What a great week I have to tell you about!
I just want to start by talking a little about how I am feeling right now at this point in my mission in Valle Grande. I love it here, I have been able to form such great bonds with the great members here! Their desire to work has inspired me since the day I got here. It's not everyday when the members beg the missionaries to give them someone to visit everyday, I believe that is why we have enjoyed so much success in this area as of late. When the members and the missionaries are on the same page, the work is transformed into what God wants it be. I also have created such great friendships with the people I have taught here. It's amazing to feel the amount of love that a missionary feels for his investigators when they come together through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I got to speak in Sacrament Meeting for the 2nd time in my mission yesterday! I was given the topic of the importance of member referrals. I was able to bear testimony to the ward of what I have learned about finding people to teach:
1) Obtain a desire to share, that comes through conversion to our message.2) Have faith that the Lord will put people in our path, that comes through diligence in looking for opportunities.3) Prayer, I have come to know in a real way the power of prayer in missionary work.4) ACT! Nothing happens in missionary work with just "good intentions."
I was grateful for the opportunity to help the members feel what their responsibility is as members of the Church. I also realized how much better my Spanish was this time around haha. Words come so much easier than they did that first talk in my first area!
Familia Bonilla Vongera: we found this family of 8(!) in an FHE with the family of the Bishop! They seemed golden so we visited them and tried to figure out what they needed. Something else I have learned is that teaching the restoration or any other lesson only means as much to an investigator as it applies to them specifically. We found that they would love the message of Eternal families. They were able to hear the testimonies of the ward as they got back from the temple and just fell in love with the idea of Eternal happiness as a family. The only problem is marriage, we are working on them getting married and then hopefully baptism will follow!
Lida Gomez: Lida is a miracle! Both of her parents are members, converts from years of being Catholic. She also has two kids who are converts as well, but Lida had never wanted anything to do with the Church. One night we were in the Gomez home and she appeared, once we realized she wasn't a member we of course offered to teach her. She resisted at first assuring us that she would never change her mind, but we were able to spark just enough interest to set up another visit.
We taught a powerful lesson with the whole family there and gave her the opportunity to read the Book of Mormon, the most powerful evidence we have of the Restoration. Week after week she told us that she had been reading and praying, but no definite answer. We finally decided that she had a testimony but just didn't realize it. We read 3 Nephi 9:20 and explained that sometimes we feel the Holy Ghost but don't recognize what we feel, and explained the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion more in depth. She then realized that she did know that the book was true. So yesterday we went prepared, and taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the 5 things that are necessary to ultimately be saved. We were able to commit her to baptism on the 9th of Febuary! When someone has a desire to know and experiments a little on the word, it grows inside them until they know of assurance that it is true. Miracles happen!
We have been studying Jesus the Christ as a mission and this week was about the Ante mortal Godship of Christ. Talmage exhorts us to read and ponder Mosiah 14/Isaiah 53 to understand the mission of Christ. I pondered hard the poetic words of Isaiah about our Savior and was amazed at what I felt...
and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sins of many, and made cintercession for the transgressors.
It amazed me that Christ, being the God, the Creator, the First-Born Son of God, would humble Himself even to come off the throne of God and take upon Him the flesh. Which gave Him the ability to suffer as man, and feel of sickness, temptation, and humiliation as anyone of us would. Nevertheless He understood His foreordained mission and never failed. "God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh."
I want to make my mission for the love of the people of Colombia, just like His was for the love of all the children of God.
Que Dios les bendiga y que todo salga muy bien esta semana! (May God bless you and I hope everything goes well for you this week!)