Well it is officially February!
I want to start off by sharing a miracle that happened yesterday!
Remember Juan from Mexico City? Well I had been trying to call him like 6 times, and he never answered. So I called yesterday, and he answered. I asked if he went to church and he said that yes, he had but that it wasn't what he was looking for and that he is going to begin his search again. He said he talked with the bishop and tried to explain why it wasn't for him, but his English is really broken and it didn't make a lot of sense. Well anyway, he started to drop me. I was really sad because I knew he was so prepared! I tried really hard to ask him if he prayed about it, etc. but he didn't want anything about it. So my last ditch effort was to ask if I could have a Sister who speaks Spanish call him. He said that would be okay, so I said bye. Well there is a Sister in my district from Panama, so I went over and talked to her and asked if I could transfer his contact to her and she said yes. Well she called him and worked her Panama magic. She came over to me and she said, so I just called Juan, and we were able to talk abut his concerns and now he wants to take his whole family to church on Sunday, and he wants to be baptized he is really excited!
I was so surprised! That was so great to see the hand of the Lord in His work, softening the hearts of those who are prepared to receive the Gospel and helping His servants to do His work. And I am super excited to see what happens.
So Tim, we were able to talk with him and he is doing great! We send him scripture texts daily, and he told us that he loves them. He said he goes back and reads them 4 or more times a day. He is still going to church and reading the scriptures. We invited him to read the next chapter, 1 Nephi 3, and he said yeah, I can do that, I am going to read 4 too. We were so excited!! Such a rockstar. He said that the missionaries there had asked him if he knew the Book of Mormon is true, and he said, well I haven't read the whole thing, how can I know? So we explained that he can pray each time he reads, to know if it is true, and to gain a testimony of it, and were able to testify of it's truth and that if Heavenly Father gives him an answer that what he has read is true, it all has to be true, or else Heavenly Father wouldn't mislead like that. It is the word of God and either it is all true, or none of it is true. Well when we explained that, it really made sense to him he really liked it. He said that he would start doing that each time now. But a little discouragement....So he is on Dialysis, and recently remember how I told you he got an infection? Well he's been receiving treatment for that, and he talked with the elders about baptism, and he can't be baptized in a font because of bacteria. It is too big of a risk of infection, imagine all the people who have gone in there. I definitely understand that. So he will probably wait until that treatment is over because he is so susceptible which means that his date for Feb. 22nd is going to be pushed back to April or May....which really increases the chances that I will be outbound. It made me really sad because I want to be able to talk to him the day of his baptism and see how it goes and everything, but I probably won't be able to do so. But hey, he still has that desire to be baptized so that is all that matters. And I want to talk to him about other option, like getting the font sterilized, I don't know how he wold go about with that, I am sure the church would love to do that. We will see.
I love the new Mission President and his wife. We feel so loved, they are so devoted. They had a new granddaughter born two days ago, but neither of them left until like 8 o'clock at night, because they didn't want us to miss our interviews! They are great. And they know us by name too, they have made a great effort in their calling.
So we had to teach Relief Society today! That was intimidating. So the whole mission attends relief society, even President and his wife! The relief society Presidency prayed to know who to ask and asked 2 companionships to teach Lesson 2 from the Joseph Fielding Smith manual, which is about Jesus Christ. So we taught one half of the lesson. Imagine teaching 200 sisters, plus the senior couple's (wives) and the mission President and his wife....at 7:45 in the morning...about Jesus Christ! I was just a little nervous. But it went really well. The other companionship that went first took a lot of the time, so we only had time to teach for like 5 minutes, which is fine, but it kind of stinks when you prepare a lesson plan and have to figure out what to cut out. But that is how Relief Society usually goes right? haha. But really, it went well, and I know the sisters were able to feel the Spirit and that is all that matters. For an activity, we put confetti in balloons and blew them up and had sisters come up and write a concern or struggle that they have. Well at the end after we taught and testified about Christ and His Atonement, we had them come back up and pop them. The confetti represented his blood, and how his blood overcomes the concern or struggle, and the concern/struggle (balloon) is swallowed up in the blood of Christ. It was great!
We've been taking all the tours we can (the square has been pretty dead) but haven't had too much success as far as them referring goes. It is successful as we are doing all we can and bearing testimony, but lately it's just been "um, not I am not interested in learning more." Like we took an old man this morning around who has been inactive all his life. He is not inactive for any particular reason, he just feels no need to go. He said he believes it, but that he lives a good honorable life, and that he doesn't think he needs to do anything else. He says he will be able to stand before the Savior and say I did all I could do. It made me so sad! Because we started testifying to him, and he just broke in and said I don't care, and laughed. It made it hard to finish the tour, but we tried really hard to bring the spirit, and I know he felt it. I hope he will see that his faith has to be acted upon. But I have not gotten discouraged because I know that I am doing all I can. That is one of the best feelings! Being able to account to Heavenly Father and say hey, you know, I did all I could do today, may thy will be done. And I am certainly not perfect, I can't always say I did all I could do, but I am working towards being able to say that each and every day when I account to the Lord at the end of the night. I am thankful for the help that I receive form Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. And during hard times, something I have learned to do that helps is picturing the Savior walking beside me, or when I am praying, picture him next to me praying. Because I know He is, and I am so thankful. And I know He too is with all of you, In your classes at school, sitting next to you, encouraging you to keep studying, keep trying. He is with you at work while you deal with frustrating or incompetent (haha) people. When you are at home, and you don't want to clean the house, he is there, encouraging you and praying for you. When you are having a hard day, He has His arms wrapped around you. I know He does, we just have to recognize it! He is always there.
Well that is my shpeel (how do you even spell that) for the week. I love this work. I love Temple Square. And I love Jesus Christ. That is why I am here.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!