Hola Familia cómo están??? Big news this week! So we had transfer calls on Saturday morning and we found out that my companion, Elder Hatch, is leaving down to Cleveland Tennessee. We served a solid 3 months together and I am sure going to miss the guy. We worked so hard! My new companion is an Elder who just got done training so I will give you more feedback about him next week! This will be my 3rd transfer in the Spanish Branch here in Lebanon! Absolutely crazy week!
The District: The district is doing a lot better than it has been. Combined as 3 companionships we only have 2 baptismal dates but there is a lot of potential here. We will be an incredibly young district here in Lebanon. The majority of missionaries will be less half a year out, so there is some greenie fire here for sure! One thing that the missionary leadership just came out with is the new TKM Mission Plan! I will post that. I believe that this plan will help move forth the work in such a vast spectrum. Last transfer wasn't really what we were looking for but things are moving!
Spanish Branch: Honestly nothing really has changed with regards to this however we are trying so hard to get members out with us every single night. The stake here has a goal of 12 member present lessons each week which is a very large number but very manageable as well.
Investigators: We have found quite a bit of people but for now I would like to put my focus upon two guys named Ramon and Mauricio. We had a miracle happen last week during stake conference where we met a member who knew these two dudes and works with them out in Lafayette. Ramon and Mauricio both do not have a church and are very interested in the Gospel! Pray for them! Pray for us!
Hatch & Macdonald Legacy: we went hard every day all day. There was not a day when we were not hitting the streets and it did not matter if we would have success or not. It was super relieving to be able to work through the day. My favorite success we had together was definitely baptizing Jared Gonzalez to bring his family closer to the church. Adrian and Monse (the parents) still are not married (Adrian is a member) but they have told us multiple times that we are their favorite missionaries and we are slowly but surely making progress to help this family come into full fellowship. I love them!
Zone Conference: This Friday was President and Sister Griffins LAST zone conference of their missions. Here in Cookeville we have an amazing zone. We received trainings on the new mission plan I posted on here and also President Griffin gave his last training. He had us all sit down in a massive circle and he started out with one question. He asked, "Why did you all come on a mission?" And he called on certain people to answer the question. He taught accordingly to their answers using the scriptures. And then he asked us "Now, why are you still on a mission?" These questions, as you can imagine, hit everyone so deep but it made me reflect back upon my decision to come to Tennessee and really why we are setting aside our lives to serve. The answers to these questions cannot be put into a few lines, but what it comes down to is a love for God. To love God is to serve those around you and to keep his commandments.
One thing I was studying this week was a talk called "Grateful In Any Circumstances" by President Utchdorf. He said that gratitude is the catalyst of all Christ like attributes.
Being grateful in our circumstances will make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious. There are always so many things to be grateful for, but more importantly there is and always will be something to be grateful for. It is easy to be grateful for the mellow, "all is well" times. But what about when life has you up against the ropes? What about when your life may seem to tear at the seams? Familia I invite all of you to live with an attitude of gratitude, even when the times get hard. The Lord is with you always.