Goooood morning family and friends and such! I assume ya'll are well... Can't really ask you from this email/blog post. Well I am doing good, anyways ^-^
This week was quite the roller coaster. A lot of really uplifting and really difficult stuff happened. Which I am learning is pretty much always the case when we do God's will. After all, we can't know the good without the bad, right?
The beginning of this week was just slow. We didn't make too much progress. On Tuesday, we managed to pull off the biggest derp moment ever. My companion slid the phone across the top of the car and said "the phone is on the car." Any of you who have been around me a lot probably aren't surprised that I said "okay", but later didn't remember saying okay. So basically, we drove away with the phone on the roof. Not sure where it is... We got a new one, but we lost ALL of our contacts. So we spent a lot of time this week tracking down investigators to get their numbers again. It was a seriously annoying situation.
On Wednesday, I went on exchanges with Elder Reyes. He actually has a transfer less than me on the mission, but he is fluent, so he kinda has an advantage ;) He is training right now, in his third transfer. Pretty crazy. Anyways, our entire day we didn't really teach and it was super rough, until the last people of the night. We taught a family of four kids (without their parents). They were kinda rowdy, which is what made the next part so amazing. Elder Reyes went into preaching and testifying mode. I have NEVER seen someone testify like that. If you have ever seen the video with Elder Holland talking about how there are lines in every sport, and that we can't afford to mess up before a mission and not repent, Elder Reyes looked exactly like the missionary at the end of that video, when he is testifying to the investigator. These four kids were riveted on him. One of them started crying. He testified of repentance, and you could tell he understood what he was talking about. He knew from experience the power of the Atonement.
So the next day, after I felt uplifted, we went to the crowning event of this week, a zone conference, where we watched the global broadcast from the "Executive Missionary Council", including Elders Bednar, Christofferson, and Oaks (as the president). I am not quite sure what made the difference, but something about that broadcast put the missionary purpose into my heart. I literally have three pages in my planner stuffed full of random sentences of revelation/quotes that I loved. I have really learned recently that if we are focused on the doctrine of Christ, as in all of our thoughts and energies are dedicated to it, if our greatest and overwhelming desire really is to help people change their lives through repentance and the gospel of Christ, something suddenly changes. It happened to me for two days. I was happy, I was focused, and for the first time ever, I felt consecrated. Like "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" says, "Eventually, we must do more than tell the stories of the Book of Mormon; we must LIVE them." I felt like I was on my way to doing that.
But you will learn, if you haven't yet, that there is always what Elder Holland termed a "Post-Illumination Affliction." Something hard that happens after something spiritually powerful. I went on exchanges again, this time with Elder Delgado, and while we were teaching one of Elder Delgado's investigators (she is a golden investigator), her brother came out and told us to leave in two minutes or "vamos a tener problemas" (we are going to have problems). Basically, leave or I will fight you. It shook me up a bit. I had lost my focus more than I should have two hours earlier, and I feel like if I hadn't, I could have done something more than just leave. I could have said something, or the Spirit could have done something. We were both pretty upset. It made my blood boil.
So I re-read my favorite talk, "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary". And I learned this: when Christ and His Atonement is our motivating and driving force, we will be unstoppable in the missionary work. I think that applies in all phases of life. If Christ is your motivating force to do something, or bringing a knowledge of him to others, you will be able to do it. Rely on Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. Without him, we are nothing. With him, we can do anything. I mean that.
Something else my mission president told me this week is to "risk more". Let's be honest, it is hard to follow the Spirit. But it is there. It is speaking to us. We just have to learn to recognize it. And the ONLY way to do that is to start acting on what you think is the Spirit. If it is a good thing, it is of the Spirit anyways. But if it is something like "maybe I should turn right here" or something weird like that, well risk it! If it ends up just being you, well then oh well. You are learning. But if it ends up being the Spirit, you will know, because it will lead you to do something wonderful, or it will protect you from danger, or something will happen. Risk more: it is the only way to learn how to follow the spirit.
Our main progressing investigator is Ernesto. He is super awesome! I think I mentioned him last week. Anyways, he came to church right as sacrament meeting ended, but he went to the Gospel Principles class, and seemed to like it. We have high hopes for him! ^-^ We are also teaching David, a man who loves the Gospel of Christ. He is cool. We started teaching Alfonzo again. He has to be taught super basically, because he is a little slower to understand, but we are going to keep working with him!
One last thought I had this week. They call all of us missionaries the "Missionary Force"! That is so cool! I mean sure, it sounds likes Star Wars, and that makes it awesome in and of itself ;) But we are a force, and the thing is, you are the same. The entire church could be termed the "Member Force" or the "Disciples of Christ Force" or something like that. Force means influence. You each are an influence, and together, can make a difference. Remember that.
Well that is about all for this week! I love you all, and hope you are doing great! Find strength in the doctrine of Christ. For all of you that are members, you have the GIFT of the Holy Ghost. He can always be with you, if you allow him to be. Make decisions that allow him to be. Hasta luego!
Weekly Planning Snacks!!