Man what a let down! I come to the computer after a week all excited to find out how the family´s doing, and I have no emails from any of you!! Now I have to wait another week. I hope everything´s good at home, and that Mum and Dad are having fun on their cruise. Oh well... By the way I have letters written up that I´m sending out today.
I forgot to say! Last week during conference they had a set up so that the missionaries could watch it in English. At first they couldn´t get it to work, so I watched a bunch of the first talk by I think it was Elder Ballard in Spanish. It was cool cause he did his own translation so the talk in Spanish was in his voice. Eventually they figured it out and all the English speaking Elders watched it in English in another room. It was pretty sweet.
Well this week we had no one come to church unfortunately. All the people who committed didn´t show up. We´re fasting today for our fast this month since I guess here they do it the week after conference, and they way everything worked out with stuff yesterday we`re doing it today. I´m fasting so that we´ll be able to have investigators at church next week. It´s frustrating because when people don´t go to church, they don´t progress, and people need to have to go to Sacrament Meeting a minimum of 3 times to be baptized. Our goal is to baptize 2 people this month, and a few people have attendance to the church, so I´m praying that we´ll be able to accomplish it. We´re doing the best we can, soI feel like either the Lord will provide a way for us to reach our goal this month, or this will just be a growing experience. This week we had tons of appointments that just completely fell through. We walk all over to an appointment that we have, just to find that the people aren´t home. We waste a lot of time walking in between places. I feel like next month will be really successful though because we have a lot of investigators, and this week we´re gonna visit all of them and focus on them attending church this weekend. We´re making an effort to pray for all of our investigators individually and I´m working on having the faith and hope that we will have success, and that the Lord will help me in this work.
I´ve made huge strides in the language since I´ve been here. I still rely a ton on Elder Navarrete, but I can understand lots more. We speak English in the house so Elder Navarrete can learn, and we speak Spanish outside so I can. It´s cool because now sometimes I can explain things in Spanish to him that he doesn´t understand in English. I´m feeling more and more confident in the Lord´s ability to bless me everyday. It´s funny, because there are some words that are really similar in Spanish and English, but some words are false cognates. That´s when a word in one language is similar to a word in another but has a totally different meaning. For example, I kept trying to write above that the investigators need assistance to the church to be baptized, because the Spanish verb that we use, asistir, or the noun, asistencia, mean to attend or attendance. It´s pretty funny. Also, embarazada, which sounds like embarrassed, means pregnant. It´s funny.
I think last week I wrote about how a lot of people here think that all churches are true because they help people draw nearer to God. It´s funny because every church thinks it´s the only true church, so if every church is true, they´re all wrong. Most people here are Catholic, although they aren´t active. When we do contacts, we sometimes talk about how through the power of God we can live together as families after death, and the people say, "oh yeah I believe in that too." Yesterday Elder Navarrete responded and said, but the Catholic church doesn´t believe that, and the person was surprised because she didn´t know. I think all churches are great if they help people draw nearer to God too, but there is only one complete truth, and we have it. It´s a shame how sometimes people are so passive about religion. If there is a life after death, wouldn´t it kind of be number one on your priority list to make sure you´re ready for it? Oh well. I know that we´re here to find the people that are ready for our message, and that the Lord will lead us to them.
This week we saw a miracle when we were doing contacts. In one house we found a lady who was just staying there temoporarily because she didn´t have a home. She started talking to us outside and started crying. Her husband cheated on her before, and someone that she lived with afterwards apparently beat her and tried to kill her, so she left. Apparently she tried to kill herself a few days before we found her. We found out she was baptized into our church years ago. We taught her that she was a daughter of God and that He loves her. Although I don´t know if we´ll see her again, I feel like Heavenly Father placed us in her path so that we could comfort her. What a miracle.
I´ve come to love the scriptures so much on my mission. Everytime I start reading them, even in Spanish, I feel a peace come over me. I´ve also had to rely so much on the Lord in this work. We can´t do anything without Him. He´s not just a helper in missionarywork, He´s the key. I have to make sure I always realize that it´s not me doing converting or teaching, it´s the Spirit.
Another miracle is when we went to an old investigator´s house that I hadn´t taught yet. Only the wife was there, and apparently she normally had nothing to do with the missionaries when they came. We taught her about the love of God, and I got to see the Spirit work through me as I told her how God knows her name and how Jesus Christ suffered her pains and afflictions individually. Apparently it really touched her. I´m trying to stop thinking about what to say and listen more to what the Spirit says, like it says to do in Preach My Gospel. Sometimes I really feel like one of the "weak things of the Earth" that it talks about in the scriptures, but I know with the the Lord I´ll be "the means of the confounding of the wise." I´ve been blessed so much already and I can´t wait to see the hand of the Lord even more in this work.
I know the church is true and that this is the Lord´s work. The Book of Mormon is a true record that helps us draw nearer to God. Through the prophet Joseph Smith, the Church of Jesus Christ along with the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ were restored to the earth. We have prophets on the earth today that guide us, and if we do everything we can to follow them, we will find happiness. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and suffered and died for us. He lives today, and will come again.
Lots of love!!