Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Week 18 - Party for New Year's Day...or week?

Hope everyone had a great New Year's celebration and had lots of fun! 
We had a lot of fun here down in La Paz, people down here really now how to celebrate the new year: with food. Lots and lots of food. And as the title shows, they don't just party for New Year's Eve in the night, but people celebrated for days. It was crazy. 
Because of the craziness of the atmosphere down here in this past week, we were not able to find most of the people we were teaching at home. The streets were pretty much dead! It was unreal. It was nearly impossible to find people walking on the streets, and so if our plans failed with the lessons we had planned, we were not able to find people to invite to learn more either. Ultimately, for our safety, and to be a bit more productive in finding people in their homes, we spent some more time with members this week. I ate so much food this week, including, (but not limited to) lots of rice, beans, chicken, and menudo, pozole, and so much more. For those of you that may not know (like me when I ate it), menudo is a soup that contains cow stomach. It´s surprisingly pretty good! I only lost my appetite a little bit after I found out what it was that I had just eaten. 
In other news, we found out this past Saturday that Elder Padilla is getting transferred out of the area, and so he is no longer my companion ): . He is so great, after just a few hours of not being with him, I already miss him. It was so sad saying bye, but I have a new companion now, named Elder Islas! He is from Mexico City and has 17 months in the mission. I am pretty excited to have a chance to work with another missionary and learn from him. 

But anyway, on to the most important thing of the mission: the blessings and miracles that God gave to us this week. This week we were walking by after having a lesson fall through, and we decided to stop by the house of an investigator. It turns out it was her birthday! She opened the door to us, and she let us in, even with all her family there! We were able to teach her, along with her family, about the basic principles of the teachings of Jesus Christ: that we have a Father in Heaven that loves us, and that He loves us so much that He gave us His Son, so that we can be guided in this life. 
In other instance, just yesterday, we were walking to church, and we passed a man that was standing on the sidewalk, and I felt I should have talked to him, but I just said good morning and was going to keep going. Instead of me talking to him, he contacted me! He asked us a couple questions, and we were able to explain our basic beliefs in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He explained to us that he was looking for that source in life to be able to have true peace and happiness, and I was able to testify to him that the only true source of eternal happiness is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is found in this church, and then we invited him to come to church with us (which began twenty minutes from that point). He accepted the invitation and came with us! And it was one of the most powerful church services I've felt, as we were able to see members from the congregation testify of their belief in Christ. 
I am so grateful for the many blessings that God has given me, and the blessings that God gives to all of His children on the earth. He is aware of each one of His children, and wants all of them to be happy, because he loves us all! I know that so often we can feel lost and confused and even unhappy with our lives and the way the world may be, but God has a plan for all of us. He has provided a way for us to enjoy increasing happiness! I know that this plan is real, that the fullness of His plan of happiness is found in this church, and that He loves us all. 
Have such a wonderful week! 
Elder Daines

"The zone." 

"The District." 

"My cactus friends and me." 

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