Monday, January 23, 2017

Week #79--January 23, 2017

This week was pretty good. Also pretty rough, but that happens. 

Edmund is doing well since his baptism! He's started getting his friends to take lessons, so we started teaching 3 of his friends. At the end of the first lesson, one of them said "So when can I get baptized?" Which is easily the best question you can get asked as a missionary.

We got to go up to the military fort on tuesday because the senior couple has some baptisms and needed an interview. That was pretty cool! It's a night and day difference to leave Barstow and go... Well... Anywhere! Barstow is kind of dirty and really run down. But the fort was neat and clean and full of responsible people.... It was awesome! I'm sure Utah is going to be quite the culture shock when I go home. 

Went on exchanges with Elder Taylor in the district. That went really well! His personality is kind of like Kawika (one of my friends from high school who is a grade A stud), so that was a good throwback. We even listened to 'New life' off the EFY CD that Kawika sings, and I said "Hearken! 'Tis your Polynesian brother"

Had a devotional this last week about Christ. That was really good. Then Elder Parry (aka Calvin Klein, the one I exchanged with) told this story by C. Scott Grow of the 70:

Recently, a member in Monterrey, Mexico, told me how the Book of Mormon changed his life. As a teenager, Jesús Santos was impressed by the LDS missionaries he saw walking down the dusty streets. He wanted to talk to them about their church but was told by a friend that you have to wait for them to contact you.

Many times he would go to the Church building and look through the iron fence at the missionaries and the Mutual youth playing games. They seemed to be so wholesome, and he wanted to be part of them. He would lean his chin on the fence, hoping that they would notice him and invite him to participate with them. It never happened.

He moved to Monterrey, Mexico. Nine years later he was visiting a friend across town when the missionaries knocked at the door. His friend wanted to send them away. Jesús begged him to let the missionaries talk to them for just two minutes. His friend consented.

The missionaries talked about the Book of Mormon, how Lehi’s family traveled from Jerusalem to the Americas, and how the resurrected Jesus Christ visited Lehi’s descendants in America.

Jesús wanted to know more. He was especially intrigued by the picture depicting Christ’s appearance in America. He gave the missionaries his address. He waited for months, but they never made contact with him.

Three more years passed. Some friends invited his family to a family home evening. They gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon.

As soon as he began to read it, he knew the Book of Mormon was true. Finally, 12 years after he first became aware of the Church, he and his wife were baptized. So many years had been lost. If missionaries had just talked to him, if the Mutual youth had just noticed a lonely teenager looking over the fence, if the missionaries in Monterrey had found him at home, his life would have been different during those 12 years. Gratefully, member neighbors invited him for a family home evening and shared with him that book which has such great converting power, the Book of Mormon.

Today Jesús Santos serves as the president of the Monterrey Mexico Temple.

This story sounds like a great story, right? About how God's purposes will always roll on?
Well Elder Parry then told us the title of the story. "I could've served a mission." 

Talk about a slap to the face as a missionary. That hit home hard. 

I think we often get in a rut as missionaries, either full time or part time or member missionaries. We realize eventually the prepared will be brought to the gospel, so we shouldn't worry too much. While it's true that we shouldn't WORRY and we shouldn't feel GUILT, we should feel some sort of DRIVE to find those who are prepared, and to find them NOW! Otherwise, we'll have another President Santos constantly saying "I could've served a mission". 

Well, that's it for this week!
I love you all!
Church is true!

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