There is a scripture in the New Testament that I am trying to emulate in Acts 5:41,
When Paul and other apostles were brought before a council and commanded not to preach in the name of Christ, but were freed from incardination when a God fearing judge spoke up for them. Even though they were not cast into prison in this event, they were still beaten and then thrown out. But their response is remarkable.
And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
It says it a little differently in Spanish, but the point is that they rejoiced and found joy in being rejected for Christ’s sake. I find that amazing.
It is great that Megan and Haylee are excited about school. There is a lot of fun ahead of them! Sounds like ShayLynn has a heavy load though. Wish I could be there to help her with her math homework! But it is just like mom said; she is a lot smarter than she gives herself credit for :)
So it sounds like Mom is getting to talk at the pulpit more often :) She got to talk for Girls Camp, and then has another talk as well? It is funny how needing to use the bathroom at night while camping relates so well to the gospel. I need to try and be more creative when teaching I guess to be able to come up with these simple and awesome analogies :) I too got to give a talk this Sunday. My talk was called ´Do we understand what we have?’ and I tried to help the members see the worth of the gospel. Of course the people that I wanted to hear it did not come to church. This ward is so small and needs so much help, and I don’t know where to begin! Yesterday I started by organizing the ward directory by streets so that we can go and visit them.
The Zone conference with President turned out really good. He helped us talk about how to find those who are ready for the gospel, the importance of Unity in our companionships, and the Importance of the Book of Mormon. It helped strengthen my own testimony of the Book of Mormon, and helped he remember how important it is to exhort my investigators, and the members, to read it :) We also learned the importance of setting good goals and then making plans to reach them. Sometimes we just made plans and then set goals after :) which doesn’t work as well. The Conference lasted almost the whole day, and sadly, with the time that we had to work, we didn’t find anyone to teach, but were able to talk with some great people in the street :)
On Thursday we found Jose, an investigator that we hadn’t been able to find in a long time, and like in the conference, we invited him to Read the Book of Mormon and talked about baptism, and near the end of the lesson, we invited him to read 3 Nephi 11 when Christ visits the Nephites and teaches Baptism. We meant for it to be like homework for him to read it on his own, but he just started reading it while we were there, out loud. I thought about and even tried to interrupt him to invite him to read it after we left, but he just kept on reading, until the end of the chapter. The spirit was strong and we could feel the power of the Book of Mormon, and afterwards he said that it was beautiful. We invited him to keep reading it. I was sad when he told us to come back in another week and not sooner, but it was a great lesson.
On Friday we had Splits with our Zone Leaders. I worked with Elder Decker in his area, and we had a really successful day. He helped me see what I needed to do to be a better leader, as in Senior Companion. Together, with the Zone Leaders and my companion we made some goals, focusing on finding new people to teach, which is what we REALLY need.
After I got back with my companion, we taught a lesson with a youth who is more or less progressing, and then got ready for the Ward activity that we put together as the Missionaries in the ward. For lack of participation, the ward has not had activities in a long time¨. There is hardly mutual, with the 5 young women in the ward, and 1 young man.
We had hopes, though, that we could get people to come, but we were disappointed. The Bishop, the X Bishop and his wife, and one other member showed up. 4 people, 8 with us missionaries, showed up. We canceled it and cleaned the chapel instead. The activity made us lose about three hours in total that day (of preparing, waiting around for people to come, and then cleaning). Then we left to work for the night and invite Martin, our promising investigator to church, when he saw him afar off sitting outside his house with a few friends with a bottle of beer. NO! He had expressed how badly he wanted to change, start over, and make thing up with his family, and he is drinking again! He just said to us `The Temptation`. Needless to say he was not at church the next day. Right after that we went to look for an investigator and his mom answered the door, and basically told us not to come back. We spent 10 minutes trying to convince her to listen to us or let her son listen to us, but stayed firm that they are catholic; it is the same God, so why does it matter anyway? We really did try to exhort her to listen, but she chose not to. The rest of the night no one else opened the door, and all our contacts were rejections. It was a hard night. I was trying to bury the anger I felt for seeing Martin drinking so that we could keep working, but I felt that by letting it stay there, I didn’t have the faith that I needed to have success. It was hard.
And then Sunday no one came to church. No investigators and few members. Our numbers for the week were pathetic.
But! With our training on how to set goals and make plans, I have hope for this week to come. It will be my last with Elder Hernandez I feel like, as Transfers are next week.
Well, things have been hard. But there have also been some good things that happened this week. Like on Sunday we cheered up a member who got run over by a bus (well, sorta, nothing is broken) and passed by to say happy birthday to Hermana Paty and gave her a card. She blew out the candles and shared a piece of cake with us, but there was only a part of her family and a few relatives present to celebrate it with her, who didn’t stay 20 minutes. We shared a scripture with her in Romans 8 (last verse) that says that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ. She then went through and listed all the things she was grateful for in respect to her birthday, and I feel that it helped her feel better.
I am lacking a little bit of excitement these days, but I am trying :) I hope to be able to make this last week if the Transfer a good one :)
I love what ShayLynn said in her letter to me.
``I hope you and your companion can have the desire to be diligent, and get out there and change lives, and help complete our eternal family. :) Have faith and everything will turn out ok.''
I love the reminder that I am here working amongst my eternal family. That is so true. Thank you so much for the confidence that you have in me.
Thank you so much for your emails and your support!!!!!!!!!
Love you all,