doing a cute little song but we're not quite sure yet. Apparently he is quite the guitar hero so he wants to try and find a guitar and he says I can sing. Miss B would be so proud of me!!! I am actually appreciating the fact that I did Madrigals more and more, believe it or not.
Let's just say tonight I will sleep well because I bought a new hamaca (hammock) too! I tried it out when we got back from centro and it is definitely an upgrade! I was getting accustomed to sleeping on my hamaca but it still hurt my back so Elder Villanueva convinced me that it really was my hamaca that was mala (bad). I'll just leave it at this: he was right. The new one is divine "fo sho."
Tomorrow we're going to Cancun for Zone Conference with President which I'm pretty excited for. The bus rides are always fun with the other elders in our District and I always like seeing other missionaries in the mission.
This Friday we're hoping to have a baptism of a lady whose name is A. About 2 months ago her baby passed away and after that happened she started to search for some answers, and she started looking into coming back to church. Her mom is a member (inactive) and she told us she remembered going when she was about 4 or 5 so it has definitely been awhile. She told us all this in the first lesson we had with her and her husband and needless to say, we definitely pulled out Moroni 8 and D&C 137 to address her worries about her child. Both she and her husband accepted the invitation to be baptized on our first visit which is always awesome!! The problem is that her husband is a taxista (taxi driver) and he can't really come to church every week. She has been enough times that she is ready for her baptism but he still hasn't come. We've been trying to help him find a new job/switch shifts/anything but we haven't had much success lately. We're going to talk to them tomorrow to see if he is going to make an effort to be baptized with his wife or if we should go ahead and baptize her first. Preach my Gospel says to try to wait and baptize couples together if you can, but we might just have to change that depending on what R. says.
Thank you so much for all your support and love but mostly the wonderful letters. I sure am blessed with great family and friends. Have a great week and I will talk to you next week!!! Hopefully I receive some snail mail tonight at District meeting!!! De todas formas, les amo muchisimo! Mas que uds. pueden imaginar! (In any case, I love you all very much—more than you can imagine!)
Con amor, Tay
Sea feliz, sea Mormon (Be happy. Be a Mormon)