Mis queridos padres!! Esta fue la semana de 17 Milagros en nuestro distrito!
(My dear parents! This was the week of 17 miracles in our district!)
We had so many opportunities to do good this week. I keep meeting new people here, it is incredible. Also, thank Grandma Darger for sending me pictures of "Snow Canyon Park". That’s what the mission looks like to me :)
This Sunday was something of a "pay-day" for me. The F family asked me to bless and present their newborn in sacrament (the dad baptized R in July, but still doesn't have the Melchizedek priesthood) and that was such a blessing. I really love the branch (Presidente D said they're moving my records down here) and I really just want to do all I can to grow and strengthen them. The gospel is for everyone...men, women, and children :) Also! At church yesterday L C came! He is the Catholic husband of G, one of our recent converts. The real miracle...is that he asked her to take him to church. Elder Killian and I have been doing something called the "21 Day Promise" for him...the promise (made by a general authority) is that if you pray for a list of 9 people day and night for 21 days, at least one of them will be prepared to hear the gospel. Heavenly Father really only needs a little faith on our part to do the miracles :) The prayers of the righteous definitely are heard. I'd definitely encourage you all to make your own list of 9 people and then give their names to the R.V. Elders as referrals. It’s so simple!
We kept teaching K and M this week as well, and they are going to need a little more time before they want to be baptized, but they do love us and really want to take the lessons. They again expressed their desire for their 1 year old M to be a missionary like us some day. I am beginning to really feel for these people like the Book of Mormon prophets felt about their people...it kind of hurts when someone doesn't commit to making the needed changes in their life or accepting the restored gospel. But those feelings just motivate me to pray and plan even harder for them.
This week was all about catching sight of President Leonard's vision for the mission and I do know that he is an inspired man. He (and Elder Holland apparently) have a vision of this mission baptizing 1 out of every 3 investigators that we find. Let me tell you...teaching people in Spanish, our own area has been baptizing about 1 in 9, and other Spanish areas are as high as 1 in 22. It’s true that we are so blessed to be in a mission and in an area where we can teach and help people progress towards joining the church. The members are amazingly helpful, there are a lot of prepared nonmembers to find, and Hispanics are very receptive to the gospel. Just like Ether 12:14 "Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought thea change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the bHoly Ghost." We are working so hard on strengthening our faith to do that.
You will probably remember N that I have talked about before...well the story continues :) It has been hard to consistently see her. But we stopped by last night on a prompting, and she was excited to see us! Miracle! I love it when they get excited to see us. N has been praying, and she has been having some difficulties in her life. Her renters took off without even paying her! But she prayed for help, and that same day, she found new renters! She told us that it really helps her to meet with us, she just isn't sure yet which church she needs to join. I am counting on the Holy Ghost to answer her. Just like Sister Stewart said, this is the work of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. They will help and guide when we just have the vision and faith.
Los quiero tantisimo. He estado muy agradecido en estos meses por la expiacion del Salvador y por la oportunidad de empezar de nuevo y de arrepentirme de mis pecados. Él me apoya, me ensena, me guia todos los dias, y sin el nada podria hacer. Lo amo con todo mi ser y tan solo le quiero servir y seguir todos mis dias. La iglesia es verdadera!
(I love you so much. I have been very grateful these months for the Savior’s atonement and the opportunity to start over and repent of my sins. He supports me, teaches me, guides me and without him nothing else would do. I love Him with all my being and want to serve him all my life. The church is true!)
Elder Michael George Stewart