From the Parent of a Missionary
I just want to start by saying that the Church is true and that God answers prayers. I know that without a doubt because he answered my prayers in several different ways this week. I’ll have to share a couple.
I may have mentioned in previous emails that I have been feeling frustrated because we have very few (if any) people progressing towards baptism and that this is a really tough area. I have been praying to God to help me have success and help those people progress towards baptism. But I think I learned a big missionary secret! God blesses us for going the extra mile, not just for doing what we are already doing. I was watching the missionary training videos, called the District 2, which tells the story of some missionaries who were trying everything and weren´t getting baptisms while other missionaries all around them were having all sorts of success. I wasn’t until they fasted, put all their trust in God, and did everything they possibly could to find someone to teach, that an investigator was touched and began to progress. I related so well to that story, and I knew that God was telling me, “I´m waiting for you to take the extra step and be extraordinary.” I´m been trying, but not my hardest, and God knows that I can do better. This week I’ve really tried to go the extra mile, and I saw how much success we can really have.
We found several new families to teach this week, which was one of my favorite parts! We are now teaching Elson and his wife, Ingrid. Elson is a teacher and very educated, and his is reading the Book of Mormon and is very curious. He’s been a little hard to find, but he’s moving forward. And one night, when he wasn’t there, we knocked the door of his next door neighbor, Antonio, who we are now teaching as well! We also found an old investigator family, the Diaz family, who had gone to church a couple of times in the past. Most of the family isn’t interested, but one son, Jorge, stole his mom’s Book of Mormon and is reading it. His mom told us that he wants to get baptized and that she is fine with it. We’re going to teach him tonight to see how it goes!
We started to rescue some less active families as well. One brother, Hermano Chinchilla, suddenly decided to come to church and is showing a very strong testimony and willingness to keep all the commandments. I respect him for his willingness to follow the Gospel. And he wants to go do visits with us! Another less active, the Samayoa family, is a family that we recently found and haven’t been to church in 18 years. We taught them the message of the restoration and it was a really nostalgic experience for them… they were saying things like, “Oh yah! I remember now!” It was a great lesson. Now we just need to drag them to church.
My two favorite advances this week was that the entire Ortiz family, including Rolando (nonmember), Silvia (less active), and their two daughters all came to church! On Saturday we had an extremely spiritual lesson with them where we were all crying and they all asked for blessings from us. The next day, we woke up at 4:30 to be able to walk all the way to their village (about 30 minutes away) and wake them up at 6:30. They were a bit surprised but happy to see us, and they all came to church!
Juan and Vilma are also starting to investigate again. Juan returned from a 3 week trip to see his parents and brought his VERY old parents home with him. It’s kind of funny because they are very evangelical and always sing during our prayers and stuff, but they all came to church for some reason. It was a great blessing.
The branch is doing great as well. We had an awesome branch council and really good attendance this week, and we are starting to give assignments to all of the members to make them work for our goal of a chapel. Everyone is getting excited and the work of the Lord is moving forward bit by bit. I’ve also realized how much the people love us here, because when the members found out that it was possible that we had changes they threw us a farewell party just in case. And all of the members were telling us that they wanted us to stay, that we were so special and that they needed us.
And no, we didn’t have changes. I’m here for six more weeks!
I love the mission, and I love this people. I will work until my very last second here!