Friday, March 11, 2016

Cardenas - Week of Travels

Hello Family, (Note from Mary:  This is from March 7th...I love this letter!!)

How is everyone doing? I am glad to hear that everything is going so well back at home despite the situation you're all passing through.

First of all, I am now at 14 months!!!! That means in ten months I'll be home again with you all.

This week has been super crazy. Like I told you all last Monday, I woke up early and traveled to me new area. I got transferred to the Zone Cardenas. My area is in Comalcalco. I am zone leader here, and I am in charge of 18 Elders and 2 Sisters. This zone is huge!!!! I love it though. I know several of the missionaries that are here, and I am getting to know the rest of them.

On Tuesday, I had a nice day of hard work with my companion. We found a ton of new investigators, and I got home super tired. Then we started the phone calls. We have to call 9 areas every night to follow up on their day. It takes a lot of time. By the time we went to bed, we were dead tired and I slept super well.

On Wednesday we got up early to travel to Villahermosa for mission leadership council. It was an awesome council where we created the doctrine of the Standards of Excellance of our mission. We also spent a lot of time talking about and coming up with solutions for the problems in the mission. It was a great council. I played the hymns and I also played the piano for a special musical number the the assistants did. President also shared with us that our mission is now Number one in México for baptisms. That is crazy!!!

On Thursday we woke up early and traveled to Cañales. I went on divisions with Elder Enriquez!!!! My second companion. He is one of our district leaders, and so I went and worked with him for the day, and did a baptismal interview for him. It was so fun, and very interesting to see how much each one of us has changed in the year that we haven't seen each other. We got to talk about a lot of the memories that we made together almost a year ago. His area is really cool. Cañales is Spanish for canes. There is a sugar refinery in his area, and fields of sugar cane. It is pretty cool.

On Friday we woke up early and traveled back to Comalcalco for our zone class. I was super nervous because this zone is twice as big as my last one, and I wanted to give a spiritual and really fun class. Elder de los Cobos and I prepared a ton of stuff and activities, we were just praying that it would all come out well. Then we found out that President and his wife, along with one of the assistants would be coming to our zone class. That made me even more nervous!!

Our class went very well though. We had a nice study of the doctrine of our missions Standards of Excellence (what we created in mission leadership council). We had really good participation, and we could all really feel the Spirit. We then committed all of the missionaries in our zone to keeping and living these standards. Then we had another activity focusing on the follow up we give on every investigator with baptismal dates (which is basically every investigator). Elder de los Cobos and I printed out giant posters for all of our district leaders, and one even bigger for us, with the names of all of the areas that they are in charge of. We had all of the missionaries write on post-its the names and information of their investigators, and then put them in the spots for their areas. Every night we call them and ask about these people, and we have to add to it according to the new dates they put that day. It is crazy. Right now, the zone has 48 investigators with baptismal dates within the next 6 weeks. That is a lot of names to give follow up on, but we are doing it. After everyone put up their names, we committed them to baptize those people this transfer. President really liked the table that we made, and he asked me to send it to him. He is going to send it to everyone in the mission. Next we had a practice planned to help our missionaries know what to do when the invite to baptism, and the investigator says that they have already been baptized. My companion and I gave an example, and then had all of the missionaries practice. We went around listening to different lessons and corrected teaching, and gave advice to make the lessons better.

After the practice, my companion and I had a special musical number planned. I sang, and he played the piano. We did Come thou Fount. It was awesome, and we could all feel the Spirit very strong. We then invited those that felt like it, it share their testimonies and what they were thinking and feeling. Some Elderes cried sharing their testimonies, others shared how it was one of the most Spirit filled zone classes they have been a part of. We then invited everyone to write in their notebooks what they are going to do this month to become a better missionary. We then committed everyone to complete with what they wrote down. We finished with an activity to commit everyone to do everything that we talked about in the class. Everyone passed and cut off a piece of President's tie, and then signed it. We had to do something to him for coming to our class:) (Really we just had him change into a tie we had for him when he got there). Next month, we are going to take all the pieces of those that completed their commitments, and try to put his tie back together. He told us, that if everyone completes, and we put the tie together, he will wear it in the next mission council. It was great class:)

After the zone class, I traveled with President, his wife, and Elder Johnson (assistant) to Villahermosa. I was going on divisions with Elder Johnson. In the car ride, all three of them told me that it was one of the best zone classes that they've been to in their mission. President told me that I have grown a lot, and that he really loved the Spirit that was felt in the class. That was awesome to hear from them.

The rest of Friday I stayed in Villa with Elder Johnson, and we worked super hard. He walks very fast. It was a lot of fun. It was like the fifth time that I've done divisions with him. He is from Idaho, and he is one of my favorite missionaries. He is the only other missionary that I have met, that knows how to sing, so we had a lot of fun singing in every lesson. At night we stayed up late singing hymns together. It was a lot of fun.

Saturday we got up really early to travel back to my area, and I got to work with my companion in my area again. I now have a week here, but I've only worked in my area for 2 days!!!

Sunday we had an investigator come to church. His name is Roberto and he is 18. He has a baptismal date for this Saturday. We are working with him to get him ready!!! My ward is huge. We had 127 people at church!!! It was awesome. And, we have a ward choir!!!! It was super fun to practice with them on Sunday night. The sister in charge asked me to do sectionals for the tenors. We separated for 20 minutes and came back super powerful. The sister was very excited.

Anyways...this week has been crazy. My companion and I barely have time to be together. We are doing a lot of divisions to help out every area in our zone, but we are seeing results, so that's good. I have so much to do, but I feel really peaceful. Not stressed at all. We are always able to get everything done that needs to be done. Being a missionary is the best!!!

I Love you all so much!!!

Elder Cavenee

My Zone
Cutting Presidents Tie 

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