Monday, August 1, 2016

Sacrifice Brings Blessings

A few stories about that.

First, the zone leaders have been having a rough week. They've been working way hard to keep the zone alive (speaking almost literally there, almost half the companionships in the zone have been in the hospital at least some point during this change for various health problems) and sacrificing tons of time to be in other missionaries' sectors and help them out. On top of that we've had meetings with President and they've even more meetings with the other leaders of the mission and the stake president...all in all there was almost an entire week where they weren't even in their sector, and if you know anything about missionary work just being absent one day seems to kill the sector. But they then told us about how, as a result of that act of faith, they feel the Lord blessed them. The Sunday after that terrible week a member showed up out of nowhere with his non-member girlfriend and asked them to teach her, and now she has a baptismal date!

Another companionship that I admire is the companionship of sisters in my district. One of the poor sister missionaries had some horrible migraine problems and was hospitalized two hours south of her sector in Quito for almost two weeks. But despite that, she and her companion came back super strong to their sector and not only destroyed their goal of less-actives for this week but within a few days had investigators with baptismal dates! They've been giving me a good example - we don't have anyone with date in our sector as of yet.

But...we will pretty soon! We've also been sacrificing, working hard despite seeing a lot of success, and this week we were finally blessed with several less-active and part-member families to work with. We've had this referral of a part-member family that we've been trying to find for a while. The husband is a non-member, and the wife had told us we should visit with the first councilor in the bishopric because apparently they get along really well. We've been trying for about two weeks to get the appointment to happen but either they weren't there or the first councilor couldn't get there or something happened...but last night the planets finally aligned and we got an appointment.

At first it was obvious it was very awkward for this investigator and he focused on talking with his friend, the first councilor. Eventually we could get the investigator to sit down and as we got to know the investigator, we realized he did have a very deep interest in his family. I felt like we could talk about the Family Proclamation, so we did. After he read the first paragraph I asked him if there was anything he had questions about and he said something like, "I've always wondered what God's plan is for families. Does he want us to be with our parents and siblings for forever?"

I cannot tell you how happy I was to hear him ask that question. We talked about temples and got another appointment out. I'm excited to teach him.

On those lines, I'd like to close with the latter half of one of my favorite sections of Doctrine and Covenants, 123. Read it carefully.

11 And also it is an imperative duty that we owe to all the rising generation, and to all the pure in heart—

 12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects,parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—

 13 Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness,wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—

 14 These should then be attended to with great earnestness.

 15 Let no man count them as small things; for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the saints,which depends upon these things.

 16 You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept work ways with the wind and the waves.

 17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we standstill, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

This is the Lord's work! Nothing will stop it. Love you all lots!
Caught my compa in a good pose.

A cool pic overlooking Otavalo I got in the sister missionaries' sector when we went to help them out.

We went to eat some encebollados and some guys came in playing music. They played The Sound of Silence on their Andean flutes, which I wasn't planning on hearing for another 3 weeks, so that made me happy for a moment.

                                In the building on the right they're making food out of this guy.

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