From the Parent of a Missionary
I want everyone to take a moment and think about the title of this hymn, which is now one of my favorites and one that President Monson constantly quotes. If we testify to be Christians and say that we believe in Christ, but they don´t go and with charity in our hearts and serve people, WE¨RE NOT REALLY CHRISTIAN. So what good have you done today? I have learned that it is as we serve and lift others that God lifts us up and makes us happier and joyful.
I´ll have to tell you a bit about what made me happy this week.
First of all, I love my companion! Elder Carvalho and I are partying it up, and I was happy to learn this morning that I am going to be with him for another 6 weeks! Another 6 weeks of faith, laughter, quoting random movies and songs, and working as hard as we can to help others to come unto Christ. He´s done a good job of keep up with my rigorous trainer´s pace, and will continue to do so. It´s going to break my heart when we have to get separated!
I´ll tell the story of the Quel family. (yah, that´s an awesome last name.) This is a family that we worked hard to reactivate and who came to the church for the first time 3 weeks ago. We had never met the husband, who was in an alcoholic institution recovering from a serious addiction to drinking, and had been there for 9 months. We were anxiously awaiting his return, who was supposed to come next week. But when we went to pick them up for church last Sunday, we found everyone with teary faces. We learned that Hermano Quel had passed away that morning from a sudden sickness. Instead of going to church, the family was forced to organized a funeral, and a family with 5 children was left without a father. We have been with them often this past week, visiting them and strengthening them, and to my complete joy they came to church with us this Sunday. We can even say that the death strengthened their family, because now they have the firm goal to go to the temple as a family and get sealed together forever! Perhaps our Heavenly Father recognized that Hno Quel was repenting and that his time to leave Earth was now, but this family has acted with immense faith and confided in Christ. I love it!
Another story has to do with our famous investigator, Raul. Raul has showed a lot of faith in our teaching by deleting all of his old music, leaving coffee, and changing a lot of his friends. But he has had a hard time taking the decision to get baptized. This week we decided to do a fast with him to see if God could answer him. We started it one night and set an appointment for the next evening to see what his answer was. We got there, and he said that he hadn´t really felt anything. Rather than losing my faith, I confided that the Lord has sent us there to answer him and we put on the 1st Vision video. During the video, we all felt the Spirit so strongly that Raul said, “Yah, now I can feel what you´re talking about.” In that moment we knelt down in powerful prayer, just the 3 of us, and asked God if he should get baptized. He almost broke down in the prayer, and it was SO OBVIOUS that he was getting answered. But still a little timid, he told us he was going to write down all of his doubts and tell us on Sunday his decision. The only problem was, he didn´t show up. We are currently waiting for an answer!
Another success story: The Quemé family. Hermano Quemé is a member who left the church some 4 years ago due to a rough divorce and lack of member support. We have been visiting him every Saturday since we got here, and he always gives us tamales. Every single Sunday, he has found some excuse not to go. But this time we called him early and essentially dragged him out of bed. I felt like the happiest Elder in the world as I walked him into the chapel and introduced him to the branch president, fulfilling Hermano Quemé´s desire to repent and go back to church. We were both happy men that day! His son, Ergil, is now in the process of getting the Aaronic Priesthood as well.
Another investigator, Kristina, is the niece of one of the members in the ward. We have been visiting her for a while but we finally organized a lesson in the Monzon´s house (the family she is related too.) After amazing testimonies from the members, she said one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard from an investigator, that basically left us all crying. After a hug from Hermana Monzon, Kristina said, “Honestly, that was the first time I had every really prayed.” If that was your first prayer, what will the next ones be like? She is currently on the path to get baptized next month.
We had several other success stories this week, but I don´t have all the time in the world! Sorry. We did have a record day in church with attendance from Satelite and we had an AWESOME Zion´s night, where we crammed 42 people into a tiny living room and learned about eternal families, did and egg race, and ate some delicious tamales. This little piece of Zion grows stronger every single day, and I continue to confide that there is more to come.
The church is true, people.
Elder Justin See