Friday, December 2, 2016
Miracles, a Baptism, more miracles, and changes week.
God is good.
Like really good.
The more experience I get in the mission, the more I realize that I´m just here for the ride. It´s kinda been one of the main focuses for me for quite a while. I used to have lot´s of ideas of how my mission was going to be. I think I used to think a lot more about ME than about the mission actually. But as I´ve grown older,(haha, I guess I´m still just a little kid), as I´ve gone through trials, and successes, and failures, and life. I can tell that God is just trying to get across one, simple message: It´s not about you.
Sometimes it takes me a long time. Sometimes I like to picture God patiently sitting back with a ´´ You´ll get it eventually´´ look on His face. Sometimes I think I do a little better at it than others, but I think I´m starting to understand what it is he wants me to learn. That doesn´t necessarily mean I´ve learned it yet, But one day I will.
Really God´s Plan for me is a lot better than my plan for me.
So the first miracle´s name is Paula Granados. I honestly think that I have failed as a weekly email writer by not telling you more about the people that I have been teaching, but let me make up for it now. Paula has been investigating the church for years. 8 years to be exact. Probably in my second or third week here in the office we had an amazing experience with her. Did I tell you about it? We were teaching her one day about Christ and His Atonement, when she all of a sudden opens up and tells us that ONE WEEK EARLIER, she had wanted to get baptized, on the 5 of November, but that she had wanted it to be a suprise, but never got around to telling us because she was embarrassed because she didn´t have a white dress. After we sat there for a couple seconds with our mouths open, we were like: Hermana! We will worry about the dress and everything, you just show up! It was such a special moment!
So Paula is about 58 years old. Her younger sister is one of the amazingly active and sweet members of our ward, who was baptized about 8 years ago, named Concepción Granados. When Paula told us how she had been reading the Book of Mormon and praying really ernestly, and how God had given her a strong confirmation and a desire to get baptized, I think the only one more surprised and happy than we were was her sister Concepción!
So we have been reviewing the lessons with her these past couple weeks, and tomorrow Paula will finally be baptized as a member of Christ´s Church!
She is so excited! It hasn´t been easy for her, but you can see it in her eyes that she can´t wait!
And me and my comps are just kinda sitting back thinking, did we actually do anything?
(The face is that we didn´t, the Spirit and Concepción did pretty much all the work)
The Truth is, as far as numbers go, this hasn´t even been a ´´good´´ week
With changes coming up, a visting General Authority, and the end of the month last week, we have been SO busy in the office. There is a lot that goes into running a mission that I guess I just didn´t really appreciate before.
Oh yeah, a General Authoriy visit. This last week Elder Dunca, the Area President, has been here in our mission on a mission tour. Monday and Tuesday he and President went to Belize with their wives, and Wednesday we had a STELLAR multizone conference with all the El Salvs Zones. Literally we had everything planned down TO A T! and it went so well! We were in charge of ordering lunch and making sure it happened in less than 30 minutes(142 people were eating...) and taking a group photo! At the end of the day everything went SO smoothly!
Another miracle. President put me in charge of a missionary musical number for the event. We only practiced twice, one about a month ago, and once on Tuesday. I was praying super hard that everyone would lock and be in tune, because a lot of the guys didn´t come from a group-singing background. But prayers are answered, and when we started it was just, bam. harmonies and notes falling where they should, dynamics are real. President told me today that Elder Duncan was really impressed. I was SO grateful it went well!
So this week is changes, which is both a cool thing and a scary thing. Pretty much, when Elder Maxwell leaves, I´m on my own in my new job. Well, I guess I´ve already been doing it six weeks, so I´m not COMPLETELY new, but I´m both excited and scared to death. I´ll tell you more how I´m feeling in a week when it´s real.
Ok, the last miracle I´ll tell you about. Do you remember Claudia Maldonado? Like, the mom of a member named Stefany, super nice lady who calls us her kids and we call her mamá and all that stuff? So yeah, remember how she kinda got all, ´´I don´t like commitment´´ on us and we haven´t seen her in two weeks?
This week I was sitting in my office working when I get a text. I nearly had a heart attack of joy, and ran to tell everyone in the office to come and see what Stefany just texted us. I got everybody huddled around the phone to read it. As they each read at their own pace and successively did a victory dance of their own coreography when they understood what was going on, I read aloud. ´´ My mom says she wants to get baptized. She says not this weekend(like 3 weeks ago we invited her to prepare for this weekend) but she wants to learn more about the church first and then she´ll do it.
She´s already been to church like 3 or 4 times, and we´ve taught her a lot, but when we went back last night something was different. She expressed to us how she has been going through a lot of rough times right now, and how several times she has just kinda reached a dead end. She told us how, little by little, she began to do her part. She didn´t express exactly what she had been doing, but she told us that as she began to take little steps the Spirit began to tell her the next little step to take. And then one day she was praying and the Spirit told her powerfully. ´´remember the baptism on the 3rd of December!´´ She says she was shocked and had never had such a strong impression before. She is still going through some super rough situations at work, but she set her own goal to get baptized at the beginning of next year!
So I guess it´s not about me, or my spanish, or my teaching ability, or really anything That I could ever do. This work is about God, talking to His kids, and bringing them home when they are ready.
God is good.