Wow great to see all of the great pictures Dad! Haley looks a lot more grown up than I can last remember, another year and I might not recognize my two younger siblings! It's good that she likes to get up at the front of the bus to share what she learns, great photo Grandpa! And wow I can't believe it has been 25 years since Dad's mission, I sure am grateful he served setting the great example for his future kids! I always knew I was going to follow the great examples I have always had!
Well this was a really eventful week down here in fruheezing Ipiales, Colombia. Haha its really not that cold but for all of the South American missionaries who have never felt cold in their lives it is down right chilly. It's kind of ironic how throughout the winter back home I was sweatin' bullets, and now that it is summer I am freezing... haha.
We had a great week this week! Things are looking up in our area right now. We were able to focus a lot on finding and reloading the teaching pool. We were able to put on some FHEs with some families to pick up some referrals and we were also able to look up the ward list and find just a ton of inactives who had people in their houses who aren't members. Its basically killing 2 birds with 1 stone, you get to activate a lost sheep and also help someone make the baptismal covenant!
We also did some street contacting, which is something I haven't done in a while, but to be honest I rather enjoy the fact that I can just talk to anyone I want about the message we have. It is like our placas give us a license to that! That is something I need to keep taking advantage of, seeing as how after the mission I will never be able to that again.
We were able to find one super great investigator named Daira, she was raised super catholic (just like everybody in Colombia) but we were able to street contact her and talk to her a little about what we do and what we share. Just about everyone likes to hear a gringo talk so it isn't that hard to get people to listen but the problem is finding those who will progress. We found Daira right by where we live, and we were able to show her the church and give a great lesson about the restoration!
Elder Rivadeneira is quite the violin player so that is a great tool to bring the Spirit before every lesson. The other miracle was that we were able to find a less active sister who was super catholic before she got baptized, so we now can help her out a little better with the transition. It is really tough for people to change what they have believed their entire lives but the miracle of the true Gospel makes it possible. What really got her was the source of how we get our doctrine in the Church, by pure revelation. We were able to share Ephesians 4 to help her understand.
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
It was important that she understood why God has given us one simple way to be saved, and not that there are many ways that lead the same place. It was great and we put a date for the 10th of August for bapitsm.
Another miracle happened Sunday when we found out that one of the members had a family member who was inactive for 6 years, and that no one had been able to find him to visit him. Well, they found him and we went Sunday morning to see him. His name is Juan Jose, and We got the impression that this was going to be a super important visit.
We got there and he told us of what had happened to make him inactive and everything, but we sensed a sincere desire to return to church. We invited him right there to put his past behind him and show God today that he was ready to return. He was super hesitant at first thinking himself not worthy after so much time. But then it came to my mind that his daughter was visiting the church for the first time and he had no idea. We had found her the week before in her mom's house who is also inactive and invited her to church and she said she would.
Now in the moment with Juan I had no idea that she was actually going to be there because so many poeple tell us yes and don't show up, but I felt impressed to tell him that she was going to be there and that he needed to set an example for his daughter and also that it would mean the world to her if he came. The Spirit was thick in that moment and he finally said he would go. And he did! And so did his daughter. The look on her face when she saw her dad walk in was priceless. 6 years inactive, and in one visit he came back. Such a miracle!
We also had been working with another inactive family named the family Malez, who had been failing time and time again with coming to church, finally we went to pick them up on Sunday and it was the same thing, they just couldn't get the courage to come back. We had a quick on the spot lesson about the prodigal son and 99 sheep and were able to get them to come too. And the mother gave the prayer in the Relief Society and couldn't hold back the emotion of feeling the Spirit so strong again.
The thing with the less actives is just helping them re-feel what has already been felt but has been kept dormant for a while. Such a great joy and blessing to have 3 family less actives at church this Sunday.
Well now that we have a lot more to work with, things are getting a lot more interesting fast! We have a ton of plans set up for this next week so it should be a lot of fun. I am so happy to be a missionary right now! I love being apart of the Lords Work each and every day!
Well, that's all folks. Until next week!
"Life is a long road, and we all have to..... stop for gas." -- Doug Heffernan