Tuesday, July 15, 2008

July 15, 2008 -- Direct from Salt Lake

Things are going wonderfully well for me, although it is also incredibly hard sometimes. Last Saturday was my second baptism. Her name is Ruby Senorra, and she is golden. (I didn't personally baptize her, but a "baptism" is counted as anyone you teach twice or more that gets baptized). She has absolutely no family support, in fact her husband is rather opposed to the church, but she is very strong in her faith. She stood up and bore a powerful testimony before her baptism. Baptisms are my favorite part of being a missionary--the spirit is so strong there, and it is wonderful to know that you have been apart of helping someone go through that all important gate.

I had a big disappointment last week. There is a family from Mexico that we had been teaching, Jesus and Terre, with their three young children, as well as Jesus's two teanage brothers. I really like this family and had high hopes for them. One morning as I was studying, I felt very strongly impressed to prepare a special lesson for them about families. So I studied Preach My Gospel, the scriptures, and the Proclamation, and prepared what I thought was the perfect lesson, a lesson that was sure to convert them instantly. Well, we stopped by last Tuesday, but Terre was the only one home, so we gave her a copy of the Family Proclamation and set up an appointment for Thursday. When we came back at the appointed time, the apartment was completely empty--they moved.

I was devestated. I really loved these people, and I knew that the Spirit had prompted me to prepare the special lesson for them. But with some help from my companion I realized that just because we weren't able to teach the lesson, doesn't mean my studying was in vain. I know the Lord wanted me to prepare that lesson, even though I don't know why (1 Ne 9:5-6). Maybe we planted an important seed by giving them a copy of the proclamation, maybe I'll need to use that lesson later in my mission, maybe I needed to learn something from the experience.

Last week we got a call from the Assistants to the President, telling us that our companionship would become a foursome (I know, I have the strangest companionships.) We were going to be getting another Visa-waiter. At first we weren't very happy--we have a small apartment and are tight as it is, but we soon became very excited. My companions told me that I would virtually be his trainer, as they were going to go on exchanges throughout the zone every day while the new elder and I stayed in the area. I was nervous about training at three weeks, but also excited. On Monday morning we went to pick him up, however, and the Assistants told us that they had changed their mind last minute, and that we were no longer going to get a new companion. I was disappointed, but it is probably for the best.

I forgot to mention it last time, but I am already over a month old! It is hard to believe. It has gone by very quickly. At the same time, I have learned and grown so much, and I can't imagine what 23 more months will do for me.

I have a little extra time on the computer, so I thought I'd really quickly share a thought.

Last week we celebrated our country's independence Day. One of the members of my zone made the comment that we all to often forget to celebrate our spiritual independence day. We should all celebrate everyday our independence from sin and death provided through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

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