Our second week in Rio Rancho went very well. It’s still a difficult area in some ways, but I know with all my heart that Heavenly Father is helping us find people to teach. My negative attitude from the initial shock of having almost no investigators has been softened as I have realized that this may be a blessing. We really have to have a lot of faith, and rely on Heavenly Father to find people to teach, whereas before, people were already provided. I am really trying to ask Heavenly Father and then look for the answers. It seems like almost every day, we find someone who invites us to come back. They seem pretty genuine in their invitation too! While we are still trying to turn these potential investigators into real investigators, I think the work will come along. It’s a lesson in patience, faith and perseverance. I continue to trust in the promise that the field is white.
Some of the exciting developments from this week:
It was exciting to get a phone call from one of our potential investigators this weekend. We stopped by her house, and were greeted by a very clearly disinterested husband. She gave us a call and said that she would still like to set something up with us, when her husband isn’t around, so hopefully she’ll get back in touch.
We also visited a part member family that is wonderful. Her husband is Amish! Crazy right? But amazingly fascinating. She said that they realize that their children need religion, but that an Amish lifestyle just won’t work. I hope that she’ll get back in touch with us as well.
Then we went tracting on Saturday and met a woman who is friends with a less active woman that we’re trying to meet with. It was a cool lesson, because she is looking for a church, but hates how many different translations of the bible there are, she was pleasantly surprised to hear that the Mormons use the King James Version of the Bible. Towards the end of our visit, she even made the comment, “I wish I was a part of your church”. I think she still has some concerns and a lot of issues, but it was a good experience.
Funny story of the week:
We met an 82 year old less active member our first week here. She is hilarious. There was a dog barking as we were trying to talk to her at her doorstep. Sister Allred made the comment that those dogs were scary looking. Without missing a beat, Pat responded: “Well, the way I see it is that some people are pretty scary looking too.” Later in the week, the High Priests went to go visit her, and when they told her that they represented the High Priest group, she responded, “Well that’s impressive.” It’s hard to believe she’s in her 80s.
One of the less active members here grew up in a pueblo that is within the stake boundaries. He invited us to come see a dance ceremony with their family. This is a very rare invitation, because in order to enter a pueblo, you must be invited in by someone who is a member of the community. There are only a few times during the year that guests are allowed to go in. We’re hoping that we can get permission to go with their family. Missionaries in the past have gone, but we want to be sure that it’s ok with the mission, since the church’s standing with the pueblos of New Mexico is on very unstable ground. I wouldn't want to cause any more tensions. The Yazzies were telling us about different festivals, feasts, dances, and traditions that occur in the pueblos. For example, whenever a new governor is elected, the family of the governor throws food, household items, and basically everything, off the roof as a thank you to the community for choosing their son. The members of the pueblo all gather round to catch the gifts.
I didn’t get to go to the baptism, but it’s ok. President read one of my letters in Zone Conference this week. It relates to this period of my mission when I have to miss baptisms. Back in October, I wrote:
“One thing that I have known for a while, but really hit me yesterday was how much work went into preparing this area for us. Not only was Heavenly Father preparing the area, but there were some really good missionaries who were persistent in their efforts, but never got to see the fruits of their labors. Having been on the other side of this situation when I was in Bloomfield, it makes me wish I could write some of these Elders and let them know how much good has happened because of their diligence. I know firsthand how hard it is to pour out your everything into an investigator and then never see any immediate success. It can be heart wrenching! But because of their efforts, I get to reap the benefits! I only hope the people I left behind will progress the same way.”
That’s how the mission goes. It’s a tag team effort.”
Thank you for your letter Dad, I needed to hear what you said. It meant a lot.
We’re doing well. Thanks for all your love and support,
PS As I said, we didn't go to the baptism, there is a policy in place that prevents us, which I understand and support, but as a result, I feel that we were directly blessed that day. We got to teach more lessons that Saturday than we usually do. The Lord understands our "sacrifices." If that is even the right word.
I love you and hope the weather starts to warm up! I love you tons and tons!