HAPPY SIX MONTHS TODAY!!!! its insane how fast it has gone by!! I feel like i have been out for like a month. time is going by sooo fast. I kinda wish it would slow down. I'm not ready to have six months in the mission. i wish my time could start right now...but oh well.
So this past week, we received the new guidelines for the mission. These are going to change the way we work as missionaries and the way the work goes forth in our mission. We are so excited for them. On of the biggest changes was that we are going to have 15 lessons with recent converts and less actives. This is going to be super good because it will focus us in on those who really need our help to stay strong in the gospel, not just enter through the door and stop. We are going to be working a lot more with members and we have different standards on what counts as lessons with member and stuff. There are a lot more changes but I am pretty sure you don’t want to hear about numbers and goals and stuff. BUT WE ARE SO EXCITED!!! We are going to leave the church stronger than when we got here and not just put more names on a ward list. We are actually going to go after those who have strayed to strengthen the wards and stakes here in Uruguay. This is going to focus us up and we are going to see miracles!
We have already received fruit for our efforts to go visit less active families and new converts. Many of the people on our list have moved away so it is a really good way to meet other families as well. On example of this happened this past week. We were going through our plans of who we were going to go visit and we came across a name and an address of a less active member. We went over there and they had moved but the people in the house invited us in to share our message with them. We now are teaching Elsa Paz and Maria de los Angeles. We probably never would have found them because their house was a little hard to find back in an alley but we found them and now we are teaching this family of a mother and daughter! How awesome is that???
We also found two brothers this past week that we are teaching. We were just walking in the street we saw kids playing soccer so we went and joined in for a few minutes and they started asking us all kinds of questions and we all ended up sitting on the side of the road talking about the restoration of the gospel. We are going back tonight and hopefully we can talk to their whole family.
We also found a man and his wife this past week as we were walking in-between lessons. He actually approached us and invited us over to his house to talk to him. We set up an appointment and went over to his house yesterday. It was a super humble home of two rooms with one light and a flashlight. He was the kindest hearted person I have ever met. He insisted on feeding us what food he had and insisted that we take a bag of potatoes as we left. He even tried to give us his TV. We had a good lesson about the bible and he has really strong beliefs. He is going to be a great member of the church one day.
So probably the best moment of the week happened this past Wednesday. We had a lesson with our investigator Daniel. Daniel is probably the most well prepared person we have ever taught. He has been an investigator for a few months now and is progressing super well. He reads and prays everyday and you can see how much these things mean to him. He is super concerned about his family and being ready to make this decision to be baptized. We have had some really spiritual lessons with him and he came to sacrament meeting this past week when the new office couple went up to share their testimonies. Little have I ever felt the Spirit so strong. I really learned the power of "Yo se que..." (I know that...). They bore their testimonies so simply but I cannot remember feeling the Spirit so strong during a testimony in my life. I felt the Spirit so strong i could not deny it. I know that Daniel felt it as well. He was sitting right next to us and he told us before that he had to leave but after that he told us he wanted to stay. So that brings us to Wednesday. We had a great lesson with him about putting your faith in the Spirit and the blessings that come from following the promptings of the Spirit: The Bingham’s, the new office couple, shared their testimony of this as well and how it has blessed their family and I know he felt it. Elder Bedke asked him "Daniel, will you put your faith in Jesus Christ and follow the example that he has set for us, being baptized by someone holding the proper authority of God?"
He accepted and has a date for the 28th of this month! We could not have been more excited! We were on cloud nine for the next few days! He is going to be such a good member of the church and I wouldn’t be surprised if one day he is a stake president. He has that kind of faith and testimony!!!
This week has just been super awesome! One of the best weeks of my mission! We have been working our hardest and have been blessed for doing so. I LOVE THE MISSION!! It really is the best two years.
I know that the church is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that as we strive to keep the commandments, we will be blessed with all that we need. I know that prayers are answered. I know the priesthood is the power of God to bring about the saving ordinances of the His children. I know that families are eternal. This is all made through Christ. I know that He came to this earth to atone for our sins so that if we would come unto Him, we would not have to suffer as He did. I know of His love for each and every one of us. I know these things to be true. I have been called by a prophet of God to serve as a missionary, to bring this happiness and love I have experienced in my life to my brothers and sisters in Uruguay. There is no greater work.
I love you all so much and thank you for all you do for me. I hope you know that you are all amazing. I would ask that we just try a little bit harder to be a little bit better each and every day. I know that as we do this, we will become closer to our Heavenly Father. Always keep the faith and a smile on your face. Today is the day! Be the best you can be!!