So this week has been different. A lot different. Remember how last week I met my first Latino who didn’t believe in God? Well, this week I met a LOT more. We’re not teaching any more of them, just that one guy. I don’t know what’s going on… It seems that less and less people believe in God now, or better said, more and more people have decided to stop believing in God. And there are always the bratty youth who like to say that “Satan rules!” and such, but they’re young, and they’ll learn. But it’s just hit me recently that what my role is as a missionary is changing, and rapidly. When I started my mission, my job was to help people build on the faith that they already had, to help clarify some erroneous notions and things of that nature. Now, my job is to try and help people find faith. It’s really depressing to see all of these people who have had hard experiences in life abandon God and turn away from the very thing that can help them overcome and leave behind whatever guilt, trauma, pain, hatred, heartache that they have. They just don’t get it. And we try and try and try to explain it to these people, but Satan has them so wrapped up in their own problems that they’re not willing to listen. One man didn’t even allow us to say a prayer for him. Hopefully, God has led us to these people to show me better what it is I need to do, where I should be focused, as well as give them an opportunity to come back to Him.
But at the same time, there are rays of sunshine that break through the mists of darkness–we’ve had multiple occasions where we were in the right place at the right time, and everything fell into place to help these children of our Heavenly Father get back on track. I’ve done a lot of thinking recently (a dangerous past-time, I know), and it’s dawned on me how God must feel about what is going on with His kids. And how Jesus Christ must cringe when He sees someone falter and cede to temptation. How much love They have for each one of us. How incredibly happy They must be when we make a right choice, no matter how small it is. I know with all my heart that every time someone makes a covenant with God, every time someone truly repents, every single time someone, anyone listens to the still, small voice of the Spirit, the heavens rejoice. I know it. And I know it because I’ve felt it. I’ve seen it in the lives of these people here in El Monte. I’ve seen how the Gospel can help anyone overcome every problem, every obstacle, every temptation. And I’ve seen how a lack of Gospel principles, especially in the home, always leads to heartache. Every single time. Not once does it fail. Not one time!
Pray always, that ye may come of conqueror; yea, that ye may conquer Satan, that ye may free yourselves from the hands of those servants who do uphold his work (Doctrine and Covenants 10:5, roughly translated from Spanish). Satan is not lazy. But you always have power over him. Always. You always have the choice to obey God or Satan. There is no middle ground. Perhaps there once was, but all that is done away now. The end is coming. These are the last days. Don’t you dare wait another day. Do what you know you need to do, and do it now. I love you dearly, as do your Heavenly Father and your Savior. I love you so much, and I want to see you all in the Celestial Kingdom. Do what it takes to get there. There are no excuses.