From the Parent of a Missionary
give the day by day breakdown building up to the great climax that is the fulfillment of God’s promises! Every single day in the mission is filled with some sort of surprise that helps us to keep moving forward.
Tuesday. We taught one of our investigators who is the cousin of the branch president. His name is Jorge (pronounced Horhay, the Spanish version of George), and he has been reading the Book of Mormon. The big mistake we made was to visit him without his cousin, and something tragic happened! As we were starting the lesson, I was giving a killer testimony of the Book of Mormon when suddenly his mom, Teresa, came into the room with a weird look on her face and sat down with a huff. She cut me off and start on a 10 minute rampage about how the Catholic Church was the true church and that it would be impossible for her son to change from the religion that he was born in. It was kind of funny. It was like she wanted us to leave but she wouldn’t let us leave because she just kept talking and talking and talking. We left them with a prayer, asking God to help them. Whaddya do? (Shout out to Davis!)
Wednesday. This was a tough day because we had no appointments planned and literally nothing was coming to mind in our planning. So we started contacting and walking around. We also found out that Evelyn finally talked to her parents about getting baptized, and rather than getting the reaction we wanted, her parents prohibited her from going to church and talking to us. I was feeling kind of down when we got to the house, but then the phone rang and it was Evelyn! She told us that she really did want to go to church but that she couldn’t. Hope is not lost! And God always seems to give me something to raise my spirits when I’m feeling down.
Thursday. I’ve learned that one of the toughest things as a missionary is to avoid being to hard on yourself (at least for me). I tend to take the decisions of others and the use of their agency as a mistake or lack of effort on my part, and I was feeling down yet again. But in the moment where I was feeling the most alone, and that even my companion wasn’t doing anything to help me, the Spirit touched me and the thought “God is on your side” came to mind. Bit by bit, I forced myself to smile and I regained my confidence. I’m learning more and more that happiness is a decision that depends on our faith in Christ, not on our circumstances. My new theme scripture: “Behold, God is my salvation; I will atrust, and not be afraid; for the Lord bJehovah is my cstrength and my dsong; he also has become my salvation.” 2 Nephi 2:22
It was a good scripture to find.
Friday. We had zone class and President Stay has given us a new rule: work only within 25 minutes of the chapel. Well, that cuts out about 90% of my area! WE have had to make the difficult decision to leave behind many investigators and entire villages that live far away and who have very little chance to go to church. But it’s the Lord’s way. God work in center of strength.
Saturday! We did divisions with our zone leader, and I went to nearby Chiquimula with Elder Cerrato from Honduras. They had a mango tree in their house, and when we woke up in the morning, there were around 20 mangoes on the ground! We climbed up into the tree and got 2 baskets full of fresh mangoes. There is nothing better than eating a mango freshly picked from the tree! YEA; GUATEMALA!
The climax: Sunday! The new counselor in the mission presidency, Elder Sparks (who coincidentally in the grandpa of my lacrosse teammate, Alec Burbidge) came to visit our branch for the first time. We have been telling people all week that we needed them to come, and we even got Los Olivos, my favorite village, the contract a bus and come to church again. With the 30 people from the village, we reached our goal of having 80 people in church. It was a beautiful sight to see our little branch house with all of its seats filled, with both members and investigators.
The work of God is moving forward. I know that he loves every one of us and I see his hand every day. My attitude is to be obedient, and then I know that God is bound to bless me. We found a lot of people to teach this week within our new 25 minute circle, and I will be sure to keep you all updated on our progress!