So this week went by really fast. Now I fight the urge a little to just read your letters and not respond because it´s easier that way, but that’s a total taker and not a giver attitude. I think one of the things that I learned this week is that I can´t force the spiritual things, but when I just let go and trust in what the Lord has planned for me then the spirit just comes naturally.
One example of that is that we have R and L. They got married last month more or less this week and they have been really enthusiastically listening to us and we are super sure they will get baptized eventually. The only problem is that we had a date set and they still don´t feel comfortable taking that big of a decision. That has two consequences: first, they will be much better prepared when they decide to be baptized and will stay active in the church longer, hopefully even getting married eventually. Second, the date we set (the 10th) will probably pass without them being baptized. That´s hard because we have goals and plans set, but we understand that at the end of the day, what is most important is that repentance occurs, justice is satisfied, and mercy takes effect. They will likely get baptized either the following week or the week of the 24th. That´s just fine by me, and I think it´s given me the opportunity to reflect on how things have changed since I entered the offices.
When I entered the offices, we had a focus on prophesying the baptismal date to the people and making it a firm date and getting them to the font in the way that was possible. Now, however, obviously we set goals with the investigators, but it´s all more based on Doctrine and Covenants 20:37, helping the investigators realize the need to be baptized and actually experimenting faith, repentance, baptism, knowing how the Holy Ghost communicates with them and having that determination to endure to the end and not just do it because the elders are insisting. I won´t say that there weren't real converts beforehand, but now we are more focused on making sure that the people we baptize are prepared to accept the full responsibility of being an active member of the church.
Another miracle that happened this week is that a young adult that´s a recent convert´s sister came to church for the second time in a row. We had already planned to pass by their house on Sunday, but we made extra sure to pass because we had taught her and her boyfriend a few times, but they couldn’t progress because he didn’t have any interest. Well, when we set the appointment to go by I asked her what her boyfriend’s name was and she said that he doesn´t live there anymore, he went back home to his own apartment and that´s why she could come to church now. Her name is J and she´s absolutely golden, without us asking her, she got a copy of the Book of Mormon from her brother and started to read from the start. We taught lesson 1 about the restoration and at the end of the lesson she said she wouldn´t need to pray because she already knew that the church is true. She asked us to visit them daily if possible, and it works really well because she is renting the apartment next to her brother and sister-in-law’s. She has a goal to be baptized the first week of February. I guess more than anyone, she was the answer to leaving things to the Lord. We had talked to them about the need to be married something like three weeks ago, but didn’t come to any conclusions, but she took it to the Lord and came up with a decision on her own time. So So inspiring!
I love you all and hope you are letting the Lord work in your lives. Sometimes we just have to let go and let Him take control for a little bit to verify that we are on the right path. Have a great week and I'll write again Monday!
An excerpt from my letter to president and pictures of me with a couple of mission friends at the end of mission council:
As for my personal growth, I am seeing more and more the ways in which I have changed throughout these two years. I have spent some time seriously reflecting on the things that have happened and changed me and more than anything, thanking the Lord for the changes He has made in my personality and character. I know it wouldn´t have been possible to develop the strength that I have now on my own, and that being in the mission is what made the difference. Now my goal is to leave this area prepared to receive whoever comes, ready to work with the members, to move the work forward and really just to enjoy helping others to come to Christ. I don´t want to be a missionary that finishes "trunky", so I´ve taken the conscious decision to work til the very last day that I have, and give everything I can back to the Lord because I truly am indebted, with a debt that I will never be able to repay.
There´s me with Elder L(tall brown hair) me with Elder D (redhead all the way from my first zone, one of my best friends) me with Elder P (he´s from Guayaquil, from Elder G´s ward and in Kolby´s mission) and me with Elder U, also one of my best friends here.