It's been a pretty calm week this week. By that I mean there weren't any assaults. I've been carrying my flashlight taser in my hand every night, and there have been no signs of anything suspicious happening. Laaaaame.
On the bright side, I'm finally learning my area pretty well. We did divisions with some of the members of the ward the other night, and I didn't get lost! I have a pretty good idea of where the investigators live, I know how to get to the church, and no matter where I am in the area, I can always find my way home. Yay for knowing the area! Considering it took me about 7 weeks to really get to know my last area, I'd say a week and a half is pretty good time.
Strange story for the week: We have two investigators who are some of the best I've ever seen. Well, one is the best. Her mother may be a little tougher. They're both really receptive, accepted a baptismal date, and went to church on Sunday. We took a taxi back with them after church, and on the way, they asked us about what all we do on our missions. We explained that we're 100% dedicated to missionary work for these two years (we don't have jobs, we don't go to school, we don't go on dates, etc.), but when we get back, we start doing all of that stuff again.
"Ohh, okay," said Silvia (the mother). "So when you get back, you can start working (her finger pointed to me), and then get married (her finger moved to her daughter)."
"Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh.........*incredibly awkward chuckle*......" No further comment was made. My missionary mind isn't programmed to handle such comments combined with the body language indicating that I marry the daughter of an investigator. Does not compute.
All vicarious flirting aside, the two of them seem very progressive. Blanca (the daughter) didn't really have a firm belief in God or anything before we met her. Needless to say, this is extremely rare in a country like Mexico where 98% of the population is Catholic. When we visited them Sunday night, after the lesson, Blanca simply said, "I feel happy. I feel very happy. I think this is where I need to be. In this church." When she said that, I wanted to yell. Fortunately, I was able to refrain... Until we got on our bikes and were out of earshot. Ugh, it's so great to see people come to know the truth and power of the gospel.
As a zone leader, I have to be much more concerned about the wellbeing of others instead of my own success. Elder Grajales and I analyze the numbers of each of the companionships in our zone and assess what we all need to work on and what can change. Last week, for example, we decided to work on getting more new baptismal dates for our investigators. The zone was only having about 5 or 6 every week, so we set some zone goals for the week to improve. To make a long story short, last week the zone had 13 new dates. The last time that happened was the beginning of August, and before that, I can't find any other numbers higher. Needless to say, Elder Grajales and I are quite complacent with such immediate results. But we are most certainly not satisfied. We need to go higher. We set new zone goals this morning to get even more baptismal dates.
I thought about how that really can apply to us in our lives. All of us will face successes in our lives, and all of us will fall short sometimes. I am reminded of the talk by Elder Bednar "The Character of Christ". What Christ did at every moment of his ministry was turn outward when the natural man would turn inward. Elder Grajales and I have seen quite a few successes here in these two weeks in Venta de Carpio, and we've fallen short a few times, but our real mission and responsibility here as Zone Leaders is not worry so much about our success and turn outward to help our other missionaries. Sure, we have to worry about what we're doing here in our area just as Christ had quite a few people to visit in His earthly ministry, but really we need to help other people. As we turn outward to help others, we heal ourselves within and become more like Christ. A few weeks ago I believe I mentioned a Mormon Message entitled Lift. I invite everyone to watch it. It exemplifies perfectly what exactly turning outward to others does for ourselves within. These past two weeks as a zone leader have really helped me see the results of our efforts. I feel myself becoming a better missionary as I help others work and improve, and really we can and will become better people as we work and help others improve. As we express the infinite love and patience that the Savior always expressed to everyone, we help them and ourselves. May we develope said love and patience and always strive to express it to everyone. Friends. Family. Neighbors. Even complete strangers. We will be blessed.
Iré y haré,
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This blog is edited by Elder Groesbeck's amazing, beautiful, younger sister Aubrie. I will post any update I get. Enjoy :)