SOME FUN THINGS: We played soccer for a branch activity and oh my word it was so much fun. I love soccer. these people are so legit too. Its in the latin blood Im sure of it. Also I have maybe 14 mosquito bites on my legs. So my legs may or may not ever recover. Also I got to go to Vanessa's house and we talked with Vanessa and her mom (I call her mom) Karen!! I love those people. Seriously my second family. The spirit was so strong as we talked about the gospel. I wish that every missionary could have the opprotunity that I have to be able to have the responsibility to be a representative of Jesus Christ and share what we know now more than every to be true with their friends from before the mission. Its the best experience ever!! It also makes me wish so bad that I had been better with sharing my beliefs before my mission.
Okay so wow. So picture this. Two people are jumping on a trampoline and they one of them gets launched due to timing of the bouncing. And then the person that gets launched gets launched SUPER high.(me) Okay then then someone comes along and takes the trampoline out from under them(satan) and whabam smack into humility. But then you just jump back on the trampoline again. This my friends is the life of a missionary at times. Emotional rollercoaster every single day.
So our investagator that we were meeting (the mom) was all set to be baptized and then she finally told us that she actually wasnt divorced from her first husband that she was back together with her boyfriend and had no interest in marrying him. So yeah that ones gonna take sometime. So we told her to pray what she should do and the Lord will give her the strength she needs to make some changes that we understand are hard. Then we had a dinner with Branch President and his family planned for that with our investagador and her daughters. Just hours before she calls us and told us that right now she doest have the money to pay for a divorce and just doesnt feel worthy to be in our presence or in the presence of the members. So yeah there a heartbreak for ya. What many people dont realize is the the church is a hopsital! we all have problems, that why we come to church! No one there is perfect!
That day we tried really hard to put our trust in the Lord and remain super positive and not dwell on it. So we just kept working hard. And then Ulises called us! I dont know how much I have said about him but hes awesome. Hes from Mexico and we have been teaching him for a few weeks now. We pushed his baptismal date back in August to give him time to live the WoW and that afternoon we taught about the 10 commandments and repentence. He would laugh occasionally about the commandments and we just couldnt understand why! So he called us like two hours later and told us that he was sorry for laughing but that he was just uncomfortable when he talked about adultery and not coveting and asking us for more council on how he can control his thoughts. We talked to him more on the phone and he expressed his desire to be completely obedient to these commandments. He then asked us why we pushed his baptismal date back. We explained that it was because we wanted to give him time to live the word of wisdom (not smoke or drink coffee). He told us that the night before he had a dream and a man (whose face he could not remember) came to him and kept telling him over and over that the book of mormon is true and the ulises needs to believe that the book of mormon is true over and over. His voice started to shake when he told us, "I know that the book of mormon is true. I want to be baptized any day." We told him to pray and ask God when he should be baptized so that he can recieve that confirmation and answer for himself and then call us after. About an hour and a half passed and we were walking out of the dinner appt that we had with the branch president and his family when Ulises called us! We told us that he had been praying for that whole time and as he was praying, everything bad that he had done that had caused feelings of shame and guilt came into his mind and he had repented of them and now all he wants is that remission of his sins through baptism. He just started crying when he said, "I want to be baptized ". I nearly passed out people. True story. We were so excited.
So heres the thing: When people recieve this confirmation and want to be baptized, Satan works on them even harder because thats the last thing Satan wants is for us to make covenants that will lead us to everlasting happiness. Well a member who heard that Ulises was going to be baptized called him and she told him that she thinks he needs to wait and take his time and not rush into baptism. This obviously caused him to be really nervous about baptism. When we met with him we was really bummed and felt bad about canceling the baptism. My patience is definitely being worked on here. But in every prayer I pray that I will be able to accept the Lords timing before my timing. The important thing is that he will be baptized one day.
Well we have dropped almost ALL of our investagators. so its back to the drawing board. I guess I didnt realize how tough this area was until a member told me that this area we are in hasnt had a baptism in almost a year. But Its a blessing for me to realize early on the i have to completely rely on the Lord to get anything done. I had my interview with president taggart and he made it very clear that proseltying is not working here. We have to do something else. So we committed us to serve. So go volunteer in hospitals, in soup kitchens, at food banks, the members, anywhere! He also committed us to focus on the members. Our branch really struggles with preisthood holders remaining active. So reactiviation and strenthening our branch is our main focus right now. We mowed a members lawn ! My first time hollaaaa. And the grass was past my knees and it was a super super old lawn mower so that was an experience.
My testimony grows more and more every time I share it. I am finding this council from my Savior to be more and more true, "He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it" (Matt ). Its not about me or the numbers. It is about always being on the Lords errand and becoming more and more like him. One of the members gave a talk about preparing for a mission. When we came in he was really iffy about serving or not. he is 19 and his family are all members and they moved here from Guatamala 5 months ago. It was really hard for him to move from a place where everyone was mormon to here where we are few and far between. We have been working with him alot! He mentioned me in his talk about how I have been sent to a different place within my country but called to speak a different language and that we teach with power and authority. He said that it has caused him to think, well if they can do it, why cant i do it? He has started his mission papers! my eyes were welled up with tears that whole talk. My love for people have grown so much. so so much. I love this work. there is so much to do. and it is such a blessing to rely on my savior and redeemer. I love him. he is my best friend and he is with me always. I feel your prayers. Keep them coming!! The church is true. This gospel is perfect.
|Sister Stout! i love her. Shes from bountiful like dad!|
|Elder Bell! hes awesome. Hes also from bountiful. and hes so tall and SO funny. hence the need to take a picture for height difference purposes. and leaves this transfer!|
|MY BEST FRIEND VANESSA :)|