Week 34: February! (3 February 2014)
Wow the Lord is blessing us so much! Every day I feel His love, and I am learning to really see His hand! I guess that is why it is so important to live worthy to have the Holy Ghost with us, because that is how our eyes are opened to see His hand! For example this week we have been looking up a lot of less actives on the ward roster and there were so many times when I felt like the Lord made it possible for us to find His sheep. A couple of the less actives we found actually said that that was the only time of the day they were at home, what a miracle that we were led to them at just the right time!
Also, this week we went to teach a family for the first time whose son recieved the first lesson last week when we were waiting for a member to accompany us that lives near him. We were teaching about the Restoration and I felt prompted to ask the son how he felt about Joseph Smith, which I was afraid to do because I didn´t want to put him on the spot, especially because his family didn’t seem that interested. But he responded, “Baca.” Haha which is not really what I expected (“baca” is just like exactly how we use the word awesome, you say it like baKAW, you will never find it in any Spanish-English dictionary because its pretty heathen) But wow! That is definitely the beginning of a testimony!
Also, a less active sister invited us to teach her husband because she told us she wants to get married in the temple! We taught him yesterday and I am really excited because he loves to read, he is super interested in the Book of Mormon. He wants to meet again on Tuesday! And she went to all three hours of church yesterday!
Three of the less actives we taught for the first time this week said something similar to, “It’s not that I don’t know it´s all true, I’m just going to return to full activity when I am really ready.” Which is exactly what Amulek teaches us about in Alma 34 when he told us not to delay our repentance… so I have been studying that and thinking a lot about how to teach that TODAY is the day to return to full activity. TODAY is our “day of decision” like that Billy Graham always talks about… (thank you Brother Millet for teaching me everything I know about protestant ministers…)
One of our investigators put his OWN baptismal date yesterday. Our church starts at 11 so we went over to remind him at 10:30 and right there we asked him how he feels about baptism. He said he wasn’t sure. We told him to think about it during the sacrament and then tell us what he wants to do afterward. After sacrament meeting he said, “I am going to get baptised the 20th of February.” Haha so that was awesome! The spirit does all the work, that is all I can say.
As I am learning to see and recognize the Lord’s love and His influence in my life and the lives of our investigators I am learning so much. More and more I am seeing that this life is NOT fair. The odds are totally stacked in our favor! Our Heavenly Father is doing everything possible to help us succeed, and I love helping my Peruvian brothers and sisters see that. I love learning to see it myself too.
Oh and great news…. people no longer ask me what part of the U.S. I am from…. I take that to mean my Spanish has gotten that good haha someone even assumed I am from Lima! I was very flattered. Probably because I have been with Limanian companions for 6 months.
Week 35: Beginning of a new transfer! (10 February 2014)
So first off this week I got a HUGE package from Sister Dirks filled with goodies and printed letters from Katie. I almost have her letters memorized I read each one of them at least three times all the way through. One of my favorite things she said was that on Christmas they went to see some donkeys and she said, “I quoted shrek to them hahaha they liked it.” Hahahahaha!! I keep quoting Katie to myself in my head because no one here speaks English haha.
This week our branch got discontinued and we got put with another branch. The priesthood leader who announced the change was crying while he did it and so were we, it was really sad and I didn’t expect it to be. But we are excited to be part of the other branch! President Rowley called us last night to tell us he needs me and sister R. to help keep things gelling here, help everyone adjust well and get to work. So yah.
I am really excited because one of our investigators went to the adult session and the Sunday session of district conference (we aren’t a stake) and he really enjoyed it, and when we were praying in our weekly planning session I felt like the chapel would be the key for his conversion, that it would be in the chapel that he would really feel that this church is true. We have a lesson with him tonight and I can’t wait to ask him how he feels!
I feel like Sister R. and I have a little bit of work to do to help our branch president understand that this change does not mean he failed or that he is not needed in our new branch. He was SO depressed all week, and Sister R. and I can help them feel excited to be an active part of our new branch.
