January 23rd, 2017 - BIRTHDAY WEEK REPORT
This week went by really fast, but a ton happened.
Monday, there was an emergency transfer and one of the Elders in the other companionship in our area was getting transferred so we were a trio for a day until Elder Ferguson arrived. We saw some miracles that day, one being that we found 2 people to teach. Everyday we have the goal to talk to 25 people each (it's a mission wide goal) and we didn't have much time at all (30 mins). And we did it. We both talked to 25 people each and received 2 numbers to people who might be interested (we shall find out =) ). It was amazing that we talked to so many so quickly.
Tuesday, started with a full grown man sitting in a baby stroller rolling down the hill we take on the way to the church. It was hilarious. There is a wall on one side and trees in the other and he was using his legs so he wouldn't hit anything. Then we went to a lesson with a family that has interesting beliefs in religion and the role of it. The daughter (age in the 30's) was asking how there can be a God if there is so much bad in the world. And so I challenged her to find out for herself by reading a chapter in the Book of Mormon... the one the came to mind was the wrong one! oops
So this week I got to correct my mistake haha. And the chapter I gave on accident was quite long, oh well. Tuesday was also the best meal I have had in Piso followed by lasagna with members which was super good.
Wednesday, we picked up a shipment of Books of Mormon from a shoe store which was apparently a UPS access point, it was a little weird but I guess that's how they do it here. This day, I also recognized the spirit working through me. There was someone I felt I needed to talk to but right when I approached her she put her phone to her ear. I had already said hi and felt super awkward so I started walking away but felt I still needed to talk to her. Thankfully my companion wasn't scared of the awkward moment I created and got her contact information. That's why we have companions.
Thursday, one of our investigators had her baby! So we probably won't be meeting for a little bit. We had 2 of our 3 lessons this day fail but right before the last lesson of the day I was hungry and I said to Elder Hale, "can we pray and receive food?" The answer is yes. Our last lesson of the day invited us to eat dinner with them without previously talking about eating with them or mentioning it during the lesson. It was cool to see how our Heavenly Father looks out for our simplest wants, it wasn't a big thing but it showed me God was listening to my prayers, no matter how silly my pleas may seem.
Friday, we contacted in a pueblo, Grado (little town). I tried seeing if we could meet with María who Elder Chabot and I found while knocking doors but she wasn't home. We had some great lessons, people willing to do what they need to strengthen their relationship with Christ but some who fear what their parents may think.
Saturday, my birthday. It started out a little crazy. I woke up to footsteps in the hall. I thought it was my companion but I heard him breathing deeply. I was terrified. I am told that I said "Elder Hale will you turn on the light, please" and then I got tackled by the other elders who came to surprise me and make breakfast with us. Elder Hale gave them the keys. Thankfully the elders weren't wearing masks like planned because I don't know how I would have reacted haha =).
We went to go do service in the mountains today at a members house. We helped the husband lower trees down his steep hill using two ropes (after he cut them). Ricardo (the husband) has a machete he made himself out of a mower blade and I took pictures of it because it is super cool. I received a call from my trainer (Elder Chabot), the Packs and a few other elders who surprised me. All of our lessons that day failed but it worked out. I ended up getting a picture next to a huge section of the main park here in Oviedo where they cut out letter to form every day of the year. We had to ask 25-30 youth to move out of the way because they were right in front of it but thankfully they did it nicely and quickly =).
I want to share I quote from Jeffery R Holland in a talk about the Atonement ("Do this in Remembrance of Me") that I really liked. He talks about how we can remember the Savior better and how the sacrament should be a time of reflection and spiritual feelings. He talks about the Savior’s plea to His disciples the night of His suffering in Gethsemane:
"One request Christ made of his disciples on that night of deep anguish and grief was that they stand by him, stay with him in his hour of sorrow and pain. “Could ye not watch with me one hour?” he asked longingly (Matt. 26:40). I think he asks that again of us, every Sabbath day when the emblems of his life are broken and blessed and passed."
I think this quote applies very well to my life. Sometimes I get so distracted from the sacrament and think about anything but the Savior. His plea to us is to remember Him. Remember Him, think of Him during the sacrament. Think of how we can be a better friend to others or making a new friend that we need. Reaching out as He did. Think of His interactions with others, his miracles, His father and mother - their roles in His life. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ we have committed to remember Him always when we were baptized so that we can have the Spirit with us as a constantly companion.
My invitation is that we strive to remember the Savior more this week and remember those who are struggling. Do one thing to reach out to someone more than you usually would.
How can you be a better friend?
How can you help someone in need?
Maybe it is a text of encouragement. An act of kindness. I promise you that as you act as the Savior would and remember Him just a little more, you will be blessed with more peace and happiness in your life.
Another great scripture to read:
Luke 18: 9-14. If you feel like you have no need to repent or that you don't want to change, go for it and read it =) it sure helped me.
9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.