Oct 5, 2015
So this was a really fun week! I love general conference! It’s like the Super Bowl for missionaries. If any of you are wondering, my favorite talk was by a member of the Seventy, Larry R Lawrence. He did a fantastic job and gave us great advice. I suggest we all do what he said. Go watch his talk if you can’t remember it.
This week was arguably the best week of my mission for one very specific reason: Cretencio was baptized! We baptized his wife last week. In other words, we have two brand new members with their eyes set on getting sealed in the temple. And, when they make it, I will be able to go and see!
Everything I do is for that very purpose. That families can be together forever. I have spent hours, HOURS, praying for an opportunity to help a family with their first step to eternal life. I actually entered the mission field with this goal: seal a family in the temple.
This brings up an interesting perspective about goals and the Lord.
I have almost 15 months on the mission, meaning I will not be able to attend their sealing as a missionary, since they have to wait one year to go to the temple. That was my original goal as a missionary – to attend a temple sealing of a family. I fasted countless times, prayed even more times, and contacted every couple in the street I saw to make that possible. 15 months of NOTHING! Then, from the moment I stepped into San Andres, the Lord has been blessing us continuously. We never truly know the will of God, even when we set righteous goals. We always have to remember a few things. First: the decision isn’t ours. We can’t force anyone to accept the gospel. It doesn’t work.
Second: GOD IS PLEASED BY OUR EFFORTS. Let me repeat that. GOD IS PLEASED BY OUR EFFORTS. If you listened carefully, they said it like 10 times in General Conference.
I was putting in so much effort and prayer and fasting and a little more prayer and more fasting to find a family to get sealed. And I figured I was bad or disobedient because “God wasn’t blessing me” with a family. So I tried harder, and got a little better. I loved the people more. Taught with more scriptures, bore more testimony, served my companions more, got up earlier. And I didn’t find a family. But, one thing I didn’t realized was that GOD WAS SUPER HAPPY WITH WHAT I WAS DOING! He was blessing me a ton!! How? I was becoming a way better missionary! Once I finally learned this lesson I’m trying to explain right now, I got transferred to San Andres. And I found this family within 3 days of being here. But even if I hadn’t found this beautiful family, I had finally learned my lesson. God worries just as much about his instruments as he does about his work. I didn’t fail my goal when I didn’t find them in a year. The goal got completed this last friday. Most importantly, I didn’t fail because I was putting in effort and I was learning, and thereby I was fulfilling my purpose of creation.
So to those of you who have set righteous goals and aren’t yet completing them, have more patience. That doesn’t mean you sit back and do nothing. Patience is working your bum off, but accepting the results in their due time. The Lord wants to bless you. But let him bless you in the way you need to be blessed. This lesson I learned is extremely important. His will is that you are successful and happy, yes, but that’s exactly why he’s not giving you what you want. Take the opportunity to learn and love and enjoy. Sometimes those blessings we desire don’t even come until after this life. Be grateful and obedient and keep trying. I love you all. So does the Lord.
Oct 12, 2015
No time to write. New comp. Named elder de leon from guatemala. Um…. lots of new investigators and miracles. Fun stuff. pics next week. I’m happy and all is well.
Oct 19, 2015
I’m sorry to tell you all again that I really have no time. My comp and I decided that taking advantage of the blessings of our area is way better than writing so you all may get letters that are much longer in like a month. We went and saw a waterfall today called El Salto de Eyipantla which is filmed in some movie called Apocalypse with Mel Gibson? Anyway, the waterfall looks really cool. Also we are teaching a family of 8. They’re all excited. So are we. Not all went to church this week, just the grandparents, but they’re all awesome.
My convert family went to the temple this week to do baptisms for the dead!! They came back super excited. They brought their Doctrine and Covenants and their hymn books and some special books about Joseph Smith. I love them. My comp is pretty cool. He is from Guatemala.
Oct 26, 2015
So….nothing huge happened this week. We are working hard. The big family of 8 is progressing well. This girl named karime is 16 years old and is a member of that family. She was progressing really fast but i felt uncomfortable about baptizing her without her family. I prayed. Felt it was okay. Her reason for getting baptized was “I want to get baptized right now to put and example for my family so they all get baptized, then we can get sealed in the temple and live together forever.” We didn’t even really teach her that…. it was really cool. Really awesome baptismal service. My branch president scolded me really badly in front of the ward counsel for forgetting to put away the wet clothes after the baptism…. I learned a lot of humility and I am excited to say I just accepted it and I didn’t say a word. I just nodded, even though it was our mission leader’s duty to put the clothes away. The ward council jumped to my defense, though. I’ll never forget the baptismal clothes ever ever again.
We are having tons of fun. Hurricane didn’t even touch us. All is well.
Nov. 2, 2015
Short email. We went to this ancient olmec resort tour thing. Super cool. Pictures next week. I pulled out a bunch of money because I broke Elder Webbs camera. Same model as mine. So I gave him mine. And bought a new one. Sorry if that’s too much money.
2 more people got baptized this week!! Its been quite a ride here in San Andres. I kinda never want to leave.