I hope you are all doing well. This week is transfers and we are really busy saying goodbyes and getting ready, so this is going to be a quick letter. We got our transfer calls on Saturday and I will be staying in Delano for round three. I will be the only one staying in Delano from the whole district. I am happy to be able to stay here for a while more, but it is a little bit of a bummer seeing everyone else go. I will especially miss Elder Hidalgo and Elder Brown. They are great missionaries and have been fun to serve with. My new companion is going to be Elder Myer. He has only been here in the mission for six weeks. He arrived in the mission in June. I am excited to meet him. The Assistants say that I will be training him and I am happy to do that. All I really know about Elder Myer is that he is from Georgia. I am really excited to have a companion who is NOT going home! hahaha
This has been a great week. On Wednesday, Jose Jimenez and Mayra Flores got married! It was crazy. There were a lot of things popping up that almost got in the way, but we ended up having the wedding. It was a nice little ceremony in the Relief Society room and it was sweet to finally be able to see them get married. That is something that they have been working towards for so long. After the wedding, they took us out to eat at a nice restaurant and it was a really fun time. Jose is so funny. He helps me with my Spanish a lot. If I mess something up, he tells me and I like that because there aren't a lot of people who help me and correct my Spanish. He was so excited about the wedding. Also, this Saturday he got baptized! It was really so awesome. A bunch of members from the ward came to support him and it was so cool to see everything come together. This is something he has wanted for a long time and he was so happy. He is really committed to being strong in the Gospel and he has even been asking about getting the priesthood. He is just such a good guy and I am so happy for him.
This week we visited all of our investigators and Elder Tapia was able to say goodbye to most of them. We have been so blessed with so many great people to teach and visit. Delano is a great place for missionary work and I love it, even if it is a little warm. We also visited Rustom this week and he is doing great. He talked with the Bishop this Sunday about getting the priesthood and they are working on that so he can give Keira her baby blessing. Things are going great in the Delano area and I am excited to stay here with Elder Myer.
We had a Zone Conference this past week and the main topic was love and why it is so essential in missionary work and in life. It was a really good meeting. I have been trying to study more and learn how I can love everyone, because it can be pretty difficult. Sometimes I feel like it is hard to love the guy who slams the door in my face in 105 degree weather. haha There is a scripture I read in the New Testament that I really love. In Matthew chapter five there are some verses that say: "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in Heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." I love this part of Christ's sermon on the mount. It raises such a good point. Loving people who love me is easy. I think it is easy for everyone. It is so easy to love my family and my friends. Just like it mentions in those verses, anyone can do that. What the real challenge is and what we need to focus on, is loving everyone, even our enemies. So, that is something that I am trying to focus and become better at. I want to learn to love that guy who slams the door in our face! It is easy to get mad at someone or become annoyed, but life is so much happier when we just choose to love.
Well I have to get going. We still have people to stop by and visit so that the other Elders can say goodbye. I will be playing photographer. Missionary life here in Delano is good. Take good care and have a great week.
Elder Chad Thompson