The mission has set some new goals for the key indicators in the mission to increase our success. I decided this week to do everything I could to reach those goals, and really saw some huge blessings from that. We ended up having 9 people with baptismal dates by Saturday this week, which was a lot better than we had done before. We found more investigators, taught more lessons, invited more people to be baptized, and just overall had a lot more successful of a week this week. We saw a lot of miracles by putting forth our faith to reach higher goals. I think really the mentality has been the biggest change. Instead of just working towards having 1 or 2 people with dates, now we are working toward having 9 by the end of the week, and so it really makes us more focused on our purpose.
On Saturday we saw a really big miracle. It was new years eve, and we knew that a lot of the people were going to be busy with other things, and so we were kind of just hesitant to go outside and start working. We were thinking about just baking a cake for the night, and then going out to work. Right before we started doing that, I went to the bathroom, and felt really strongly that we needed to go out and work. We left, and started working for the day. We contacted some people, and sure enough they were busy. We then went a little further, and there was a family sitting outside. We went up, and they invited us to sit down even before we presented ourselves. We then started getting to know them, and then sang a hymn, and started the lesson. They are Elizabeth, and Isidrio. During the explaination of the ministry of Jesus Christ, we explained that Christ set up his church with apostols and prophets. She then asked us, "well then why are there no churches in our day that have those. Every church I have ever attended just has pastors." We then got into the restoration, and as I recited it, the spirit hit really strongly in the lesson. When I finished saying it, she sat back in her chair, and said that she felt the chills. Then we invited her to read and pray, and put a baptismal date with them. She told us that she had never been baptized in a church yet because she had never felt anything. She also asked at the end what time church started and everything. Unfortunately they went out of town on Sunday, so they didn't attend church. It was really awesome finding somebody that was so prepared though. She was more prepared than her husband, but it was still a really cool lesson, and they will be baptized soon.
We had a leadership meeting today with all the zone leaders and district leaders of the mission. It was really good, and I learned a ton about what we can do better, and what I need to do better as a district leader. My old companion from the MTC, Elder Nelson is now a zone leader, he is with my other old companion, Elder Gutierrez.
My district had another baptism this week. The district is actually improving really well, and had a lot more baptisms in this last change then they had in the last 4 changes before, so that it really a miracle to be able to see a big change like that. The Lord really is making a big change in the district from when I first got here. In the mission, almost all the districts and zones baptized less than usual, so my district was one of the only ones that improved in the month of December. The whole mission baptized about 1000 on the year.
We have a ton of potencial baptisms in our area right now, unfortunately most of them couldn't attend church yesterday due in part to the holidays, but we are really excited because we have a lot of people that are starting to progress. Now we have to just keep on finding, and teaching constantly so that we can start really baptizing every week. Now we really need to work hard with them so that we can see the miracles in the next couple of weeks when all of these people start progressing.
During the leadership meeting an elder was telling everone about a miracle that he had a month or so back. He said they prayed for a miracle of people coming to church, and went to church that day. It turned out that two girls showed up and said that they had attended in Las Residentas and they really liked the church. They ended up getting baptized a couple weeks later. I don't know if you remember, but a couple weeks back, when I was in Las Residentas, I told you guys about how we sung in the sacrament meeting, and how it was super spiritual, and that there was a farewell of a missionary. His girlfriend, and her sister came to the meeting, and felt the spirit really strong. We then went to the members house after the sacrament meeting, and taught them a super spiritual lesson of lesson 1, and left them with Books of Mormon. Turns out they were the same two girls that I passed the reference of, and they ended up getting baptized! I was really happy to hear that they had been baptized because I was wondering what ever happened with them. Kind of a cool miracle of the Lord there.
Well that is about all for the week, sorry the letter is a little bit short, but that's about all I got. I love you guys tons, and wish you all a happy year 2012. Love ya tons.
Elder Ryan Griffin