Hi, Mom and Dad. So, this past week has been BEYOND difficult, and not because of my companion. Surprisingly, things are getting better between us (more or less, but beggars can't be choosers). However, things aren't looking to well for where I'm serving, which is Ward Oramas Gonzalez. This past Sunday had to have been the biggest (I hate to say it in this manner, but) joke I believe I have ever seen on my mission. It was extremely irreverent until the very end, and don't even get me started on the Ward Council meeting that we had afterwards. It was an hour and a half of us going back and forth with the Bishop, and the Relief Society President (which just so happens to be the Bishop's sister) about a topic as ridiculous as our lunches that the ward is providing us with. Then, the bishop assured us that tracting (or knocking doors) "gives us memorable experiences", and also "builds character." I hate to sound as short-fused as I do, but I only have 2 months left before I'm on a plane back to the United States. I've nearly had my personal fill of spiritual experiences (of which I'm grateful for, might I add). However, this is definitely not the case. What I think they need to come to know is that we're not eating at member's houses simply because we're hungry, and we also want to bless their families. Actually, the main reason we come to these hospitable members' houses is not only to bless their families, but to receive any referrals that they ought to have for us. Even if it simply be them pointing across the street and asking us to try their "neighbors", then that's perfectly fine with us. I however learned that we easily have 5 or so "back-ups" if our lunch does just so happen to fall through, which again gives me the right to draw the conclusion that the necessity for us eating is not the case. Not only that, but there is a very prominent lack of fellowshipping in this ward, especially if the most I've seen them have here for their attendance was their Ward Conference, with 125 attendance. I pray that they get their acts together, otherwise, President's going to take a look at our numbers and take us both out from the very obvious lack of progress in our sector. It's heartbreaking to see or hear about a sector getting closed for those kinds of reasons as opposed to the clear other side of the spectrum (they're too self-sufficient concerning the Home Teachers, Visiting Teachers, Self-Sufficiency Classes, and other methods of Fellowshipping that all wards around the world ought to have in their arsenals and at their disposals. No matter, I guess. The best my companion and I could to is just keep doing our best, and face the music. Whatever happens, we both know that it's not our fault, but I would hate to have that slight feeling that we could've been able to at least speak up and say something. But again, I'm not one to step outside of my line of authority that we have as missionaries. I love you guys, I miss you guys, and I have to apologize for the lack of pictures, because I lost my battery charger after getting transferred from Balzar. I'll try my best to take as many pictures as I can (and to send them for those reading the blog), but until next week, keep praying often, and remember how much Jesus loves you! Take care!!!
Con Sinceridad y Amor,
Elder Conner Duane "Poderoso" Parke
I love you guys!!!