Monday, February 20, 2012

Miracles Continue, Grateful to Serve

Buenas tardes!                Feb 20 2012   SORRY, NO PICTURES THIS WEEK!

Well this week was full of its ups and downs. We have really been trying to do our best to go and just work as hard as we can, but I have been able to learn a lot about agency this week.
            The weather here definitely made things a lot more difficult. We had everything from rain, hail, and snow this week. We would go into a lesson with it being sunny and dry, and we would come out to it snowing or raining. It was difficult to stay prepared for the weather. We just kept pushing along and trying to do our best. I learned once again that it doesn't matter how much snow Cedar City gets every year, the people here just don't understand how to drive in it.  J
            This week we were able to find a really good family. On Monday morning we received a call from one of the Bishops here in one of the English wards and he said that there was a family that had just moved here from California and that they had agreed to meet with the missionaries. We didn't waste anytime in trying to contact them! We contacted them Monday evening.  They are super nice and let us right in. We were able to teach them the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and they really caught on to it and wanted to learn more. We set up an appointment for Wednesday. On returning to visit Manuel and Raquel, we just picked up right where we left off. We taught about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. They were so willing to read and pray for themselves. I feel that this family really is a tender mercy of the Lord. We invited Manuel to be baptized on the 17th of March and he accepted! They just keep progressing in such great lengths in only one week. We found them, taught them 3 lessons, invited them to be baptized, and they came to a branch party all in one week! The Lord truly is merciful to us and provides people for us to teach.
            Besides finding Manuel and Raquel, this week has been pretty frustrating. I said before that I learned a lot about agency this week, and it is through our investigators that I learned this. We have some investigators that are so ready to be baptized, but because of circumstances outside our power they can't be baptized. Some of the things are things that they can deal with or some of the things are because of their spouses. I have been doing a lot of soul searching this week to understand how I can be a better missionary or how I can better help my investigators. I have learned a lot about myself, but mostly on how we can't force anyone to act. Everything comes down to whether they want to do something or not. It is really frustrating to see someone you love so much to do something that you know they shouldn't, or see someone be so ready for baptism and can't get there. I don't think I have ever fasted or prayed so much in one week before this one. This next week we can either have 4 baptisms or 0. So we are looking forward to seeing what blessings and miracles God has in store for us.
            I can say that during my mission I have felt some of the craziest feelings here. I have never cried, prayed, or cared so much about others. I have never been more frustrated or stressed then I have on my mission. But all these things have come because I am really starting to understand how important these things are to everyone and I am seeing these people I teach as God would see them. They are each children of God and they have the same opportunity and need to receive the true gospel here on the earth. Happiness comes from the gospel. In Mosiah 2:41 it talks about the "blessed and happy state of those who keep the commandments". It doesn't say that we will be unhappy or angry, but we will be happy and blessed through our obedience to living the commandments and to follow Jesus Christ. I am sorry that I went off on that tangent, but it was something that I just needed to get off my chest, and I felt that I could do that through this email.
            We had a lot of meetings this week. We had the two district meetings as usual, but this week President Leonard was there. We had interviews with him, and I continue to gain respect for him each time I am around him. We also attended a Stake Conference for the Cedar Stake this week. The talks were all about the importance of the temple. It was really good and helped me to understand once again why we are doing missionary work and temple work. We had another meeting with President Leonard, but it was also with all the Stake Presidents and Bishops and anyone else who had a calling to deal with missionary work. It was something really good to hear from President Leonard and to gain the support of all the stake leaders. I was also able to meet President Powell. Mom, you had mentioned an Elder Powell serving in Kennewick, and that his father was a Stake President here in Cedar. Well I met him and we had a pretty good talk about how my parents had met his son and things like that. He is a really good guy and he appreciates and knows there are good members and people taking care of his son up there in Washington.
            Well I am grateful for all the support once again! I love each and everyone of you! I know that this work is so important, and I am very grateful to be able to serve my mission and to learn and grow. But most of all I know that Jesus Christ really did suffer for us that we could be made clean from our sins. He paid the price for all of us, so that we could come unto him and to participate in the Gospel that he can to the world. No one is exempt for his suffering. He really is the Savior and Redeemer of the world!

Live it, Love it, Preach it!   les amo muchismo!   ELDER D

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