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Thursday, November 1, 2012
10.29.12 -- Nogales
A common street in my area. You can see other pictures later. Patience is a virtue.
I`ll talk to the missionaries when I get home. I`m looking forward to that--I want to see how the work is in the States, and see if I can adjust to teaching in English. Although I`ll have to start looking for a job when I get home too, so I don`t know what`ll be happening. But just remember this: we force NO ONE to live the gospel. No one can live on borrowed light and never will. The only person that was able to vicariously save anyone else (ALONE) was Jesus Christ. WE may be able to do vicarious work for others in the temple, but that is ONLY thanks to the Atonement.
I`ll be looking forward to Skyler´s talk. That´s so cool that he´s going on a mission. THAT. IS. AWESOME.
We´ll keep working all this week. I´ve never stopped working and I have no intention of doing it now. Even if we´re losing two days in the week because of concilio--we leave tomorrow to go to Hermosillo and get back on Wednesday. I´ll be going through the Hermosillo temple for the last time tomorrow night. And on Wednesday I have to present something on how to help people repent in concilio . . . that´ll be interesting. Especially since I had to prepare a talk again last week for Church.
We were able to see E. Barker and E. Martinez baptize a small family this Sunday. The Spirit was strong and we were able to take two investigator families to the service. They loved it. And yes, we were able to find another family this week--just the Dad is a member, and he travels a lot. He got to Nogales and told us to come teach his family. Yet another family I`ll be leaving. That kind of hurts, but at least I`ve got practice.
We visited an old woman this week. She´s been a member for 50 years, but can´t get to Church by herself, she needs help. But when we got there, her whole face just lit up. She´s shorter, wrinkled, and, well, very "mature," but I`m pretty sure some of the Lord´s purest and most precious souls are contained in the smallest and most wizened vessels.
We taught a Christian man this week about the Book of Mormon. His family are members, but he´s not, and really did NOT want to accept the Book of Mormon, he just wanted to continue reading the Old and New Testaments (which are important and great, by the way). "A Bible, a Bible . . ." We tried as hard as we could to keep it peaceful, and we did, but in the end, as all people have to do when confronted with someone that doesn´t want to listen, we testified. E. Hurtado bore his testimony. The already present Spirit increased. I testified. I read to him 2 Nephi 33: 10-11.
10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also aJew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and bbelieve in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shallcbelieve in Christ ye will believe in these dwords, for they are theewords of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they fteach all men that they should do good.
11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with apower and great bglory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.
I testified of the Book of Mormon too him, and told him that these were the words of Christ. As I did so, I remembered an experience I had nearly a year and a half ago.
I was with E. Cancino, I had a few weeks into the mission, and we were teaching a very intelligent older man, with his wife present but not really participating. They were richer than usual, a normal thing for Satélite. I could hardly understand a thing, I was phsyically, mentally, and spritually spent and I hardly understood a thing that they were saying. But I got the gist of it. E. Cancino was defending the Book of Mormon and the man was declining it. The discussion grew more heated and I was . . . hurt . . . to see that he wouldn´t even accept the Book. I slowly raised my hand in the air. They stopped and looked at me. An American that harldy spoke Spanish wanting to teach something to an educated man. I opened my recently received Book of Mormon and read him the same passage of scripture in halting Spanish. I then looked at him straight in the eyes and told him that without that Book, I would have no witness of Christ and no witness of the existence of God, and that without that Book, I was really worth nothing as a missionary. The man just sat there staring at me with his lips parted and his eyes astonished. E. Cancino had the same look on his face. I hung my head and they began to speak again. A few minutes later, someone, I don´t remember who, said the closing prayer, and we left.
I wanted him to accept the truth. I cried that night as I prayed and wondered "Why will ye die?" (Helaman 7:17). I received the answer: agency. All have it. And no one that truly understands and follows the Gospel can manipulate it.
Later in this past week, we taught a less active woman. She was having a few problems and we taught of faith in the Lord and His divine Plan. E. Hurtado and I both testified and she looked at us, saying, "I find it so amazing that I can look you both in the eyes and I can tell that neither of you have any doubt about this."
I know that all this is true. All of it, for me, is thanks to the Book of Mormon. Testimony is not conversion, but I have the first, even if it´s not the strongest, and I`m striving to do all I can to receive the second.
I know that all of this is true. I know that a mission is the best thing that any youth can ever do. It is all worth it. I don`t know exactly what´s going to happen when I get home, but I have no intention to stop working this last week. And I don´t want to be depressed after arriving home either--deep discouragement ends spiritual growth, and is one of Satan´s most effective tools. But neither will I be completely happy, or the mission will not have meant that much to me. Everyone has to find a balance. I hope I can find mine. But like E. Holland says, this has meant everything to me. And I hope I´ll always be able to say that.
I never have been nor will be a perfect missionary, but I`ve done all I can up to this point, this last week. And that´s all the Lord asks--your best.