Greetings friends, family, and associates!
Welp. First Pday eh?? Pretty sweet. My companions are Elder Vance and Elder De La Fuente for those of you who don't know and they are the zone leaders down here in Brownsville. I arrived on Wednesday and we got to work. We visited the Almeida family who they had contacted a day or two previously and met with Carmen Almeida and her children Barbara (13), Oscar (12), Deborah (10). I was able to invite them all to be baptized and they accepted to be baptized the 22nd of April, so we are currently working with them and we were able to meet a few other families. The area here has some problems and they have kind of been struggling in this area recently. Here is what I sent to dad about it-
The work in Brownsville is... ok. As soon as I got here I was able to tell that there wasn't much member support, but I think most of it is due to previous missionaries. So this past week we have been focusing on improving our relations with the member families in our area. So lame how there are so many missionaries in a ward, I think it makes it so much harder to build solid relations with the ward members. Despite it being hard, I think it is definitely possible and I think the ward should be soo much stronger for having so many missionaries. We have like 10 missionaries just in our Spanish ward- how is this not the most active unit in the church when we have 10 people committed full time to try and bring others unto Christ? Anyways, my companions definitely agree with me and we've been able to help a few members so far and we hope to be able to connect with all the members in our area and then hopefully the other leaders as well. But the area is good. I can definitely tell the Lord has prepared a lot of people here. What you say about the mission here is true, there are a lot of people who are so welcoming and kind to us, and that is great, but most of them aren't really willing to act or change their beliefs, but there are still plenty of people that are prepared to receive the gospel.
Other than that... Ummm... there isn't really a set schedule for eating here with members and they were outta money so I pretty much bought our groceries last week, but we split it this week. Anyways, I'm looking forward to continuing working with our families and getting them prepared for baptism and to meet the Lord! This mission is definitely different, but I think a lot of the things that I loved about missionary work in Argentina are missing here and hopefully I'll be able to help the missionaries here with those things, especially with their relations with the ward members and leadership. The Lord loves the people of south texas!
I love being a missionary and I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to be here serving while waiting for a visa. I hope to be able to learn as much as I can until I go and I know I'll be able to pick up a new perspective that will for sure help me when I arrive in Argentina. I know that my experiences there will also help me here and help the missionaries and wards here as well. Anyways, please forward this email to all the family and remind them to write me :) I love you all and miss you mucho!! The Gospel is true and leads us to true happiness! It might be hard, but it is always worth it. Write me before next week! Love you all and I love you Nicole!