Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Temple Trip, New Comp, and Farewell to President Ruiz

Heyyy there everybody!

This week was...CRAZY. By a mile, the busiest week of my entire mission. This week was my first week flying solo as branch president, and let me tell ya, I don´t know how most branch presidents manage their calling along with a normal job and a family, because this is the only thing I have to do and it was TOUGH. Haha but it was all super rewarding, and this week was definitely one of the best of my mission so far!
First of all, I have a new companion! His name is Elder Torres from Mexico. This is only his second transfer here in the mission field, so I´m finishing the last six weeks of his training. He´s a little shy, but he´s super nice, humble, obedient, and he works real hard, so we get along well. :)
This week I had a whole ton of first experiences, and I learned so much and felt the Spirit A TON. For example, on Thursday I got to confer the priesthood for the first time. I kind of failed miserably the first try, but we got it done, and it was cool to be able to do that!
I also LOVE doing temple recommend interviews! I was really nervous about it at first, and I thought they´d be difficult, but they´re so fun! I love getting to know the people, and I´ve definitely never been more guided by the Spirit in my whole mission than I was in the interviews I did this week. There were literally times where I felt like I just opened my mouth and words just flowed out without even thinking about it! It was so great. Also, I don´t know what it is about the interview, but as soon as we start I always feel so much love for the person I´m interviewing and I have such a desire to help them, even when I don´t even know them! I know it´s the Spirit helping me, it´s such a great feeling.
And the crowning event of the week was the temple trip on Saturday! It was SO stressful, but so wonderful! It was so great to see the couples be sealed! It was the first time I´d ever been in a sealing, and it was such a great experience. My eyes might have leaked a little bit. ;) But everything went so awesome with that, I´m so glad I could be a part of it!
Another cool experience! There´s a boy in the branch named Jairo who is 18 years old and was just recently ordained an elder. He had told us about three weeks ago that he didn´t want to go on a mission and there was nothing we could do to convince him to go. But randomly during church I felt the impression to interview him and talk to him about a mission. I wasn´t sure about it, but I decided to do it anyway. When I talked to him, he said he doesn´t know why, but all of a sudden he wants to go! So that´s awesome. He´s not sure when he wants to start filling out his papers or when he wants to leave, but he´s going to fast and pray about it. So go following the Spirit!
This week we´ve been so busy with the temple trip that we haven´t had time to visit hardly any investigators...but we did visit one named Sairy! She´s been coming to church regularly for a while, and she wants to get baptized, but she can´t because her boyfriend is a LOSER. Just kidding, he´s a valuable child of God. But they´re living together and they´re not married, and he doesn´t want to marry her or let her be baptized. But we´re going to talk to him this week and see what we can do. :)

Anyway, that´s all for the week! Love you all!

-Elder Thomas

Some highlights from our email

  • Don´t worry Mom, I´m definitely breathing easier now. This whole week was crazy and I was stressed the entire time, but as soon as I was seated in the temple session with our branch, all of the stress melted away. So I´m good now! I also enjoy being very busy. I´m almost as busy as I was my senior year of high school. ;) My companion is brand new. Elder Torres from Mexico. He´s a super nice kid, and his first companion was a very good, obedient missionary, so he´s been trained well. It is kind of weird though, because my companion is so new and quiet that sometimes I feel like I have a shadow rather than a companion. Haha but it´s fun, and I´m hoping to be able to train him well while completing with all of my other responsibilities.
  • The only thing is that here in the mountains there must be different plants, because my allergies are kicking in again. But I´m taking my allergy pills and that keeps it under control. 
  • You´re right, it´s funny that in the Latino culture calling each other fat doesn´t matter. I´ve definitely seen a few Latino elders offend a few gringa hermanas that way. Haha poor guys, they were so confused as to why they were so offended.


New companion-Elder Torres from Mexico

Branch Temple Trip

Leonel and Herminia, one of the couples that got sealed. And the lady in blue is a lady that insisted on being in the picture :)
Elder Willden with the mission call of a sister in our ward! Haha President Ruiz gave it to me to give to her during this meeting. Elder Willden used to be branch president here, so he was real excited about it.

Four of us with the mission call! Everyone in the picture has been here in Tejutla.

Last photo with President and Hermana Ruiz

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