Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February 10th & 17th 2014

February 10th
I don't remember a lot of what happened this week.  A lot of the time we were sick with a nasty cold, so it was kind of a slow, lazy week for us.  We got a lot of work done, we just weren't able to do it with the same amount of energy as usual.  

We had a fun family night with C and V on Monday.  We did the same activity that we had done the week before--the classic Pew family pass the ball and say something nice about somebody else thing.  It was great.  I love them a lot.  Then we had a family night with R and L (V's parents).  We played Charades with the 10 commandments.  It was a blast.  They're a lot of fun.  

As far as new investigators go, we didn't find many.  We found a decent prospect, though.  M took us to visit a person she knows whose son is having problems.  We sat there listening to his poor wife and parents try to calm him down for a few minutes, then said a prayer and explained briefly about the priesthood and blessings for the sick.  The Spirit was strong, my hands felt hot afterwards.  So we told them we would like to keep teaching them about Christ and the strength they can receive through His Atonement and they accepted the invitation, but they day we put the appointment they ended up taking him to the doctor and we haven't been able to go over since.  Pray for his wife--her name is H.  

We've still been working with L, unfortunately he's had problems with his ex-wife and couldn't go to church on Sunday.  We've also kept working with A, C's dad, and he's progressing slowly, but he's progressing.  We had to drop L, C, and B this week--they kind of lost interest.  Someday.  

Sunday was district conference in M.  We rented a bus to take everyone, but the only investigators who made it were C, L, and A.  M made it also.  It was honestly one of the best stake/district conferences I have ever been in.  The District President gave an amazing talk about scripture study--sweet quote: "He who stops reading, stops believing. He who stops believing, stops acting. He who stops acting, stops feeling." He talked about Laman and Lemuel and how they had "stopped feeling" even though they had seen an angel and had a prophet for a dad and a future prophet for a brother.  Sister Wagner gave a powerful testimony about the Book of Mormon, and then President Wagner spoke and fit so many things in a half hour that I am still scratching my head about it.  He talked about faith, obedience, miracles, the Book of Mormon, missionary work, tithing, the word of wisdom, angels, the second coming, the sacrament, and the Atonement.  To try and resume it all would be pointless.  The things that made the biggest impression on me were these:

"Christ didn't do suffer generally--he did it individually.  He put himself in your place and lived your life, your pains, your temptations, your sins, so that he would understand you perfectly and so that he could know how to SAVE you.  But He won't do it if we don't show Him we want His help.  We have to be here every week, partaking of the sacrament to let Him save us."

His testimony at the end:
"I thank my Heavenly Father for the infinite patience He has with me.  I know Christ lives.  He has changed me.  He knows me perfectly, and I am coming to know him."

The humility and conviction in his voice when he said these words was something I will never forget.  I have always looked to President Wagner as someone out of this world--so good, so powerful, so wise--but what I felt when he spoke these words was just a small taste of what our Savior is like.  He is the perfect example of goodness, He has all power and all wisdom.  There are times when I feel like Lamoni's father "I will give away all my sins to know thee."  I am not there yet, but I know one day I will be.  He lives.  He is our Savior, our Master, our King.  And in a coming day, He will come again to this earth and reclaim all those who believe on His name.  We are his witnesses to prepare the world for that day.  

I love you all more than I can really express.  Have the best week of your lives.  Happy Valentines Day! 

Elder Pew

February 17th

Photos from the conference they had:

Getting ready to get their photo taken, getting organized!

Answering questions:
I´m not sick anymore.  The Valentines Day package hasn't got here yet.  But thanks Aunt Leslie and Uncle Brian for the Candy and the Monkey butt powder!  Also, thanks to all the ward members who sent cards/letters for Christmas.  I´ve sent emails about rooming at BYU but I haven't received any replies.  As soon as I find out anything I'll let you know--but it might just be easier to do it through the mom network.  Tell Tyler Romney hi.  

F (H's husband) is doing much better.  They went to the doctor and found out he had some nerve disease, so they gave him some pills and he's getting back to normal.  An absolute miracle, thanks to a Priesthood blessing and your prayers.  She seems a lot less stressed out and we've been able to teach them a couple times.  We invited them to church but they didn't come.  He's going to start working again this week so it might be a little harder to keep teaching them, but the seeds were planted at least. 

This week really was pretty nutsy.  On Tuesday we had district class in M in the morning, and we came back to C and worked for about 4 hours before having to go back to M to stay the night because we had mission conference Wednesday in Guadalajara.  They rented a tour bus to take the whole zone to the conference, and it left at 6:00 am from M.  The zone leaders were already in Guadalajara because of mission council the day before, so they put me in charge of the whole trip.  It worked out fine--we got there with plenty of time to spare and we didn't get lost.  I think I was the only one who didn't sleep the whole 4 hour trip because I was talking to the driver.  He was way cool--he's been working for this tour company for 23 years and has literally been to every cool place in Mexico that you could imagine.  Anyways, the conference was at the chapel by the temple in Guadalajara.  It felt like coming home.  I got to see a lot of old friends:  Elder Hernandez, Elder Diaz, Elder Monsalve, Elder Cervantes, Elder Ramirez, Elder Sanchez, Elder Duncan, Elder Jarvis, etc.  It seems like Elder R is doing a lot better--he wrote me a big long letter and gave it to me there explaining how much he's changed.  That made me really happy.  He might be my favorite convert of my whole mission, strangely enough.  The conference was amazing.  Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy was there, along with Elder Benjamin De Hoyos of the Seventy.  They both spoke about how the Lord is hastening His work and we need to rise to His expectations.  Elder Christensen talked about the role of the Holy Ghost in the work--He is the teacher, we're just here to invite him and help the investigators identify when they feel his influence.  Then, we are to explain to them how they can feel that way forever (by being baptized).  We all left very spiritually well-fed and excited to keep working.  

A few days before the conference, President Wagner had a conference in Mexico City with all the mission presidents in Mexico, presided by Dallin H. Oaks with Elder Christensen and Elder Daniel Johnson, the area president of Mexico.  They asked Elder Johnson why they're not baptizing as much in Mexico and he said it's because the missionaries don't have faith.  So President Wagner's been really emphasizing that.  He had us all study faith one morning and put a goal for when we will be baptizing every week.  We're going to try for April.  He's really trying to change the way we do missionary work.  It's been amazing to see all the changes the mission has gone through since I've got here.  It's been a 180 degree change!  If we can really fulfill this goal, we'll see miracles!  It's becoming more and more apparent that the second coming is near, and that we need to prepare the world now.  What a blessing, what a great time to be a missionary.  

The rest of our investigators are kind of in standby.  C and V just need to get married, but it's taking a while.  L is ready to be baptized but since R needs to go to church 2 more times first before he can be baptized, she is waiting for him.  But they're doing great and we've taught them almost all the lessons now.  M is also in the process of getting divorced so that she can get married and it's also going very slowly but surely.  We really need to focus on finding more people to teach.  Pray for us to be able to do so!  

Thanks for everything!  I hope you're feeling better, Zane!  I want you all to know that I know this Church is true.  Christ is at its head, and the Book of Mormon is they word of God.  Joseph Smith saw our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He was a prophet.  They live and love each one of us.  We are so privileged to know these things, and I will thank my Father until the day I meet Him again for giving me the family I have been given.  Have a fantastic week!

Elder Pew