Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

Hello family! 

First of all: HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIN!! :D I hope you had an awesome birthday! I´ll send an email to you after I finish this. 

So we´ve had a bit of a rough week. Actually one of the worst I´ve had in my whole mission. We didn´t meet with a single one of our investigators this week. In fact we had 2 lessons total. Not so great. We just can´t get in touch with any of them. And we had a hard time finding people as well. We´ve been trying to focus on working more with the members again, which is slow, but worth it in the end. There are some really great people here and last night we met with a Peruvian family who were really excited about a new friend who has shown interest in the gospel, so that was really cool. We also met with a new kid, Valencia, who is really great. He has a lot of interest. The day after our first lesson the other elders saw him and talked with him for a minute and he had already read quite a bit of the Book of Mormon. We really want to meet with him again and meet his family. Yesterday we also met with the Bishop and he showed a lot of interest in helping out more with the work. He talked about a ward mission plan he is working on for next year and he gave the names of several less active members to visit. So there are some good things going on, we just have to have patience. I´ve been studying patience a lot this week. And I know the Lord will bless us with success if we endure our trials now. I know because I´ve seen it before. 

It´s been a little bit hard because I feel like it´s partly my fault we haven´t been meeting with our investigators. I think I may have already scared them away a little bit by focusing too much on baptism. The real issue was that I wanted them to get baptized for me not for them. I just wanted the number really. Which is scary for me. I need to relearn how to really love and serve my investigators. Luckly I have some great examples around me, and I´ve at least recognized that I need to change a lot. But that´s life. 

Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot of news for this week. A lot of time out walking in the rain and not feeling too productive. You asked about my companion, though. He is from Salt Lake City and he has been out for about 6 months now (same group as Kinghorn). So far we are getting along really well. We are pretty similar people and we have similar taste is music and movies and such, so we have an easy time finding stuff to talk about. Which is good, but sometimes I think we need to be a little more focused. He´s been doing some adjusting after his last area. But it´s a good thing. He said the other day that just the short time we´ve been together he´s learned a lot about how to have fun but still work hard. He said he was happy too and excited to work harder and be more obedient, so that´s good. I just feel bad we aren´t seeing the results just yet. 

Sorry I don´t want to sound depressing or anything like that! I´m fine, just waiting for things to get better. Stiff upper lip and all that, old man. Thanks so much for sending the package! I´m excited and I hope it gets here OK! That´s really bizarre what happened with it. For Christmas, let´s see. I could use some more socks (how lame is that :P) including maybe a pair or two of really warm ones to sleep in (it´s getting cold). I´ll let you know if I think of anything else. What you sent last year was great. Mainly useful stuff and maybe a few little fun things. 

Well not too much to share today, sorry this short. Hopefully next week I´ll have more to report. Please keep praying for our investigators and for me and my companion. I know it helps a ton! Thank you so much for all you do, for all your love. Take care, good luck with Halloween and have a great week! 


Elder Cousins

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 21, 2013

Happy P-day!

Hello everyone: family, friends, conocidos. So one week of this transfer is already gone. And it has been quite the week. I´m now the district leader here, so I´m getting used to that again and all the responsibilities of it. I actually really like being district leader. I feel so much closer to all the missionaries here and I like the chance to serve and pray for each of them. Especially since we have such amazing missionaries here! I really love our district right now and we seeing some incredible miracles here and a lot of baptisms. 

I also really like my new companion, Elder Weixler. We get along really well, and although we´ve had kind of a down week, things are going well. 

We didn´t have too many lessons this last week, but we did manage to get back in touch with all of our investigators during the course of the week! That was a miracle for me and an example of how the Lord tests our faith sometimes. We even found Mayte again! I spoke with the Young Women´s president and it turns out that she has been in touch with Mayte through Facebook all this time and that she had already invited her to come to an activity at the church on Saturday. She also went by and talked with Mayte´s dad, and he said that he didn´t have any problem with Mayte still coming to church. We saw her at the activity on Saturday and she came to church. We have a lesson with her tonight, so we´ll see how she has been and where to go from here.

I guess what you said is right Dad, that maybe we shouldn´t pressure people too much, at least not until we have helped them create the faith they need to be able to make such life changing desiciones. For example with Mayte, she isn´t quite ready to ask her dad again about baptism yet. I guess the reason I was getting discouraged is because we had set a goal of 4 baptisms this transfer, and I was trying so hard to have the perfect faith they are always drilling into us. I felt like 4 was what the Lord wanted from us so I just trusted that He would provide them, that if we worked hard we would get those 4. But I guess it´s important to remember that the people we teach also have their agency, that probably more important than my faith is the faith they have. Thanks for helping me to see things from the investigators´ point of view. It´s true that we get so caught up in everything that sometimes we forget how new and foreign this all is to them and really how big of a change it is. 

