Thursday, October 31, 2013

October 28th, 2013

Well, hey everyone!  That's cool that it's Halloween this week.  Didn't remember.  But that's good news because it means that Día de los Muertos is also this week, and pan de muerto is so delicious.  Have fun!

We had a good week.  We've mostly got our area down now and I really like it.  This is the most beautiful city in the world and I am absolutely in love with it.  It is going to be really, really hard to say goodbye.  Luckily I won't have to for a little while.  

The V family is doing great!  They made it to church this week and we're going to go visit them soon.  They've been saying their family prayers and reading the Book of Mormon and they seem...different.  More light in their countenances.  It's been great to see.  And it's helped us gain confidence with the Bishop since he told us to go visit them.  We also met another less active member, actually, a lot, but another one that went to church.  His name is R, the assistents had been working with him, and they told us to go visit him and teach the Plan of Salvation.  We went and he asked a basketload of questions, but we were able to answer them and share a powerful message about the Atonement.  It all just worked out way to well.  Obviously it was the Spirit because we transitioned it right in to the Sacrament and invited him to church and he said yes.  It was awesome.  

I had splits with the Zone Leaders this week.  I stayed in our area with Elder C.  He's a lot of fun.  We spent a long time looking through all the drawers and closets to find all the weird things the sisters had left in the house through the years.  I could not write a hundredth of the things which were seen, but sufficeth me to say that they were strange and of curious workmanship.  Also, we found an awesome investigator that day.  We met a member from our area and she told us that the missionaries had been teaching a friend of hers that lived about 2 blocks away.  She called her right then and invited her over to listen to us, and she came!  We taught her the Restoration and put a baptismal date that she accepted!  Her name is Y, she has two kids, an 18 year old boy and a 12 year old girl.  They didn't make it to church, but we're hoping that this week she goes!  That lesson was one of the happiest moments I've had in a long time.  Yeah!

I also did splits with Elder T this week because I had to do the baptismal interview for their investigator, C, who got baptized this Saturday.  So I got to go back to E, which was fun.  We started the splits Thursday night, and when I got there, Elder T said that they still hadn't done any contacts that day.  So I said, "That's okay, we're going to contact a bus."  I had never done it before, but I felt like it needed to be done to help Elder T to get contacting.  So we asked the bus driver if we could make an announcement, and then called the attention of everyone on the bus and called them to repentance.  We gave them pass along cards and asked them if they would like a visit.  Nobody did, but it felt good and it was an awesome way to start the splits!

After contacting the bus, we had an interesting lesson with one of their investigators named B.  I connected really well with him because he studied Sound Recording Technology and also played in a band.  He basically told us he didn't want to keep listening, that he knew he would need to repent some day but he wants to live it up right now.  It was quite the lesson.  We bore our testimonies and warned him of the consequences of his sins, and left.  It was sad, but we left him a clear view of what he was choosing, so hopefully he makes a good choice.  

We also found a new investigator named E, who is 17 and has really messed up his life and wants to change.  We put a baptismal date with him also.  Afterwards, we went to lunch, and the members told us "Well, Elders, we didn't prepare anything, but we were just going to go to Sirloin Stockade for lunch.  I hope that's okay..." Obviously that's ok!!!  Delicious.  After that we had the interview with C.  He's way ready.  He's 17 and orphaned and literally lives in a one room house and sleeps on a piece of cardboard on the floor, but is so happy to have found the gospel.  He about made me cry.  Basically, they were the most epic splits of my entire mission.  It was fun to go back and see everyone in E again.

I'm feeling good in my ward.  President Wagner told me this week that sometimes a new beginning is better than trying to battle with the same situation for such a long time, so I'm confident that things will work out this way.  

Answers:  The two companionships in E divided up our area between themselves, so the sisters have been teaching M and his family, and they're actually progressing really well.  They've been to church twice now and have a baptismal date for November 23rd.  I took Elder T to his half of our old area and showed him the people we had been teaching.  He was able to bring a less active member named J to church this week that we had found our last week there.  Who knows what's going to happen to T.  

There's a part in Preach My Gospel that I came to understand better this week.  It basically says "As we repent, we recognize that we are children of God and need not make the same mistakes over and over again." I feel like if we could all realize where we come from, it would help us to become better people.  We are not from this world.  We come from a better place, from Heaven, from the presence of our Heavenly Father.  As we recognize our divine origins, it is easier to understand that we don't need to think, talk, or act like someone from this world.  It is in our nature to be something better.  In spite of the veil and other worldly influences, our Father in Heaven has provided us with the way to recover, and even improve, our spiritual nature here in this life through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Just as I feel like I have learned way more about the United States here than I ever could have if I had never left the country, we can learn more about our heavenly home by being away from it here, and we will appreciate and enjoy it more when we are allowed to return.  We need to recognize that we are spirits having mortal experiences, not mortals having spiritual experiences, and as we recognize this connection, it helps us to repent, live the commandments, and put off the natural man through the Atonement of Christ.  I am so grateful for this knowledge that we have of the Plan of Salvation, of our divine heritage and destiny.  It's something everyone needs to know.

Have a great week everyone!  I love you!

Elder Pew