Oh my goodness! This past week sounds like it has been a test of patience for everyone! I received the pictures and letters, Mom. Thank you so much. Also, thank you so much for sending the scripture case. It will help loads. I will let you know when I get it. My companion, Elder Miller and I, have been sick this week. Don’t worry, we just have colds, but we have been struggling to stay awake and focus. I bore my testimony on Sunday and forgot halfway through what principle of the gospel comes after baptism. I have a pretty stuffy head, but if this is as sick as I ever get on my mission I will have nothing to complain about.
Tyler, the list they give you is pretty decent. I did have to buy a couple of things, but I can’t really remember what I got. A pair of cheap headphones would be good for when you are searching for videos during mormon.org time. That’s one thing I didn’t think I would need. Um…. I’m not really sure what else. A few lined notebooks, maybe an empty one or two inch binder for either a study binder or a reduced area book. That’s about all I can think of. My brain is a little foggy right now from being sick, so if I think of anything else I will let you know.
This trip you had sounds like an adventure. Hopefully fixing the car doesn’t cost too much. Didn’t something happen to Mom’s car a while ago too? Hopefully everything gets worked out with our car and Kimmie and Dave’s car and Michael’s parents car.
This week was pretty good. We set a baptismal date with our part member family that is investigating the church for January 18th. They were super excited. Before we even set the date, they shared with us that they had already told their very devout grandparents of another faith that they are “becoming Mormon” and endured the wrath of their grandparents. The family consists of Dad (inactive member because of work), Mom, Cassandra (11 year old daughter) and Matthew (5 year old son). We asked Cassandra if she read the chapter we left, 2 Nephi 2, and she told us she did, but the first time was confusing. She said she was at her grandparent’s house and hid in the bathroom so they wouldn’t know she was reading the Book of Mormon, read for 20 minutes, didn’t understand anything, prayed for understanding, and understood everything. She loved the chapter so much that she read it three times. She told us it answered all of her questions about Adam and Eve and the atonement of Jesus Christ. She is probably the smartest 11 year old I have ever met. The questions she asks are astounding and thought provoking. We are ecstatic for their baptism in two weeks.
We also had a great lesson with our 17 year old investigator, Bryan. He and Fernando had dropped a couple appointments recently and we were having trouble meeting with them. Fernando left for the weekend, but Bryan was home (and bored) so we invited him to do service with us. We went and did service, which he loved, and then he asked afterwards if we could do anything else with him. He has a slight learning disability and his foster Mom said he had a super short attention span for movies, but we watched the Testaments with him and he liked it so much that he asked where he could buy it (and we promptly gave him the copy we brought). And then, he came to church on Sunday. Again, his foster Mom said there was no way we were going to get him to sit quietly through three hours of church, but he enjoyed the whole thing. His foster mom told us about all of the things he was having problems with, which honestly come down to not having any direction in life and having too much time on his hands.
I feel like many people in the world assume that even a slight learning or physical disability renders someone useless or unaccountable, but I’ve found just the opposite. The people I have met with disabilities are among the most humble and teachable people I have ever met. They love the gospel because it brings so much joy, something which is hard to find for a 17 year old kids with no parents who is often treated as second class.
On Sunday at church, we had more investigators at church than this area has had in over 6 months. It was exciting and motivating, and we were able to teach all of them except one that same day.
I love you all! Keep the faith! Fique Firme!
I know sometimes life can be discouraging and it seems like everything is going wrong, but if we can be happy in those circumstances than nothing in life can defeat us.
This week I have thought a lot about a quote in Preach My Gospel that goes something like this: “The miracle of this church is activity.” I believe it is by Gordon B. Hinckley. As I pondered that, I realized how much it really means. Everything about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is dependent upon action. The first principle of the Gospel, “Faith in Jesus Christ”, cannot be gained without study and prayer, which leads to repentance, a principle of action. And it doesn’t stop. When we grow in the Gospel, we receive callings, which prompt us to act in order to help each other and strengthen our faith. I love it. The Gospel is so good.