Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wednesday, June 17 -- Temples, Visions, and Following the Spirit

Dont worry, I'm alive and well. I didn't write on Monday because this week our preparation day was changed to Wednesday. Why? Because today we went to the temple!

Monday was a normal day of work. Tuesday was a normal Tuesday, with our district meeting in the morning. At 6:30 PM we met together as a zone in the bus station. We took a bus to Monterrey and arrived in the mission offices at about 10:00 PM. Today we woke up at 4:30 AM to be able to go to the 6:30 AM session. Now we are back in Reynosa, having our preparation day until 7:30 PM, when my companion and I are holding a missionary workshop in our ward to teach the members how to talk to their friends about the gospel.

Being able to attend the temple today was wonderful. It has been nine months since last I went. I learned a lot and recieved a lot of the strength and peace I have been looking for. It looks as if this is something we will be doing more often. About once every three months now we'll be going to the temple. It is something that I think will help us to work better and also help us to focus on the goal of bringing our converts to the temple.

Speaking of the temple, I have a story to tell you that I probably wouldn't believe if I hadn't experienced it. A week ago my companion and I were knocking doors, looking for families to teach. In one house, an elderly woman answered and expressed her lack of interest. So we kept going. But a minute later her husabnd came out and called to us. We went back. The truth is, at first I thought he was a little crazy. He was talking about a prophecy that the “Virgin Fatima” had given. But we talked with him about how to recognize a true prophet and set an appointment to teach him about one of them.

The next day we returned and taught him the message of the Restoration. As always, we committed him to pray and ask our Heavenly Father if what we taught is true. The next day we asked him if he had prayed. He had. We asked if he thought he had received an answer. He told us that he had dreamed. In his dream he saw a big, beautiful, white church. It had one tall spire in the middle and two smaller spires on either side. He was walking toward the building but couldn't enter. I was shocked, because he had perfectly described the Salt Lake Temple. The next day we brought him a picture of the temple and asked if he recognized the building. He said it was the church in his dream.

This last Sunday, Angel, who is 72 years old, came to church for the first time and liked it. [Angel is the man who had the dream.] He believes the church is true. He will be baptized on the 17th[?] of this month.

This last Sunday my companion and I had a baptism. Her name is Santa Theresa de Jesus Torres Flores. She is 40 years old and is a single mother who lives with her five children and one grandchild. . . . It is a wonderful thing to see the changes and great joy that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings to people.

This week they changed my district again. They took away the sisters and gave me another companionship of Elders. Today at the temple we took a district picture. When I find a computer fast enough, I'll send it along.

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I also like seeing [pictures of] how the plants I planted [at home] have grown. You know, that's a lot like the mission. We often don't see how the seeds we plant grow in one area after we move to other areas. (I found out this week that some of the people I was teaching with Elder Dominguez in Juarez have now been baptized.)

* * *

Last Wednesday we had a zone conference with President Menodoza. We talked about the importance of the Spirit in our missionary work. I learned a lot. One of the many things that President Mendoza taught us is that we should act upon the first impression we recieve fromt he Spirit. I had an experience putting that in practice this week.

My companion and I were walking down the street when we saw a woman turn the corner at full speed, pushing her stroller. She looked like she was in a hurry, but I felt like we should talk to her. I tried to justify it, saying that she obviously didn't have time, but once again I felt like I should say something. So almost when she had passed us, I stuck out my hand and said, “Good afternoon, can we present ourselves?” and began to talk about the gospel. To my surprise, she stopped and showed great interest. So we took her address and set an appointment for Sunday afternoon.

Unfortunately, on Sunday afternoon the zone leaders called a surprise meeting for the district leaders and we weren't able to go to our appointment. When we tried to find her on Monday, nobody was home. But later that day when we were passing her street on our bikes, I saw her, and didn't recognize her. But once again I felt impressed to talk to her. So we stopped riding and began to talk. She immediately invited us into her house, and I realzed that it was Adelita, whom we had contacted the other day.

As we taught her the first lesson, I realized that she is what President Mendoza calls “one of the Lord's prepared.” The questions that she has asked herself for years are the questions that the Restored Gospel answers. I won't be surprised if she is soon baptized.

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