Hey! Buenos Tardes Familia! How are you all?
Well, so it’s been a pretty good week, not too much to report other than I have my new companion, Elder Varillas, whom you just heard, and everything is going well. He has a fire in his bones for the work, and we are having a good time here. We are trying new things, and it’s really awesome. I am super happy about the transfers we had.
So this week we worked HARD. I got to the apartment last night just wasted. So tired just because all week we worked hard but we have got 2 families progressing towards baptism, and we found a really cool family, I want to tell you guys this story: So in-between apartments we decide to go and knock a couple of doors. So we go down this street, and we knock this door, and their son came to the door and we said: “hey are your parents home? We have a message for your family.” His mom came to the door and we started to talk to her about the message that we had, and we just started talking to her about the family. She said: “you know, we were just doing a family prayer.” And we said: “ oh is that something that you guys do?” and she said: “well, not normally, but we were praying for my husband.” I felt like I should ask them more. So I asked her: “is he sick?” and she said: “no, I was just praying that somebody could help us.” And my companion told her: “Well, Hermana, we have been sent by Jesus Christ to help you.” In that moment, my heart just burned. My companion looked at me and I testified to her that it wasn’t coincidence that we were there. I asked her if she thought that that was an answer to her prayer, and she said: “well, I believe it could be. It was really fast.” So we testified to her that the truth that we were sent by Jesus Christ to come to her door and talk to her family. But as there was not a man in the house, we had to set an appointment which we have coming up, but that was just a really big testimony builder for me, that like the scripture in 3 Nephi chapter 5, that says “Now Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I have been called by him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.” That scripture just ran through my mind and really humbled me, that even though we didn’t know, we were being directed by the Spirit to that door right as they were praying. It was the kind of thing that you hear about in the Liahona, honestly. But I thought that that was super cool.
Also, Adali, received an answer to her prayers, and her and her family, well 4 of them have baptismal dates for the 9th of December, and familia Alarcón, they are on track for their baptismal date the same day. So it looks like we could have a good baptismal service that day. We went to familia Alarcón, to help them, here in Colombia, they use cement to build buildings. It’s never like wood frame like you see in the United States, but it is cement and bricks. The good thing is that they build their houses with flat tops, so if they want, they can build another house on top of it. That’s what Alfredo is doing. So we used a pulley to help him get gravel on top of his roof. So my companion filled up little buckets of gravel and I pulled them up to the roof, and Alfredo picked them up and put the gravel on the roof. We hauled A TON of gravel on top of the roof. It was a good experience and good to do good work. We have also been doing a lot of service this week. We put a roof on the shop of Hermano Hangerita, one of the best members that I have seen. It has been a good week as far as service goes. We have also been finding pretty well. So that’s what’s going on here. This week that is coming up, I am headed to Bogotá on Thursday, Thanksgiving in Bogotá and interchanges with the assistants. So we are gonna see what we have for thanksgiving dinner in the house of the assistants. Looking forward to that. What else…. Oh, I just wanted to wish Grandma a Happy Birthday. Just wanted to let her know how much I love her and how much I appreciate her and everything that I have learned from her. Really, when you are away from family this long you really learn to appreciate everything that they taught you. I remember going to Grandma’s house during the summers and, I don’t know, just working in her house, sanding the walls, getting ready to paint or something like that. Those are some of my best memories. I just wanted to tell you, Grandma, how much I love you.
Well, I was in a lesson yesterday with a part-member family, and the part-member family is where the mother is a member and her 6 year old son is a member, but the father isn’t. We were talking to him, and it’s like the 4th or 5th lesson that we have had with him and he just doesn’t show interest at all. It really struck us really weird that he really didn’t care. We asked him some inspired questions. Inspired questions are just where you sit there in the lesson, and you talk to them, and you wait for the Spirit to tell you what to say. Then something will leave your mouth that just hits them in their heart. It’s actually a teaching tactic that missionaries use. Pretty cool though. But you just have to sit there and you have to listen. We asked him what he thought about his family. Like, if he knew if his family was going to be together forever. He said: “well, no, I don’t think so, I don’t really know just because we are all children of God, and I think we will just go to the next life as children of God. I don’t think I need to reunite with my family.” We thought “Well that’s weird.” So we said: “well, would you like to know for sure?” he said No. He doesn’t need to know. We shared a message with him about how sometimes we live underneath our privileges. God wants to tell us all of these things; he wants to let us know. He wants to let us know his mysteries, so that, for example, we can live calm lives knowing that we are going to pass to the other life and we are going to reunite with our family. But If we don’t want to know that, we aren’t going to. It just made me realize that really, sometimes I do that, or sometimes we do that. Sometimes God wants to bless us with many things but we don’t exactly do what’s necessary to obtain that knowledge that is there and those blessings that are there including the Atonement. The Atonement is to clean us, to purify us, and then to make us better. It has been a theme in our mission that the enabling power of the Atonement is just as important as the healing power. So, I came out of that lesson with a resolve to try harder this week to receive the blessings. To do the things to receive the blessings that the Savior wants to give me. For example, studying a little more intently, praying a little bit more, those kind of things can help us. If I don’t do those things, I know that I am living beneath my privileges, that the Savior wants to bless me with more. More than I need to be blessed, I need to receive those blessings so that I can bless other people. It’s just something that I have been thinking about this week.
I have really gained a testimony of the enabling power of the Atonement. Just because I have so many faults that I am having to overcome and that I have had to overcome. I am finding that as I pray for the help of the Lord, and do good works, and as I repent, the Lord is helping me to overcome those things. One of those things is humility. I have been able to be more humble, and that is not my nature. Haha. But I know that it’s by the power of the Atonement that I am able to do that. What I mean by that is that I have been able to stay humble this week so that I can get along with my companion. I just realized that there are some things that I need to do better, and so as I recognize that, and as I recognize the hand of the Lord in everything, I have just been so much happier.
Well, to close I guess, I have been telling people that, as part of my testimony, that I am now happier than I have ever been in my life, and it’s true. The humbling things, the hardest things, have happened in the last year or so, but it’s just made me happy. I am happy. Nos Vemos, Chao!