SO, this letter is titled, "Activity" because those are exactly what I've been doing this week. When I first came to Puerto Barrios, the branch had not had an activity of any type in over a year, and the elders who were previously there complained that the branch president shut down all the activities. So I got to work on that. We gained the trust of the branch president, and instead of directly proposing activities to the president, we announced them in branch council so everyone could have an input, the first time we did it, the branch president was pretty unsure about the whole deal, but when he saw that it turned out well, he gave us more working space. Right now, we have prepared the branch to have 3 different activities every single week, in different parts of Puerto Barrios so that even the poorest members who live farthest from the chapel can participate. We've seen the attendance raise from 60-70 to 100-115 members who come every Sunday, and we expect to see more.
Really, the reason should be that the members want to come to church so that they may learn of Jesus Christ and participate with their brothers and sisters in worship, but this is not always the driving force that makes people want to get up and go to church. But that's all right. God doesn't expect us to really know Him at first. He invites everyone, that they may FIRST come and SECOND drink of the water of eternal life. If God's intention is to invite everyone to come where He is, wouldn't it stand to reason that He wants everyone to feel welcome where He is? (2 Nephi 26:24-28). One thing that you guys should do is go and make yourself feel welcome. And if you yourself don't feel welcome, remember that you are always welcome, and try to go make someone else feel welcome too.
Also, we’re having exchanges this week and I’m staying here in Puerto Barrios, but my companion is being transferred to another area. My new companion is going to be a brand-new zone leader and I get to train him on how to do it!
Elder Jeffrey Reed