Sunday, November 27, 2011

Baptism, Families accepting the Gospel, The power of attitude and perspective

"Haha, so I know you want me to write at least a little bit about the hard or scary times, but the thing is I honestly don't even think of them! The mission is incredible with daily miracles, as long as we're looking for the miracles it seems like we notice them! For instance this week was incredible! I'll try and give a quick run down of it all.

This Sunday we were supposed to have 3 baptisms, we ended up only having one, but that was because the family of the less-active will be baptized this coming week because the father is coming back from Utah where he was working and so he'll be able to baptize his kids! So that'll be incredible! However, the baptism for [P] did go down this week and it was awesome! He was super excited and super prepared, when we went out of a meeting on Sunday morning to call him to remind him to bring extra clothes he was already there about a half hour early before sacrament meeting dressed in a white shirt and tie for the first time! It was just incredible to see the change that has already begun to happen to him in his life. He has a very sincere desire to change his life around, and while he's passed through some sketchy times in his life he's extremely willing to turn it around and he has become a true follower of Jesus Christ. He was extremely grateful to Elder White and I. For some reason our companionship was able to touch him strongly and the spirit called him to baptism and he responded very willingly. It was one of those instances where the person accepts you as a representative of the Lord and so they were willing and accepting to do everything that was asked of them. Granted, it is not always like that, but there are those that have been extremely prepared and have almost no doubts whatsoever! He'll be a faithful member, and once again it was incredible to just the feel the joy of the Lord as we witnessed another of his sons coming to baptism and starting on the path back home.

This work is so individual. God really cares about the individual, for him it is in no way about the number of people that make it home, but whether or not Juan or Pedro or Josue make it home. It was a good reminder to me of my purpose out here on the mission. We've also seen some other incredible miracles! We were able to teach a family that will hopefully quickly be baptized, as well as another family that was very receptive to the gospel! Two families! It's the best thing when you get to teach families! It's been awesome because the members have really been stepping it up over here. Generally in wards that I've been in or heard about, the members haven't always been too receptive to doing missionary work. Thus, missionary work becomes hard, it's a lot of tracting, a lot of slammed doors and rejection, and a lot of perseverance just waiting for the miracles of the Lord. The miracles do definitely come! As we saw in Olney, after two transfers of nothing Francisco just appeared out of nowhere as a blessing from the Lord! Here in Mount Pleasant the members have thankfully been doing some missionary work and because of that we have these two families to teach, it's super awesome!

Let's see, what else can I share. Haha man it rained a ton the other day, which is always kind of fun, riding down the streets on bike is, as I would say, Epic! :) Hm, as for scary experiences, there haven't really been any. As Jessica said, things just aren't as scary when you have the spirit with you. The streets of D.C. are super sketchy and we approach people that probably aren't the nicest looking people, but you feel no fear because you know that the Lord is with you and that if they were going to do anything to you you would be warned. Haha we do have plenty of strange experiences with people that are drunk coming up to us, occasionally yelling at us, and sometimes hugging us. Yeah, those are the awkward ones ;) It's sweet though.

I think one thing about me that has really changed on the mission is that I've learned the power of attitude and an eternal perspective. When things are tough you just embrace it, give thanks for it, and keep working hard knowing that the Lord will bless you with things ahead. Trials come in different ways, through investigators not wanting to progress, to companionship problems, to just days where nothing happens, but miracles are always right behind the trials and we grow because of them. It's really been a blessing for me to learn that lesson!"

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