There are a lot of people that we are teaching but our teaching pool changes a lot. It is hard to decide who to keep teaching and who to stop teaching. The biggest thing here is finding the elect who will help the church grow. We need leaders really bad. The branch president is a 26 year old. He is married with no kids. He is a returned missionary. He is a really good guy and tries to help the branch a lot. He doesn't have any counselors. We only have a couple auxiliary leaders. That is something that we are working really hard on. We need a foundation of good leaders. Right now, many of the leaders aren't even that strong in the church. The branch president struggles with just getting people to speak. We are trying to focus on the younger generation. Most of them know pretty good English and are educated. The leaders here need to know English. That is one of the things that the General Authority who spoke here said. He actually spoke in General Conference. Elder Hamilton is his name. He talked about how we need to teach the educated people, they are the ones that will help the church grow. There are a lot of people that come to church just because they want a job or money. It is really humbling how a lot of the people live here though. An investigator who we baptized last week, which was my fist baptism, named Barrihun. He only gets paid the equivalent of 30 US dollars a month. He got kicked out of his house for joining the church and lives in a room about the size of a bed. It is amazing how humble a lot of people are here. They have really good hearts though. A lot of people that we meet are satisfied with what they have and they barely have anything. A lot of times I think it is easy to forget to be happy with what you have.
Since I have been here we have had 3 new people baptized in the Branch. We with the branch president right now are just trying to focus on having the branch become closer together. We are starting Family Home Eveningsnights. So far it is going really good. I think it will really help people have better relationships with each other. We actually really want to do a service project here but it is really hard because of the government. To have a service project you have to go through the government and everything. So it is really hard to do. We try to always ask the members if there is anything we can do. Most of them don't ask for help though.
This past week my companion and I have been tracting and exploring a lot. Our area is super big so a lot of times we can go see new places that we have never been before. The other day we were walking on this mountain and at the top there was this huge house. It literally looks like the white house in America. I wanted to take a picture but we were afraid we may get in trouble. If we get a chance again I will try to take a picture. The language is coming slowly but there are some things that I am starting to get a hold on. I can have a conversation with someone very briefly but that is about it.
One thing that is really awesome is that we are starting to have branch council meetings with all the auxiliary leaders. I am really excited to see how these meetings will help the branch. We are starting more activities for the branch that will help people become better friends. It sounds like it is time to get another dog to stop the animals. haha. Yeah one thing that is nice about here is that they don't have the same holidays so it is not as easy to get home sick. It is definitely teaching me how to take care of myself though. You learn some pretty interesting things on your mission. Especially on weird things to eat.
One thing that really helps me to do my best is setting a good example for Brian. I never realized how much a mission can change your perspective on things until I have been out here myself. Richie set a good example for me and I know that I have the opportunity to set a good example for Brian. Hope everything is going well!
"The Kingdom of God or Nothing"