Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010 -- La Caja Chica

This has been a great week, both in the offices and in the area.

The Zone Leaders, Assistants, and Executive Secretary in our mission all have something called the “caja chica.” Literally translated, it means “small box,” but it isn’t a box. Usually, it is a bag or a purse or a wallet to store money used for purposes of the mission, or for reimbursing missionaries who paid for things that aren’t included in their monthly allowance, such as electricity bills.

Tuesday night, we had 34 missionaries staying here in the mission offices. They came from the frontera (border) to go to the temple Wednesday morning. So Tuesday night we had to buy food for them. We went to the local supermarket (H-E-B) and bought 10 sandwich trays and several gallons of orange drink, filling 3 carts. We paid with money from the caja chica and went to load the van. After putting the food in the van, one of the missionaries who was with us put the three carts next to another car. I knew that they didn’t belong there, but we were in a hurry, so I didn’t say anything and we left.

When we arrived and unloaded the van, I felt like something was missing: la caja chica. We searched and searched, but it was not to be found. I was worried, very worried. There were 2,000 pesos in the caja (about 200 dollars), which is a large sum for a missionary. At 10:15 I called President Mendoza to explain what had happened and to ask for permission to return to HEB to look for it. President Mendoza, after telling me not to worry, told us to go, and we did so.

We parked exactly where we had parked the last time. And to our great surprise, the carts were still there where we had left them! We got out of the car and looked in the carts, and there was la caja chica, in plain sight. It had been there for over an hour, and no one had touched it. The first thing we did was say a prayer of gratitude, for it was truly a miracle.

That experience helped me learn to be more responsible and careful with what I am entrusted with. It also helped me be more grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord. What a blessing! It was truly a miracle.

This week my companion, Elder Crisostomo, and I have thought of a new way of finding and teaching. We have started to contact the streets close to our church building and offer tours. We have also made a plan for the tours, teaching a principle of the first lesson in each room, culminating with a baptismal challenge in front of the font. Yesterday we had our first experience.

We have been working with Moises Flores, a less active future missionary. He told us that his girlfriend, Jazmir, was interested in learning about the Church, so we invited him to invite her to a tour. Last night it was cold and rainy and muddy, but we had faith that they would arrive. And they did. It really was a beautiful sight see a couple of 20-year-olds walking together in the rain to go to the church.

There was a special feeling throughout the tour. We taught the principle of the earthly ministry and Atonement of the Savior in the chapel, and talked about the sacrament. We taught about prophets, families, God, and the restoration each in a different room while explaining what we do in the church. We taught the Book of Mormon in front of the baptismal font, mentioning that the ancient in habitants of this continent practiced baptism. Then we taught briefly the doctrine of baptism and invited her to follow the Savoir’s example. She didn’t except a specific date, but expressed a desire to do so after having learned more and received a testimony. This Sunday she and Moises will come to church with us.

I love missionary work.

Thanks for you love and prayers.

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P.S. Edy and Olga will be sealed this next Wednesday. I am very excited.

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