Dec 21, 2015
I’m sorry I didn’t respond to many of you guys personally (Lindsey, Megan, Grandma and Grandpa Tim, and Grandma Jo and Grandpa). I have very little time.
We have this new, incredible investigator that has taught me one of the biggest lessons of “not judging others”. Her name is Rosa. My companion found her contacting (I was away on divisions). Her and her family are dedicated worshippers of the “Santa Muerte”. For those of you who are unfamiliar with those beliefs, its essentially devil worship (she explained to us her beliefs). Her house is filled with these creepy idols that look like the grim reaper.
I’m so grateful my comp contacted her. When we went back 2 days later for the first lesson, we almost didn’t enter. He was telling me about her on the way there and I thought to myself “we have so many things to do. This is just going to be a waste of time.” A thought came to me that basically suggested “The worth of every soul is great” (that’s a fantastic talk by Elder Christofferson, I highly recommend it). I complained a little in my brain, but sucked it up and we knocked on her door. We could see those idols peering at us through the front window. She opened the door, and received us into her house with unsettling kindness. We did exactly what we have been practicing for 17 and 20 months on the mission: we asked a few questions to get to know her and identify why she needs the gospel, then we declared why we were there, and then shared the Restoration according to her needs. She understood the lesson AMAZINGLY. Faster than anyone I’ve ever seen. We asked her questions frequently to verify her understanding, and she blew us away. Every time she answered a question, my faith grew a little more. Finally, we invited her to baptism with a specific date. She accepted with flying colors. We were stunned. We figured that the next lesson, after talking to her family, that it would be a no-go. We returned back for the second lesson. She read the first pamphlet and the Intro of the Book of Mormon. Given that this was her first time learning about God the Father and how to worship him, some of her comments were so innocent and simple, yet so perfect. For example: “Elders, I read that all our Heavenly Father wants to do is make us happy. That’s why he created the Gospel. And we just have to follow it. Is that really true?” Anyway, long story short, she is the best investigator I’ve ever met. On saturday, she said the closing prayer, which was the simplest, most fervent prayer I’ve heard in a long time. She said “Thank you lord so much for sending these elders to my home. This is what I need in my life, yet I didn’t know. Thank you for the Book of Mormon. Every night when I read and talk to you afterwards, even if I only read a sentence, I feel so good about myself and so loved. Help me to be baptized on the 2 of January. I love you too.” During the prayer, I didn’t look at my companion, but my jaw dropped. We left, and we both expressed thoughts that can be summarized as “Man this mission is so hard. But, 2 years of hardship is worth 1 moment like that.”
One of the many lessons of this story: don’t judge people. I will be eternally grateful to my companion for contacting her. Preach the gospel to everyone. There are no stereotypes. There are no “he will probably accept” or “she probably won’t”. We are all children of God. And we all have to remember that there are millions of people in this world that are lost only because they don’t know where to find the truth.
Attached below are two pictures. One is of my journal. I thought you may like to read how I felt in the very moment I heard my package had arrived. and the second, well, about an hour after writing in my journal when I finally got it.
Also, I wanted to share this quote from my mission President that he sent to us this week as a mission. I love what he says. You can translate it to english or something.
Queridos Élderes y Hermanas:
En estas fechas nos unimos al mundo para celebrar el nacimiento del Señor, las profecías y eventos que sucedieron relacionadas con este evento dan testimonio del tipo de ser que sería, su crecimiento y desarrollo fueron sorprendentes al verlo hablando con los doctores de la ley en el templo después de estar perdido de sus padres por tres días a lo cual las escrituras posteriormente enseñan el verdadero motivo de su nacimiento el cual fue venir a darse por sí mismo para vencer la muerte y el pecado originado por la caída de nuestros primeros padres.
La expiación pasó a ser el evento más importante en la historia, la cual dio pie a que cada uno de nosotros pudiéramos a través de Él tener las promesas de regresar nuevamente a la presencia de nuestro Padre Celestial.
Muchos de los principios que se desprenden de este acontecimiento como la FE EN EL SEÑOR JESUCRISTO, el ARREPENTIMIENTO, el AMOR, la MISERICORDIA, la PACIENCIA, la BONDAD etc…. Son los que Él espera que tengamos en estas fechas tan importantes pero más en especial que las vivamos todos nuestro días.
Usted ahora como misionero tiene la bendición de sentir y tener más fuertemente el Espíritu Santo; HABLE sin temor, TESTIFIQUE y ENSEÑE con poder y autoridad que todo esto es VERDAD.
Que el Señor les bendiga y que esta navidad pueda ser en la que más los atributos de Cristo afloren en usted. Dele saludos a su familia de nuestra parte—que tenga una bonita experiencia con ellos.
Pdte. Córdova y familia
December 28, 2015
So, I’m going to write the family email a little earlier, but we are going to come back a little later to send pictures after we go to this cool place called Plaza las Americas.
Last week, I didn’t share this really cool thing that happened. So there is this Elder who is in the zone named Elder Chamberlain, he’s a fantastic elder. He called me during the 3rd hour of our church to tell me about an investigator of his that was supposed to be baptized that day. He called to explain why he wasn’t going to be baptized. That was his only investigator. Anyway, while I was talking to him I thought “Man this missionary is working so hard. What are we going to do? When will he see the fruits of his labor?” In that very moment a son and his mother walked into the church. I saw them and could tell they weren’t members, and I told Elder Chamberlain I’d call him back. Long story short, Carlos, the 18 year old kid, wanted to be baptized. As simple as that. He lived in the area of Elder Chamberlain. His mom wasn’t so excited. She was methodist and asked about our core beliefs. I recited the first 4 articles of faith to her. She was impressed but wasn’t too interested. She also wanted her son baptized and wanted him to be a missionary because she was raised by an RM who adopted her. It was really cool. THEY SHOWED UP TO CHURCH BY THEMSELVES!!
It was just another testimony that God directs his work.
In other news. I got a little sick this week but I’m fine now. I bought a suit for 999 pesos. And 3 shirts too. Incredibly good deal considering the dollar is 18 pesos. I’m pumped.
Also I did what Elder Christofferson advised us all to do in the December 2015 conference. I invite you all to read it and do it. I felt the spirit really strong.
Love you all!
January 4, 2016
Oh wow, what a week.
First off, I have a new comp! his name is Elder Faerber. He’s from Brigham City Utah. He’s awesome and I’m really excited to work with him.
One thing I’ve been doing this week is going through the November Liahona (we just barely got it) and highlighting it like scripture. I’m just highlighting anything I didn’t know before and/or what I need to improve on and put in practice….
the whole magazine is yellow….
Hahaha, well okay, that may be a little dramatic but it has been a really great experience. Sometimes as missionaries we like to share stories about when we controlled the elements or someone just pops out of nowhere and says “I WANNA GET BAPTIZED!”, but to be honest the times that I have felt the spirit most is when I am studying, pondering, and teaching. When I study and ponder with a good question in mind and follow the way it says in Preach My Gospel, my mind is opened to a whole new world, and I am guided to check certain references, relate with other scriptures, etc and it is incredible. My favorite experiences are when we are teaching and we teach something I didn’t know before! Learning from what we say. Its incredible. I always jot it down in my agenda and take it home and study more. Especially when that is all fostered by a question made by an investigator. They ask us something. We don’t know, but we open our mouths in faith. As we do so, the appropriate scriptures come to my mind and the right questions to make them understand.
Those are the most spiritual experiences I’ve had. Here’s my new companion!! He’s the one next to me with the pink tie. On the other side is my beloved son, Elder Capps, and the other guy is the son of Elder Faerber.