11 January, 2011

New Microwave?

Well this has been a good week. We are still living with 6 missionaries in our apartment, because we still haven't been able to find a new apartment to be able to move out. It is kind of difficult living with 6 since we only have 1 shower, and 1 fridge for all our food and everything. We have been trying to just make the best of it, until we can move out to a new place.

This week the mission has been giving all the apartments microwaves, and new beds. We had bed frames of wood that were always breaking, and so now we actually have metal bed frames, so now they don't fall all the time. They also gave us some microwaves, so now we can actually cook stuff in microwaves, although there's not really things to cook in microwaves here. I don't know if you guys have sent the other package, but i'm thinking that you can probably just send one pair of shoes for now, and send another pair later in the year. Also some other things that might be nice to have: Icy hot, pills for diarriah, tums, popcorn and some stuff like that.

This week i got sick. We went to our district meeting, and on the way there, I started feeling really sick. We got there, and I had to go behind a tree and throw up for about 5 minutes. We got back after the district meeting, and I just collapsed on the bed and fell asleep. Next thing I new, my companion was sick as well, and threw up. We had to stay in the apartment all day, and at the end of the day, I went out with another elder to finish our contacts. We also went to the farmacy to buy some pills, and we took them and went to sleep. The next day, we both felt better, but still had almost no energy. We went out and worked for the day, but had to walk slow so that we didn't have problems. Now I feel absolutely fine, but it was a long week with being sick and all again.

This week we had a lot of hard days, where we went out and worked all day, only to get 2 or 3 lessons. It is kind of frustrating working so hard, and not seeing the fruits, but what is really important is that I feel like I'm working as hard as I can. This mission seems like it focusus on the numbers, and getting more baptisms, more lessons and everything, so sometimes it's hard not to focus on that so much. I am trying to just focus on the importance of helping the people. There are a lot of missionaries here who just baptize whatever people they can find, and teach quick crappy lessons just so that they can get numbers. One of the things that I am focusing on personally is develop more love for the people, and less love for having good numbers. The first two or three changes, I was really focused on the numbers of the mission. I was always doing whatever I could to get more lessons, even when sometimes it wasn't with the purpose of helping the people. I have just been thinking a lot about what it is that God would want me to do here, and I feel like he would be disappointed in me if I was just doing everything here to get numbers. The president told us to set goals for the new year, and I was thinking about setting a goal of how many people I want to baptize in my mission. I came to realize though, that I don't think it would be a good goal. One, is that to complete it, I have to depend on the agency of other people, and two, even if I complete that goal, I may not help a single person. I think a lot of the missionaries here are way to focused on baptizing people, and end up baptizing a lot of people before they are ready to make those commitments. Then after they have the number, they just leave the people behind, and the become inactive members. The goal I set is to focus more on retention. I think that is one of the biggest needs here in Paraguay, not only to baptize more people into the church that are going to fall away, but to baptize people into the church that are going to stay in the church. I really feel like it's been difficult to humble myself enough to stop focusing on the numbers. Really when I am focused on the amounts of lessons, and baptisms that we are getting, I am working for the glory of myself, trying to make it so other people think I am a good missionary. When I work for the people, and use the numbers as something to help them, it is for the glory of God.

This week Ramon went to church again. He has a baptismal date for the 22 of this month. As of right now, I don't feel like he is completely prepared to be baptized, but he still has time before he needs to be ready. We are still working with him constantly to help him gain a testimony, and answer his questions and resolve his doubts.

Well, I don't have any more time today, but I love you all, and hope to hear from you next week.

-Elder Ryan Griffin

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