Hola, family and friends,
Things here are going pretty well. So I just received word that my mom sent me a package for my birthday. Oh I love my mom. But I guess we live and learn that packages in the mail are difficult to make it to me. It didn't quite make it. So if there is anyone planning on sending me a package I wouldn't suggest it... although I have heard of other missionaries receiving packages. They tell me that a lot of pictures of Jesus and Mother Mary seem to help. But I don't know. It's too expensive anyway. Please don't send me any packages. It's not worth it. I can feel your love. an email or a letter will do it for me. I love to get a letter and read it. However, email is probably the safest way... ha ha. Oh you got to love the politics here.
Okay so on a high note. I had a pretty good week. I´ll start with a little of the not so good news and finish will excellent news. The not so good news. We were going to have a baptism on Saturday and so Friday we had the district leader come over for the interview. That's how its done. We arrived and come to find out we thought everything was good with the parents of this young man to be baptized. Apparently not... the parents changed their minds and had some doubts. So we talked to them for a while and it ended up that they needed more time to make the decision to allow their son to be baptized. They were totally fine with having us come over for lessons and for him to go to church and activities. They just felt that he was already baptized once and he doesn't need to be baptized with the Mormons. So its just a little trial of the faith. We hope they change their mind soon. Also Friday we got a call from the Bishop. We have talks this Sunday in Sacrament Meeting. Oh boy. This should be fun in Spanish I thought. Well gotta have faith.
So the good news. I ended up giving my talk on Elder Ballard's 'Asking in Faith.' I love that talk. It was great for me and for the members. I've listened and read that talk many times recently. I keep pulling out new things from it. I don't know why, but i love it. I ended using the first part about the members praying for full time missionaries. And how we should change our prayers. Not praying for the missionaries to do the work of the members. It turned out pretty well. The members said they understood me. Whatever that means... if it's true or not. ha ha. Ya I had Elder Gonzalez proof read and help with some of the grammar. Elder Gonzalez gave a great talk and so did another member on missionary work also.
It was kind of sad for us because none of our investigators came to church. But it was great thing when we saw that there were several new faces. Several members brought friends and less actives to church. That was pretty great to see. And we ended up having a great discussion in Gospel Principles because of that. We usually end up teaching Gospel Principles which is nice because we can just pick a lesson that the investigators need and discuss and teach it according to their needs.
Later that day at 5 we were to have an activity for the members about missionary work. At 5 pm we had no one show up at the church building... 5:15 we had 1 sister. So we decided to start. By about 6 we had about 8 members including the Bishop and his wife. We are struggling to get our Ward Mission Leader active in the work and active at church. We ended at about 7:30 and we had 14 members present. Four youth, 1 male adult the Bishop, and 9 women. Well we had more people than I expected. And the activity actually turned out great. We had the members active and participating. We had some activities such as role playing. The members I believe are gaining our trust and we are starting to work together. I think most of the members have desires to be working and serving in the missionary work but just don't know how. So we talked about the role of the members and how they can share the gospel with their friends, family, and neighbors. And how we can receive references and what the members should do during the lessons when they accompany us. All of this out of Preach My Gospel. I love that book. We used it and the DVDs that come with it for missionaries. I think that got them excited about the book and they all made the commitment to go buy a book for themselves and bring it next week. We hope to have another activity with the members next week. We'll keep it very short and hopefully they all will be on time... and we hope to have our ward mission leader there. It'll take some faith and work. ha ha. But the awesome thing was that by the end of the activity the members came up with a service activity they could do to give service and share the gospel with others. It was like Wow! Great! Way to go! It's great to see them getting excited about the work. I now love working with members that are excited about the work. It definitely makes a huge difference in the work and converts we have.
I love you all and thank you for your love and support. I feel your prayers. Please know that you are in mine each day.
Elder James Cox