5 Months !!!!
Hey Saints of Zion
I turned five months old in my mission today! Boy how the time is flying, no? Also more good news...Ciris is getting baptized on Saturday! Woo! Let's hope everything works out and things run smoothly so he can have a great service he will remember for the rest of his life. I also have to type fast because I wrote half of this e-mail and then I accidentally clicked out of it and now have to start over. Anyway, this week has been AWESOME! We are really starting to enjoy success at every turn. We have been really working hard to establish a good size pool of investigators that will progress, and we are starting to see it come to pass.
First, it has been amazing to see the Spirit guiding us in the area. You always hear those stories of missionaries who are lead by the Spirit directly to a house of a person prepared to hear the gospel, well hate to break it to you, but it isn't always like that. A lot of days you are just trying to find anyone who will listen. BUT...I totally was led right to someone this week. Ok, so there are little corner shops everywhere that are called Kioscos, and they sell snacks, and other kinds of stuff, well there is one like two blocks away from our pench. Anyway, we walk by there a lot and there is always this old lady sitting inside who smiles and waves, but this week when she did it I kept getting the feeling we needed to go in there, but we were always in a hurry, so we kept walking. Long story short, I have been bugging Elder Shields to go in there, so we finally did and bought some alfajors and started to talk with the lady, turns out sister missionaries used to teach her and she wants to be taught again, and her niece who works in the store with her told us she is interested to because she wants a family and to find a man with high standards, and wants her family to mean something and have a purpose...good thing that is EXACTLY WHAT OUR CHURCH FOCUSES ON!!!!! This might not sound like a great story, but you have to realize there are like 100 kioscos in our area, and to just feel like we needed to go into that one was a cool feeling. Elder Shields after we walked out the first time said, "Elder, THAT WAS STRAIGHT INSPIRATION!" We were pretty excited.
Also, we just found a lady yesterday, Carmen, that told us she was thinking about coming to our church but didn't know what time it started, and it was a cool story how we found her. The night before we were planning and Elder Shields was like, I think we should go by some former investigators, so we pulled out the area book and there are like 40 former teaching records, so he looks through them, and chooses one, and turns out that the person moved a long time ago, but now Carmen lives there. She has been praying for God to send someone to help her, because she was being visited by evil spirits, and she said that she was going to kill herself by jumping in front of a train, but realized it was Satan tempting her, so she has been praying for help. So we taught her and are going to bring her to church, and she wants to go to Ciris' baptism too, and we did a blessing on the house.
Then there is Dornata. We just found her clapping doors, and taught her, she didn't say very much, but at the very end she said, "I dreamt last night you would come today." She wants to come to the baptism too. Also, just a cultural note, people here take dreams very seriously. Everybody has them, I don't know why...in fact Ciris had a dream about the Book of Mormon being true, and that’s what decided it for him. It is kind of hard though, because some people say they feel a burning in their chest when they pray about the Book of Mormon, but they don't know if it is true because God hasn't sent them a dream...WHAT! We constantly have to teach that dreams aren't the only ways God can answer you, and that usually it will be through your feelings.
Last story, we have been focusing on Ciris' family, because his mom is a member, he is soon to be, but his 2 younger brothers aren't and his dad isn't either, but the dad's mom is. Anyway, we have been trying to get in to teach the dad but the mom is always like, no he is duro(hard) he doesn't like the church no no no no no no...but yesterday we found him alone and he let us in. He is sweet! He told us that they are all going to Ciris' baptism because it is important for the family to support one another, and then we told him about the Confirmation on Sunday, and he said..."Bueno, vamos a ir entonces...bien temprano." Or in English, "Alright, we are going to go then...good and early." He was sweet! Oh yeah and I forgot...HE READS THE BOOK OF MORMON EVERY NIGHT! This guy has GOT to get baptized. The only reason he doesn't is because he doesn't like to be obligated to do things, and he thinks God has a time for everything, including when he needs to be baptized...so we told him to pray and ask when his time is...hint: now! At least the whole family is coming to the baptism, which will be good for Ciris, and also, we have been told that it is great to have investigators at baptisms because it is a planned appointment with the Spirit. The Spirit IS going to be there.
I am loving my mission more and more every second, especially as I learn to recognize and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I hope everyone is doing well. Tomorrow is Zone Conference, so we didn't get mail yesterday, but I will probably get the package tomorrow. Elder Fox's comp is Elder Gonzalez from Paraguay, and he is a stud, he already speaks pretty good English, kind of, if you talk slow to him, but he wants to go to BYU after his mission so he is studying hard to get the church program certificate thing that lets him go free of charge. Thanks for everything.
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