We met with Viki once this week and she is doing well, but she is really scared of getting baptized. We pushed pretty hard to still go for the 26th but she didn´t promise anything and she didn´t come to church so we can't baptize her on the 26th. But she is definitely going to get baptized. No doubt, just a matter of time. She is super good and she is growing a love for this gospel. She already is talking about inviting friends to listen as well. 

We finally talked to Arthur about meeting with him everyday and he said that he would talk with his sister (he watches the kids at her house) to see if we could come by. I feel like he is so close to breaking this addiction and being baptized. I feel like he just needs a little stronger desires, to give a little more importance to giving up smoking. We have a program we are going to try with him if he will commit to it. I´m also sure that Arthur will get baptized, just a matter of time. In the end though, I won´t care about how long it took or if I reached the goals of a certain month, I´ll just remember the faces of the people who accepted the Gospel and changed their lives. 

Beto is progressing little by little as well. At the end of a fairly long lesson we finally got him to commit to pray to know if this is the Lord´s church even though he doesn´t feel ready. We tried to help him understand that sometimes we have to have faith to act first before the Lord will tell us what´s right or wrong. We have to ask. He didn´t show up to church (-_-) but Patricia (his wife) said that he had prayed. So we are making progress. 

Please keep each of them in your prayers (AndrĂ©s as well). They need all the help they can get. Also pray for me to have more love for them. I appreciate your advice, and I think I see where I need to make a bit of an adjustment of focus. The people are the most important and they always will be. Thanks for helping me see that again. 

Also, if you could also keep Hermana Heims and Hermana Cabellero in your prayers this week, I would really appreciate it. They are going through something really difficult with one of their recent converts right now. This last week was really emotional. They are doing a lot better, but it´s still going to be rough for a while so pray for them. Thanks. 

Thanks for keeping me updated. It´s good to know that everyone is doing well back home. Be safe and be good. I love you all so much!! I can´t say it enough. Thanks for everything and have a great week!

Elder Cousins

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

Happy Monday! (That´s about all the break we get)

That´s nice you all had some time off, though. Don´t worry about the email mix up from last week. I totally understand. I was just surprised because it´s never happened before. 

It was so wonderful to see Bea and Kancho! I honestly don´t know too much about how the marriage thing works. They just tell me that they don´t have a date yet because of paperwork or something. But in March they will complete one year and be able to enter the temple! And I suppose be married there, right? I guess I don´t understand how it works. 

Currently we are working mainly with Viki and Arthur and Beto. Sadly we´ve lost touch with Mayte. Since she came to conference last weekend we haven´t spoken with her. She fired us 3 times and now won´t answer our calls or texts. I´m really worried. I don´t know what happened and since she asked us not to pass by because of her Dad, I´m not sure what to do. I think we´ll try going by sometime this week and after that, I guess it´s in the Lord´s hands, and we have to have faith that everything will turn out right. Sometimes that is hard though. 

We had an amazing, super spiritual lesson with Viki a few days ago. We invited her to be baptized the 26th of October. She was a little scared and hesitant, but promised to pray about it. Sadly we haven´t seen her since then. But I´m sure there is some reason. She is too well-prepared to disappear now. It is her time, she needs this gospel so badly and just needs to overcome her fear through faith. 

Beto we met with yesterday and had a very spiritual lesson with him and with a friend who has met with the missionaries before. We testified strongly about how baptism is the way to access the Atonement and invited both to be baptized. They both said they need to know more first, they need to get to know the church better.

I´m a little frustrated to be honest. I feel like we are so close with these people but we can´t quite get them to baptism. I feel like we are working so hard here, but we can´t catch a break. I don´t know. I just need to focus more and give even more. I know what we are doing is important even if we aren´t seeing baptisms right now. I guess it´s not for me to decide when the fruits come or who reaps them. In the end it's the Lord who does both, we are just tools in His hands. Sounds like I need to study humility and faith a bit more. I know miracles do happen and we will still get to the 4 baptisms of this month. 

Oh, one kind of sad story. We went and talked with Juan Carlos last week about our purpose as missionaries and what he expects of our visits (he has never progressed), and it was obvious that he just likes having us over as friends and that he really is not interested in our message. I tried so hard to bring the spirit and express to him how much this gospel means to me, but he would just change the subject every time to something else like work. It was so painful to see someone I care about reject what means the most to me in all the world. The mission isn´t all smiles and miracles, I guess. But his time will come. 

Thank you all for all your prayers and support. I can´t tell you how much it helps. I love you guys so, so much. Sorry if this email is a little down. I´m working hard to keep up the animo and I will. The Lord will bless us with success here, I´m sure of it. Thanks again for all you do. Be safe, have fun and be good!!

Elder Cousins