This week has been ridiculous! Okay, first of all, I have my Companion! He came on Friday night and our first day together was Saturday. He´s a native of México and lets just say that he speaks a lot less English than my First companion did but he is really cool. He is also really patient with me when I still don´t understand what he says after he repeats it 3 times, which I am very grateful for but I think I am going to learn the language a lot faster this way. His name is Elder Parra, which is hard for me to say because when there are double r´s you are supposed to roll them and I can´t really do it that well yet. I´m working on it though. You would laugh so hard, I'm just walking down the street making these grrr/gargling noises haha.
This Sunday I had my first mission baptism!!!!! AHHHHH!!!! His name is Ivan, and is 17 years old and married to I think a 16 year old member who is now pregnant. Well, yeah. But he´s super good and wants to do the right thing. I was helping teach him when I was with the zone leaders this past week and they let me baptise him! It was aweseome haha. I really hope he stays active in the church. We had 3 baptisms in our district that day! How cool huh?? There are always people that are prepared to accept the gospel, you just have to find them! And a lot of that comes from the help of the members. We can´t knock on doors. The only way missionaries find people is by contacts in the street, which is about as usefull as trackting, and references from members. So they play a huge role here. It would be awesome, and I know every missionary in our ward would agree, if missionaries didn´t have to tract because they get references from the members. And think, there are only 30 something active members in our branch. I know that Brockport can help the missionaries enough so that they don´t have to tract and I also know it will be much more successful and there will be many more baptisms! So make a goal maybe to think of someone you can give a reference to the missionaries. And don´t be worried about offending people. Just imagine what Christ would do in your position. He shared the gospel with everyone. He was also rejected a lot. We have been COMANDED in the scriptures to live a Christ-like life. That is why we have a record of his life, because it is an example of how we need to live. Which brings me to something super,awesome,wonderfull, amazing!!
Yesterday, all the missionaries in our mission gathered at the mission offices and heard our mission president and his wife speak, the area seventy and his wife speak, and the Elder Jeffrey R. Holland!! Elder Holland was just an hour of pure Spiritual edification. He is my favorite apostle, he really is. He is so powerfull when he speaks that there is no way you can question what he says. He started talking about what we need to do as missionaries (and this can apply to everyone by the way). We need to bring people to Bedrock, or the doctrine of Christ, Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. But more fundamental than teaching them these things, is for them to live it. And how do we get investigators to live the doctrine we teach them?? Thats a question that I´ve had too. Well Elder Holland said that your investigators will live the Doctrine when you live the doctrine! Follow the rules. The first law of heaven is obedience. We need to live as Christ. When we introduce ourselves, we say we are representatives of Jesus Christ, so we need to live like the person we are representing. Then we will have power when we teach. In fact, we don´t teach, the holy spirit does. And if the spirit is not present, WE CANNOT TEACH! There is no way. We need to be worthy of the Spirit and have him with us allways if we are going to be successfull. Also, he made a point, ´´you have your investigators, well you are God´s investigators. Do what you are teaching your investigators. You want your investigators to pray a little more sincerely, well God wants you to pray a little more sincerely. You want your investigators to get a little more out of their studies, well God wants you to try a little harder and get a little more out of your studies.´´ Tan poderoso. Also, he talked about i think was Ammon and also Nephi in 3 Nephi that when after they taught, the people were Astonished. The he asked, how often are your investigators astonished after you teach them? or for you guys, how often are the people you home teach astonished after your lesson? We need to teach with the aim of astonishing them! The best way to astonish people is to live the Life of Christ: Also, he said, ´´you have not taught wth power of authority unless your investigators are Astonished.´´
He then went on to ask a question that I think everyone asks. ´´Why is this so hard? Why is it so hard to do missionary work, to live like Christ? Why is it so hard to do the right thing, to gain salvation.´´ He then said, ´´I´ve thought about that question for about half a century. And I´ve come up with an answer. It isn´t easy for us because it was NEVER easy for him.´´ boom. And if you think about it, Christ was the perfect example of a missionary and how much success did he have? Well he did convert thousands. But there were even more who saw every miracle, heard every sermon, that still didn´t believe. And eventually, he was put to death by his own people, the Jews. Betrayed by his own apostle. There is nothing we have to go through that Christ has not experienced. Salvation is not cheap neither is mercy or grace. It came at the price of the Blood of Christ. A quote he said that I love is ´´the road to Salvation always goes through Gethsemany.´´
So yeah, I love Elder Holland. It was so wonderful to hear him talk and I got to shake his Hand!!! ahhhhhhhh! I will always remember that talk. I know without a doubt that this work is true. That this church is the church of Christ. That the missionaries are representatives of him and we need to live his life as does every one. Endure to the end, in 2 Nephi 31 is defined as Living a Christlike life after the example that we have of him.
Thats cool about your calling! You´ll be able to bless many lives, just remember to teach with power and authority! Astonish the people you teach! I know you can, because I´ve been astonished by things you´ve taught before. It doesn´t have to be complicated at all. It can be just about baptism, but if you have the spirit, and teach with power and authority, you will astonish the people that hear you!
I´m glad you are recieving even more blessings! Continue to live in faith and you will continue to recieve them! I love you all and hope you have a great week. Picture to come!!