I have to be honest, I really thought that our area was going to be closed and that both Sister R. and I would get transferred. But when we got the call from our zone leaders that no one was going anywhere I knew it was the Lord’s will, and so I began to pray, kind of asking why, what does the Lord want me to learn?
I felt the Lord’s love like a big hug and felt the Spirit whisper that the Lord has an important work for me to do in Talara. He needs me to become who He has in mind, and I find out who that is by following the promptings of the Spirit and further magnifying the talents and abilities He has given me! I am good at certain things, I need to use these gifts to bless others as much as I possibly can.
I have been studying a lot about commitments and how to help people keep them this week because it seems we are not excelling in that area because we have had a consistent 1 or 2 investigators at church this transfer, and that is never the goal. So I am getting to work on my inviting, promising blessings, and following up. This transfer will be different!
I am so sorry this message is so short and kind of boring but I am like totally out of time. I will write more next week! I love you guys!!
Week 36: Found a Baby Cat at the Beach Today! (17 February 2014)
So today we went to play soccer at the beach (and I made a goal with a headshot… classic) and we found a tiny kitten!! I attached an awesome picture of it with my thumb!
So this week we were teaching one of our chronic less actives, Hermana N., and I just talked really straightforward with her, basically like “Hermana, you are doing a lot of good things, but you are neglecting what God requires! It is a commandment to go to church every Sunday, He wants you there more than anything. And when you start doing what God really wants, you will start to see His choicest blessings in your life.” I’m normally not that direct but I just felt like she wasnt getting it. Afterwards I came away kind of like, “I dont know if that was the right approach…” But then she came to the branch activity! Sister R. and I were shocked!! But she didn’t come to church on Sunday. So we will keep trying, both Sister R. and I feel that if the Relief Society sisters go visit her WITHOUT us that will be the key.
One of our other less actives came to church though!! It was awesome!! And everyone just loved her up, it was a great Sunday to attend because everyone was introducing themselves.
I don’t know what else to say! This week I felt like I was walking on air because I know that not to far away from here Elder Cardon is working with me haha and that puts a big smile on my face… I was talking with Sister Johnson about it because her brother is in Lima and she was like, “Oh I hope you can talk to him and let him know it will all be ok!” and I said, “Yah, that it gets better…” and she said, “Don’t tell him that! Because it doesnt get better! WE get better!” It was awesome. So yah, Dallin. WE GET BETTER!
Our new branch is AWESOME but it is crazy too because now we have four sets of missionaries. there is not another branch in the whole mssion, not a WARD in the whole mission with this kind of horsepower. I am excited, the eitght of us are a great team and with our AWESOME branch council who knows?? Maybe its the next city of Enoch haha just 300 more less actives to activate and we are totally there!
Week 37: Good Week! (24 February 2014)
So we haven’t had running water for the past 10 days which has been haha um interesting. We left the faucet on the whole time and a bucket under it so that we would hear it when it came back or so that the bucket would collect the water that came when we were out. At like 6:10 this morning I heard it and there was much rejoicing between the two of us. We washed dishes, we flushed the toilet, we took showers! It was a great way to start the day!! We had some good ones though during the apartment-wide draught…. like that we were adopting catlike bathing techniques…
But yah other than that it was a great week! Yesterday I was just praying all morning that in Sacrament Meeting one of our investigators named J. would feel the spirit and recognize it and would want to get baptized. He’s been going to church for three weeks in a row now but whenever we talk about baptism he just says he’s not ready. He is so awesome though, we met him at the beach and miraculously he lived in our area. We started teaching him and he told us he used to like in a Catholic community but he left because he was so disturbed by the behavior of the youth there. So he started living with his Grandma. He has a really strong testimony of the power of prayer, he knows Heavenly Father is listening and aware of us. He just really wants to do what is right. I gave a talk in church about missionary work and I talked about how when I was younger I never felt really strongly about the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith, rather I just always saw the examples of my faithful LDS friends and I wanted to become like them so I chose to read the Book of Mormon every day and live the standards and from there I knew it was true. After the meeting there was such a light in his eyes and I just knew he felt it. So yah, tonight we are meeting with him, hopefully we can help him out!