Monthly Archives: February 2013
I don’t really know what to write about this week, so I’ll tell you a story our investigator told us. We were talking to him about the Gospel, and I don’t know how we got on the topic, but he told us that his brother had died. His brother was the type of guy that everyone loved. He pretty much excelled in eveything he did. He died when he was pretty young, in his 30s I think. He joined the military of Guatemala just to please his dad, and he did super well. The government loved him and gave him all kinds of special privileges and rights and money and he essentially had his life made for him. But he quit after earning a title, because that’s what his dad had wanted–just one of his sons to earn a certain title in the Guatemalan military. He quit, and gave the title to his father, leaving behind all of the rights, privileges, and fame that he had earned. That’s honoring your father if I’ve ever seen it. On another occasion, he went to a 5 star restaurant (top of the line stuff here) and bought it out for an entire afternoon. He then went to the street market, and talked to dozens of destitute people, scraping by and even begging to survive, and told them to come to this 5-star place. He told them they could eat to their hearts desire, a fantastic meal that they never could have otherwise attained, and he personally waited on every single one of the people that showed up. He, himself alone, attended personally to every single one of these meek, poor souls. It reminded me of Christ when he came to the Americas and bade the people to come one by one to him, to know for themselves that he was their Redeemer and the Savior of all mankind. It was an incredible to hear of someone so Christlike here in these times.
Now, with all this hubbub about the Pope resigning and saying he wants to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (please, someone confirm that. We’ve heard it from our members, but we think it’s just a rumor at this point), and everyone saying that the Second Coming is gonna happen within the next 30-40 years, it comforts me to know that there are still genuinely good people like this man’s brother out there, LDS or not. I am of the opinion that the Second Coming won’t happen during my lifetime, rather that of my kids or grandkids. I’ve got no doctrine or any evidence to back it up except that I think the world has a long way to go, and there is SO MUCH hope left in the world for each and every one of us! That being said, I’ve still got to be ready for the Millenium at any moment. I can’t procrastinate the day of my repentance.
I invite everyone to live the Gospel more fully in their lives! Whatever aspect you may be lacking it, don’t give up! You can keep your head above water if you just keep enduring. That’s a promise!
I love you all very much, and am already excited about General Conference!!!
With the advent of the 10th transfer cycle of my mission, I receive a new companion, my old zone leader in El Monte, Elder Garcia, and say goodbye to Elder Crossley, who I will probably never see again until after the mission…
I should have pictures coming soon… We’ll be heading to the temple sometime soon, because we realized that there they will feel the Spirit stronger than anywhere else they’ve been in there lives, and it’ll help them a lot to progress. Elder Garcia has already done it a lot in his last area, so he knows the ropes and how to make it a magnificent experience.
This week’s miracle: we found out that 2 of our investigator families are related! And one goes to church every week (except one, they got lost), and now a door is opened for the other family to come to church and feel the Spirit! And that’s what people need most nowadays: the Spirit. And they need it badly. There’s a stark lack of it in the world today. But that’s why we’re here and nearly 70,000 strong (or thereabout) helping people out, one family at a time.
Love you all, and happy President’s Day!
As the historic 5-week transfer draws to a close, I reflect on the happenings of my mission and begin to realize how far I’ve come. I can see changes beginning in me, permanent changes that I know, even now, will change my life forever. Old things have passed away, and all things have become new. It’s interesting to note that I often find myself at the same point as my investigators. As I talk with them and listen to them, observe them and pray with them, I see parts of myself from an outside perspective, parts that I never even knew existed. I see the world more for what it is than what I perceive it to be. The scales that have covered my eyes are beginning to fall away.
Stake Conference was this week, and an elder fo the 70 came and spoke to us. He spoke about the gathering of the house of Israel, and about its importance as missionary work. Jut this morning, I read in 3 Nephi, chapters 16 and 17, and read the words of the Father (through His Son) speak to me about the very same topic, and how the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to gather the lost sheep, and in His infinite mercy, has allowed me, a gentile, not only to participate, but to partake of those same promised blessings through the covenant made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. How blessed are we!
Take a moment this week and remember the ways that God has manifest His mercy to you, and read the Book of Mormon. I promise that if you do so in faith, that you will receive of His Spirit and will know that the Book of Mormon is true. Ask and ye shall receive.
Sorry about last week!! I didn’t have the library card info (missionaries just share library card info instead of actually getting their own) and so I was short on time. But last week and this week were awesome! We met loads of new people and learned the simple lesson that if you work hard and smart, you see results. Because even if you work super hard for something that has no value, or you just work hard for the sake of working hard, you become exhausted and you hate what you’re doing. Hence, negative spiral vortex of doom. on the other side of the coin, if you work smart without working hard, you also lack results. You might not be quite as exhausted, you might not hate what you’re doing, but in the end you’re wasting your time because you still miss out on the blessings.
There’s a principle my mission president has taught us, that (as it applies to missionary work) 1+1 should equal 3. There is me and my companion, and if we’re doing what we’re supposed to, then the Holy Ghost makes 3. But we have to be going in the same direction, unified, to be able to have the Holy Ghost be our third wheel on the Gospel tricycle. And you better believe he’s the front wheel, guiding us. We’ve found so many new investigators, half of them in the same apartment complex, the zone is picking up and baptizing, and the land that was once thought cursed had a baptism this week, another on Valentine’s Day, and another the following Sunday. I’ve been learning a lot, and I think changing a lot, too. I’m definitely not the same person I was when I left good ol’ Minnesota. It’s stinking great!
We visited the stake center yesterday to practice our special musical number for stake conference, which is the chapel of my last area. As we sang, people from my old wards walked by the windows and it was a delightful surprise to see how many people I remembered and missed even though I was there for so short a time. Ali and Billy G. are now married and he’s on the High Council, Hno. Rodriguez is in the Young Mens Presidency, Hno. Carvajal is still weird and funny and remembers me… It was comforting.
Things are going well out here. The only downside is that it hit me the other day how old I am in the mission. Sister Thayne, who came in with me, is leaving in 3 transfers, and January went by soooo fast! Oh, and I gave myself a haircut and it’s not super great. I guess that’s bad, too, but I’ll live hahaha! I hope everything is going equally well for y’all wherever you’re at and you’re having fun and keeping the commandments!