June 11, 2011
Its great to hear everything that´s going on at home and its great to hear about what everyone is doing. Glad to hear about Alex´s heroics in soccer. I think its way cool that you had the opportunity to play goalie. And its cool that you were involved in the penalty kicks. I´m gonna have to say, I don´t like being goalie. I´m kind of afraid of the ball. Sounds like everything is still busy, which is always a good thing.
Before I go into the craziness of the week Im gonna talk about the less spiritual things, I like finishing spiritual. First things first, Good News. I am winning the elevator game 35 - 20. Basically I am creaming Elder Noriega. Don´t worry, Im humble about it. Other good news. We get along great. Other interesting news. Ollanta won the national elections for Perú. I know that means almost nothing to you, but its interesting. We also forgot to pay our light bill so we were without lights for a day. Pretty cool huh? And finally I learned a Liter of Chocolate Milk and 100 grams of Peanuts is not a good dinner. Neither is over-eating anticucho.
Now onto the spiritual.
This week has been really busy for us. We have been taking things to different parts of the mission that missionaries needed, and we have been trying to do everything that we can to get out and teach in our sector. Its been really great because we have focused on planning and preparing to go and teach, we just haven´t had hardly any time. In our mission President Tyler has focused on the process of faith that both missionaries and investigators have to go through in this life the baptize and to retain members of the church. It consists of five steps that we have to pass through. I have seen this process this week in my mission.
1. The hope. We have had a lot of hope this last week. Part of this hope was praying and setting a goal of 2 baptisms this month in a sector where we currently have 1 investigator and there hasn´t been a baptism in 7 or 8 months. (Speaking of the office elders, not the ward) We have the hope that we can have success here and still be effective in the office. Elder Noriega has a great attitude and we have focused a lot this week.
2. The hope brings faith. Faith is believing in things which are hoped for and not seen. This means we have to believe in the miracles we have yet to see. We know it is possible to see these miracles.
3. We must act. Faith without works is dead. We know this line of scripture that comes from James. But what does it really mean? Does it mean that I have to show my faith that I find someone to teach by knocking on 2 doors? 5 doors? 10 doors? I would say that none of these are the answer. I believe that the action is a never ending process. It means that I am doing everything in my power to make the miracle happen. I very much agree with a statement I once heard, and Im not even sure where. To be successful we have to work as if everything depends in us and have faith in the Lord as if everything depended in him. Because both are true. This scripture in James 2:17-18 tells us that. We must show our faith through our works. We must give it our all, and at the same time get on our knees and pour out our souls to Him who created all things. This is something that has happened for us this week. We have worked hard. Working quickly, but we were almost never able to leave and work in our sector. So what did we have to do? Elder Noriega and I made a goal to talk to everyone we could. We talked to ever taxi driver and Elder Noriega took it to heart and talked to everyone: The lady who cut our hair... The lady who bound some small books for us... the security guards in the building... Everybody. He is a great example for me. You think that´s tough? Having to do everything in your power? It´s tiring yes, however next is the hardest part.
4. The trial of the faith. We have seen these. From taxi drivers who don´t really want to talk to us, to never being able to leave because we were super busy, to getting a little sick. The trials come. Dad sent me a video with parts of talks from Henry B. Eyring and Jeffrey R. Holland. Jeffrey R. Holland talked about this. Its not always going to be easy. If dad still has that video, its definitely worth watching for everybody. Missionaries and non-missionaries (and future missionaries) :). We it gets tough for Henry B. Eyring he gives himself this rallying cry.. "Remember Him!" Jesus Christ suffered all for us. Jeffrey R. Holland talks about Salvation never being easy. It wasn´t easy for Jesus Christ so we should even begin to think that it would be easy for us to do the work. We may have to suffer a little bit. It hasn´t been easy for us. However we can always "Remember Him" our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. The last part is the greatest part. Its the part we love to see.
5. The miracle. When our faith and our prayers are answered. We have had miracles. One example. Today, we went in two taxis. Both taxis were men who lived inside our sector. That had never happened even once before. But this time we ran into two men that lived in the same small area of Lima. One of them wasn´t very interested (Elder Bate had actually taught him in his taxi about 2 weeks before), the other gave us his phone number. The other example came in an interesting way. If I haven´t said it before, Ill say it now. President Tyler is an incredible man. He may have noticed we were a little stressed or overworked or he may have been guided by the spirit, but today for P_Day he took us to lunch and bowling. I´ll explain how this was a blessing. 4 stressed Elders were able to forget about the mountains of things we need to do. We were able to relax and have a good time. President is always like that. He notices how we are doing all the time.
That was my process of the faith this week. We will have to keep going with it, but I know we can have success, I have seen a little of that success this week and I am certain I will see more next week.... Hopefully things can slow down a little bit too. :) I haven´t had time to even write in my journal or study much. But thats what our planning is for. We continue praying and working. I hope the work is still moving along there, and that Trevor isn´t going to ruin the dating world. (Yes buddy, I did realized you are 16 now. The world had better watch out. jk) Just remember that respect is the most important in dating and that you don´t need to spend a ton of money. (And if dad pays for gas, it is possible for free) I love you all,