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Monday, August 17, 2015

durangoooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hello from Durango!

Yep, I´m back! I was transferred today and arrived in what will probably be my last area (crazy!). The area is called Central 2, which is right next to my first area, Guadalupe 2. I came here once on comp exchanges as STL here in Durango and we always traveled through the area to go to district meetings when I was in Guadalupe, so I am a little bit familiar with it already. I am honestly so excited to be back in Durango. Even though Durango and Torreón are only 3 or 4 hours apart, it feels like they belong to two completely different missions. The people here in Durango are so much more receptive to the Gospel and I am so excited to be working here again. I´m also super excited because I´ll most likely get to see members and converts from Guadalupe during Stake Conference and activities. I´m in the same stake/zone that I was in when I started the mission, so it kind of feels like everything´s come full circle. And, this area is right in the center of Durango, with all of the markets and museums and shopping, so I will definitely be enjoying my P-days here :)

On Saturday an investigator from the area I just came from is going to be baptized. His name is Gael, and he´s an 11 year old boy who is the son of an inactive member. We´ve been teaching him for about 2 months and it was such a blessing getting to teach him. The way we found him was interesting: my first week in Roma we were eating with a sister and when we shared a message afte the meal and asked for a referral, she told us that she had heard that an inactive member of the Church that she had known before had recently moved back into the ward boundaries with her daughter and grandkids, and that the grandkids weren´t members, but she didn´t know exactly where they were living and was going to try to find out to pass us the referral. That same day, we left her house and a short while later ran into and contacted Norma, Gael´s mom and the daughter of the inactive member that the sister from the ward knew. We set up an appointment and went back the next day. Even though Norma still hasn´t attended Church, she started taking her kids to Church and we began teaching Gael and preparing him to be baptized. It has been an incredibly spiritual experience teaching him. Even though he´s young, he understands everything so well, and during the whole teaching process I thought about how the Lord had prepared him to accept the Gospel at this time. Actually, on Saturday we attended the baptism of another 11 year old boy and I was thinking about how some of the strongest converts that I know are 11 and 12 year old boys, many of whom are the only members in their families. As we were watching that baptism I remembered the scripture in Alma 13:3-4 that talks about how priesthood holders here on the earth were prepared to come to the earth and receive the priesthood since the pre-existence, where they showed exceptional faith and good works. It´s so amazing how these young, young boys have been prepared and allowed to accept the Gospel at an age that allows them to exercise the Aaronic priesthood in the offices of deacon, teacher, and priest, prepare for a mission, receive the Melchizedeck priesthood and serve in the Church their whole life. They´re part of God´s priesthood army, and I feel so priviledged to be able to help some of them learn and accept the Gospel. 

I forgot to mention that my companion is Hermana Perez, from Cancun. I´m going to finish up the last two weeks of her training. Hermana Tuitupou was training her and we basically switched places- she´s in Roma as STL and I´m here with her trainee. 

Well, I am super content. I know that there will obviously be lots of trials in this area, as there are in every area, but I am so happy to be here and I know we´re going to see lots of miracles. Durango is where I belong here in the mission. I love you all and hope you have a great week! I am, as always, so grateful for the oportunity that I have to be a missionary. I know that God lives, that He loves us, that Jesus Christ is His Son, and that this is His Church. There is no doubt in my heart or mind. I love preaching this gospel because of the joy it brings to my life and the lives of all those who accept it. 

Love, 

Hermana Southard