Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A New Beginning

Dearest Friends and Family,

This week has been amazing.

First of all, I have been transferred to the zone Villa Hermosa, and I am serving in an area called La Corona (the crown) with Elder Guandique from El Salvador. He and I are getting along awesome, and we just opened the area, which is awesome as well. They split the area of Ciudad Real (real city) into 2 areas, and now there are 5 Elders in the same ward: my companion and I in one part, and the rest in another. We all live in the same house, my companion and I upstairs, and the other trio (including our district leader) downstairs. Our District leader is Elder Richards from Idaho, and his companions are Elder Carrillo from Nicaragua, and Elder Carcamo from Panama, who just arrived in the mission this week! It gets a little crazy sometimes, but I love it.

The members here are absolutely amazing. The Bishop came out to work with us on Sunday, and showed us some member's houses, and some old investigators, which was great.

Since we just opened the area, we've basically had to start from nothing and find some investigators. We already have about 5 families, because we've just been working like nothing else this week. One of them lives here, but spends a lot of time in Elder Guandique's old area, so we found him at night and taught him and his family, which was fantastic. He has some challenges, but he really wants to be baptized, so we'll be working hard with him.

Now, a little about my last few days in Jerusalem:

The day before the transfers, we saw our branch president in his car with a taxi sign on top, which was a new sight. Therefore, he was our taxi driver to get to the transfer meeting, which was neat. We paid him, and bought him breakfast too.

The ward here in Ciudad Real seems to be connected with Jerusalen a lot. Bro. Lazo, Jerusalen's mission leader, and his wife Juanita, who washed our clothes, used to live here, and they always talked about how special the ward is here. And the members here still talk about them, because they're amazing. On Thursday, we went to the chapel for a correlation meeting with Bro. Gomez, our mission leader, who is AMAZING. While at the chapel, I saw a sister about my age who looked familiar, but I couldn't remember where I'd seen her. Then on Sunday, when I was out working with the Bishop, I ran into her and her boyfriend, who I know from JERUSALEN! She had come to the branch a few times, and that's where I'd seen her! Small world, huh? Gerson, the boyfriend, saw me and shouted "Cody!" I get called that a bit down here because of the film "Agent Cody Banks." :)

The members here are amazing. The Bishop is behind us 100%, and so is our mission leader, Bro. Gomez. We already have a missionary activity planned for this Thursday, and we'll be going out with a member today as well. We did divisions with some of the priests on Sunday morning to try and get some more investigators to stake conference, where Elder Amado of the Seventy spoke. I heard him speak in the CCM as well, and he is absolutely amazing. I left the meeting very inspired, filled with peace, and ready to go out and work.

Since we just moved into the house, we're still waiting on some stuff to be able to settle in, like a box of dishes, and some furniture to keep our clothes in. Thankfully, one of the members we visited my last night in Jerusalen gave me a small tupperware bowl with lid to eat my cereal. Needless to say, this particular tupperware has seen a lot of use this week. I guess the Lord inspires people down to the littlest things, like a surprise gift. It goes to show that he really does take care of his children.

Basically, I'm in love with my new working environment. My companion is awesome, the area is "chilero" (cool) and we've got a lot of work to do. I'll really be enjoying this change, and I'm learning a lot. We're also teaching English a lot to the Latino elders, which is going really well. In district meeting, we speak some English and some Spanish, so everybody gets to practice.

Hopefully I'll be sending some pictures soon, both of people from Jerusalen, and some people from La Corona.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. They are being answered.
I love you all! Take care!

Yours in the Faith,
Elder Nicholas Banks

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