Saturday, November 14, 2009

Patience and Faith

November 14, 2009 (Friday 13th is lucky in Chile)

It has been a truly amazing week, but I'm sorry because I didn't take any pictures. So, I'm sending some pictures of the baptism we had a while back. Hernan Ramos is such an awesome convert and strong member of the church! It was a real pleasure to teach him a while back and seem him enter into the waters of baptism. :)

It started out as a week of patience and faith as every single appointment we made fell through, and we didn't enter into any houses. I really enjoyed reading Jacob's letter about his mission and the things they did because their appointments always failed. It helped me see that we're not alone in this! We almost started teaching all the dogs in the streets for a lack of people who wanted to listen to our message (and for the fact that there are 10 dogs to every person here in Antofagasta).

Like you might remember, we have a goal in our mission to baptize 4 people in this last trimester of the year. We have one so far, but it's been really difficult finding more people who want to hear what we have to say. As we got home the other day, after a long day of walking, knocking on doors, and talking with tons of people who rejected our message, we talked about what we could do to help these our brothers and sisters even more to be more interested in the gospel. We thought about the goal that we had, and the answer came in a quiet thought that entered our hearts.

We set goals to make us zealous, to excite us and help us serve with more diligence and love, to help us save the beloved sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. If our goals become a stone of stumbling, a source of discouragement or doubt, then the goal we set is not fulfilling its purpose. Or we, as people, forget what the goal represents -- not a number, but a precious soul, one of our brothers or sisters that needs our help.

As Élder Rivas and I both felt the same things, that we did not fail in our purposes, but we were helping and serving a lot of people in a lot of little ways, we began to have lots of success. The miracles were about to come, and on the one day least expected: Friday the 13th.

Here in Chile, Tuesday the 13th is unlucky, not Friday, so our Friday went super well. Every single appointment we set went through. We received 3 new investigators through member referrals and 3 new investigators as we went to appointments we set just talking to people in the streets. As we felt a little discouraged earlier this week, we were really just planting the seeds of success for later on. We do not waste any effort as we work and serve those around us, those whom we most love. Our Heavenly Father loves us and each one of his children. He blesses us with His love, and everything that happens in this life is just to help us return to His presence again. I hope that we can all remember the "why" of what we do and continue forward with steadfastness and faith in Christ! I love Mosiah 2 when it says: "He doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth IMMEDIATELY bless you..."

Hmm, I guess that is it for now. I love you all so much! Oh, maybe you'd like to read what I wrote to my mission president this week. It's pretty much the same as I wrote this week, but it's in Spanish. I hope it wasn't too boring, but that's what's been happening this week. Okay, so here's the letter:
Estimado Presidente Urra,

¿Se acuerda cuando hablamos el otro día, y yo dije que era un día de mucha paciencia? A veces no podemos ver con nuestros ojos naturales los numerosos milagros que vendrán si podemos seguir viendo con nuestros ojos de fe. Después de algunos días sin lecciones con investigadores, Élder Rivas y yo estábamos un poco desanimados. Pero, le recordé a mi compañero de la razón por la cual utilizamos metas en la misión - para animarnos, alentarnos, instarnos, ayudarnos a servir con más energía y ganas de obrar en rectitud. En el momento en que la meta llega a ser una cuota, en que pensamos más en NUESTRO propio éxito en vez del PROGRESO y SERVICIO de los demás, nuestra meta será ineficaz, y a nadie le servirá.

Recordando el consejo que muchas veces recibimos para disfrutar la misión y encontrar gozo en el servicio de los demás, salimos ayer, viernes el 13 de noviembre, con todas las ganas de servir y disfrutar el rechazo. Después de una semana de paciencia, Dios nos concedió todos los deseos de nuestros corazones, si, el nos bendijo más que nos imaginamos posible. Logramos y pasamos cada meta que pusimos en el día, y los milagros no cesaron de venir hasta que terminamos nuestras labores. Recibimos 3 referencias de miembros: Alberto, Paola y Bárbara, y todos se comprometieron a ir a la iglesia. Cuando enseñamos, el espíritu estaba en abundancia, y sé que Dios estaba con nosotros.

También, encontramos a una familia con quién hablamos el otro día. Pasamos, y aprendimos que esta familia ha sido preparada para recibir el mensaje que nosotros llevamos como representantes de Jesucristo. Uno de ellos, Cristian, dijo que no creía mucho en Dios antes pero nunca negó la posibilidad de un Dios. En este mes pasado, el dijo que tenía muchas manifestaciones que le dijeron que hay un Dios. El sintió que nuestra visita era una de estas manifestaciones, y el tiene todas las ganas de seguir aprendiendo y progresando en el evangelio. Estoy muy agradecido por la oportunidad de ser un instrumento en las manos de mi Padre Celestial y el ángel que Él envía para ayudar a sus hijos. ¡A mi me encanta estar en la misión!

Sé que Dios nos ha bendecido muchísimo en este día, y vamos a seguir trabajando con una fe sumamente grande que Dios contesta nuestras oraciones y que podemos lograr la meta que tenemos en la misión, para efectuar 4 bautismos en este trimestre para la salvación de estos nuestros hermanos.

Así que, estoy muy feliz, sé que vamos a lograr la meta. Se siente especialmente rico no sólo enseñar a los perros en las calles porque ¡por fin estamos encontrando más investigadores que pueden progresar y que quieren compartir con nosotros! :)

Con mucho aprecio y ánimo.

Babel fish translation:

One remembers when we spoke the other day, and I said that I was a day of much patience? Sometimes we cannot see with our natural eyes the numerous miracles that will come if we can continue seeing with our eyes of faith. After some days without lessons with investigators, Élder Rivas and I was a little discouraged. But, I remembered companion to him of the reason for which we used goals in the mission - to animate, to encourage to us to us, to insist to us, to help to serve with more energy and desire us to build in uprightness. At the moment at which the goal gets to be a quota, about which we thought more in OUR own success instead of the PROGRESS and SERVICE of the others, our goal will be ineffective, and to anybody it will serve to him. Remembering the advice that often we received to enjoy the mission and to find joy in the service of the others, we left yesterday, Friday the 13 of November, with all the desire to serve and to enjoy the rejection. After one week of patience, God it granted all the desires to us of our hearts, if, it blessed to us more than we imagined possible. We obtain and we passed each goal that we put in the day, and the miracles did not stop to come until we finished our workings. We receive 3 references of members: Alberto, Paola and Bárbara, and all were committed to go to the church. When we taught, the spirit was in abundance, and I know that God was with us. Also, we found a family with whom we spoke the other day. We happen, and we learned that this family has been prepared to receive the message that we took like representatives of Jesus Christ. One of them, Cristian, said that it before did not believe much in God but never it denied the possibility of a God. In this last month, it said that it had many manifestations that said to him that there is a God. It felt that our visit was one of these manifestations, and has all the desire to continue learning and progressing in the gospel. Very I am thanked for by the opportunity of being an instrument in the hands of my Celestial Father and the angel who He sends to help his children. it enchants to me to be in the mission! I know that God has blessed to us very many in this day, and we are going to continue working with an extremely great faith that God answers our orations and that we can manage the goal that we have in the mission, to carry out 4 baptisms in this trimester for the salvation of these our brothers. So, I am very happy, I know that we are going to obtain the goal. One feels especially rich not only to teach to the dogs in the streets because finally we are finding more investigators than they can progress and who they want to share with us! :) By far esteem and spirit.

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