This week undoubtedly was one of the best weeks I've had in the mission! I'm stunned by my companion and the abilities she's brought to the area. I think I mentioned a bit about her in my last email, but after getting to know her better this week, I have to share a little about my dear companion Sister Alvarenga. (: She just came from an area called Laredo, I'm her 3rd companion, and she has about 7 months in the mission. She's from Entre Ríos, Aregentina and is 19 years old. She loves a good meat cooked on the grill and comes from a family of 6 who are all members--her older sister is currently training a new sister on her mission in Chile. Sister Alvarenga is one of the most humble people I have ever met and has completely changed my perspective forever on working with members. The relationship with the branch members in Villa del Mar is so different for me and I am more motivated everday to help them fall in love with sharing the gospel. We also have a kick-bomb mission leader, Brother Miguel, who is shifting the work into overdrive! There are some great changes being made in ward council and we're seeing much more involvement from the members. I can't wait to see the changes that can come! Just this last week we had a record amount of attendance at church-144--and we need to hit 150 to be able to convert to a ward! There were 11 investigators that showed up to church and we feel like it was due to the incredible things we learned in concilio this week.
President Marler, Sister Marler, and the assistants talked a lot about "inspired questions" at concilio and it has made a world of difference in our teaching. We really narrowed down the questions that usually get asked to stop "checking for knowledge" and start "checking for understanding." Our lessons have become considerably shorter despite the investigators and less actives talking more, because we have to teach little when we ask inspired questions and THEY become their own teachers. It's so incredible what a small tweak in the machine can do. We have been able to reach to so many people and devote time to multiple activites.
I read a great article a couple months back that I invite you all to read from the December Liahona. It's about asking questions in the right way and for those who teach others, it's highly recommendable. Read up here!
My time is up for today but I hope this week is incredible for each one of you. I am loving the work more than ever and can't wait to see what this week brings. We'll be going to Otuzco to do the zone training and share these goodies about "inspired questions" with the other missionaries. Have a great week!