Dear Family and Friends,
It has been one of the toughest weeks of my mission. I don't remember if I told you but Elder Bates was ETed, or Emergency transferred. The Sandovals did remember James and Natasha (the members home that I got to call from on Christmas).
So, last Monday I recieved my mini-missionary, at first it was strange, but we soon got along. The first night we were together he was really homesick. I had no idea what to tell him; how do I get his mind off of home. I had no idea what to say. So, I said a little prayer and almost immediately I knew what to do. I entered into the room totally ignoring him lying on the couch with a depressed look on his face; walked over to my desk and started making a pile. First, I put down the area book, then the missionary binder, then Preach My Gospel and then all my mission talks from Prophets and Apostles, then my mission library, then my scriptures. I looked over at Elder Catenata and said I cannot get your mind off of home, but in these four weeks I can help you learn the area and how to be a missionary, the churchs history, the Lords gospel and how to teach it, and eventually all the knowledge of a missionary. It will take a lot of work but it will be worth it. "He never said it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it!" (thanks Brooklynn). Lets get to work.
At that point Elder Castana and I began to work harder than ever. I learned a lot. I started teaching better, but Elder Castanata couldn't get his mind off home. I could feel something was still holding him back. Well, on Wednesday night we were riding in a part of the area I wasn't to familiar with. We found ourselves totally lost. Inside I was flipping out, but I kept my calm and tried my hardest to find a way out. After biking what seemed like forever, the Spirit hit me and told me to ask Elder Castanata what was wrong. So I looked at him and asked as the Spirit had just directed me to do so. Then Elder Castanata told me of his problems and truly opened up. I did my "therapist" thing I learned in Redlands and tried to understand. We talked about it and decided it was just too much for us to deal with and we needed to call President Reeves.
Needless to say the next day he went home and I was companion less. They recently put me with two other Elders until they can find a place for me. I just learned that I will be getting a new mini for a week, than after that I'm not sure.
The Lord has truly tested me this last week, and sadly I don't know if I passed or failed, and that scares me a little. I do know however I will not quit working because the Gospel is a thing that changes lives. I love you all and miss you all, and Elder Castenata wherever you are remember... this one was for you.
Elder Zachary David Daniel
Elder Zachary David Daniel
PS I just wanted to thank everyone for keeping me in your prayers. I'm so grateful for the cards, letters and Christmas gifts I have recieved. It was greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!