Monday, April 23, 2012

Buscando las ovejas perdida (Seeking the lost sheep)

Why hello my beloved parents :) It appears that once again it is our day of preparation and I am super excited to send you this email. Man oh man has so much happened this week and I just want to tell you all of it!

This week was amazing. Elder Paiz and I tried really the hardest we ever have to make it a great week and we definitely saw the results. Starting at the end...we had 11 investigators at church!! I love it. Really, I haven't ever been so happy to be at church when I am there to help someone else learn and grow and have a spiritual experience.

We have been working so hard with A this week (her husband got deported, she has three kids 3-7-13 years old, and her only work is cooking for clients to order) and this week we saw miracle after miracle with her. It is kind of fun working with her, because my MTC teacher took on the name of A tambien when she was practicing with us. I will tell you...I had the best lesson ever with her on Saturday of this week. We brought another single mom who used to be catholic as well to fellowship with us and the Spirit was so strong. A didn’t understanding the importance of baptism at first, so we started using pictures to try and help her out. We showed her the picture of John baptizing Jesus, and then she started flipping through the picture book herself to try and find something. She couldn't find it so she gave it back to us. I don't know why, but I thought of the picture of Christ cradling a sheep, and I turned to it in the picture book. Then we testified that Christ wants to carry us home, just like this lost sheep, and he does that through baptism. A got a look of peace all over her and then she said "I feel right now a warmth, like His arms are around me just like that sheep." Oh MAN!! If you could have felt the spirit in there, I still get warm just thinking about it. Right after that we testified to her that the Spirit was confirming the truth of all of this to her, and she basically jumped at getting baptized on May 5th (you'll see that el Cinco de Mayo will be a great day in our branch for baptisms.) But really, that lesson was amazing. And I know A was prepared to receive this message through us in this way. The day after that was Sunday, and at first A didn't look like she was coming to church, she missed sacrament and the first talk, but we kept praying that she would come. Then we saw her walk through the front door, and we basically jumped over the pews to go greet her and her kids. She is progressing so much! Our prayers for others really are answered!

The best part of this all though is that it just increased my testimony so much of the love the Savior has for all of his little lost sheep. There are many humble souls, beautiful families, who just NEED the Savior in their lives, we all NEED the Savior to make it back to Heavenly Father one day. This work is hard sometimes. But when we get to be there for a lost sheep at the right time, we can feel the arms of the Savior around and in us too. I love it!

So like I said May 5th is going to be an amazing day in the branch because we have 4 really solid people who want to get baptized on that date. Why are all of these blessings coming at the exact end of the transfer?

One of our amazing investigators right now is C H. And he in and of himself is a miracle. Here is an 18 year old Hispanic boy who has never touched beer, cigarettes, drogas, or even thought about breaking the law of chastity! WOW! He lives with his aunts and cousins, who aren't the greatest role models, but he has been totally clean his whole life. He really wanted to get baptized on the 28th of April, but he has not attended to church enough to get baptized this month. That is perfectly okay though...because he will get there on the Cinco de Mayo! The cool thing about C H is that he invites all of his friends and family to learn from us too (he even told his younger cousin to get baptized with him!). I really just hope and pray we can baptize all these people and help them stay active in the church.

Our third investigator who is looking really good for May 5th is O R. He came out of priesthood class on Sunday just smiling and hugged his boys and his wife. We are going with them all to the visitor's center today! Seriously, this family is so great. They have gained a lot of trust with us this week. The wife is a recent convert from New Mexico, and she called all of her friends back home and told them that our branch was the best and she feels so welcome. Finding the elect like this family is just so fun :)

The last we have on date for the fifth is finally A F. We have been working with this man forever it seems! Last week we re-taught him plan of salvation and focused on how he could see his son again someday through the power of the gospel. He has been to church three times in a row now, and we're working on his wife too. She completely gave up coffee!! That is amazing because she has been drinking it since her childhood and was seriously addicted. She’ll come around soon, but always she will support her husband's decisions.

So now some funny stuff :) This week Elder Paiz is having me pretend I am training him and it is really...funny :) Basically from what I remember and what he is telling me, new missionaries are a lot like babies, and you have to tell them every little detail about investigators, about car procedures, about studying...because they just don't know! I am definitely grateful for the patience Elder Paiz has had with me during my training weeks. One time I was explaining to him about coordination meeting and all of the paperwork, and I said "Do you remember this progress record we made..." and Ii reached in the back seat to grab the progress record but instead grabbed a "Family: A Proclamation the World" document and showed it to him on accident. Maybe Elder Paiz and I were there when the Prophet and the 12 apostles made THAT record...but probably not. Just little things like that are making this week really funny :)

We were also reading in the Missionary Handbook, like we do every day, and read a part about "if you are serving outside of your own may have to set aside money for customs charges when returning home." Elder Paiz just looked at me and said "Well, that definitely doesn't apply to us." At least I am pretty sure there is no customs between Toelee, Utah (Where Elder Paiz is effectively from) and St. George or Provo and St. George. Good times :) But even though we are basically serving the Lord in our own backyard, what better place is there to serve? Among people and places we can always remember and revisit.

So we are doing great :) Our prayers are being answer, we are learning and growing, and moving people towards the water! Elder Palombo (our other Zone Leader) commented after the last exchange that he envies the unity he sees in our companionship, and the success we are having in our area. Honestly, at times I don't see either of those things, because I am up close and personal with the daily grind of problems and challenges. But I know that even though we will never be perfect in this work (oh how this pains me...actually) we can be helpers and servants for others.

Me encanta la obra. Yo se que vive nuestro Salvador, y el se complace cuando guardamos sus mandamientos. Dios escucha nuestras oraciones y nos contesta en su propio tiempo. ¡Tan duro es esto! Pero, el sabe todo, y solo quiere que un dia lleguemos a ser como el es. Es el proposito de esta existencia, del evangelio, y ahora de mi propia vida. ¡Tengan cuidado con si mismos, los amo tanto!
(I love this work. I know that our Savior lives and is happy when we keep his commandments. He hears our prayers and answers them in his own time. That can be very hard! But he knows all and wants us to become just like him one day. It is reason for our existence, the Gospel and now my own life. Watch yourselves, I love you so much.)

Siempre vaya con dios,
Elder Michael Stewart

No comments:

Post a Comment