I found out on Saturday that I’m staying in El Paso for another transfer! I can’t believe I’m still here. Usually the trainer leaves after he trains but in this case the trainee is leaving (Elder Broulim) and I’m staying here. I’m super sad that we are splitting up; he was an awesome companion but I'm happy though because I truly love it down here. I love all of the people and there’s still a lot of work to do.
I hit my 6 month mark tomorrow and it’s so crazy that I’m one-fourth done already. Just like everyone always says that you’ll already look back and hope that you knew more and were better at certain things and that is EXACTLY what I feel like. I was reading in the New Testament and came across a scripture that really stood out to me and it's 2 Timothy 4:7-8. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”. As I've pondered about this verse and thought about my life, and more specifically my mission, it’s brought a new perspective. If I live every day to the fullest and work until I drop, then after another year and a half when I’m done and step off that plane I’ll be able to say, just like that scripture, that I’ve fought a good fight and have finished my course and kept the faith. I know the Lord will bless me and more importantly bless my family.
I was asked in district meeting on Friday to say a motivating reason why I’m out here on my mission and what kind of gives me that drive to keep going and to work hard. My first answer was a total joke because it was like tense in there. So for some comic relief I said I that I hope I get a hot wife out of all of this, but then I said for real I’m here because of my Mom, and my family. I’m here to make her and my family proud and all I want is that for while I'm gone that my family gets ALL of the blessings that come from me serving and being away from them. I got a card from Jessica and it melted my heart away... that’s my baby girl and to have her say she misses and loves me and is happy I’m a missionary makes me so proud to be her big protective brother. I love the boys in the family but my girls, my mom and Jess, have made me into a better man. Because now all I’ve got is Jess here with me until the next life I keep seeing my mom in her more and more and PRAY that as I’m gone she will be blessed as I serve. My family is everything and to be out here helping other families have what I have brings me no greater joy.
There’s a family in our apartment complex who we FINALLY got to teach and they were really receptive and are a super cool family. The father Ishmael is always outside smoking and stuff and looks like a hard "cholo" Mexican with tattoos and the whole deal but seriously is one of the nicest guys I know. "Don’t judge a book by it's cover" for sure applies to this situation. I’m really praying we can get their family to church this next Sunday and have the kids go to primary because I KNOW the Lord has put us in their path for a reason. It helps us and brings me so much joy and love when people really appreciate what we are doing out here and want to listen.
So, now on to Elder Broulim ... I’m going to miss that guy. He’s the first person I’ve ever trained and my second companion ever on my mission. I'll never forgot when I picked him up I was freaking out because I felt so brand new still and couldn’t believe I had to train. I told him I was half way through my mission so he wouldn’t freak out (ha), but everything turned out great. I learned so much from him even though I was his trainer. I learned to always push through when facing adversity because he’s gone through a lot of medical problems so far on his mission already and is still out here pushing through. Also, I've learned the importance of speaking to everyone around you and to always start conversations with people. He's got a wonderful family who I’ve felt a genuine love for as well. He’s truly family to me now and always will be... he’s ma true Brotha!!
The Lord has blessed me with the two best companions in the mission already so we will see who I get on Tuesday... I’m sure he will be great!
Love to you all and thanks for all the support from everyone! Hopefully next week I'll have some cool stories to tell.
This is Manny and he's awesome!