Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tree of Life

Dear Family,                                                                                                                                                                   

Well, there goes another week. Who knows where it went but it`s gone. The spider man bed spread was just a blanket that someone had left in the house so I decided to use it. It`s not actually mine and I`ll leave it there when I leave but it`s a nice blanket mientras.
We are doing well in Tulancingo.  There is some agriculture where we are...and it may be slightly higher in elevation but I don`t really know. It is greener because it is closer to the ocean and the rainforest so I assume it rains a lot here in the rainy season...I guess we`ll find out won`t we?  The difference is that here is a lot drier and windier than the big city. The weather is quite a bit like tri city weather...We eat with members every afternoon. It is a blessing to be able to be with them often and ask for their help and references. In a perfect world the mission leader would conduct the baptismal services, actually I think the manual says that a member of the bishopric should do it. Seeing as how our ward mission leader is not a very punctual person usually one of the missionaries ends up conducting the services. Elder Cataldo conducted this last one. I have learned how to cook several things...I always ask the sisters how to make the food we eat to know how to make it. I haven`t tried to make very many things yet because there isn`t very much time to cook but We`ll see how much I can learn. I can`t believe that it is already Mother’s Day in 3 weeks. There are a couple of members that have computers that we will use to skype home on Mother’s day....just that mom is going to have to send me my user name and password again because I forgot. We see President about 2 times a month...quite a bit less than before but I`m getting used to it. He is a great man and I have learned so much from him.  
I did get the package. Thank you so much for the socks. I threw away all the ones that have holes in them and I have just enough now. Thank you for all the candy and stuff, I`ll probably be a diabetic by the end of my mission but that`s ok, gotta live it up while it lasts. I got the usb drive and even though mom didn`t put an explanation on it I suppose that means that she wants me to send my sd card home. I`m working on it and sometime in the next couple weeks I will get it sent off.

We only have visitors when there are meetings or activities early in the morning in Tulancingo like Zone Conferences and interviews and zone activities. Xicotepec and Huauchinango are pretty far away so they come in the night before to not have to get up so early in the morning. We have a couple of extra mattresses for them to sleep on when they come in.

The sisters in the picture I sent were some members of our ward who brought food for half the zone in General Conference. Her daughters are some of the ward missionaries and they are a great family. The pictures that I sent of the area that are greener are on the way to Huachinango and so we don`t really go there to work very much. We have a ton of little pueblos but we don`t go there to work because the people don`t have money to go to church. President Monson has instructed that we grow the church from the center out. So we are dedicating our efforts to the main city of Tulancingo and only going out in the pueblos for references. We do have 2 sister missionaries in our zone. Sister Valera from Colombia and Sister Vega from Peru.

As for getting the ward involved we have been trying as hard as we can to always be smiling. We always try to animate the members and let them know that we are missionaries that work and baptize. That gives them the confidence to give us references. Apart from that we are trying to serve the bishop by activating less active families and helping him out with whatever he needs. We have been working closely with the 1st counselor because he gave us a reference. We went and taught the reference in his house and we gave a really spiritual lesson. He (the counselor) was crying at the end. Even though the reference didn`t really want anything to do with it the brother just caught on fire and has been giving references and talking about the gospel with everyone. We have been trying to better our relationship with the Relief Society president because some of the missionaries that were here before kind of killed off any relationship with the ward. We are going to do some ward activities and a "tree of life" where we put a huge tree on the bulletin board. When someone gives us a reference we put a leaf with their name on it on the board. When the reference is being taught we put a yellow leaf and when they have been baptized we put a fruit with their name on it on the tree. Hopefully the pride of the members will force them to give us more references. We`ll see. The only reason members don`t help in missionary work is 2 things...they don`t have a very strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ (or they don`t understand that they are in the only true church and that anyone who does not get baptized in it has no chance of salvation) or they are afraid because they don`t know how to help. Addressing those two problems will fix any participation problem.

I got to speak on Sunday. I spoke about the obra misional and Alma 42. Basically because of the fall of Adam all men are fallen and lost. We of ourselves cannot get back to the presence of God and that creates the need of a Redeemer. The Atonement saves us from the physical death...but it only saves us conditionally from the spiritual death. We need to be obedient to the ordinances (baptism) of the Gospel to be able to return to live with him again. We are the only church that can offer salvation because the Restoration gives us the unique ability to be able to testify of the divine authority through which we baptize. No one else except for the Catholic religion can claim that. Therefore we must share the gospel or all our neighbors will never be able to go Home.

Also I sent some pictures of the zone activity we did today. We went to the house of a less active member of our ward and cleaned up his house and land. They are really super poor and people like that just live in we went and took out all the garbage and fixed his roof and organized all their stuff. The mom isn`t a member and committed to go to church this week as a result! We then went back to the church and had a training on having the tenacity and mental strength to baptize every week. Then we had burritos. It was a good activity. Well...I love you and pray for you and hope you all are living up the standards of the gospel.

Hoorah for Israel,

Elder Nelson

No comments:

Post a Comment