June 18, 2011
Glad to hear that everything is going so well and that Megan has accomplished the great accomplishment of surviving High School!! Yay!!! The Canada/Idaho experience sounds pretty awesome as well. It´s always way cool to have the family around and to be able to visit. Youth Conference sounds like its going to be awesome. To me Youth Conferences when you are within driving distance of Palmyra and the other parts of church history sound really fun to me. I think it would be sweet to get to go to one of those. I think from my view point the best part of the week was your temple session. I´ll be honest, I wish I had gone to the temple a lot more before the mission and I plan on going more after the mission. (I plan to do a lot of things after the mission, we´ll just have to see how that works out. :) ) I also would like to officially wish mom and dad another HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! And while I´m at it, I should just wish everyone a happy birthday now, Merry Christmas, Happy Easter, Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Toss Up Candy Day. (Just in case you don´t remember, I made that last one up in like 2nd grade. Now that I think about it sounds like a pretty lame holiday to me.) I do this now, because I am bound to forget about it later... Oh ya, and Happy Father´s Day Dad!
This week in Peru has been pretty cool, temperature-wise, but I still haven´t found a use for a jacket or those thermal garments I bought before my mission. This week we went all over Lima again, and I had the opportunity to go the Area office and do a bunch of legal paperwork again. We are working really hard right now and we are seeing the blessings. Remember the 2 out of 4 taxi drivers being from Lince? By Monday it was 4 out of 6, and one of them said that he would come to church tomorrow. Its pretty exciting for us. Monday we also had a great lesson from Elder Wilson and Elder Zapata, the zone leaders. They talked about demonstrating love and charity for the people we serve and teach. It´s something that I feel like I still lack and so I like to learn a lot on how to improve it. Elder Zapata and Elder Wilson both teach with the spirit and its great to hear the lessons they have for us.
This week wasn´t loaded with opportunities to go and knock doors because we were so busy, but Elder Noriega continues to be an example for me with his desire to teach everyone he comes in contact with. Because of him, we have been able to teach small lessons to tons of taxi drivers throughout the city of Lima and to help a few converts in their testimonies.
The best experiences of the week though, happened today. The scripture of the week and the spiritual experience of the week. And both on P-Day. :)
1. I got to read the scriptures a little bit more today than I had been able to in the past. I read about the sons of Helaman in Alma 53 and it was great. The best part about it for me were the two verses that I call, "The way all young men should try to become!" It says that these young men were exceedingly valiant for courage and strength and activity. They were also true in all times in whatsoever thing they were intrusted. They were men of Truth and soberness. I like this a lot. They were valiant, they were strong and of good courage and the part that stuck out to me... They were true in all times in whatsoever thing they were intrusted. I imagine Moroni asking them to do important things or Helaman or the leaders of the people of Nephi and having total trust that they would get it done. I want to be that way. I want people to be able to have that confidence in me. We all know the rest of the story, when they talk about how their mothers taught them and things like that. I also liked when I read verses 13 to 15 where the fathers of these young men were going to break their oaths to never again kill someone. They showed their love for the people of Nephi by being willing to break this oath to help protect their liberties. (I´d imagine that they taught the importance of their liberties to their sons) These verses also show the love of the Helaman for them. He didn´t want them risking falling into sin again for the protection of the people. It doesn´t say that they definitely would have fallen again into sin, but it was a risk that Helaman didn´t want to take. He cared more for their eternal salvation than for even his own life. I found this important. We need to lose ourselves for the salvation of others.
2. The spiritual experience that we had today was awesome. We met Marco. Marco is actually one of the investigators that the sister missionaries in the ward are teaching. He had met them in the street and had given them false information because he wasn´t really interested. Then he read a little of the Book of Mormon and felt really bad about his dishonesty. He wound up calling the office because the office number is on the back of the cards, and asked us to help him get in contact with the sisters. We did. Then tonight we went to help the sisters with a baptism, and he was there before the baptism to talk to the sisters. They asked us to sit with him while they went to look for the baptismal clothes because he decided to say and see the baptism. We took the opportunity to teach him a little. He was very repentant, and he has had a pretty hard life recently, and the spirit was really really really strong. It was an awesome opportunity for us. We talked about God´s love for him, and that through faith in Jesus Christ he can receive the help he needs. We shared with him the promises that come through prayer and repentance. We can all get better. To see this mans humility was astounding. He went from not wanting to hear much about what the sisters were going to say, to wanting to listen and hoping that our church could help him come closer to Christ. I learned from his humility more than I think he learned from me. And the spirit definitely taught all present more than any of us could have done. It was an awesome evening.
I know that this church is true. I know that through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, men like Marco and like me can be forgiven of all of our sins and receive the peace and warmth of his love. I love this gospel. It´s days like today that remind me why I am serving as a missionary. I love you all, and I hope the best for you all in the upcoming week. Remember that God loves you, Jesus does too, and they both showed that amazing love for us. (John 3:16-17, John 15:13) The gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. I have learned the truth of the words of Ammon in Alma 26:12-13 and 26-30 when he says "I know that I am nothing." And then in 27 says "when our hearts were depressed...the lord comforted us." I have seen both happen. As for myself, I am nothing. I am weak. I am not the best teacher and do not know the scriptures perfectly, however when filled with the spirit I can speak the will and mind of the Lord (D&C 68:4). And as a representative of Jesus Christ, when moved by the spirit, I can promise blessings in His name, and can bless in His name, and can teach and testify in His name. I love the gospel and love my Lord, my Savior and my Redeemer. I bear witness of Him daily. It is one of the greatest blessings to have and I cherish this time I have to do it. Its a short limited time. I wouldn´t trade these two years for the world.
I love you all,