Semana 61: The Mission Is A Highway And I'm Going Drive It All Night Long
Que onda familia? It's just another day in paradise out here. This week has been a roller coaster for Elder Ayala and I. We have had some really great things happen and we have also had some disappointing things happen. That is just how life is though. I'm stoked for Mother's Day! Two more weeks! That's it! I have a ton to tell you but as in the past, I'm sure I will forget a lot of it.
Overall it felt like a very productive week. We taught over 30 lessons and found 7 new people to teach! I haven't been that blessed since my time in St. George. A big part of the reason we found so many new people is because we went out to a little mining town called East Carbon. The town is about 25 miles from Price and it is supposedly 60% Hispanic which is great. The only problem is that church starts at 9am and it would be a long drive for everyone to drive into Price with their ninos. Everyone needs a chance to accept the true gospel of Jesus Christ and if we do not invite we are not living our purpose as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Along with the good, we saw Satan working with all his might on some of our best investigators. The week started out and it looked like Carlos would be getting baptized. He understands everything and has received a testimony that the church is true. Unfortunately, the day of his baptismal interview he canceled. His parents are okay with him getting baptized but, they are not supportive and he wants to receive a confirmation from them that it is good. I can't help but remember my experiences and how that was a big reason I didn't get baptized sooner. I want to show him that he is making the right decision but, that is only something he can do for himself. I feel helpless in these situations because there is nothing I can say or do as a missionary to help him. This is where our free agency comes into play.
On Friday we went to Carlos' final soccer game against Spanish Fork to support him. They ended up losing but they played well. After the game half the Spanish Fork team came over to us and offered us pizza and Doritos. I'm pretty sure most of the team is LDS. It reminded me of St. George when we had the whole girls basketball team high-five us as we were walking down the street by the high school. I can't imagine how it would be serving in Utah Valley with so many members.
We did some more service which was great! More than anything, I'm going to take with me the great memories that I've had with great people I've come to love out here. There are some excellent members out here that were struggling when I came into this area and now they come to church! There are people that are Catholic. I haven't been able to really teach them but I've broken down walls that were stronger than the Iron Curtain. They are getting to know missionaries and know more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Plants don't grow without starting out as tiny seeds.
We went to the house of a family that is from Guatemala last night. The mom has been studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses ever since I've been in the area. My companions and I have gone by occasionally and never really had much of an opportunity to speak with them. Elder Ayala and I finally decided we needed to have sister Oveson come with us because she served her mission in Guatemala. That visit was AMAZING! Last night we ended up having the whole Oveson family come with us. I was a little apprehensive to have all the little ones running around but it was the best thing that could have happened. More than anything friendships were made. The De Leon's made new friends and got to know us as people more than anything. They invited us to stay for an asada (which is a Hispanic bbq) and it was just a fun atmosphere. The De Leon's are going to come over to the Oveson's next Sunday for dinner and then we are going to teach them more about the gospel. Brother De Leon even asked us more about the Book of Mormon without us bringing it up. You can just see how they have questions but need a friend to confide in first. I've learned that people need a friend or at least someone they can trust before they will open up to you about their religious views. So many missionaries miss the ball on that. Either they are too awkward and just want to talk about the gospel or they are just there to be friends with people and are not inviting people to come unto Christ.
Inviting others to come unto Christ is done by means of helping people develop faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Praying, reading the scriptures, and attending weekly church meetings are all a part of this process. This is why I'm a missionary. The catch is though, it is not always harvesting season. There are times where we plant seeds and then have to be patient. "And ahe shall plant in the hearts of the children the bpromises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers." So, I'm planting like Johnny Apple Seed and hoping one day the fruits of my labors will be harvested. I know this is the true and living church of Jesus Christ. It has been restored to the Earth by Heavenly messengers to the boy Prophet Joseph Smith. If I did not have a testimony of that I could not continue to serve. I'm truly livin' the dream. Vaya con Dios.
Dios es amor,
P.S. I'm trying to respond to all the letters as quick as I can. P-days just fly by and I think I have 14 or so letters to still respond to. Be patient with me POR FAS! Whoever said missionaries stopped getting mail after their one year mark was mistaken. :P Love y'all!