Monday, November 25, 2013

(No Subject)

Email received November 25, 2013

Hola familia!

This was a pretty crazy week. So it turns out I wasn´t white washing the area but I´m opening my new area! That was a big surprise that I wasn´t told. So we had a brand new house with no area book, no cell phone, and pure strangers all around us. But then we got our cell phone working and it turns out that some hermanas had been working the area a few months ago and we were able to find their old area book. I´m still not sure why the area got closed down before but what I do know is that I´m loving it. This is probably the nicest area I´ve been in my entire mission. Also the members here are fantastic! Our house is this super goofy apartment that I actually really like (it has a real hotel feel to it) and right in front of us live 2 member families. One of them has a son that just got his mission call to Columbia and he has left with us all day everyday since I´ve been here. It´s like we´re in a trio. It´s made it super nice. We´ve been trying to work a lot with the members and that has turned out to be successful. We have been able to set up lunch appointments everyday and we received a ton of references from members this week. One of them was for this super cool kid named Santiago. he´s about 15 and I´m pretty sure he just lives with his dad but his dad drinks a lot. Santiago lives next door to an active (except for the dad) member family and they are his friends. They gave us the reference then invited him over to be taught and we taught him the restoration with the rest of the family (including the less-active dad). Then he went to church with them and now he´s preparing to be baptized. The less active dad didn´t come to church but I asked the wife about it and she said that it´s been years and normally he won´t even accept the visits from the missionaries so the mere fact that we were able to visit him was a huge miracle asi que I´m already seeing awesome miracles here in Mariano Roque Alonso. Mariano is a branch that could easily be a ward but it´s part of a district and not a stake so it can´t become a ward. The district is the district that has chaco paraguay (like filadelfia and all of the indian tribes) in it so that´s pretty sweet. The hard part about that is that the missionaries in the chaco are part of my zone and they area about a 6-8 hour bus ride away so zone unity is really hard. But we´re organizing some divisions to go out there and see how we can help. It´s wierd being in this zone because I´m going from being the youngest senior comp in my last zone to the oldest one in this zone. Most of the senior comps in the zone have about the same amount of time as Spencer and they´re training and finishing up training of other missionaries. Then there are a few that have about nine months then a few of us that have a little over a year. It´s really different because people now look to me to help them and I still feel super new myself, but the Lord is helping a ton. My new companion´s name is Elder Ellefson. He´s from Joplin Missouri which is part of the Oklahoma Tulsa mission. He got baptized about 2 and a half years ago and is super pumped to be here in the mission. He reminds me a little of Alec Olson from next door and Dad a little bit too. But he actually more than anything reminds me a lot of myself at the beginning of my mission and it´s super cool to see because I feel like I know exactly what he´s going through and I can see the huge progress I´ve made. He´s a really fun guy and likes to work. I feel bad because I´ve been trying to do a million things this week helping all of the new missionaries in my zone and trying to get to know my area and a handful of other things so my companion is probably super confused about what the mission is, but things should calm down a lot this week and we should be able to work hard. He´s got a super great testimony that he just loves sharing with everyone. Dad I´m actually super glad you check people´s blogs because I always tell people to put pictures up in hope that you guys some how can find them. It probably was me in the picture because we did go mountain biking last week. Well I can´t think of too much more that happened (even though there was a lot to start would be very difficult to end. It´s kinda like this song I heard the other day called the never ending story. Haha it was playing on the streets and I remember Mom and Dad used to sing that and this was the first time I had actually heard it).

I have been studying in the book of Mormon a lot lately and I was in 3 Nefi right before the signs of Christ´s birth and I noticed some things that were super important. When the people were united they prospered in the land and had continual peace (and I don´t think the peace referred to here means sitting around at ease all of the time). But then they would loose their unity because Satan would puff up their hearts and then they would loose all that peace. I was thinking a lot about the importance of unity in the success of missionary work. Missionaries have to be united with the members and the members with them. Then together they need to be united with the Lord through prayer, fasting and studying the scriptures and obviously receiving revelation through church attendance to know the will of the Lord so that all three are united. As soon as one of these three is no longer united with the rest the growth and "prosperity in the land" starts to end. I´ve got such a strong testimony of unity. The lema of the mission, and least when Presidente Madariaga was in office, was United in Purpose. I think it is super important to make sure we are united within our families, within our companionships and most importantly with the Lord. The Lord has said if you are not one you are not mine. He also has said that he called his people Zion because they were of one heart and of one mind and they dwelt in righteousness and there was no poor among them. I´ve got a super strong testimony of the power of unity. That doesn´t mean that everyone is equal, in fact it´s kinda the opposite. Each person has their unique talents and abilities that they bring to the table that others don´t have and that has become very apparent to me on the mission, but I believe unity is being to take all of the individuals with their strengths and weaknesses and looking forward to the bigger picture or the main objective and overcoming and looking past weaknesses and harvesting and using strengths. I have never had a companion that was perfect, and I know for a fact that I am not a perfect companion, but when we can look past each others weaknesses and work together with each others strengths than we have success. So I invite all of you to try and be a little more patient with one another and really focus on seeing people with eyes of charity and find and focus on the strengths of others and not their weaknesses and figure out how to work together better in unity to achieve goals such as happiness. ¿Lo harán? Les prometo que al hacer eso van a ver un cambio en sus vidas que les va a conducir más cerca a nuestro Padre Celestial y Salvador y Redentor Jesucristo. Yo sé que esta es su iglesia verdadera y que Él la dirige por medio de profetas vivientes. Tell David Rapier congratulations and that I´m proud of him. Have a wonderful thanksgiving and eat a nice big slice of pie for me.

Con amor,
Elder Zachary J. Hulsey

For some reason the compute won´t recognize my camera but here are some pictures that were emailed to me