Monday, September 3, 2012
I cannot believe that another week has flown by and it is more incredible that the month has already passed too. Time just goes. This last Friday we had a mission tour with Elder Costa from the 70. He gave the leaders some training about being a model in all things and then he gave a training to all of the missionaries in the north part of the mission. It was really good and I learned a lot and now have a list of ideas of things to do. Sadly, I wish that I had known all of this at the start. I will have to hurry and get it all done. I am excited to really take advantage of the last quarter of the mission. I really love being a missionary and in the last 6 months you know that you really got the hang of it. I was never afraid to invite people to come to Christ through baptism, but I feel like now I am prepared to really help that person be ready and willing to accept the invite. It is a lot of fun. For example, the other day I did a division with Elder Grantham who is on his 2nd transfer in brazil and we went and taught a lady that he had been teaching for the last month and whose son I helped get baptized, Cesar. Elder Grantham explained to me the situation a little. She goes to a church that keeps Saturday as the Sabbath and she does not eat pork and also believes that her church is the restored church of Christ. She always says that she will read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, but she just has not done it and really was not showing a lot of progress. We got there and started talking and it turned into a lesson. I discovered that she really did not understand the importance of the Book of Mormon. I taught her a little of the history and how it is another testament of Jesus Christ. I also explained that it comes with a promise which we find in Moroni 10. Then I decided to teach her how the Book of Mormon is the keystone to our religion. I started off by saying that receiving a testimony of the Book of Mormon would respond to all other questions that she may have, for example, about the Sabbath and eating pork and using veils at church and if she needed to get baptized again. Them I taught her how the Book of Mormon is evidence that joseph was a true prophet, exactly how the ark proved that Noah was a prophet and the opening of the red sea was evidence that moss was a prophet, among other things of course. Therefore, the church must be the only true church with the only valid baptism on the face of the earth. So... if the Book of Mormon is true, it is all true and she needs to get ready to get baptized. Then I asked when she would like to receive an answer from god about the book. She tried to burn me and say that it was on god's time table. I agreed but explained that I would like to receive an answer as fast as possible, and that not asking can get in the way of god's time table, for example, if he wants to answer tonight, but she does not ask, how will he be able to respond. She understood and agreed to pray, but she told me that she would need to receive a firm answer and sign, like somebody prophesying, a dream or vision, or some miracle like speaking in tons (which I thought was ironic). Now it was my chastise here, but I did it really nicely. I told her to be careful, because if she was not willing to mess with god's time table, why command him to answer in her way and not his. She once again understood. I then bore my testimony about how I read and prayed of the Book of Mormon and how I know that god answered me, without it being a vision or dream, but with the simple but powerful and piercing touch of the holy ghost and how I know that he answered, and I know that god knew that he answered, and so I told her that for me to deny the Book of Mormon would be to deny god. She was touched and then said something that surprised me. She told me that she wanted to know of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, but that she would like to read it all. She told me that she would read it in 15 days. I agreed with her proposition, so I told her that we could find a spot in middle ground. I told her that she could read it in 15 days, but that she also needs to pray each one of those 15 days and ask god specifically about the Book of Mormon. She agreed and accepted to be baptized when she receives a testimony of the book. It was a great lesson and I really hope that she keeps her promise because I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that god will answer to any person that reads and prays about it. It was great. Saturday we will baptize Clara, a nine year old girl whose dad we re-activated. He has been non active for the last 10 years or so, but is ready to come back. He is going to church now and more than that, he is going to all of the activities. Sadly, he still need to get married to his wife legally, but we will help them this week and next week with marriage process and if all goes well they can be married in about a month and a half and the wife is already wanting to get baptized. Also, I am about to go and teach a man that I have just talked to on the cell phone, but he seems really sincere. From what I know he had been taught 4 years ago and almost got baptized but he didn't and he has been thinking a lot lately and thinks that the time is coming for him to open his eyes, change his life, and enter the kingdom of god on earth. I really do not know about the family and living situations, but I will find out here in a little bit. So, it was a good week and this week will be better and busier. I am going to try and help each companionship this week. My goal is for each companionship is to baptize. The mission has been slow on baptisms lately, our zone has been baptizing the most but they have been coming from my area. Now I need to really figure out how the help the rest of them. I am excited though. I love all of you and wish you a great week!!!!
PS - I saw the blog. Everybody is getting so big and everybody is super cute. Tony will be a great missionary. I know that you will be able to help Debbie mom. Just having a friend in the church that loves you can make all the difference, and I know that she will be blessed because her son is on a mission. I gotta go teach that man I told you about, Fernando, but I love you mom and wish you a great week. Send my love to the rest of the family and tell them thanks for the emails. I loved all of them. Love you!!!