Queridos Familia y Amigos,
Is there ever a week that isn't eventful?
On Thursday last week our mission president was released and went back to the US. Our new mission president, President Newsome, will be coming in the last week of August. In the meantime, a bishop from a local ward in Montevideo is serving as our mission president; President Etchegaray Sabate (good luck with that one) has served as a mission president in Argentina and as an area 70, so I trust we're in good hands. We got to meet him on Sunday, as he made a special trip to see our Zone. He came to our area in La Paz on Sunday so we could know him and to see if there was anything he could do for us. It is good to know that the Church will always take care of us.
As we finish this transfer, and I see my one-year mark looming in the not-to-distant future, I find myself recalculating and readjusting my perspective on my mission, my area, my companions, and my life. Many missionaries that I've met here served "mini-missions" before their full-time service; I wish I had known that was even an option. My decision to go on a mission would not have changed, but I would have been a lot more prepared. There is no way to transmit what it is like to be so tired in every aspect, so pressured and stressed, via photos and journal entries. There is no way to fully convey the disappointment of a missionary when all their investigators hang up on them on Sunday morning, not the elation of placing a baptismal date. It is all so much different than I thought it would be that until now I have been struggling and wondering if I'm doing it all wrong. As I keep telling the people I teach, it is Satan who puts those negative thoughts in your head-- don't listen to Satan! Through the personal frustration about lack of "success" in La Paz after three transfers, district and zone leaders trying not to sound disappointed over the phone during call-in reports, etc, I know that God cares about the one, that He is aware of His children, that we are numbered unto Him, and that we are graven in the palms of His hands.
Also, I'm getting bangs today. I hope it turns out! ;)
Also, Mormon Messages are awesome!