Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Week 11 - Clean Sweep

Let's start with the awesome news:
Elder Bednar did a training with around 8,000 missionaries in the South America South area. He was in Buenos Aires, and it was being broadcast all over Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay I think. He talked a lot about being an Agent and not an Object, and how we can help our investigators act as agents in their conversion. He also talked a lot about what it means to have faith. He shared the story of Israel crossing the river Jordan. They were told that the water would heap up to either side, and instead of waiting on the shore for that to happen, they walked into the river and hoped God would follow through. They had to walk the entire river in 6 or so inches of water, but as they looked back, they could see the water doing exactly as promised. Nothing happens until we get our feet wet. Until we take those first few steps. Even then, we don't get all understanding at once, but we have just enough understanding to take the next leap of faith, and only looking backwards can we see our spiritual progress.

As awesome as that training was, this week has been rough for the numbers of San Ignacio 1. Because of several impressions during the training, we dropped more than half of our active teaching pool because they didn't want to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. It's actually really interesting down here, we really struggle with lesson 1. Down here, It's usually pretty easy to understand the idea of heaven, and resurrection. They generally know about baptism and repentance. But almost nobody understands the idea that God only has one church. I can't tell you how many people have said, "Every church can be true, as long as they talk about God and Jesus". People love the BoM, and almost everybody is willing to read it. They believe it's true, and that Joseph Smith is probably a prophet, but they don't realize that means God's one and true church is on the earth. It's actually a huge pain.

As of right now we only have one Investigator who is really making progress. Lucilla (Lucía) has loved talking to us but doesn't understand much Castillano, so we've had to have Adelio Cuenca come with us every time, and she's loved it. Yesterday we took Moises, who we baptized a week ago, as well and had him bear his testimony of baptism. He's only 11 years old, but his testimony is so strong and so powerful. When he speaks, you know God is backing him up. Lucilla is going to start coming to church to prepare for baptism on the 9th of April. Her Grandmother of 80 some-odd years also wants to be baptized, but she's in a wheel chair and can't come to church. We are hoping they can find somebody with a car who is willing to take them both.

I think that's it from me this week. We've spent a lot of time walking around trying to find the other half of our investigators, as well as encountering new ones. We set a goal of 6 new investigators and found 9, and reached our goal of 12 other lessons (Lessons we couldn't get a member to or first contacts). It's been a great week down here, even though our numbers for progress look dismal.

I want to close with a spiritual thought from Elder Bednar. During the training meeting he talked about praying in faith, and it really stuck with me. He taught that praying in faith means more than knowing God has power to do all things. Faith is an action word, which means we have to put our efforts into our faith. Hope is asking God to bless a family during a busy time in their lives. Faith is telling God, "I'm on my way to help out this family, and I'm not sure what to do or say. Help me find the right words so that they'll let me help. I'll do everything I can to assist them, and I just need you to get me through the door. Amen, let's go." Asking God in faith means doing everything you can to make it happen, and asking God to do the things you can't do. If people don't come to church, don't bless them, invite them! And ask God to help you know what to say. The most important part about faith is getting up and doing your part.

I hope this will help you guys to become agents in your own prayers. Objects get acted upon, Agents do their own acting. I love you guys a lot, and I'm so grateful for all of your support. I'd like to ask also for your faith and prayers for the strength of the members in San Ignacio. Several of them have been going through some rough times and are thinking of dropping the church. The Missionaries here are doing everything they can to figure out how to help them, but your faith and prayers will help us encounter the needs of these people.

Have a great week everybody! Hopefully I'll have some pictures to send next week, but until then,

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