What a great start to the summer! (besides the car robbery and broken ankle) Girls camp, High adventure and a four wheeling trip in Utah! I remember doing that with a few SUU friends one time, great fun. And that is great news that the family will be complete this upcoming week, lets hope it stays that way after the trip to Tyler haha. I'm sure it will be a great memorable experience for the fam!
Well there is GREAT news from Buenaventura and not so great news...
Let's start with the not so great news.. we werent able to go to Juanchaco this week. Que pesar.. there was apparently something going down in the waters off the coast this past week so we were told not to go. I'm not sure when it will be cleared to go but I am sure it is just a minor setback of getting the work started there.
The great news is that permission has officially been given to buy a ground to build a chapel here! This is big news because the initial guess was that it was to be built in 2015. The Area Presidency counciled and decided that there was to be an exception for Buenaventura. It has been tough work keeping the attendance around 110-120 but it is well worth it with the news we got.
They had told us to forget about the chapel in short term because it takes a lot of time processing everything but now the construction will commence next year! What a blessing... I am hoping I can see it before I finish the mission! The branch is really excited, they deserve it so much for their dedication and development. I have just loved this unique experience to help a new branch grow, it has been really tough at times and frustrating but diligence and perseverance will always bring forth the blessings of heaven.
Well we have been teaching the cousin of Bryan Solis just about since Elder Inga got here, his name is Harrison Castro. He has been progressing a little bit slower and has had a few more things to overcome than Bryan but we have been slowly but surely helping him to progress towards baptism. He just has a lot of fear of falling after baptism and he had been struggling for awhile.
A cool thing happened yesterday when Bryan and Harrison went with us to teach a lesson this past week. We were teaching Lesson 3 the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a Recent convert family and we were talking about repentance and the RC was explaining how difficult it had been staying strong during moments of temptation. Harrison decided to bear a testimony about how he deals with his temptations and how he knew that they could do it too. It was powerful, I felt something special in the lesson. Afterwards, we talked about it and he told us he had been praying for an answer to see if he was ready to be baptized. He said nothing had happened for weeks, but during the lesson when he bore his testimony, he felt that it was right. He had received the testimony he was looking for. He then accepted to be baptized the 29th.
This taught me once again the truth of Ether 12:6. We are agents, free to choose freedom through Christ or captivity through the adversary. (2 Ne 2:27) It takes a use of free agency in accordance with the will of God in order to receive the testimony or "sign" we are looking for. Harrison was waiting for weeks to receive a sign whether or not he should be baptized... and nothing. But when he acted in faith bearing a testimony that he didn't even knew he had, the answer came. This has happened a lot to me on the mission and I know that this is true.
I am learning a ton these days of how to manage time... the Branch requires a lot of time helping the leaders and coordination, but we also have to help the investigators in our area and the missionaries in the zone. I am so grateful for things like the Daily Planner, PMG, Area book, Daily planning and Weekly planning that help us learn how to use our time wisely and such a great way to measure how we are doing with the Key Indicators. Time is so precious as a missionary and constantly improving in how we use our time is so crucial. It sure goes by fast... and I want to do everything the Lord has planned for me to do here!
Thanks for all the support! Until next week!
Love all of you!