Monday, April 25, 2016

First Week in Paramonga with Elder Mora

View from our apartment

Well, week 1 in my new area is over. My new companion is Elder Mora. He's from Colombia. He's super awesome! Right off the bat we got to work and it's really fun working with him. So far with him I've learned how to work hard and have fun too.

It's way different than back in Mi Perú. Mi Perú is basically built on a hill, so it was a lot of uphill and downhill. Paramonga is totally flat. I think I might have 2 little hills in one spot, but that's like nothing. It's also a lot colder. In Mi Perú I was dying in short sleeves, but here I actually pulled out my sweaters and have to use them once the sun goes down. We live in an apartment building, and I really like our room a lot. Our pensionista lives just across the street, and they actually run a restaurant that's open in the evenings, but that's where we eat lunch every day. It's a lot of the same foods, but some new ones too. I ate guinea pig for my first time, and it's pretty good. Tastes like chicken, as Dad might say!

Paramonga is a ward, and just recently too. Before it was 2 branches, but in January they put them both together. There's another compañerismo in the ward, so Paramonga is split in halves.

There's some interesting history behind the city of Paramonga. You can probably find most of it online or something. There's a lot of older couples here, but a lot of families too. We have a couple investigators progresando for baptism in the coming weeks, and just this past week we found a couple families that we're pretty excited about.

Something I've learned this week is the power of being steadfast. That's really the key to living the Gospel, doing it with constancia. This week I was studying about humility in King Benjamin's lesson to the people in Mosiah chapter 4:
11 ...humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel. 
12 ...And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins...
I thought about how that connects to the tree of life in Lehi's dream, and how sweet the fruit was that he tasted, and how that's the love of God feels when we receive a remission of our sins. And by being steadfast in humility, and praying too, among other things, we can feel that love of God more frequently.

I really testify of that. As things go in the missionary life, sometimes we are running late and have to get out the door to a meeting on time. But before I hadn't realized as I do now, that I never seem to forget to eat breakfast or get dressed for the day, and so should be the same with praying. It should be something that we always do. I'm super grateful to have learned this from my companion.

Have a great week! Love you all.

Elder Evan Smith

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