December 6, 2012

A very cool week

I like it here, in Miahuatlan. First, I was a little hesitant, hearing about the problems bringing people to church and about the lack of baptisms, but now that I've gotten to know it, I really quite like it. Yeah, there are some logistical problems, but God makes up for it by providing us with some truly spectacular experiences and people. It's a fun place. But, I'm just gonna get business out of the way first: The two packages have arrived, but I haven't gotten them yet. They are with my zone leaders, who should bring them to me tomorrow, I hope. So don't worry about that. Also, just so you know, my comp and I are looking to do Christmas phone calls on the 25th this year. That's about it for business.
On to the cool stuff. 

First of all, I knew to tell you about José Santiage. Coolest guy ever. He is 26 years old and a soldier, but only the most intelligent, thoughtful soldier you'll ever meet. He lives here by himself on the base because his wife refuses to come live with him for some of the past things he's done. So, obviously he needed to make some changes in his life. Enter the missionaries (not us). They contact him in a restaurant and he listens mostly because he likes to talk with people. They give him a Book of Mormon, and he accepts, but only because his mom taught him to always accept books in order to learn more. He started to read and slowly but surely found a testimony. He should be getting baptized on the 22. Now for the story. 

I don't really know him that well. He's always just be super cool and super thoughtful. He talks to everybody, participates in lessons, whether we are teaching him or not, and goes out of his way to come lessons so that we don't have to cross into the military base. Anyways, so we began a kinda confused and random lesson with him (we hadn't planned it well and he's listened to everything like twice). I started talking about enduring to the end at some point and I was explaining how he needed to continue progressing after baptism through things like the priesthood and the temple. I felt inspired to open up to Matthew 5:48, which reads, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect." I explained how that was kinda of the goal of this earthly life. He sat there, thinking for a little bit after I said that. Then he began to talk.

He explained to us that a while ago, he had been on the Internet researching the Mormons (never a good idea, right?). He had found an, um, unfavorable website that said the Mormons were bad because they compare themselves to God. It even had a Book of Mormon quote to back it up. Luckily, José recognized this as an anti-Mormon site, but thought, "Well, what if they're right?" He decided to verify the Book of Mormon quote, which he quickly found to be 100% false. Still, the doubt stuck with him. Do Mormons believe they should be like God here on earth? Because that's  weird, he thought. He carried that doubt with him for months. But then, right then, in that random, poorly planned lesson, we had somehow, miraculously resolved it for him. We were like the two bumbling idiots that found the treasure chest by accident. Thank goodness God wants this man to get baptized. Because, for heaven's sake, there was Jesus Christ saying, as clear as day, and in the Bible too, that we need to be perfect. So we better be trying, right?

It was just cool. He gets it (the it being the gospel). He said, "I don't know why, but I just feel happy right now." That made me feel good, which is pretty much how I feel recently. 

Another little success story requires a little bit of explanation. We live in a town called Miahuatlan. Maihuatlan is about 45 minutes away from another town called Ejutla, which is where we go to church. To get there, you have to ride these little vans called Suburbans that charge 25 pesos a person. Miahuatlan is very poor. These people need severe help with their faith. For all these reasons and more, it has been incredibly difficult to get investigators to church, until this week. What happened was we've been working with a family of four for awhile. The father of the family  used to be a drunk. A violent drunk. This caused nasty problems with his wife. They now do not live together, but are also not divorced. They just don't get along well, although the father has completely reformed. That means that whatever he wants to do, his wife immediately does not want to do it as some form of crazy vindicitive psychological revenge. The father  wants to go to church because it is helping him to change; that means his wife does not. It kinda sucks. The miracle, is that after weeks and weeks of talking to them about obedience to the commandments and inviting them to Church, all four came on Sunday, plus José Santiago, which means we had five legit investigators at Church on Sunday. And they participated more than the members.

Anyways, love you all. I keep praying for Uncle Russ. I hope everything gets white soon. See you in a year!
Elder Johnson
P.S. Noche de Hogar mean family home evening. Sorry

No comments:

Post a Comment