(Paula's note: Don't miss the pictures in this letter. They are a tender mercy to us at home!)
This has been one of the hardest weeks of my mission. Without doubt. We are going through problems here in this little branch that I never thought I would have to deal with, and less at 20 years of age. But I absolutely am confiding in the Lord, and just hoping everything goes right. We are doing everything we can here, and need that promised help right about now. (Paula's note: There are four missionaries in Zach's area. These four make up the branch presidency. So, in addition toregular missionary work, they also handle all the branch issues, which apparently are more than just the normal duties.)
We have been super involved with the branch this week. Meetings, correlations, new callings, fixing stuff, inactives, you name it. I have said it before, and I will say it again, I am learning so much about how the church works that it scares me, mostly because this is all in preparation for the future. Yikes. That future scares me.
Tuesday we went to Oropoli for a partida de solteria for the wedding of somebody. We went 45 minutes hitchhiking and 30 walking to get there, in the bumpiest ride of my life and then we found that it was incredibly difficult to leave that place. We talked to a lady who told us that she had spent two hours waiting and had had no luck, and no more buses were leaving, so she showed us the hotel there. Ha. But this whole experience was a testimony of the power of prayer for me. We prayed before we left to be able to go in and come out quickly and without problem. Well, we did what we needed to do, and left, and started walking. We were blessed with a miracle.!!! We took a jalon in the back of a corn truck, that was closed and dark and hot and dusty. About an hour we were in there. But that is in difference to a whole day spent walking. I really saw the power of prayer in that whole experience, and how when it is the Lords work, stuff gets done. he makes it possible. (Well you all now know his main form of transportation. Please pray more than ever for his safety in his travels.)
I also am at 11 months. 13 to go. I remember celebrating hitting one month in the MTC, and I just laugh at myself. This is something. I am getting some serious time and feel like I have barely done anything with this year. Hindsight is 20-20, and you really realize looking back how fast it´s all gone. I am starting to gear up for year two. It will be better than year one. I am getting back all that fire from the MTC and adding to it my years worth of experience. It should be a fun time. I am hoping to just be the best missionary I possilby can while I am still here.
Erin, I know you will do great. Trust Cory he is a good guy and will help you a lot.
Mason...you are an animal. I don´t know where you got all that. You are definitely part.....something. I don´t know what but something.
Mom and dad. I am good. I have gotten all three of those packages, and grandma has a letter that I just sent to her, so in about a month and a half, it will be there. and mom....love you. you are the best mom ever. I told you to wait to read it after because I know you...:) Funny side note, got a letter from Tayler the other day. surprised?? I was, Thanks for asking. Interesting stuff is at work here. She said she saw you guys at Daniels farewell. Small world. haha.
Included are pics from our baptism!!!! THIS KID IS PILAS!!!!! We gave him a white shirt and I donated a tie, and he goes on visits with us and shares his testimony with EVERYONE!!!! It helps me to be a better missionary, being with him and he loves wearing that shirt and tie. I don´t think he will be able to serve a mission, but he is so sincere and has such a tender spirit, its hard not to feel the spirit with him there.
I love you all!!!!!!!!
That is pretty much it for this week.