Last night we found out about transfers this week. For the first time in my 8 months as a missionary, I will be having a companion for more than one transfer. My companion, Elder Mayoral, and I are staying in Ajusco! But the other two Elders in our district, Elder McClure and Elder Miller, are both getting taken out. So we're not sure if they are going to close their area for good, whitewash it with two new missionaries, or there's also an option that he'll put in two sister missionaries here (because our mission is receiving more sister missionaries than male missionaries. And the number of missionaries in our mission continues to drop lower and lower every transfer. When I got to the mission, there were close to 250 missionaries in this mission, now there´s about 160.)
THE BRANCH OF AJUSCO
Well, as for MY area of Ajusco. It's difficult at times because we don't see much progress. The members have told us numerous times "The people here are very hard. Ajusco is a pueblito (very small town) and the people are very stuck in the Catholic traditions of their families. They´re very hard to convince." In another Zone Conference this week, the zone leaders mentioned again that Ajusco is a very difficult area. So it's no secret that things move a little slower here in our area. We don´t see as much change as we would hope, but truly, little by little, things are changing.
When I arrived, many of the members had hard feelings towards the missionaries and didn't really show much support. When we would go talk to the members, they would share experiences they had had with disobedient missionaries in the past and would tell us that we weren't doing our work here because there are so many less active members in the branch and we haven't baptized in this branch in a while. In the past few weeks, we have seen that the members now have begun to have trust in the missionaries again. These members began to be willing to help us. Our branch called a Branch Mission Leader, which we had not had. They began to have a Branch Council meeting every week and invite us to come talk about our investigators. Many of the members now know our names and have given us their friendship and support.
Last week, I was thinking about each of my three areas. Each one has been unique and had a different feeling to it. As I thought of my time here, I thought of the work we've done and the slow progress we're seeing. We've tried contacting references received in the past and never contacted (and we've done a lot. We started the transfer with 21 old references, now we're trying to find the last few), contacting in the streets, working more with the members, starting an English class, everything we could think of. Sometimes it's discouraging to think that you're trying to do all you can, but you're still not seeing much success. Last week, we had a really bad day like that. We started the day with five scheduled appointments and really good plans for the entire day. Every one of our appointments told us that they couldn't talk with us when we arrived at their house, all of our backup plans weren´t there, and before the day was even over, we had gone through all of our plans and didn´t have one single lesson. We felt we had done all that we could and yet the people still rejected us.
I began to think about how the people that reject us don't understand that our message can bless them more than anything else in the world, but no matter how bad I want them to accept it, they have to choose to accept it. I then began to think that our Father in Heaven at times probably feels very similarly. He has created a Perfect Plan for his children. He has sent his Son to save us and has given us every opportunity to accept his gospel in our lives and receive this peace and forgiveness. He has done literally everything he can to help us receive this happiness and peace in our lives, even down to giving his own Son for us. But it still comes down to our decision to accept it our own lives. He probably feels sad with us when people reject our appointments and don't want to hear from us. He probably doesn´t see as much success as he would like either. But he is very patient with us and I need to be patient as well.
With President Mecham, our new mission president that arrived a few months ago, we've just started to see all of his new changes. I'm really happy with them. He's really taken out a lot of unecessary things we've had to do so that we can devote more time to the really important things. This week in our Zone Conference, we heard many new changes. One is that he wants us to be able to actually relax on P-days (because really, P-days have been nothing of a rest so far) and now on P-days we can travel to anywhere in the mission boundaries! I'm so excited to see new places in our mission and get to know Mexico City a little better! Hopefully more updates on this to come soon!
I Love You All!!! Have a Great Week!!!