From the Parent of a Missionary
I had a pretty action packed week once again! I think that tends to happen when you`re serving as a branch counselor in one of the smallest branches in all of Guatemala, working your hardest to serve the Lord.
This week we moved into phase two of our branch`s plan to get to 80! We have changed from working to strengthen the members to now give the members assignments of investigators and less actives. If the plan works like we want it too, the members will soon be doing most of the work and we will just be teaching, baptizing, and growing. I have a lot of faith in these members. Even though they are poor, full of gossip, and far away from center of the church, they really have the church in their hearts and a desire to serve him. It`s amazing how different the church is in different parts of the world. And I now realize that my home ward is pretty LAZY when it comes to missionary work! Get working people! You have no excuses!
A couple of cool experiences of working with the members this week: we have been teaching an investigator named Evelyn whose parents haven`t let her get baptized even though she has been going to the church for over a year. What we realized was that she was going to church mostly for her friends and because she wanted to be a little rebellious to her parents. We decided to help her get a true testimony before talking with her parents. We have been telling her for over two weeks to read the book of mormon and to pray about it, and we have been teaching her in her friend`s house, whose name is Astrid. With Astrid`s help and a bunch of reminders, Evelyn finally took the time to read the Book of Mormon and pray to God if it was true. She told us that before she even finished her prayer, she felt a peaceful, joyful feeling like she had never felt before. She went to bed happy and content, and then had a dream where she was going to church every week. She came to church yesterday and I asked her if she had got her answer, and she told me that she would tell me when we came that evening. She excitedly told us about her answer, and then we convinced her to talk to her parents and tell her about the answer. She is going to talk to them today, so we`ll see what they say!
Another cool experience. Juan and Vilma, the couple we are teaching, have been going back and forth on their decision to get baptized and married. They told us no on Thursday, yes on Friday, yes again on Saturday, no on Sunday morning, and then yes again on Sunday afternoon. But now its yes for sure! We brought the branch president to the lesson and he gave an amazing testimony, and I think they can really see the blessings of an eternal family. We are going to be working hard with them this week to plan their wedding for this Saturday, the 16th. It`s going to be fun!
This week we had some more trainings and meetings, which are seemingly endless in the mission field. But I realized two important things this week: I`ve been so focused on my own area that I haven`t been doing well as a district leader, and that I`ve been working my new companions so hard that I kind of forgot that they were new and most likely homesick and really stressed out. But now I have realized both of those things, and I found out that some of the sisters in my district really needed my help and that my companions really needed my help as well. The Lord has his ways of reminding us when we aren`t doing things like we should!
My poor companions are suffering a bit. I heard a story in the MTC about a missionary whose trainer was infamous in his mission for his work ethic, and this poor elder got worked to death. His trainer made him work on pday and skip the classes for new missionaries. At one point, his broke down crying in the shower because he felt so stressed. And now that I take a moment to think about it, i have been taking all of the juice out of my new companions. I found out that Elder Maldonado has a serious case of athlete`s foot and a bunch of blisters that he didn`t tell me about, and I`ve been making him walk really fast all over Ipala (because real missionaries walk FAST). And both of them confessed to me that they are homesick and stressed out. Whoops! But I always say, the best way to overcome homesickness is to love your family enough to completely dedicate yourself so that they can get more blessings. We`ll see how it works out.
Anything else? Oh yah, the time is going by extremely fast. I don`t know where the weeks go. I love this work. The church is true. If you haven`t received your own answer yet, ask God for one and he will tell you the true. I have a bunch of people who can tell you that it`s true.
With lots of love,