Monday, August 13, 2012

Hope, an Anchor to the Souls of Men

Hola mama y papa! De verdad, les amo muchisimo! I also love the mission and serving in the heat of summer :)  We had so many great experiences this week, a lot of trials too, and I want to give a big a thank you to Bishop Baker for his very timely lesson and letter. For the first time on my mission, it has been kind of hard to find new people, bring them to church, and help them accept a baptismal date. I have been praying super hard to know what I need to do, and what I need to change to get things back on track in the area.  One of the things that I learned on this Sunday was just to job is to work hard and to trust. I really am working on that attitude of giving my all to the Lord without caring about personal success. BUT! This week we did see miracles still!

One miracle was that we found N again! Elder Paiz and I contacted her in a park about...6 months ago :) She was really open with us and wanted to learn more and grow closer to the Savior, but we lost contact with her for months (her husband wasn't supportive). Well...on Wednesday we got the referral for her again from one of our great member families, we stopped by...and she was home and very interested in learning more! It is kind of sad though...her husband got deported so she is very down right now. But as it has happened so many times on my mission, the Lord sent us to her right at the time when she needed us most.  My testimony of the atonement really has grown so much while I've been out here. Christ strengthens me every day, and I have seen the promise of a remission of sins, and spiritual healing spark hope in the eyes of so many people. This is the best work ever!

We are super excited to work with N. And also, we are working on reactivating a family and baptizing their nine year old son J. They have been at church for a month straight now! J at first didn't have any church clothes, so Elder Killian and I bought him a white shirt and tie and when we gave it to him he ran into his home shouting "I'm a Mormon! I'm a missionary!" =) We had a great talk with him and his family after that about how he could get baptized, get the priesthood, go to the temple, and then be a missionary, and there was really just an enthusiasm in his face. As far as it is possible, I have seen this nine year old repent, and gain his own personal hope too.

We taught Brother C the plan of salvation this week (he already knew it...he should have been baptized a year ago!) and just lingered for a while over the importance of the atonement and following Christ. He still has that great attitude for his baptismal date and said "alli vamos, echandole ganas" basically "we're going for it" The Lord does not just send missionaries out to bring more people into the church, but the Spirit has taught me that there are eternally important reasons for why we do things. Obedience to Heavenly Father is the first thing we need to learn if we want to make it back to Him someday. With that in mind, Elder Killian and I studied the plan of salvation this week, and it was so funny that he left that companionship study saying "we need everyone to repent and be baptized now! no...they all need to get sealed too!" We have the best companionship ever (he reminds me a lot of Mitch...just a thought =] ).

One last miracle...we had so many non members at church this week! I counted nine! We had 5 investigators there, and 4 "future investigators" =] If you remember the O we have been teaching this last week, we finally got her to church as well! It was a little bit of a process, as she has a new born and a 5 year old with Down’s syndrome. For whatever reason...I was the one that was in charge of folding and unfolding the stroller. That thing was complicated! And here I was thinking that strollers where years down the road....but! The best thing was getting her to church with the English teachers, and having her thank us for all the help we've given her. I am super hopeful for the work we can do with her.

Heavenly Father really loves us so much. I have developed a real personal understanding of faith and hope (thanks again to Bishop Baker for showing me the ropes in all those interviews we had). Faith is when we confide in Christ as the savior and when want to keep His commandments. Hope for me is a little more personal. I have the hope that "My Jesus" (2Ne33:6) can heal and shape me through my faith in Him. I have the hope that He can help me become a successful missionary, and an instrument to bless the lives of these people. My ultimate hope that I've learned about this week, is that He can guide ME back to His presence, and that I can enjoy eternal life some day.

La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias es verdadera! Cristo es nuestro salvador y el quiere que tengamos esta esperanza muy personal tambien---El puede ayudar a cualquier persona que viene a El. Amo a estos hispanos y a mi querida rama. Mas y mas siento como un miembro de esta congregacion y he crecido a amarlos aun que no sean perfectos. Los amo a ustedes tanto! Seguiremos adelante!
(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true! Christ is our savior and wants us to have this hope too---that He can help anyone who comes to Him. I love these Hispanics and my dear branch. More and more I feel like a member of this congregation and have grown to love them more perfectly. I love you both! Onward!)

Que vayan con Dios,

Elder Michael Stewart

No comments:

Post a Comment