Wow! This week is my six month mark! I never thought it would come so fast. It scares me a little how fast it´s gone by. The time out here has literally been some of the best, most fulfilling time of my life. I´m just gonna keep working as hard as I can until the end.
This week has been great. We helped a bunch of families and had interviews with president. It all went super well. It was one of those happy, good, almost nothing goes wrong weeks. I like them.
A lot of people like the church and the Book of Mormon, and believe that they´re true, but don´t want to go to church every week or don´t want to leave their church. One family in particular has this problem. They live in one of the favelas around here. The mom died a couple years ago and the father is taking care of three daughters, ages 17, 13, and 4. But, the daughters are inactive and going to an evangelical church. The dad wants everyone to go back and be reunited. We got there one night and it was super obvious that they had been in the middle of an argument. The daughters go to church every night and don´t get back until super late. Well, we sat down in their one room and talked about the gospel. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the restoration and nothing really special seemed to be going on in the room. I had the impression to talk about the temple. So I did. Why it´s important. I asked them why their parents had sacrificed so much to go there. We talked about eternal families and the potential that they have. The Spirit in the room was so strong. The oldest daughter had tears in her eyes. They promised to come back to church and strive to get to the temple.
The story is still going. They still have problems and Satan is super trickery. It really is a battle everyday. Free agency is one of the hardest things to accept. I just wish sometimes that everyone would be obedient to the commandments of God. But, there are many people who choose not to.
There´s another couple that we´re teaching. It´s in our new area that we inherited 5 weeks ago from today (just before Christmas when we started taking care of both the wards.) The other missionaries had done a fantastic job preparing the husband. He loves the church and loves the scriptures. He says the Bible (which he´s studied since he was 8) makes a lot more sense now. He doesn´t feel good if he doesn´t go to church. He´s stellar. The wife, when we got there, did not want to go to church or get baptized. She is Catholic, like the rest of the world down here, but said the only two churches she believes will go to heaven are the Catholic church and the Church of Jesus Christ. We spent two hours at her house teaching, very firmly, that this is the ONLY true church that has a FULNESS of the gospel. When we went back the next week she was a little more receptive, She´s listening to her husband read the Book of Mormon to her - that was a big point we used. The next week she told us she wanted to get baptized and sealed in the temple. She said it was out of love for her husband but now she´s going to church and preparing to be baptized. We should start their marriage process this week so I don´t know if I´ll still be around for the wedding and baptism but it was sweet to see her change.
We heard about a family that had been baptized a few months ago. The mom and son were still going to church. The older sister is married and her and her husband had fallen inactive. We went to their house and first taught the wife. She was pretty stubborn and scared at first but she has such great desires to do what is right. We talked about faith (how it´s dead without works), and how we only have two paths to follow in this life (2 Nephi 2:27). Those are some of the scriptures I use the most. It´s so simple and true. The scripture that really got her was 2 Nephi 32: 8-9. She hadn´t wanted to pray so ELder Henrie used it at the beginning of the lesson to motivate her a little. At the end she didn´t want to go to church so we asked, ´´Whpo doesn´t want us to pray?´´ ´´The enemy...´´ ´´So who doesn´t want us to go to church? Who will you follow?´´ She´s back at church and super strong. We´re helping her husband stop drinking and find his faith right now.
See ya soon,
Well this is the after six months mark and I would like to start it
off by thanking everyone for the love, letters, packages, and suppoirt
up until this point. With that, I also here that after 6 months
everyone forgets you so I guess now I can consider myself forgotten.
IT´s cool. I understand.
But, the mission is going great.
I´m with Elder Call now in my same area. He´s cool.
Righteous living is so much better than wickedness. We´re helping a
man return to church, get married and baptize his family right now. He
said he hates the sin that he´s in. Do what´s right.