Monday, June 17, 2013

I put the right foot in front of the leg and beyond that is anybody's guess‏. -M. Ward, Epistemology lyrics

The view from my bedroom.

Where everyone accepts the invitation to get baptized 
and then becomes inactive the following Sunday.

It is incredible to me how many less active members there are in just my area alone. To give you an idea of what I am talking about, there was a good 40-45 people at church yesterday. During the week, our goals is to contact and talk to at least 20 people everyday. That is 140 contacts every week. This week I decided to keep tract of how many contacts said they were less active or had family members who were baptized but had left the church....I lost tract at almost 50. I feel like my mind-set is more focused on retention than it is on baptizing. It´s difficult to find a balance between the two. Ever since I got to Chile, I´ve always felt that less actives are just as important as finding those to teach and invite to be baptized. It doesn´t help that the Ward is extremely small and unmotivated to help the missionaries with the work.

Luckily, I was asked to speak in Sacrament yesterday - for 20 minutes because no one else in the Ward wanted to talk this week besides the Branch President and me. (People in Chile can be SO LAZY!) Before I started to write my talk, I thought a lot about how I could write a message that would be beneficial for our investigators, less active members and the members in our Ward to have more faith in Christ and continue to strengthen their relationship with him. The only thing I could think of was "Help them feel loved...teach them how to serve with faith". That made perfect sense to me. All anyone wants is to feel that they are loved and accepted. I was reminded of a quote from this past General Conference from President Eyring:

"Many of you have loved ones who are wondering off the path to eternal life. You wonder what more you can do to bring them back. You can depend on the Lord to draw closer to them as you serve Him in faith.... My promise to you who pray and serve the Lord cannot be that you will have every blessing you may wish for yourself and your family. But I can promise you that the Savior will draw close to you and bless you and your family with what is best. You will have the comfort of His love and feel the answer of His drawing arms in giving you service to others. As you bind up the wounds of those in need and offer the cleansing of His Atonement to those who sorrow in sin, the Lord´s power will sustain you. His arms are outstretched with yours to succor and bless the children of our Heavenly Father, including those in your family."

Together with this quote, I did my best to write a talk letting all of them know how loved they are...but how their lack of service to the Lord kind of sucks right now.  I talked a lot about missionary work and ways they could help. Immediately after sacrament meeting, 5 different people came up to me and asked how they could help us this week, 2 gave us references and the sweetest sister offered to do our laundry this week. The message was a success! Thanks,Eyring.

Oh, by the way, I am also the Ward pianist and Choir director. We have Stake Conference next week and I´ve been in charge or the choir practices and getting our musical number ready for the beautiful 8 people that our in our choir. It´s great and really funny and I can hardly remember how to play the piano. But it´s a good experience :)
Hermana Martinez, Silvia and Me at a RS Activity.
Alejandro had a lot of trouble this week but we were able to put another baptism date for this Saturday!

We are working really hard with a perfect family. Familia Navarro Hidalgo. They have been together for over 12 years and have two sweet daughters ages 12 and 5. They know that the church is true and they want to become members. Only problema is...they aren´t married :/  Ugh. why is no one freaking married here? We are meeting with them tonight to talk about the law of chastity more and our options for them. PRAY FOR THEM PLEASE.

We are really working hard and doing our best to contact everyone! This week was really humbling and I am happy to be here. I feel like the more time I spend in the mission (5 months yesterday - Wahoo!the harder it gets. But the harder it gets, the more rewarding it is. I am grateful for all of my trials and everything I am learning right now. There are times when I fall, but I am relying on the Lord and every time, he helps me get back up. The Atonement is real.

Being goofs at Zone Conference

Hermana Martínez is heaven sent. I truly am so grateful for her. We have become the best of friends and are experiencing really incredible things together. I love her dearly. She will be an eternal friend fo sho. 

Okay, family. I love you all so very much! I hope you had a great week and a beautiful Father´s Day! 
Dad, thanks for your sweet message! Love you!!!!!
All my love,
Hermana Pendleton
Sushi to celebrate Hermana Martinez's 11 month mark in the mission.

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