Friday, October 19, 2012

"I am also learning so much about how to be a better missionary."

Drogas means "Drugs"

Hola Familia, ¿Cómo les va? (How are you doing?)

Sounds like everything is going well on your end! Except for the sports... I guess I wore my Texas Longhorn shorts to sleep on Friday night in vain. Oh well. Haha but glad to hear everyone is still doing well!

As for my end here in beautiful Cali Colombia, it had been a bit of a tough week, but great at the same time. A few of our progressing investigators have hit the stand still "not married" category. We call them "convivientes," it's really tough because almost all of them have families and moving out just isn't an option. And a lot of the people in my area just don't have the money to get married. We try to help them build their faith to the point where they will do anything to make a covenant with God, but a lot of them are just so new with the concept of the Gospel, that it is tough for them to have that foundation of faith needed to put all the trust in the Lord. 

It is also difficult with some of them because we aren't teaching the whole family, and their wife/husband isn't on board with the idea of commitment to marriage. It's really sad to see all of these women whose dream is to get married, but the esposo just refuses to make the commitment. So that is something we are dealing with, with about 6 or 7 investigators. Also it seems that people never mean what they say. I can never tell when people are lying to me or not. Luckily my companion has a 6th sense for that kind of thing. The people here are so friendly but also a little flakey. They will rarely tell you that they are not interested, they would rather tell you to come by at a certain time that they know they will not be there. It is something I am learning how to manage haha.

I'll give you some updates on 2 of our solid investigators...

Jesus Moreno- He is the typical golden investigator, he loves to learn about the Gospel and has a deep desire for baptism. We had one of the most powerful lessons of my mission teaching him The Plan of Salvation. I wish you could have seen him take the message of the Atonement. It was like something clicked that made him want baptism more than anything. But as always there are some issues, he is not married and we just started teaching his esposa. She is very Catholic and takes some of the doctrine a little tough. However, they have a daughter who is interested as well and hopefully we can set a date with her this upcoming week.

Maria Eva- The baptismal date with her fell because of marriage issues as well, she still shows real desire and she even came to the ward activity we had today. She was a little disheartened when we told her about the Law of Chastity. She just doesn't see anyway that she can get married, but we will find a way! The Lord always will provide a way if we show enough faith!

We also had a few miracles happen this week! We were looking for our new investigators found in the Desenbarcos and we were having absolutely zero success, it was during the Colombia vs. Paraguay fútbol game (when there is a national futbol game on, it's like the Super Bowl) and everyone said that they were busy or weren't interested anymore. It was a little depressing for Elder Matos and I, it was definitely "one of those days." 

That was until we came across one lady who we found in her home who said that her son told her not to read the Book of Mormon because it was false, and a bunch of other things that he had heard. So we asked her if we coud talk with him and she obliged. Somehow, we found him in his home too and started talking with him about what he had heard. He had heard that we worship Joseph Smith and believe him to be our Savior, and a bunch of other false things about the church. We then taught him the truth about what we believe and he completely changed, he said that he had been looking for a church that has "real" doctrine and doesn't waver with their morals. He is way interested and we can't wait to teach him the restoration. This was a miracle for me.

There was also another small miracle that we had during a FHE at a members home. We decided that the spiritual message should be on the importance of the scriptures, and we put some of our favorite scriptures in a bag for the people to choose and read aloud and tell how that scripture could apply to them. It just so happened that a little kid of about 10 years picked Nephi 11:17, that says even though I dont know the meaning of all things, I know that God loves His children. He started to cry thinking that it was a miracle that he picked that scripture. And then the only person in the house who wasn't a member picked Alma 5:45-46, that tells how Alma came to know the truth of all things by the spirit of revelation. We got a new investigator out of that miracle. And I just happened to pick Mosiah 2:17, when we are in the service of our fellow beings we are in the service of our God. That night was such a tender mercy for me.

These past couple weeks have been so up and down it's crazy. There are some days I feel on top of the world and some days where it seems nothing is going right. But I am also learning so much about how to be a better missionary. It seems to me that whenever I think I got this down, the Lord humbles me with more weaknesses. I am grateful because I know He is just going to help me make them strong!

¡Que tengan una buena semana llena de éxito!
(Have a great week full of success!)

Elder Eliason

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