Woo, another week come and gone. Time just keeps flying by in the mission! No matter how hot the day gets, I seem to find myself loving this work and the good people in Zapata.
I want to thank everyone for their letters this week. They were all exactly what I needed to hear. They all had a ringing tone of how we can touch the lives of people for good. This week my prayers have been filled with this hope. That I can somehow touch the hearts of these people in Zapata. This area is literally falling apart in front of our own eyes and we´re not really sure what to do. Let me give you some background.
The church has only been in Zapata for about 25 years or so. For many years, the few members of about 20 met in a humble house made of cement and sheet metal. This house of prayer was filled with the love of Christ, as the few members helped one another grow in the faith. And the number of baptisms soared. The amount soon grew big enough that the church built a chapel about 7 years ago. With the new chapel, came new leaders and changes. Many did not like these changes and soon began hurtful words and gossip. As the gossip spread, many took it hard. Slowly people stopped participating in the activities and soon, stopped coming to church. The number of less actives, and in-actives is ridiculous! At the beginning, the leaders did nothing. They watched their few friends in the gospel leave and did nothing to help them until it was too late. Now fast forward 7 years to the fourth of August 2014. There are 8 missionaries currently serving in this little Branch and the assistance at Sacrament has gone from 130 to 70...yeah. We now are having to go from house to house of these in-actives, only to have them tell us they have no intention of coming back and don´t want us to waste their time. As missionaries in Mexico, this is more than unusual. EVERYONE lets us into their house. They may have no intention of getting baptized, but everyone will give us an ear. So this has kind of thrown us off our game. It has become more and more frustrating as we are not receiving help from the leaders in this ward, and this week was a week where there were times where I was pleading with my Heavenly Father to help me find something to say to these lost souls. Something to help them remember how they felt when they first entered the House of Prayer, something to help them remember that they made a promise with our Heavenly Father, not with these members. So far we haven´t seen much success, but this last week we finally received a little support from the leaders and visits are being made. So please keep Zapata in your prayers, this little town needs them!
Blessing of the week: We ran into a group of deaf people in the streets the other day. Mexican sign language is a little different from American, but a lot of the signs are the same, and guess what?? I could communicate with them. it was another tender mercy of the lord. I couldn´t speak it very well as I´ve forgotten much, but I could understand what they were saying to me and it felt so awesome to talk to these people! Woo I love my mission.
Thank you everyone for your encouraging and inspiring words this week. I really needed them and have felt the love of my Heavenly Father and know he is always watching over me. I love you all and hope you are all doing just great!! xoxo
Con mucho amor,