Helaman 5:12 "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
Monday, May 26, 2014
Here's a picture of us and Elder Waddell. FYI he's 6 ft 6 in....Huge..
Well, this week was alright and amazing at the same time. Alright in the mission work part, but awesome in that Elder Waddell from the Area Presidency came and visited our mission!
I'll start off with the mission work and save Elder Waddell for the end. So here in the sector things went alright this week. We did find 2 new families that are very promising, but the ones we already had didn't go to church and we weren't able to visit them this week because they weren't available...Quick update on the Arias family; they're doing great and everything and really want to get married. The problem is that they are illegal Colombians and they can't get married here and if they try to hop the border to get married in Colombia they might not be able to get back....That's the problem...unless they find a magic solution they'll have to wait at least 3 months before they can ask for a permit to stay here in Ecuador. By then I won't even be in the mission! So that's them. Other than the marriage problem they're doing awesome.
Other than the Arias family we don't have any investigators that are progressing that much, just a bunch that aren't keeping commitments =(, but that's normal I guess. Like Elder Holland says, "Salvation is not a cheap experience"...sad but true.
Our zone here is super awesome though. It's one of the most obedient/diligent zones I've been in. You tell them to do better with referrals and they do it lol. Makes our job as a zone leader that much easier =).
Well, that's the mission work for you, now Elder Waddell! It was super awesome and I learned a bunch from him. He knows a ton and is very intelligent; pretty much has the mission library memorized. The taught us on why we're here, what is expected of us, and how we accomplish with that purpose. He said a lot of stuff, so I'll just summerize what he said.
He said we're here in this mission, in this time, because God wanted us to be with THIS mission president. He said that 2 Apostles have told him that when they give a missionary a calling, they feel more like they're assigning the missionary to the mission president and less to the actual mission. He said that we are here to learn from our mission president. God also wants us to be with these companions and learn from them. That, in few words is why we're here in this mission, right now.
We are here in the mission not just to baptize, but to activate, retain, and convert. Before the missionaries just focused on baptizing and that's it. Now we work with less actives, converts, members, and less actives. We also don't teach with the focus on baptizing them. Baptism is not the end, rather a mean to get to the higher goal which is temple marriage. He said that baptism doesn't mean much if we don't acompany it with temple marriage. The purpose of life is to get married in the temple, not just to get baptized. The temple is everything! We have to think, study, and teach to get people to reach that goal.
How do we do it....Inviting them to repent. He said something interesting that I agree with. He said that people here in Latin America are christians and already have faith in God. Normally to get baptized a person has to have faith, REPENT, and then get baptized. But the people here already have faith and are willing to listen and we as missionaries can skip the repentance part and go straight to baptism. That is the reason why there are so many less actives here. All of them have faith, but very few of them have repented and become truly converted unto Christ. We have to help people to become converted by helping them to repent, and keep covenants such as praying, and reading. If they do those 2 things it is very likely that they will go to church.
Well, that in summerized words is what he talked about, but it was way more awesome. I could feel the Spirit very strongly and I knew that I was supposed to be in this mission right now. I also learned a lot about my purpose as a missionary and what I'm supposed to be doing.