Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bautismo de Cecilia, 1/14/13

Hey Family!

How is everybody? Sounds like you had an interesting week. And busy too, that’s always good. I hope dad and Coop start feeling better. And it sounds like dad is getting everything figured out; let me know how it goes.

I haven’t heard much of the kids in a while; you should have them send me an email.

So this week was good and bad. The good news is that Cecilia was baptized on Saturday night by her boyfriend who is a returned missionary in our ward, and she was confirmed the next day. We were also able to get Angel to church again, and he has started walking with crutches, actually is more like a walker for old people. I think we are going to try and get his baptismal date moved up this Saturday, because next Saturday and Sunday is Stake Conference and it would be a nightmare to do it then. Other good news is we changed houses, but it’s also the bad news. We wanted to get out of the other house as soon as possible, so we moved into this one while they still didn't have water in the house. The next day the power went out. So we have been sleeping in the house of some other elders for the past 4 days. It sucks but I think it is going to be so much better when it’s all over. We also got permission to buy some things that we didn't have in the other house, so we now have all the stuff for the kitchen and bathrooms (most importantly stove, but we even bought a new blender and dishes). We are in a really good area with like 6 member families within 5 minutes and they all love us, so if we ever need anything they are right there. The other bad news is that we didn't get to go to the temple but I will take the baptism instead! (Hopefully I can come back in one year and go to the temple with Ceci & Josue, and Angel & Francisca to see them both get sealed in the temple!)

So mom asked a little bit about the ward and branch. Almost every single companionship is assigned to one single ward or branch. We are assigned to the Jacarandas Ward, but they have an extension in Abasolo until it becomes a branch... we kind of draw the short straw and have to go there too, until it becomes a branch, then it will get its own missionaries. The ward honestly doesn't support anybody, the leaders don’t do anything and most people don’t even have callings. That’s how it is in almost every ward here, and I think that’s why there are so many inactive members. For example our bishop did not attend the baptism on Saturday, and didn't have a good reason he just found something else to do. In fact no one from the bishopric showed up until the last 15 minutes. Another one is the 2 counselors in the Relief Society are inactive... it kind of sucks but we are working on it and hopefully one day the ward will be a little stronger.

Dad asked a little about the language and companion. The language is better, finally, but still not good. It’s hard, I struggle with it every day, but I don’t feel like it is impeding me as a missionary like it did in the past. My comp is going good, he has like a month left so he is getting a little trunky, or as they say here he is dying. But we have had 3 baptisms in this transfer and will have at least one more so I can’t complain too much. Our next transfers are on the 26th, just two more weeks. I am excited to see what happens, I really have no idea what will happen. Part of me thinks that Elder Valdes will get transferred and I will stay, but I can’t really see them changing his area for 4 weeks, so maybe I will go. Maybe we will both stay one more transfer, maybe we will both leave. I don’t know. I think I am good with whatever, there are some families here I really love so I wouldn't mind staying, but I have a lot of time here so I wouldn't mind going either.

So this week in my studies I have been thinking a lot about a part of the Book of Mormon I read that really called my attention. It’s in Helaman chapter 7, and it talks about how the Nephites are more culpable for the sins they commit because they have a greater knowledge, and the Lord will have mercy on the Lamanites because they don’t know. And another thing that my companion has been talking a lot about is the sin of omission. The two really go together. A sin of omission is when we know we should do something and we don’t do it. A sin is not just doing something bad but we are also sinning when we don’t do the things we know are right. So when I get a feeling to contact someone and I don’t do it, I am sinning and I need to repent. Or if someone knows they should say prays morning and night and they only do it in the night, they also need to repent. I have thought about how lucky we are to have the gospel and all of its blessing, and we just need to live it and we will be happy.

I love you all and miss you all
Elder Utley

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