Hola Queridos Amigos y Amigas! Elder "Poderoso" Parke with yet another INSANE weekly update. Before I forget, let me just start with how, finally, FINALLY, our bishop/obispo not only "smiled", but he asked us if there was anything he (or the Ward Council) could do to help US. I was a bit dumbstruck when Obispo Quiroz asked us this, because NEVER (up until last Saturday) had he asked us in Ward Council if there was anything that they can do to help us. Obviously, this deserves explanation, and I will get to that, but I also just wanted to say really quickly... HAPPY 6 MONTHS/MESES!!!! That's right, I am officially 1/4 done Hastening The Work, effective tomorrow. How time flies, especially when you are doing the Lord's Great and Marvelous Work.
So, before Elder Alcantara was my companion, I had Elder Alfaro (from Costa Rica. I'll send pictures of both Elder Alfaro and Elder Alcantara next week when I have a little more time). When Elder Alfaro was my companion, we were focused on helping our Less Active Members and Recent Converts, but not as focused as we were in finding New Investigators and Baptizing. The reason being that the "desires" of our Zone Leaders (which were SUPPOSEDLY the desires of Presidente Riggins) were for us to find, find, find, and baptize, baptize, baptize. Too bad that neither Elder Alfaro nor I noticed that this was absolutely NOT the desires of Obispo Quiroz. As a result, Obispo Quiroz was confused why we were desiring to baptize, and not finding and rescuing Less Active Members, like he wants for the ward of Las Americas. Finally, through some investigating and some work in the RIGHT patches, we won back a lot (not all, but still a lot) of the trust of Obispo Quiroz. However, there's still a lot of work to do, a lot of finding and rescuing that needs to get done, and more weekly reports of our gradual but successful progress that we should have been striving for... A month and a half ago, hahahaha. Regardless, we're happy, Obispo Quiroz is happy, and I couldn't be more grateful to be here :)
This work isn't meant to be easy. It's not meant to be easy for me, not for my companion, and especially not for our families. But, that doesn't mean that after you do everything you can - and just a little bit more - you'll start to see these blessings pop up out of the ground. It's just like this parable that I found: There was this gardener/jardinero that would spend hours and hours, days and days, tilling the ground, planting seeds, and watering. Obviously, through experience, he knew that nothing was going to sprout up out of the ground instantly. But with a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a whole lot of work, it'll be too hard NOT to see the blessings sprout up and out of the ground, one by one by one, one after the other. I love you guys, and never forget that, even when times are rough, God is always there for us. His Son, Jesus Christ, is there for us, too, whenever we need Him. Which, sometimes, is almost always for some of us. Remember that God wants to bless us. We just need to ask, and show that "we're ready." Until next week, may God be with you, in your prayers, and throughout the blessings and trials that await us.
Con Sinceridad y Amor,
Elder Conner Duane Parke