Sunday, March 18, 2012

February 28th

Well this week was an improvement over the last one. My comp has a lot more excitement and we see a lot of good things happening in the zone. It is always tough when the zone is struggling but this next month we are starting off strong and we are keeping the missionaries motivated to finish even stronger. The mission is teaching a lot of these kids for the first time in their lives that hard work actually is worth the effort. Unfortunately, some missionaries still haven't learned the lesson that "just because it is hard, doesn't mean that you can relax". The one downside of being a leader in the mission is that often we have to see that bad side of missionary work (disobedience, gossip, and, for a lack of better words, stupidity). This week hasn't had too many interesting experiences and I know that this mission generally doesn't have problems, but any degree of disobedience is too much, so we have too much.
I do have an interesting story about a family we reactivated. This week the son of an inactive family we were working with got baptized. He was really excited and it was a great experience. They are now sharing the gospel with their friends. He is 8 so it technically isnt a convert but we did what the ward and family asked us to and he finally got baptized. The mom is now really excited and invited a ton of people to the baptism and a family home evening that we are going to do this week. We are really hoping to see fruits from that. 
We are also working with another less active woman who has a 9 year old son and an 8 year old daughter who are really excited to be baptized as well. I guess that I have learned more here than in any other sector that even if things are tough in the sector, you are always strengthening the stakes of zion if you are working your hardest to invite people to Christ. 
Also as I leader, I have learned that my experiences that I have had in my mission and my life have really prepared me to help the missionaries that I work with. I sometimes talk to some of my missionaries and reflect on what the Lord did for me when I was passing through the same experience. There are so many stories that I sometimes forget, all about the way the Lord has blessed me. I guess having the constant support of the Lord sometimes makes it easy to forget how much help comes from Him. 
We are teaching some great people (we need to find more but that is okay because summer vacations are ending and people are easier to find now), but more than anyone else, we are working with Daniela (the less active woman) and her two children, Rodrigo and Maria Jose. They are awesome and are a huge blessing from the Lord for us right now. 
Things are going great. In sad news, the mall here in Conce burnt down. Well not all of it but one third was destroyed. There are two more under construction here but for a really long time that was the only mall, bowling alley, and movie theater in Concepcion. (I have no idea how a city this big lasted so long with only one mall. It is a big city and there is money here.) They are going to rebuild the part that burnt down in about 9 months but millions of dollars are going to be spent on it. 
Well things are good and I am really happy to be here and hope everything is treating y'all well even though it is busy and sometimes very exhausting. Enjoy your travels and I know that things are going to be great. 
Love ,
Elder McNeil

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