Monday, July 28, 2014

"one of the greatest lessons I have learned down here, is how to love..."

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Que tal todos? I hope you are all doing good. I got some letters yesterday that some of you sent in april so it was a long wait but i will be trying to get back to you soon! Its awesome to hear from you though. I will be staying another 6 weeks in La Costa in the bottom of the mission so my communication will still be a little bit limited. I am excited though for the chance i have to be down here though. 

La Costa is one of the hardest areas in the mission but it is also a really rewarding place because we are down here establishing the church. In all the other zones there are stakes but we are a district down here with only branches. the average attendance when i got here was around 20ish and yesterday we had 43 which made me really happy. We work a lot with the less actives but I have found a lot of joy in that. Less actives or new people. Its all one work. I never realized how big a deal home teaching really is, but now I am going to promise to never miss a month. I know that if this branch had home teaching there wouldnt be 250 somehing inactive members. I have had a lot of challenges down here but it has taught me a lot. One of the greatest lessons i have learned down here is how to love. Im not going to lie, before my mission i was pretty self focused. This area has taught me a new way. I could have gone to a new area but my comp was going to leave too and i didnt want to leave all these people who i had grown to love down here to get lost. If there were new missionaries they wouldnt have known how to find them and they werent going to recieve visits from anybody else. As i have heard about the struggles and stories of the people down here I have been filled with a love and desire to help them. Sometimes i feel discouraged like we arent making progress but this past week we have had people share with us the difference we have made in their lives and one of the families asked that we ask that one of us can stay. How could i say no to that? I hope that we can do more than to just help support them in these next 6 weeks. 

A cool story that happened this week. there is this family that is less active. They have two girls, 12 and 8. The dad doesnt want anything to do with the church and smokes but the little girl had hopes that her dad could baptize her. It was hard to see because we knew that the dad didnt want to change. this last sunday the two girls got up and went to church by themselves and the littlest asked me if she could be baptized by one of us. She told us she did her homework and prayed to her heavenly father and that she had read in the pamphlet we left for her and red the scriptues in it and wanted to be baptized. It is amazing to see how the spirit has touched her, even being so young she has the faith to follow the savior. I was amazed by that. 

Well thats all for this week. I hope all is well. I love you all.

Elder Whitaker
Ty made "slop" for dinner!

Ty lost a bet and had to shave his right leg...

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