Dear Family, Friends, and World,
I am absolutely exhausted this PDay, but I am very happy. We are finding a lot of investigators and a lot of them are accepting the challenges we are giving them. The work is hard, but it's supposed to be. We are learning to seek the will of the Lord for us and have been very surprised by the answers we are receiving. Our area has very little faith in the ability of to bring any souls here, but God is telling us about the miracles we will see this month if we remain diligent and have faith.
That is one thing that I've learned recently, never lose faith in anybody.
Firstly, never lose faith in God. God will always remain with you, no matter how hard things get. Nothing can separate us from the . Sometimes we don't understand His way of helping us, sometimes it is immensely painful, sometimes it's very hard, but God always helps us perfectly. If we put ourselves in God's hands, he will mold us into what He wants us to be. Sometimes, like a good potter, he has to break down what's in place to make the pot beautiful; sometimes we don't understand how the way He's moving will help us; but He is shaping us.
Secondly, never lose faith in yourself. Nothing you do, NOTHING, can pull you so far away from God that He will stop loving you. Nothing you do can take you so far away from Him that you cannot come back. You are partly Divine. Nobody is a "mere mortal." Your divine heritage makes you something very special...you have the seeds of Godhood within you. There is NOTHING that we cannot do when God tells us to do it.
Thirdly, never lose faith in those around you. Sometimes we do not understand the paths they are taking, but God is with them too. Sometimes people stop listening, sometimes they fall away, but they are never "too far gone" for anything. One of our strongest investigators, the one that may be progressing the most, didn't have any faith in God or Christ a few weeks ago. She's come to church twice. We didn't think that she was going to progress, but something has sparked within her. God knows His sheep and will help them come back to the fold whenever they stop running away.
God suffered for each of us individually. He didn't suffer just so that we could be if we so chose, but he also "suffered according to the flesh" so that "according to the flesh he would know how to succor his people." (That was a translation from Spanish, sorry if it's a little off.) He didn't just suffer so that we could be free, He suffered so that He would know how to help us when we were on our knees in pain and anguish of soul or body, so that He would know how to lead us back to the fold when we were ready, and so that He could stand before the father and judge us according to mercy and justice according to our hearts as well as our works. He is our Saviour, our Advocate, and our Best Friend. Because of Him, we needn't ever lose faith in anyone.
Other than that, not a lot has changed. The mission is a fantastic adventure daily that changes and unfolds before you as you put your faith in God. The Joy of a mission is sometimes standing before the storm and the raging tide and refusing to back down because your God has called you there. The storm may be Satan and his "shafts in the whirlwind," it may be the other missionaries who simply don't have faith in the work, it may be the members who tell you that nothing can be done in your city, but FAITH changes everything. Two missionaries, or a few ward members, or a few family members can change the hearts of hundreds, or thousands, as they have FAITH in God and of His ability to change hearts.
Um...yeah :) Ranting done.
The rains have started this month. Almost every day it rains quite hard. I'm very grateful the Lord inspired me to get a very good waterproof jacket from The North Face and a fantastic waterproof bag from Timbuk2. If there are future missionaries going to Latin America reading this, I recommend them ;). I stay mostly dry and my scriptures stay dry, and that's what's important. I love working in the rain. I love the idea of God cleaning the Earth, the air, the people, and everything. I love that people sometimes let us in their houses because it's raining when they would otherwise tell us to get lost. ;). There's an EFY song by the name of It's Gonna Rain that I like. One of the lines in it that I especially like is in the chorus "It's gonna rain just like He said it would. When the rain begins to fall, remember where the rain falls from." (Do try to ignore the fact that it ends in a preposition, poetic license win.) :D
I have a feeling that somebody who's reading this needs a boost of Life right now. Go read my note on facebook entitled Life. :) Life is not as much fun if not lived epically. Life should always be lived epically. As should a mission :).
As always, you get my testimony. God Lives. Jesus is the Christ, the very Son of God. This is His work. We are led by a living prophet of God. The gift of tongues is alive and kicking ;). God works by revelation, prophecy, healings, and miracles as well as in small, everyday acts by His servants. received from God what man cannot give, nor take away. He received Eternal Wisdom. I cannot deny the truth of this church. It remains and will always remain a fact that I receive revelation for this area, that I am led at times to do things that I never thought about doing, and that I have felt the burning in my heart that tells me it is true. I feel like Oliver Cowdery when at times I doubt and the words of God come back to my mind when He told him, "think back on the night that you asked me concerning these things. Did I not speak peace to you concerning these things? What greater witness can you have than from God? (inexact quote, I didn't bring my scriptures)." The words of the Lord roar like a Lion in my mind and in my heart. I am always reminded about the second Chronicles of Narnia movie when Aslan roars at the DLF and tells him to feel his breath and his mane and know that He is real. So has it been in my heart and mind. I cannot deny it, no matter what I do. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the on the Earth with the Power and Authority from God to lead it. It is the only one with all the ordinances, authority, and guidance of the Lord. Though other churches may help others to come to Christ and God, only through His true Church can they receive all the blessings in this life and the life to come that He wants them to have. Whatever the church requires of us, so should we give, for it is the on earth. I know it, and God knows it, and I cannot deny it.
Well...I don't think I have anything more to say. So...yeah. :) Thanks to Mom, Karen Slade, and Caitlin for the letters through DearElder. I'll try to write this week...or maybe next week. :)
All my Love to all of you!