January 22, 2016Hello!!!!
Wow.... It's been a while since I updated you all on everything! Things have just been crazy busy here... but crazy good!
My companion is Hermana Llaguarima! She is just amazing! We have seen some really cool things happen in this area together.
We learned some pretty cool lessons this week. Firstly, we watched a worldwide missionary broadcast entitled "teach repentance and baptize converts." I LOVED it. The point was that we need to teach repentance better and that repentance is critical. It was a good reminder because sometimes we teach like: HAVE FAITH (repent) and BE BAPTIZED!!!! And we don't really focus on the fact that repentance is essential before baptism and that repentance is a complete change of heart. It also made me think about my own repentance habits. Repentance is more than confessing our sins to our Heavenly Father. We have to change our behavior and our heart too.
We also learned that the Lord's will is what really counts. A lot of times when I think of taking the Lord's will into consideration, I think of those moments when I want to find people to teach or I want someone to get baptized, and it doesn't happen either because of the agency of other people or because it wasn't the Lord's will. But this week I learned that this works the other way too. My comp and I had decided to drop an investigator that didn't seem to be progressing. WE decided that it wasn't his time. But then this investigator sought us out this week and told us about some of the changes he's made in his life and how he is going to start coming to church every week. We were so humbled as we realized that we neglected to even pray about the decision to stop teaching him. Who were WE to decide that he wasn't going to progress without even consulting the Lord? With this story in mind I extend to you the invitation to invite people to hear the gospel and to pray about who is ready. I see SO many people who tell us that none of their friends will want to listen, and then we contact their friends and they accept us. It's not about what we think. The Lord is preparing EVERYONE.
Hermana Llaguarima and I set up an activity for the sisters where we focused on the positive things in our areas and in our companions. There is a lot of power in recognizing the positive and ignoring the negative. To prepare for this activity, Hermana L. and I looked for the good things in our ward and in our area. We really are blessed to be in a strong ward that wants to work. We decided that our ward was the "Salt Lake" of the stake and this zone and that we are blessed to work here. And it's not because this ward is perfect. I can tell you that it is nothing like good old Mountain Vistas (oh how I love our home ward). But with a positive perspective and by focusing on the blessings we have, we have become so happy and excited to work here. So whatever your challenge is now, ignore all the negative things and see only the positives. The same with people. In the mission, you don't want to be the comp who always criticizes, and it's not effective to do so. Miracles start to happen when you complement your companion. When you tell your comp that you love how they contact, they want to contact more. When you tell them how great they taught a part of a lesson, they have more confidence. The same thing applies at home, I'm sure (:
I hope you know that I have a testimony of this church and of this work. I was reading in Preach my Gospel and a certain part really stuck out to me. It said that the purpose of a missionary isn't to just baptize to have more members in the church or even to help people live better lives, but to help people to make it to the celestial kingdom. No one else can give that to people but us. No other religion, no other self help program... this gospel is the ONLY way. Wow... how that makes me want to talk to everyone. Missionary work is love. I feel so grateful to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord in this great work. This church is true. The Book of Mormon is true. I see it change lives in fast motion here in the field as people begin to read it for the first time.
Well... we have to head out and save some souls (: I love you all so much! I hope you have a great week!