|Good friend Elder Welling after the interviews in Pasto.|
|Get this, one of my old SUU roommate's brother is in my zone now, Elder Anderson.|
|Classic Gringo after conference pic!|
Always great to hear from home! Thanks for the letters Mom and Dad! I saw someone the other day with a Chipper Jones jersey! I thought that meant good luck but I guess not, oh well, I'm still doing the chop! And I'm quite impressed with the Dallas Cowboys offense, the D however, not so much. I hope everyone is doing well with school as well!
Well I am just spiritually full after the wonderful conference we witnessed this weekend. As all of the other conferences I have watched, I watched it in English. The first conference I tried in Spanish and couldn't get past the frustration of hearing a voice that doesn't match with the mouth moving... see yaa Spanish. Some highlights for me were Dieter F. Uchtdorf in the Priesthood session, David A Bednar with a stirring talk about tithing, and also the Prophet's address on Sunday Morning. I had a great time soaking in all of the sessions, as it is the Super Bowl for missionaries.
So I have a new comp! His name is Elder Cordova from Santa Cruz, Bolivia! That's right, another Latino! And I couldn't be happier because he really brings a great energy here to Ipiales. He has been in Cali his whole mission so he brings the happy, free, and crazy feeling down to Ipiales. I am looking forward to what we can accomplish together!
In the area right now we are still going pretty good. We have been focused on the other side of missionary work, helping the new converts and less actives out a lot. There are tons of members in our branch and very many less actives. So we had the idea to start seeking them out and trying to find new investigators that way. It worked out pretty well! There is a new key indicator that is called a "rescued member" or something like that.. and it consists of finding a less or in-active member, teaching them the 5 missionary lessons, having them come back to church at least twice and an interview with the bishop. If all that happens it counts as a "rescued member." So that has been a huge blessing of having so many missionaries in the field, being able to contribute more to helping those who have been lost or who have gotten confused. And it is great that we can measure how well we are doing it with the new key indicator.
We are also making a lot of progress with our investigators! Harold is making great progress practically on his own because of the difficult situation of him studying in Pasto. The date is for this Saturday and we will do everything possible to make it happen. We are going to be able to see him in Pasto because we are going to the ZL Council on Wednesday! We are hoping we can help through his doubts. He is a little worried that he doesn't know enough to be baptized. He has a strong testimony and is already living a worthy life, so we know he is prepared. He just needs to understand the doctrine of baptism a little better and the principle taught in Alma 32:16:
"Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe."
Claudia's situation is a little difficult because of the opposition of the "husband." We had a powerful lesson with her this past week teaching of the miracles that come to the faithful. She pictures her little 7 year old son as a missionary and so she loves to meet with us. A daily call is normal just to see how we are doing and to talk about the last reading assignment we have given her. There was a problem however this weekend when her "husband" told her that if she wanted to go to church he wouldn't support her and that they would separate. That hit us pretty hard, but we have faith that if we can talk to him the Lord can change his heart!
There are a few others that are preparing for baptism that are progressing a little bit slowly, they need a little bit more time to let go of some things.
I am super happy for a new transfer and a new commitment to give MORE! I love this work and I am so grateful for the time I have had and the time I have left to take advantage of this unique time in my life.
I would like to express my testimony that I know Christ lives, His influence is felt in this work more than I can say. I know that His church has been restored to its fullness and the everlasting Gospel of hope is once again available for all those who will humble themselves before God and repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. I know that we have a true prophet on the earth today, I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book of God that testifies of Christ and will lead us to Eternal Life. I know that this is God´s Work and He is the one who leads it. These are things I have come to know as the Holy Spirit has testified to me as I teach these truths to other people. These "hopes" that I had before my mission have become knowledge, and for that I am ever so thankful, in the name of Jesus Christ amen.
Just felt the need to share my testimony with you all... kinda random but felt the impression!
Thanks for all you do and for all your prayers, I love each one of you!