Hey-o. Welcome to m' mission blog. If you're interested in keeping in touch with me via mail, check out my address(es) on the right side of the page. If you're too lazy to do that, go ahead and read the posts below.Hoo-rah!
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
We had to go with E. Flores to Telcel (the Mexican phone company that the mission uses) to get a new phone chip because his got stolen by a cholo. We got stuck waiting there for a few hours.
And sorry for the lack of pictures. My memory card is getting a little full, so I need to start making backup CDs for more room on my memory card.
On Friday, I had my last normal interview with Pte. Velez. I can`t describe everything, but we finished with me asking him what the most important thing that a missionary can take home. He told me that he could not choose for me--everything depends on the missionary. His personal opinion was letting oneself be led by the Spirit. He opened up PMG to the part that speaks of "A Successful Missionary," and asked me which was most important to me. I had never thought of that before. Without thinking, unconsciously, really, I reached out and pointed at the second--"Amo a las personas y deseo su salvación," or, "I love the people and desire their salvation." I had never thought about it before. But to me, that has become the most important one. He said the closing prayer, we got up, and I told him I loved him. He laughed and said, "Oh yeah? Well I love you more." That guy is great.
At the bus stop after the interviews, a drunk guy came up to us and started talking. That always happens in Mexico, but he suddenly pulled out a Book of Mormon and started saying that he loves reading it. He was apparently an active member in Mexicali years ago, and told us, "El presidente de estaca allá es mi homeboy!" or, "The stake president is . . ." He kept talking and we invited him to Church. He said yes, and walked away. E. Mooney and I just sat there laughing. We don`t want people to drink, but happy drunks are AWESOME.
We were in Church and a woman had been assigned to talk about missionary work. She has a son who`s the right age to go on a mission. She started telling him from the pulpit to go on a mission. She plead with him from the stand. I just dropped my head and thought, "This is so dumb--our investigators are going to think that we force people into going on missions. They cannot do this . . . gahh." We have agency. Inviting, not obligating, is the way the gospel should work.
We continued to priesthood class. The same young man was there and the teacher kept implying that he should go on a mission. Forcefully. I got a little bothered again, but we continued. Suddenly, the door opened and the drunk we had invited to Church in the street walked in with a clean white shirt (not a dress shirt, but is was clean nonetheless) and pants. E. Mooney and I just sat there staring at him. He looked at us and smiled. He no longer smelled like alcohol, even if he still had a giant bushy mustache. He even participated in the class, raising his hand and giving good comments. We were amazed. After the class, we went up to him and he told us, "I`m going back to Mexicali tomorrow. Thanks for inviting me," and walked off again. Cool.
I went over to the young man that everyone had been pressuring into going on a mission after the class. I asked him if he was the guy. He said yes. I asked him, "You know you SHOULD go on a mission, right?" He nodded. "But you still aren`t sure?" He began to explain why he wasn`t sure. I listened to him and then told him, "Look, you already know you should, and I strongly, strongly reccomend that you go on one. If you do so, you will be blessed more than you can ever imagine, no matter what you leave." He acknowledged that, and kept listening. I then told him, "You can go, you should go, but you cannot let anyone obligate you into going. If you leave, you have to do it because you love the Lord and want to please Him--if you leave with any other motive, there`s a chance that a mission will do nothing for you or even make you bitter towards the Church. This is between you and God. You represent Him and Jesus Christ. No one else." I pulled out my triple and opened up to D&C 121:34-45. We read together there in the hall.
"34 Behold, there are many acalled, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?35 Because their ahearts are set so much upon the things of this bworld, and caspire to the dhonors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—
36 That the arights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be bcontrolled nor handled only upon the cprinciples of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to acover our bsins, or to gratify our cpride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or ddominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens ewithdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to akick against the pricks, to bpersecute the saints, and to cfight against God.
39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the anature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a littlebauthority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise cunrighteous dominion.
43 aReproving betimes with bsharpness, when cmoved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of dlove toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of adeath.
45 Let thy abowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let bvirtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy cconfidence wax strong in the dpresence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the edews from heaven."
He sat there staring at the scripture. I told him again, "Please go on a mission. Please go. You have no idea how much it will bless you. But go because you love the Lord. If someone forces you to go, you will receive blessings anyway, but at least have a small part of the right motives."
I believe all young men should go on a mission, and some realize the true reason that they are there when they`re already there, but I`ve seen the damage that unfocused and uncaring missionaries can do to the Church and the people. You have to go because you love God, even if that desire isn`t completely recognized yet.
This is all my personal opinion, not doctrine. But obligation has never been and never will be part of the doctrine of Christ. I at least know that.
We sat there in the hall talking a bit more. I went to shake his hand and was surprised when he gave me a hug. I really hope he prays like I asked him to.