Sunday, February 15, 2015

Exchanges, Star Fish, & Making A Difference . . .

February 15, 2015

Dear Family,

I am just going to jump right into the week.  It was full of work, and lots happened, so I guess I will just get right to the exciting stuff!!

So on Monday, we began our final planning for the Zone Conferences that are coming up this next week.  We are trying to make sure that it all turns out the way that we want it to, and are just trying to take advantage of all of the tools that we have for teaching.  The main theme is going to be on Covenants, and remembering the importance of all of our covenants and holding them to the sacred level of which they should be held.  We also decided that we were going to start another big project, for us to work with as many of the district leaders as possible, and to work with all of the Zone Leaders.  We started the preparations for that on Monday as well.

On Tuesday we went to the Zone Meeting of Las Caobas, and it was really good.  It is always interesting to see how different people act in certain situations.  We saw one missionary who we thought was very serious acting like a goofball, and another who we thought was a goofball brought out a very spiritual side of himself, so that was fun to see.  Then we had an exchange with Buenos Aires, Elder Weiss and his companion Elder Millward.  It was a lot of fun, and I got to work with Elder Weiss.  We were able to find a lot of new people, as we were contacting a TON, and were able to also visit a woman that they reactivated who is going to be going to the temple on Mom's birthday. 

On Wednesday the exchange was with Manoguyabo.  They were struggling a little bit in their area, and have literally no one to teach.  We spent the entire time contacting, and when the people had time, we went in and taught them on the spot!!  It was a cool experience.  I was with Elder Campbell, and I don't think that he had ever contacted a house and then immediately started teaching a lesson!  It was a lot of fun, and we ended up teaching a lot and having a ton of contacts as well.

Thursday's exchange was with Ivan Guzman, Elder Saavedra and Elder Hodges.  I went with Elder Hodges, and it was the same type of deal.  We were contacting almost the entire time, but found some interesting new people!!  We did start off the day with one planned lesson, and it was a little bit difficult!  They had been teaching a 23 year old and his 14 year old sister, and the Pastor had always been there with them, the Pastor from their church, so the Elders were having a hard time getting the opportunity to speak!  Luckily, the Pastor wasn't there and we were able to have a good conversation.  They were being taught the plan of salvation, and had lots of questions about things after this life, and that was tough because they wanted a scripture from the bible for every single one, and they just couldn't move on without the answer!!  We were able to answer all of their questions, with the majority of the answers coming from the New Testament and the life of Christ.  We also had to pull out some Old Testament to talk about the premortal life, but overall it was a good day.

Friday we went with the Zone Leaders of Las Caobas 2, and it was a lot of fun.  I was with Elder Jardón, who I used to live with here in the office.  it was a lot of fun!!  We got fired a lot, lots of people tried to make fun of us, and not many people even wanted to hear anything that we had to say, and it was still a great exchange.  The thing that I have realized is that the people in this world right now are like the people in the time of Christ.  Christ himself said that He spoke to people in parables so that only the prepared people would understand and want to continue to learn.  That is how it is with us.  God has sent us, and has provided the way for us that we can find the prepared people.  Sometimes it is not the perfect system that we use, but it does get the job done.  Process of elimination....  Always worked in school, and definitely works here in the mission too!!  We just eliminate houses by the simple act of offering the gospel to these people.  When we find the prepared people is the best feeling!

I think that the biggest thing that I learned this week is that I know, more than ever, that this work that we are doing is real, and that it is worth the time that is put into it.  I wouldn't rather be anywhere else.  It is not easy.  There is more stress than I ever could have imagined coming from many different places.  Satan tries to tell me that I have very little impact on any one.  He tries to make me feel inferior, and tells me that I will never really make a difference.  I just think of it as the story of the little boy throwing starfish in the ocean.  For every single soul that I help to teach and help change their life in some way, it is worth it.  I know that this is the true church and that God loves us and has a plan for us.  If we are willing to listen, He will guide us.

I love you all and I hope you have a great week!


Elder Garrett McEwan

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