Great to hear everyone had a good Valentine's day! I agree with mom that day is for everyone you love! haha That is another one of the holidays that Colombia doesn't celebrate... just like last year it just passed right by without my knowing it had passed haha, oh well.
Well we had another great week here in Popayan! We had a ton of investigators in church and that always is great to see with who we need to work with the most, and to have a lot of people to work with is always great.
We had 2 Rescatados, or rescues this week! We finally got Andres (the little one) and his wife Diana an interview with the Branch President and everything went perfectly to get them back integrated with the branch! We also got the ward council to commit to come with us on a visit this Wednesday to celebrate Andres' birthday.. we are really working hard with that family because they are really special and could lead to a lot real growth to the branch.
In fact, this week we had a great lesson about what we think that family can become. We shared 4 Nefi 1:10-18 to help them realize what this pueblo did to thrive in peace for so long and how they could use the same principles to help their family. We proposed the idea of the "perfect month" 30 days with perfect attendance at church, every lunes doing their FHE, scripture reading every night with family prayer, and just loving each other. We knew it would be tough but with increased vision, comes increased motivation. We are still trying to get the big Andres married with his "wife."
We had a miracle happen with one of our investigators this week. Her name is Jennifer and we had been really trying to help her gain a testimony for a while now. She had let a few doubts take away the faith she needed to receive the answer. We taught her on Tuesday and it was chaos. Doubts from baptisms for the dead, to polygamy, to the history of Joseph Smith and whatever you can imagine. It was a chaotic lesson just trying to resolve the doubts.
Then we realized we were going about it wrong. We were just giving answers to temporary doubts and not helping her solve the real problem. We testified of the Book of Mormon. That if one gains a true testimony of the Book of Mormon one can resolve whatever doubt by themselves. She needed to trust God more with a spiritual understanding and less of trying to convince herself with the carnal mind. So we challenged her to be baptized the if she got a response to that question and she agreed.
We met up after church and she told of us of her experience, she said it was the most sincere prayer she had ever offered and was sure of the truthfulness of the church. It was a different Jennifer, I almost wanted to ask "and all the doubts you had....?" but I thought better. We immediately set up an appointment for this week's interview baptismal. Isn't it great being a missionary!?
We are also teaching a family that I told you about last week. Sara and Mireya. Well, Mireya, the mom of Sara, had to go to Medellin so that was a downer but we are still progressing with Sara. She still has the fear of failing after baptism but we planned a sweet lesson for her for this week about grace and how the Lord really feels about our weaknesses and really believing His promises.
Too many people have the idea that it is better to stay out of the strait and narrow way because of not being able to fulfill and receive a punishment for not fulfilling. But Christ tells us that that punishment has already been lifted from us and that we should use His great gift to become a better person, no matter how many "do-overs" we need! He just asks for effort, and persistence, not perfection. He sees weakness a lot different from rebellion. People literally cheat themselves out of the most wonderful opportunity and gift of all time just for fear of a punishment that was taken away from us almost 2,000 years ago!
And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.
And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.
We are going to try to help her understand this this week and help her accept the "arms of safety" that are extended out towards her.
We are also trying to work with a few others for the end of this month or early of next month but there is no time to tell you about all of them, sorry.
I am getting along super great with my comp Elder Joglar, he has a ton of great ideas to implement with the zone. It has been a lot of fun, it is definitely one of the most united zones I have been a part of. We work together a lot and everyone knows each other's investigators and prays for them. It is a big but super effective and fun zone to be in.
I am just loving my mission right now, I am super happy to be where I am at right now. It is strange I am already going to finish my 3rd transfer here! Goodness! I hope time slows down just a bit before I head into my last area! Thanks for the prayers and que Dios les ayude a dedicarse aún más a Su gran evangelio!
Nos vemos! Chau!