Hey everyone today is leap day!!!!! Crazy right, This is a pretty rare opportunity, but to us it just feels like a normal day, because it is. This week was a pretty interesting week for us, so since i've been here all of the members have kept telling me how about 3 years ago there were 100 members attending church every sunday, but now there are only usually about 25. All of the members say that the attendance has declined drastically due to having really bad missionaries here........... so this week we decided that we were going to go and find all of these less active families that are hidden up in the mountains!!! And I honestly think God wanted us to do it, you will see why if you keep reading.
So this week we had 16 visits with less active families! We printed off the list of all the members that live here in our area, we put checkmarks next to all of the names of active families, which were only like 5, then we set out to go and find all of these less active/forgotten families!! Sadly, almost none of the members know where these less active families live, (obviously never did their visiting teaching, if that exists out here) But it seemed like God just kept putting these hidden less active families in our path.
One night we had a family home evening set up with some investigators, the family night fell through, so we walked back to our house to drop off our lemon cake supplies that we had brought, (I make a mean lemon cake now, don't judge it, it's amazing and you will love it in 8 months), Right as i closed the front door behind me, as soon as the door clicked shut, someone knocked on the door. It kinda started me haha, so i opened the door to find a really excited 25 year old guy named Eric. Eric introduced himself and told me that 3 years ago he was the young men's president here in Ixta!!! He said that missionaries had not been to his house in over 2 years, and that he only lived like 15 minutes away walking up through the mountain, so I said, ¨Well Eric we would love to visit you in your house, right now!!!!¨¨ He was kinda startled (it was 8 at night) but then said, follow me! So we followed him more like 30 minutes up through the mountain until we got to his house and met his wife Yulissa and their 2 little kids! We talked and got to know them pretty well until 9.15 ish, then we came back to the house. God made our family night fall so that we would be able to find Eric and his family! If it hadn't of fallen, we never would have been able to find their house, they live pretty ¨¨out there¨¨. They are super nice and they really love the missionaries, we are going to reactivate them.
This week we visited with Gaspar (another less active we have been working with). Last sunday he went to church with us, keep that in mind. He told us, look guys, in all this time that i've been inactive, my barber shop hasn't been doing so good, we have been barely getting by for a while now, but ever since i went to church with you guys on sunday, iv cut more hair in 3 days than i usually do in a full week!! I've made 600 quetz (which is almost 100 dollars) in 3 days, and it's a miracle! I also had an awesome dream where God told me that he is going to forgive me as long as i keep myself clean ( he is kind of a drinker), so for now on i'm going to church and paying my tithing cuz i know the lord is going to bless me!! ON sunday(yesterday) he was interviewed and found worthy to receive his rights again and this next sunday he will even be getting a calling!!! We are so stoked for him!
This week we visited a ton of less active families, and the most exciting part is that we had 44 people in church on Sunday!!! My comp freaked out cuz he had never seen the chapel that full (or less empty) before.
This week we had noche de herrmanamiento, which is like mutual but for everyone in the ward, and its combined everyone together. It was the first time since december that they've done it, and we had 26 people there so it wasn't too bad!!! This week we should have at least 30 there so we are pretty excited!
Also, we scheduled the branches 1st temple trip!! It will be the 24th of march. and , it will be the branches 1st temple trip in over more than a year!!! Super sad, but that's also probably why everyone went inactive. We still don't have a branch president, but it looks like halfway through march in branch conference so I think that they will call the new guy and confirm him during the conference. This week we called a sunday school teacher, ward mission leader, and a groundskeeper, it's slow but sure progress!
I say WE because my comp and I choose who gets what calling, we then run it by the stake representative from HueHue who justs says, if you guys think that's best, do it! So ya its pretty interesting haha My comp and I pretty much are running things here which is super weird.
All in all, it was an awesome week, we made huge progress as a branch, our attendance went way up, we assigned some callings, found some less active families (like 8), Reactivated Gaspar and his wife, and started noche de herrmanamiento! We are working hard up here, it's pretty difficult, but we see the Lord's hand helping us everyday, our prayers are being answered little by little. I am growing spiritually always, this place is a good place for a missionary to grow his testimony, and I honestly feel it growing along with my faith everyday. I think this little branch might turn out to be my favorite area in my mission, there is so much work to do here, but I feel like it's time that the branch is going to make a 180 degree turn and begins to grow, not shrink. I love you guys so much, keep the faith and keep sharing the gospel through your actions, standards, testimonies, and activities! Have an awesome week, next time we talk I will have news if we are going to have changes or not.