Dear Momma and Papi,
Well, another week has passed and I'm trying all I can to just think that I'm only going to be turning 17 or something like that. Haha. In regards to how this past week has went, it wasn't the best week by any means, however, there were a few gems amidst all the rubble. We've been experiencing difficulties in the area with our investigators. We have good investigators, but my companion and I have noticed that there's just something missing during the lessons. One investigator commented that she's grateful for our visits and stuff (because we met her during a time where she was looking to renew her faith) but that when we come she doesn't feel anything, that is to say, she doesn't feel what she feels in her church. I'll be honest, that killed my spirits pretty bad because it made me wonder if it was the same with other investigators. Needless to say, we had a training meeting this week with the zone and we learned how we can make plans and set goals in order to reach our vision that we have for our area. My companion and I sat down and talked about how we can become better so that all our investigators can feel the spirit and also have the desire to progress and be more that just listeners.
It's been a long and frustrating week, but I'm just trying to relax a bit and just focus on things day by day. Sometimes I think and wonder about the joy and happiness I've been promised throughout my mission. Not that I haven't experienced it, but in regards to times of sorrow or desperation, sometimes it just lasts far too long. But then I recall that this isn't the first time that I've felt like this and realized once again that if it wasn't easy for the Savior, it sure as heck won't be for me because the road to salvation is by no means an easy journey. Just gotta make the best with what's been given. Plus there's just a lot of pressure right now by my leaders for a baptism.
I'm gonna be super honest and say that that really just gets on my nerves sometimes, like alot, because I know that they're just wanting me to help reach the goal for excellence of the mission (which is baptize every week) and also because I haven't baptized in two transfers now, but I just don't know sometimes. Just feels like they're getting on my case. I love my leaders, but just, yeah. Just please pray for myself and my companion that we'll be able to baptize this transfer and that our investigators can progress.
The one wonderful thing I have seen this week is some answers to prayers, and for that, I'm grateful. In regards to my birthday greetings, thank you so much! As much as I would love to spend this birthday at home with you and those whom I love, the love you send me is something that is felt even miles away from my beautiful, green, state. I appreciate so much everything you and dad have done for me throughout my life leading up to now. Thank you both for the love you've demonstrated me and also for all that you've taught me, regardless of how I reacted to certain teachings. Haha. Seriously, though, I love you all more than you can understand. I look forward to spending a ton more birthdays with you in the future. (As I increasingly grow older. Seriously, turning 20's gonna feel odd. Haha.) Till next week!
Love, Elder Manuel Antonio Santos
PS, A couple of photos. One with my son, Elder Lopez, and the other with a long awaited wedding invitation. I've been waiting forever for this! Had me a hoot pranking the other missionaries saying that my girlfriend skipped the "Dear John..." and sent me a wedding invitation as a breakup announcement. I'm terrible. Hahaha... Also, on a random note, we had the rule changed (slightly) in regards to music that we can listen to. We can now listen to any CD that has the church's approval on it, (It would have the church's logo on the back. There's a movie called Meet the Mormon's, so I'm sure that the soundtrack would be something.) so just some ideas for Christmas or something. Haha.
PSS, Sending the biggest hug ever as well, only bigger.