This past week has been filled with lots of great ups and downs that the mission provides! The ups have been so sweet and the downs just make the ups sweeter so they´re great too. Starting with Monday we taught a great lesson with an investigator that is progressing really well whose name is Michael. I think it´s spelled like that, not sure, but it sounds just like Michael in English, so I will write it like that jaja. Michael is really good friends with a recent convert family, the Souza Family (I´ve written some about them before). Michael has had kind of a rough life and has recently been having some rough times. We´ve been talking to him for a while, but before it wasn't too serious because he didn´t really show the desires to change and was drinking a lot. But the awesome example of the Souza family helped him to really press forward and he began to pray a lot more. Since starting to pray, he really began to change and we started talking more with him. We taught him the message of the Restoration and he had been praying about it, but still hadn´t received an answer. So then comes Monday, and we decided it would be a good idea to watch the video of the Restoration with him because he doesn´t read very well and that would help him to visualize better. So we watched the video, and he understood it all very well. The Spirit was so strong and he committed to ask God again that night. So we went back on Tuesday to verify a little bit and he told us about the answer that he received. He really wants to get baptized and is working really hard to quit smoking so he can. It´s been such a privilege and a testimony builder to see the changes in his life. His demeanor, countenance, attitude are all changing. One thing that Dad had told me before I left was that when he saw the changes in the lives of people through the Gospel, that was one of the greatest testimony builders he had ever received. I think I´m starting to understand that better now. So that was a pretty good day.
Then on Wednesday we talked with Isaias, Mirta, and Mariela. They have been reading so much and praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true. They are so sincere and really wanted to receive an answer. On Wednesday Mirta and Mariela told us that they had received testimonies about the Book of Mormon. It was so special to see. I know that Isaias will receive an answer soon as well because of the great faith that he has. I have really grown to love this family and want so much for them to be able to take that step of baptism. We´ll keep working very hard with them.
Hernán and Sandra have been progressing a lot lately as well. This week they also received answers that they need to be baptized and that the church is true. We had a great lesson with them last night about the Word of Wisdom. They both smoke, but are willing to quit. They are very determined to do it because they know that they need to be baptized. They are such amazing people and are going to be future leaders and building points of the church here in Santa Rita. Something really neat that one of the zone leaders told me when I had a division with him was that the Lord will prepare people like them to be future leaders in the church. If we as missionaries do all that He asks us to do, he is bound to lead us to those people who are prepared and will be the foundations of the church here. I really feel that Hernán and Sandra are some of those people who the Lord has prepared for the work to progress in Santa Rita. Just this morning I was reading in 3 Ne chap 21 when Christ is talking about the gathering of Israel in our day. In verse 29 it says something like ~I will go out before them~ It´s so comforting to know that the Lord is out there, preparing people for us to find.
So those were a couple of the great ups this week! There are ups every week and they are always so special and great to experience.
Mom had asked if Fidel and Alejandra were able to make it to church this week. They still haven´t made it to church. We have taught them several times and the Spirit is always there. The thing is they work a lot and it is tough to find them, so they haven´t been progressing very fast. But we will keep working with them. They are great people and really want to learn more. Elder Bazán and I know that they will progress.
I really appreciated the letter from you this week! Sounds like the 50´s dance was a blast. Although I have a tough time imagining mom or dad doing any kind of dancing, I´m glad you had a good time. Mom had a couple funny song references. I do remember very well when we talked about Jump and that one time we heard Free Falling while we were on Ventura Blvd. Haha what are the chances.
Thanks for sharing about the lesson on sacrifice. Whenever I feel like my mission is tough, I just think a little about John Groberg and then stop feeling sorry for myself. It really is a beautiful thing to think that when we sacrifice our time and provide service for others we can be the means of accomplishing the Lord´s will. Mosiah 2 is always great where is says when ye are in the service of your fellow being, ye are only in the service of your God. What a great joy it is to be an instrument in the Lord´s hands to answer the prayer of one of his children.
That´s about all I got for today. The church is true!
Love you all lots,