Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Week 94 - September 7, 2015

Dear family,

Well it was a good week for the most part. Still trying to resolve some issues with the missionaries in our zone and trying to keep the work going.  Things continue to march forward and I'm really pleased with myself.  Despite my constant feeling of inadequacy I was able to reflect this Sunday on the week and I know the lord is proud of me.

I think Lolo is basically off the radar for baptism for now.  He came back from Malaga.  We found him and talked for a while about things and he committed to be baptized the 12th (we were thinking he was ready and everything) when we came back to the park later to find him smoking and drinking. We pulled him aside and had a very good talk with him.  He talked about how with the people he is with (a bunch of homeless Romanians) it is at times hard to remember who he is and what his standards are and how it's not an addiction, it's just the occasional cigarette or beer when they insist, and so we talked about how he can prevent that and avoid those situations and overcome temptation. He was very grateful for our visit and was excited to improve, repent and change.  But we haven't seen him since.  So we don't really know what to do.  We are going to keep trying our best to meet with him and help him change but it's just been impossible to meet with him.  So, he will not be baptized this weekend and probably not in the near future but one day he will!  He's got a testimony of this church.  I've got his email and his Facebook so I'll be able to stay in contact with him.  He also might be moving to England soon, or to the south of Spain for a few months.  So that's the news on him.  He will make the covenant one day. But for now I'll just keep doing what I can to help him out!

Vilma's daughters have been sick ever since their trip to the Philippines and so they haven't been able to meet.  A member who lives in their building also told us she doesn't think that she got married while she was there.  We aren't 100% sure but we will find out.  Vanesa hasn't answered for a few weeks and no one knows where she is.  So we will keep trying to contact them.

So it's been really rough because all of the work we have done with them since April is starting to fall through and it's really sad.  I have to be honest, I wanted to see "the fruits of my labors" and see them baptized.  It would have been so cool but I don't know if I will.  I'll keep trying!

Miyaret will be baptized on the 19th!  She's doing really well and is really excited!  So things are going great with her!:) she's a great girl and is preparing herself well.  She loves reading and praying every day and absolutely loves Young Women's!

We are still working with Marco, the man from Ecuador who was baptized years ago and wants to come back now.  He's gaining a testimony and I've been really grateful to work with him.  I feel like if nothing else goes right here in barrio 5, I was at least able to help him start to gain a testimony.  The good thing is lots of things have gone great here in barrio 5:)

We have had an issue in the missionary coordination meeting, some of the missionaries have been extremely
contentious and no one was really being mature about things (except for me and my companion, I have to make sure he gets credit he was well behaved and was very mature during the meetings).  The second counselor in the bishopric is holding them while we do not have a ward mission leader and he's an old spaniard man who just loves to talk, he
also uses a lot of slang terms that are hard to understand and he has a super thick madrileño accent so I don't blame the younger Americans for not understanding him.  I'm the only one who fully understands him of the Americans. But they get impatient and contentious and are driving the spirit away because they don't want him to talk a lot, they say it "wastes our time".  This has been going on for many weeks.  The reality is he gives us great information and yeah he chatters sometimes but he wants us to be informed so it's been really good to have this time with him.  As well, my comp and I have been able to develop a strong relationship with him.  The truth is there hasn't been much progress in the ward in regards to the work the missionaries have been doing and I have been studying, and fasting, and praying to know what we need to do.  It comes down to having a better attitude, dropping the contention, and stripping ourselves of pride, and working effectively with the members.  So the night before, I was up really late studying and praying and looking for scriptural
help and I also was studying the handbook of instructions, and some of the information and things they gave us at the zone conference this week.  So I developed a plan for our ward, and found some scriptures to talk about the contention.  So the next day after coordination I talked to them about Alma 4 and how the church "began to fail in its progress" (verse 10) because of the pride, and contention of the people.  I then defined contention with 3 Nephi 11:29-30.  The Spanish translation is really cool because the verbs mean "to be agitated" or "to be irritated" and I talked about how we can get
better and the blessings that would come from improvement, one of them being progression in the work.  Then I presented my developed plan for working with the ward leaders with our newly called ward mission leader. (Who will be sustained and set apart hopefully next week)  It's been a great time for me to develop my leadership skills, and even further my knowledge of church government and how things should work according to the handbooks.  It's been a great time of growth and patience for me.

I will be calling the zone to repentance about the schedule this week in the district meetings because the zone conference was this past week.  The good thing is there is an overall good attitude that has started to come this week.  Most missionaries are doing better and there aren't as many problems.  There are just a few now who need correction.  My zone leader companion is a stud and has been helping a ton.  We've been able to do some great things together.  His name is
Elder Peterson and he actually went to Brighton High School!

Funny story, yesterday my comp went to bed when it was time to study as a companionship and so I went to my desk and I yelled in, "Hey! Ready when you are!"  And then I waited a few minutes.  Nothing.  So I sang a hymn really loud.  I got through all four verses, nothing.  So I knelt down and offered a prayer out loud.  Yeah, I made sure he heard me. "Please bless my companion that he will join me in the companionship study we are going to have."  Finished my prayer.  Nothing. So I began to read out loud from the missionary handbook.  Nothing.  Finally as I was reading the How to Begin Teaching points in chapter 10 of Preach My Gospel he came lumbering in put on a shirt and we studied together.  Hahaha!  It was funny!  But hey, whatever works right?  I'll never forget that prayer.

Zone conference was amazing!!!  I ordered the pizza and I don't think I'd ever ordered over the phone that many before.  I also was the interpreter again!  And as always it was an amazing experience.  I  really enjoyed it.  I love translating and interpreting.  So much fun!

After zone conference I had an interview with President Pack to renew my temple
recommend because mine expired at the end of last month.  I absolutely love President Pack.  That man has been called of God and I am so grateful I'm serving with him.  He's a great friend of mine, and I've developed a great relationship with him, even in this short time.  We had a great talk about a lot of things, like life after the mission, service in the church, my goals and my education and career plans, it was a great conversation and I just want to say he is an inspired man.
We discussed possibly an extension, the possibility of staying longer in the mission but after discussing it, we decided it would be best to go home on the designated date, November 10th.  I have a lifetime of service ahead of me so I feel and think it's the right time to be home.

In the end it was an overall good week, a lot of frustrations, a lot of miracles, but I'm loving every moment.  As I always say, I love this work.  I love my Savior and I know He lives.  Thanks for all your love and prayers!!  Have an amazing week!!!

Love you all!

Elder Jarrett Anderson

¡El reino de dios o nada!
¡Hurah por Israel!

P.s. I got the package and my debit card and I bought my suit
today!!:)  It looks great and I'm super excited about it:)  Thank you so
much for getting it to me!!!  I love you!!

Enviado desde mi iPad

Hanging out with a statue of some old Spaniards 

Elder Anderson and Lolo

In Torrejon!  We went and visited some people there today  because 
Elder Esquen and I both served there.  This is the main plaza there.