Tuesday morning all the people that received changes and their companions met in the stake center of Piura Central. My new area is Sechura, the southern most area of the mission. It is about 1 hour and 15 minutes in bus. The next area is about 35 minutes from us and then they are another 40 from Piura. Sechura is a pretty cool town. We’re 6 minutes from the ocean and so there are big wooden fishing boats in front of the majority of the houses that they have built themselves. The sun is stronger here and its a bit more dry. There are 4 missionaries here in total and our areas are gigantic. Sechura is also only a branch and has church in a casa capilla, aka a big building that has different rooms that we use as needed. Sechura is known as a very difficult area. There are only about 60 members that attend on a consistent basis, and very few baptisms happen here. My companion is Elder Young.
We had interviews with the President on Friday and he expressed a lot of confidence and trust in me. He said that he put me here to strengthen this branch and help prepare it to one day be a strong area. The branch president is a very cool guy and there are some great youth that will be fun to work with.
Things are still going slow as far as the work goes due to a trunky companion, but this week was made great by one event alone; the baptism of a 19 year old named Carlos. He’s only got about 1 month knowing the church. He attended church with a friend one Sunday, then played soccer with the missionaries and members on a Monday about 3 weeks ago and from then on he’s had the desire to get baptized. The next step was just giving him the lessons and he was set. This weekend was Stake Conference so on Saturday we took a van down to Piura (where the stake center is) with about 8 young men and Carlos. On Sunday we had the baptism at 12:30 after the general session. More of the branch was able to attend this way, and even President Chipman and his wife came! They spoke at the conference so afterwards we invited them to join us and they did. I’ve never felt the spirit so strongly in a baptism. I was able to conduct, the president gave a brief message, and there was a reverence throughout the whole meeting that was quite moving. Carlos also bore a very powerful testimony. So it was a great weekend. A seventy visited the conference (Elder Pino) along with an area seventy and gave some great messages. I feel motivated to not only find more people to teach, but help the branch president strengthen the members and branch as a whole. I need to remember that it is still MY mission, and what I do in my free time to be productive is up to me.
It was a fairly good week. We placed a baptismal date for a 23 year old named Edwyn. He’s got great intentions and we hope he can keep progressing and get baptized in two weeks. On Sunday, the president of the branch was unable to attend church, so the first counselor was left in charge of directing the meetings. No one had been assigned talks so 5 minutes before sacrament meeting he said, Hey Elder Young, can you and your companion give 10 minute talks? Thanks. Haha. I talked on humility and was able to use various scriptures to deliver a message. Afterwards I was actually grateful for that opportunity. This is a tough area and branch that is going to stretch me a lot in situations like this and help me grow. The branch here continues to struggle. I’d say about 45 people attended church on Sunday. The Priesthood has about 8 solid men that attend. Sounds like this summer is going to be another busy one and it is just around the corner.
Love you all, P.S. this Saturday I complete 7 months. Woah.