Thursday, September 10, 2015
We are bound together by the task that lies before us...
What a week!
Hard work, good planning, and diligence have been the story as of late. We had a lot of great successes this week and the area continues to progress. I'm grateful for the miracles we're seeing and the people that we're helping.
Some updates on investigators:
R is the 80 year old man from D.F. Mexico. He's been a round a while, so naturally he has quite a few interesting ideas. Some of them are rather twisted. But we've done well combating his little arguments and helping him to understand true doctrine. He says a lot of offensive things, but with a chisel and some polish, we might be able to round him out a little bit. He came to church on Sunday, but I could tell he didn't have a good experience. We were sitting toward the back of the pews and there was a kid that was RUNNING around the chapel and screaming. And all his mom did was look at him! There's no way Rene could have heard the testimonies or even have felt the spirit. I certainly couldn't. So yeah. We'll have some explaining to do tomorrow when we visit him. Hopefully we can get him to come again.
A has been incredibly busy lately with fixing up his house and getting a new job. But we did manage to meet with him last night,. We taught him the Word of Wisdom because I felt that it was right, and his concern came out. He said that he doesn't believe Joseph Smith was a prophet. So we testified of the restoration and the Book of Mormon and challenged him to read and pray. He said that that was what he needed to do, so we'll follow up in the future. He really needs the Gospel in his life. He says he feels peace every time we come, so we're trying to help him have peace all the time.
N is doing well. She's progressing in her own time. We couldn't meet with her last week, but she seems to be reading and praying on her own. I got to teach Gospel Principles on Sunday, so the lesson really helped resolve some of her concerns and build her testimony a little more. It sounds like she knows the church is true. We just have to get past her little doubts and concerns so that she can get in the water. Sooner or later she'll just start to feel the desire to be baptized. We just need to give her more spiritual experiences.
L is 18 and going to community college. The missionaries have been teaching him for a really long time. We're slowly chipping away at his doubts and concerns. He just really needs a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I read him the verse in 3rd Nephi that he had felt a lot of peace from the week earlier. He said he's expecting God to give him a sign to know if the Book of Mormon is true. I said to him "could that peace be a sign from God?" And he said "maybe." We invited him to be baptized again and he said he still wasn't sure. Honestly, it's all on him at this point. We've testified, gotten members involved, taken him on a church tour, and watched countless videos. He just needs to use his agency and seek an answer from the Lord. That's all he needs to do. Now we just have to be there to encourage and challenge.
We found this man a few weeks ago, but we were finally able to teach him on Saturday. Turns out he's golden! He's a 67 year old man from Puerto Rico who's married, but separated from his wife. I could tell that he was depressed and just down on life. So we taught the Restoration very clearly and promised a lot of blessings and he began to light up! We invited him to be baptized and he said "if that authority is really and it's what God wants then yes." So he has a baptismal date! He said at the end of the lesson that he was super happy that we came by to visit him. There's a man who recognizes us as servants of the Lord! I'll keep y'all updated on him.
Training is also going well. It's fun seeing Elder Flake progress as a missionary. He's getting better at Spanish and his teaching ability has improved a lot. And he seems to be having fun! Staying busy is the best thing we can do to have fun. The more lessons you teach, the better you feel. That's the key to being a happy missionary. Just stay busy and focused and the Lord will work miracles.
I'm really enjoying my mission right now. It's so incredibly difficult, but there's joy in every moment as long as I remember who I am and why I'm here. Life is hard, but I have to keep an eternal perspective on things and trust that the Lord will mold me into who He wants me to be. I trust that He will in due time. I have no doubt about it.
Thanks for all the prayers and support! Please continue to pray that we can be successful and happy here.
Elder Landon Carroll