From the Parent of a Missionary
I learned a great lesson from the Lord this week about faith. I had never known that I was capable of doing so much in one week, but as the Lord works miracles through our faith, we are able to do much more than we can do by ourselves. It really is incredible!
I want to say sorry first of all because I wasn`t able to write on Monday. The internet here in the chapel wasn`t working and we couldn`t do it until today. But whatevs!
Last week was easily one of the best weeks in my entire mission. I felt more joy, happiness, and peace than ever before. The Lord completely changed my attitude about missionary work!
We did an awesome party on Monday — there were a bunch of missionaries who had birthdays this month, so my companion and I planned a party for the zone! We got a bunch of costumes from an investigator and all dressed up and ate cake. It was a great start for the week, and all of the missionaries left a little happier.
One of the weird things as a zone leader is having sister missionaries to work with. We can´t do divisions and they´re really dramatic sometimes… women. 😦 A couple of sister missionaries were struggling in a place called Ciudad Quetzal, so we went to go to their appointments with them and get them working some more. It was fun to just kind of sit back and watch them do things, and then give suggestions on how to do it better. Those sisters, Hermana Tiemann and Hermana Gurule, have had a complete turnaround and are working hard together. I´m amazed by their faith!
A couple of experiences with President Stay changed my attitude this week. Every Monday we have to call the president and give a report about the work we did in our zone. This past week I did the phone call for the first time ever, and I had to report some really low numbers for our area. The president basically told me that that was unacceptable and that we could do better. That really inspired me to work harder.
I also had my first ever mission council this week, which essentially consists of a meeting in our president´s house with all the zone leaders, sister training leaders, and assistants to the president. President Stay and the assistants shared some amazing stories and helped us as zone leaders to see the importance of our example for the other missionaries around us. He gave a new phrase “cumplir o morir”, which basically means “Do it or die!” with our goals. From that day on, my companion and I decided together that we had the faith to baptize 10 people this month, and that we could fulfill all of our goals for contacts and lessons with a member. Then, we got to work. We started to organize divisions with the members and we started running all over the place in our area, and despite huge time suckers that we have as zone leaders (meetings, divisions, etc.) we were able to fulfill all of our goals this week. Before, I would get to the house at night, see that I had had a mediocre day, and would feel okay and not be inspired to take the extra step. This past week, I got home every night feeling so happy because I knew that I had done what the Lord wanted me to do that day. The climax of the week was on Sunday morning when four of the five progressing families that we are teaching showed up to church, and we had a record numbers of investigators in sacrament meeting. Our branch broke its goal for attendance and we are now in plans to become a ward. My companion and I asked ourselves, “what did we do different this week?” and it simply was that we believed that the Lord could work through us. We prayed as if everything depended on him and worked as if everything depended on us. I love missionary work!
The families that we are teaching are progressing quickly as well. The Toc family is a miracle sent from heaven — they took home one of the Gospel Principle manuals from church and studied the law of chastity lesson all on their own. When we got there for the next appointment, they confessed that they weren´t married but wanted to receive the blessings from the law of chastity. We invited them to get married and baptized as a family on the 23rd, and they accepted! They all went to church, and Hermano Toc has stopped drinking in his work. As we said the closing prayer, Hermana Toc started to cry out of pure joy. We left very happy that day.
The Lara family is another miracle. They have gone from a family that didn´t want anything to do with religion to a family that wants to get married, baptized, and go to church with us. When I went to go pick them up on Sunday, they were waiting for us in their church clothes in the bus stop. So happy!
Many other families continue on their path to baptism. It has been one of the most happiest times in my life.
I want to testify to everyone that true happiness comes from helping other people. If you feel an emptiness in your life, let God fill it. Pray to him and ask for opportunities to serve others, and God will put people in your path. He can work through us, and there is no better feeling in the world.
Elder Justin See