Well, it’s been another fast week! Since it was the week of transfers we had lots of abnormal events that took place. On Tuesday we went to the transfer meeting where the new missionaries arrive and the ones that are finishing their missions bear their final testimonies. I requested permission from President to go so that I could say goodbye to Elder Raulino (now known as Bruno). He was my first companion in the mission field as well as my trainer, and we’ve maintained a strong bond throughout both of our missions. I was sad to see him go, but excited for him to get started on the next part of his life. I received a letter from him today letting me know that he arrived at home safely and was well received. I was a little nervous that his family wouldn’t be there to support him, but it turns out that almost his entire ward was waiting for him in the arrivals terminal. He feels good and has had a great start to his new life so far!
Thursday we had a Mission Leadership Council meeting at President Broadbent’s house. We woke up early that day to get a ride with a member (Homero) that works close to there. We were able to get a quick tour of his business before heading to President’s house. We spent almost the entire day there and got back just in time to help teach the advanced English class in our ward building that night.
Despite all the extracurricular activies that took place this week, we were still able to teach 42 lessons, take 6 people to church this Sunday, find 18 new investigators, and maintain 7 people on date for baptism. We’ve made some goals to add a whole bunch of people to our teaching pool. President Broadbent has asked that we try to maintain around 40 people progressing towards baptism at all times. We’re like half way there, and working hard to hit the goal!
I’ve learned to recognize more clearly how Satan works against those that we teach. As soon as he sees that they’re doing something good in their life he starts trying to mess them up. We’ve got one man that we’ve been teaching for like two months that hasn’t been baptized yet because he’s struggling to stop smoking. Since it’s a habit that he’s had for over 40 years, it’s proved to be really difficult for him to stop. This week, however, he’s seemed to have found a lot more willpower to fight against the temptations. He’s gone several days without smoking, and then ends up smoking one or two cigarettes before stoping again. We’re almost there!
Today marks six weeks from my departure date. It doesn’t seem real at all. I’ve immersed myself in the missionary life and it’s hard to imagine actually being outside of it anymore. I’m determined to make my last six weeks count, and give my all until the very last minute that I have here. This is an experience that I’ve waited for my whole life, and will remember for the rest of my life afterwards. I’ve got to make the most of it while I’m still here! There are lots of God’s children that still need to hear my testimony.
I love you all, and thank you, once again, for all your love and support.
Élder Chapman Tew