Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I'm almost officially Mexican!

April 8, 2014

well here's President's letter, and then I'll tell you about a million other things haha

Well this past week has been amazing! Sister VanWie and I are really trying hard to be constantly evaluating our work, and we're constantly trying to focus on the things that are the most important. We've noticed that whatever key indicator we really focus on during the week is the one that tends to go really well, while others suffer a little more. Two weeks ago we were driven to find new investigators, and we found more than usual. However, no one was really progressing, and no one came to church. This week we really tried to focus on getting people to church. We had four investigators watch at least one session of General Conference this week, and all of my recent converts either watched sessions with a member or listened to it on the radio. That was a very gratifying experience. Which leads to the revelation I received this week.

A few days ago, I was trying to comply with my commitment that Elder Pinnock gave us at Zone Conference. I am behind in my PMG project, but I just decided to study Chapter 4 like he asked. I spent time going through the scriptures until on the first page I got to Matthew 7:7-8. This is the well known scripture that says "ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you". For some reason, this scripture hit me really hard. This scripture is a promise. Whatever it is that we seek, we will find, for good or for bad. Whatever we look for, we will find. Before, every time I thought about this scripture I thought about that picture with Jesus Christ knocking on the door without a handle. I just kind of thought, "Well if I can just seek hard enough, or in the right places, eventually I will find this door, and that's what this scripture is talking about." Well, that's probably true to. But to me this scripture changed from seeking something illusive to simply controlling what we are seeking. Like in the 4th missionary it talks about how we are constantly changing and we have the choice to either chose how we are changing or let the world change us. It's the same thing about what we seek. So this lead me to ponder about what is it that I am truly seeking? Satan's number one goal was glory and honor. He first tried to get it by being the Savior of the world, and when that didn't work, he sacrificed literally everything, including his body, and became the devil. He now has a type of glory I guess you could say. He is powerful, and I think more people know about the devil in today's world than they do about Jesus Christ. In a way, he has obtained that goal. Jesus Christ's goal was to bring glory to the Father. He also sacrificed literally everything, including his body, and became the Savior of the world and brought glory to the Father. The reason why this scripture is a promise is because what we want most is what we will sacrifice everything for in order to get it. So this week I've really been thinking about what it is I want most. I can confidently say that what I want most is to please my Father in Heaven. So, with whatever bumps and minor problems I face on the eternal scale, my ultimate prize will be to please Him, because I will sacrifice every thing to gain that. This is also why Alma 32 about we only need to "desire to believe" works. Because our desires are so powerful, that we will some how achieve them, whatever they are. If we desire to have faith, we will eventually have faith because we will sacrifice the necessary things in order to have faith. I don't know if this is making sense to you, but this was something the Spirit communicated to me in a way that made sense to me and was very powerful. So I am trying really hard to be conscious of my desires and pushing to achieve them. Including our key indicators. We're trying to find a way to improve them all simultaneously, but that's a challenge we haven't quite figured out yet.

Yup. So other cool things. Forgot to tell you about Stephanie I believe. So remember how we were searching for Mystery Man? And then we got like 4 new investigators? Well Stephanie was one of those. Our first time we just said a prayer with her and set a return appointment. That was for a Tuesday afternoon. Well we get there and she says "can you come back tomorrow, I just called into work??" So we left a quick message and then set a return appointment for the following day. So we teach her the Restoration and it was so. cool. Stephanie is about 22, she has blue hair and she has two kids. Beautiful is her daughter, Angle is her son. They are about 4 and 5. Anyways. She's so awesome. In the middle of the lesson she says "hey you want to know something funny?" and I said "well of course!" and she told us how the day before we showed up at her door, she had been praying and told God that she needed him and Jesus Christ in her life. And that the next day we came and told her we were representatives of Jesus Christ. She said right after we left that first time she called her boyfriend who is fairly religous and he just didn't know what to tell her. So that was awesome. So we testified we were an answer to that prayer and we continued with the lesson. When Sister VanWie finnished with the First Vission, I asked Stephanie how she felt, expecting a "oh good" generic response we usually get. Her eyes suddenly got wide and she put her hand over her heart and said "I don't know! It's weird!" So that also was super cool, that almost never happens. So we have a really good friendship with her. She always watches for us, and hopes that we come. We set a date for her for the 20th of April, the only hard thing is that she is usually out of town visiting her boyfriend on the weekends and she has to come to church twice before she is baptized. Well as we drove away from that experience, it was raining slightly. We drove to Lupe's for dinner and we saw the hugest, brightest, clearest, most completest rainbow I have ever seen. I can't even tell you the joy that filled my heart at that point, right after that lesson. I felt like Ammon, how he said that he couldn't express the extreme joy that filled his soul. That feeling has happened to me about five times on my mission. When Jimmy told us he knew the Book of Mormon was true. When Lupe got baptized. Maybe a few others. Not many. But that feeling of inexpressable joy is what it is all about.

So Rod. He's amazing. I love that man.  He came to General Conference and met Brother Dardenne and just had a really good deep talk afterwards. He's labeled himself as a "searcher". So he'll be baptized, straight up. Just the timing is the question. So great. I love him. 

Maria Garcia! She came to two sessions of General Conference! And took notes! It's only a matter of time! She's put a two month time frame up, but, it's going to be sooner. 

Also! I learned how to make homemade tortillas from Namoi's grandma yesterday! They were so good! She was so impressed with me, she thought for sure I already had learned once because I got the hang of it so fast. I felt bad because she kept saying how I was showing up Sister VanWie... that was awkward. But I felt great! Because now I'm almost officially Mexican! I'm tanning pretty fast (yay for missionary tan lines... watch... flats... my neck....), I speak Spanish, I make tortillas! The only thing left is spicy food, and I'll be straight up Mexican!

Also, random. Sister VanWie and I are close to the same height. But I noticed her shoulders and hips are significantly higher than mine. Which proves that I have a giraffe neck. so that's really awesome. 

So there you have it! Pretty great week. Pictures are coming... hang on.

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