April 21, 2013

Sunday Miracles

This week was tough; I won't lie. Work was really slow. I don't really know what happened, but we could not find our investigators. It didn't help that we ran out of credit on our phone and so could only call missionaries. A long time ago, President cut the credit he put on the missionaries´phones in order to cut down on the amount of time the missionaries we talking to their girlfriends (the mission has changed alot since then). Recently, however, all missionaries who work hard run out of minutes because we are talking to the members so much. WE organize appointments, verify references, invite people to activities, etc. So we've run out of credit a week early for the past two weeks. And it makes work REALLY hard. But that wasn't the sole cause of the problems. The members here are being super pilas, but we need to do something to save our investigator pool. They were a bunch of other things that slowed us down - I did divisions on Tuesday (although two people we contacted in Tlaxiaco ended up being the only investigators that went to Church for them), my comp got sick saturday and Sunday, etc, etc.

On the bright side, we did see several miracles for our hard work on Sunday. First of all, more people went to Church on Sunday than on whatever other Sunday during my time in Huajuapan: 58. A lot of them were less actives who we have been visiting. Maybe our work with the investigators hasn't been paying off, but we are doing great at helping the members. Also, =========== got confirmed. she also brought her brother, who is really interested in getting baptized as well but who is under 18 and therefore needs permission from his dad to start talking to us. We're working on that. Also, the members are getting a lot better at helping each other out. We are really starting to see some real love and communication between everybody. It makes me happy. 

Then, I have a cool story to tell. So, last monday, my comp and I were walking through the park to go wash our clothes. We heard a whisper, "those are the Mormons" and so we stopped to see who had commented. It was a middle aged man, about forty-ish. We greeted him in our natural friendly manner and asked him how he knew the missionaries. He told us that he had formerly been a member of our Church. We happily informed us that he still was a member of our Church. He assured us that he wasn't. We asked him why he wasn't. He then began to cite the Bible and tell us that Joseph Smith made it up and that the leaders of the Church have a blood pact to keep the lie going...........................Needless to say, I wasn't sure how to respond. I could do what a lot of missionaries here do and whip out my Bible to "prove" him wrong. I could just let it die there and not respond, like my comp clearly wanted to do. But there were people watching us and I didn't want us to think that this man had "beat" us so I felt like I had to say something. So I bore my testimony. I didn't say much, just that I had heard similar doubt before, that I had had similar doubts before, but that God had answered all my questions through the Holy Ghost. And then we left. We forgot about it and we forgot about him.

Well, that man showed up to Church on Sunday. He was very humble. He said he was just trying to follow where the Lord was leading him and said that he had originally left the Church for job issues, not for Biblical questions. He was an active participant in the classes. He was positive. It was amazing to see the power of a testimony. The prophet got it right in the Priesthood Session of conference: teach the truth through testimony. I didn't do anything, yet the Lord blessed me. I love Him.

Well, I love you all too.  Life is a good thing and there is always time to do the most important things. If you feel stressed, simplify things. Do what my friend Reinaldo is doing right now and cut some unnecessary things out of you lives to make more time for service and for God. You will feel happier and sleep better. Say your prayers, but say real prayers, where you talk to God about ALL of your doubts and worries. Read the scriptures. And remember: family, Church, and service are the most important things.  Stay happy, stay positive. I love you all and I'll see you in two years!
Elder Johnson

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