Monday, March 19, 2012

Called to be a Zone Leader Dad

Hola Familia,

WOW!! I haven't really mentioned it to you guys before now, but the Zone in which I am in right now hasn't had many baptisms for months and months, up to even more than a year.  This last week Elder Monjarraz and I were able to help the Zone have double digits in baptisms!!  What a relief it was to see the success begin to spring forth after all the effort we are putting in.  This week we have 14 baptismal dates and 11 more possibles.  I am so thankful for the Lord's mercy that is allowing us to have this success.

There's a quote that I love and that sinks deeper and deeper into my heart as I get more and more time in the mission.  Elder Holland said, "Some blessings come now.  Some come later.  Some don't come until heaven.  However, for those that embrace the Gospel they come."  What a sweet promise made by an Apostle.  Everyday we see this apply.  When we see immediate blessings for responding to the promptings of the Spirit in the moment that we receive them or when we obediently follow the commandments although we don't know when we will see the promised blessings.  As I have embraced the gospel, my life is happier and I see it also brighten the lives of others.  Recently, I have come to love diligently searching the scriptures and finding answers through prayer and even hidden doctrine.  I have loved how studying the scriptures opens our eyes to the terrific gravity of the Atonement and necessity of not only taking the name of Christ upon us but acting as he would act.  I know and testify that daily striving to act as Jesus would brings the light of hope to our lives and an assurance of receiving the blessings the Savior has promised each and everyone of us.  We have got to keep the faith and never lose sight of that which is truly worth fighting for: our eternal potential as a family to have all that the Father has.  There is no promise more grander or of more importance.  All this and more we can have as we daily search the scriptures and pray sincerely, fervently, and intelligently.

Today we had changes and man do I have some wonderful news.  Wait,  sad news first...Elder Monjarraz was changed to another zone. I will never forget the wonderful things that Elder Monjarraz taught me, for his example, and for the person he helped me to become.  There is a huge difference between the Elder Janis before the change with Elder Monjarraz and the Elder Janis after the change.  He is and always will be a great friend.  He is so Christ-like.  Sunday night before the changes, I went to bed at 1:00 a.m. and he was still up packing.  In the morning I asked him at what time he had finally gone to bed to which he told me 3:00 a.m.  He then explained to me that he still needed to pack.  I was thinking to myself, how is it that he was up almost all night and didn't pack.  I found what he had been doing when I saw every one of my shoes shined and all my recently washed shirts ironed and hanging up.  This isn't the first time he did something like that for me.  Things like that made a lasting impact on me!  He also helped me overcome hurdles I thought almost impossible to overcome.

HAHA, so now for the wonderful news.  I was called to be a Zone Leader dad!  That means I will be training a new zone leader and showing him the ropes.  Not only that but I was also given two new district leaders in the zone who have never interviewed before and the responsibility to train them too.  With only one transfer as a Zone Leader I would be honest in saying that a certain thought crossed my mind: Am I capable of this?  If there is anything the mission has taught me (well, one of the million things I have learned) is that some one the Lord calls, he also qualifies.  I will be faithful holding to that promise because man do I have some great work ahead of me!  My new companion will be a huge help!  He is Elder Sanchez Zapata from Tabasco, Mexico.  He is a super consecrated missionary and has tons of potential.  He also has come to the table with tons of great ideas.  I know we will make a great team!

Well, things are going great! We have an amazing family preparing for baptism this coming Sunday and I look forward to also having another family work out for this Sunday also.  Many miracles are in the making and I couldn't be more thankful for the Lord's love and trust.  I love all of you so much and hope you are all doing well!

Elder Janis