Friday, August 21, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009 -- Happy, Happy Birthday, Mother Dear

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! I hope you have a great day and a great year. I love you a lot.

This week I was reading in the Liahona, and found an article about role models. The author, a Seventy, mentioned that his parents were a role model for him, and explained the reasons why. I was greatly reminded of you, Mom (and Dad too). You really are a great role model for me. Every day I am more grateful for the sacrifices you made for me, the things you taught me, the example you set for me, the things you made me do, and the things you didn´t let me do. Thank you.

So another transfer has already gone by. I can´t believe it. Each one goes by more quickly than the last. With this new transfer came a change of assignment. Elder Samano is leaving and I am taking his place as senior zone leader. My new companion is Elder Hernandez.

Being a senior zone leader is a huge assignment. Let me describe my zone. In Reynosa, there are two stakes. The Reynosa stake is known in the mission as the Lehi zone. It is the zone that everyone wants to be in, because it is famous for always baptizing the most. By number of missionaries, it is the biggest zone. There are currently twelve companionships in the zone, or 24 missionaries, including the zone leaders, two district leaders and their companions, four sister missionaries, and the other missionaries. At its full potential, the zone could have 14 companionships but two of the branches are currently closed to missionary work.

Geographically, the zone is big as well. It includes three faraway branches. Only one, Miguel Aleman, is currently open to missionaries. It is a two-hour bus ride to get to Miguel Aleman, and we go almost weekly for baptismal interviews.

I have great plans and expectations for our zone this transfer. We have great potential. For one thing, all the missionaries who will be here are excellent. Elder Dudley, my BYU friend, is in the zone and will be one of my district leaders. Elder Zamudio, one of my past companions, will also be in the zone this transfer. Because of the MMTC that we had as a stake, the members here are excited and well-trained about helping us in missionary work. We are also starting a new family history program to help retain the recent converts.

This transfer, my goal is to help the zone as a whole and every missionary individually to achieve their full potential. I will be an example of obedience and of hard work. I hope to inspire the missionaries in my zone, teach them effective methods, and lead them as President Mendoza leads us. He recently taught us zone leaders that just as we (the President and us missionaries) represent the Apostles and the Lord, we leaders also represent President Mendoza and should lead as he would lead.

This week I received my shoes and bag from missionary mall. Two weeks ago I receieved the flat rate boxes (hopefully this week I will send them). But the package that mom mentioned that contains packaging tape hasn´t arrived. Speaking of missionary mall, I have some questions. The shoes that arrived weren´t the ones that I had sent pictures of, but the other pair. This week that pair also became unusable, so it´s OK. Next week I´ll send pictures so that they can send the other pair as well. Also, I would like to know if the guarantee includes stains on my shirts. Not stains from food, but stains from my belt and from sweat. . . .

Yesterday Elder Samano and I had a baptism, a young man named Moises. I first met Moises the day before he was scheduled to be baptized. I was impressed at how he came to the appoitnement in a white shirt and tie, and pulled out a notebook in which he had taken notes on his recent Book of Mormon reading. But unfortunately Moises didn´t pass his baptismal interview that day. We didn´t know why, and were quite surprised. The only thing that Elder Suñiga, the District Leader who interviewed him, told us was that Moises needed to attend church, pray, and live the law of chastity for a month. If he did so, we could call President Mendoza to set an appointment for an interview with him.

Moises didn´t get discouraged. He kept going to church, and kept all his commitments. Last Saturday he had an interview with the mission president and passed. His baptismal service was quite special, especially because his friend, Adiel, who had first introduced him to the missionaries, performed the ordenance. They are both future missionaries.

Well, my time us up and . . . I have to go. I love you all and trust in the Lord that all is well.

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