Sounds like everything's going good for the Loveless fam!! In the offices it was a little bit different, but since I've been out working again, writing you guys is so much better, and means a lot more to me, especially after a good week of work. I'm so happy for Emma and that she made the soccer team. Every once in a while when we play soccer with the youth and just play around here, I remember the awesome experiences I had while playing soccer in junior and high school! That and snowboarding are the two activities that I miss doing most. And I'm also super excited for Jon's prom this year! I remember my senior prom...or in other words my only prom....and I loved it! So go have fun Jonny boy!!!!!
So this last week was really cool! Last Sunday, not yesterday but the Sunday before, me and Elder Hansen realized that we needed to find new investigators. Before I got here they had quite a few investigators, but like none of them were progressing and Elder Hansen didn't know the rest, so we pretty much dropped all of them except for like 5 or 6, and then what better way to get new investigators??? Contacting. We put a goal of 50 contacts for the whole week. A contact is when we talk with somebody on the street or at their house who we have never known before and getting them to accept having us come back and them giving us their address. So we had a goal of 50.....and last night we got home with 46. We were so close, and yet we were still a little bummed. But we ended up doing this because to achieve converts, you have to have somebody to teach, and the best way to get new people to teach is to contact. I guess here in La Sierra the missionaries have never really contacted much, but Elder Hansen and I are changing that. We figured there are missionaries that wait for success to come, and there are the missionaries that make success happen, and we wanted to be missionaries that make success happen, obviously with the help of the Lord. So that's what we did. It had never clicked before....I kinda just waited for success to come, but I realize now that the Lord is hastening His work, we can't just wait, we have to work. I have less than 5 months left, and I have to give it my all!!! And I love it because Elder Hansen just loves working hard and talking with everybody as well!!
Something else that was cool that I learned as well was that we aren't going to be judged as a missionary for how many baptisms we achieve, but we are going to be judged for how many times we invited others to come unto Christ. People have their agency, so forcing them to be baptized is not going to help in the end, but as we invite everyone to come to Christ, obviously there are going to be those that do accept us, and that progress until Salvation.
So we are thinking that this is going to be a good week because we got somebody to tell us that this next Saturday he would be baptized. His name is Rafael, so we're going to work with him real hard. Also, the one girl that her mom didn't want to give her permission to get baptized is really close to giving her permission. We're thinking that she might get baptized this week too. We're going to work on exact obedience so that the Lord will help us with these two people!
Also we have this investigator named Luis that smokes cigarettes and marijuana, but primarily marijuana. He wants to change so bad, because when he prays he always pleads to God to help him get over his addictions, and so we're helping him out with that. We have a month plan to stop smoking, and so far he's doing good. We bought a big poster board today, and we are going to write his plan on it and put it up in his house. He wants to get baptized so bad to get the remission of his sins, and so we put the goal for his baptism for the 4th of April. We're hoping in another 2 weeks he's not smoking anymore and that he goes for at least a week without smoking so that he can be baptized. He's going to do it, and every time we call him or pass by he is so excited to stop. When we told him that he could stop in a month, he didn't believe it, but then we got him to realize that it wasn't us that was helping him, but it was God.
Also the first week in La Junta there were only 6 youth that went to the youth activity, and we only had 1 at church, and it was a blessing because we didn't even invite her. But this week we had about 17 at the activity and 4 investigators at church. It was just a testimony to Elder Hansen and me that we can be the ones that make the change, we just have to put our hearts and minds to it. So we're planning on having even more this next week! I know we can do it, and we are going to do it. I've never been so pumped to work. While I was in the offices you guys sent me the quote from President Hinckley that says, 'Forget yourself and go to work' and every time I see it I do it. We just have to forget ourselves and go to work. This is not our work.....it's the Lord's work.....and now that I have less than 5 months left, I have realized that time flies by WAY too fast.
I'm so happy to be a missionary and for the opportunity to serve here in La Junta. Thanks for all of your support and love!! Have a great week, and I love you all!!!!