Dear Family and Friends,
I have had another great week on the mission. Five words to describe the week would be; 1) Hot 2) Quick 3) Busy 4) memorable and 5) successful. I truly enjoyed this last week a lot. One of the first things that comes to my mind is a concept that I learned during Zone meeting this last week. We related, "Having faith to find" to [Alma 32]. We are blessed as missionaries as well as members of the church according to our faith and obedience. As missionaries, having faith to find is crucial. The first example that came to my mind was Familia Sanchez. Two transfers ago, the daughter Linda was just a former investigators from a few years back. We then began to teach the mother, Hermana Irma Sanchez. Two weeks later, her son Ricardo began to always be present in lessons and weeks following, the youngest daughter Melanie was recieving the lessons. As a family, the three were Baptized on September 1st, 2013. The original former, Linda was present at the Baptism and we are now teaching her the Restored Gospel. I began to realize how this story relates to [Alma 32] when it explains Faith as a seed. The seed symbolizing success in the Lords work as a missionary while faith symbolizes righteous routines and Christlike attributes. Two, transfers ago, when we knocked on the door of Familia Sanchez, looking for a former named Linda, did I know that what happened was going to happen? Of course not, but it did. My hope, patience, love and faith to find has increased a great amount because of that experience. When we knock on doors as missionaries whether it be looking for a former investigator or a new investigator, we literally do not know what is on the other side. The man who answers could be a future Stake President. The lady who answers the door could be a future spouse to a future Prophet. After all, that is what happened to President Wilford Woodruff and his wife. Every time I knock a door, or contact a person on the street, I always have high hopes for them, not matter what the first impression may be. "We have a responsability to not look at people how they are, but what they can become." -President Thomas S. Monson (Something along those lines!) How true is that statement. The experiences I have had on a mission have truly had a positive affect on my outlook of missionary work and life as well. If and when we knock doors, I will always have high hopes. When investigators do not keep specific commitments, I will have patience. When I feel tired and lack a drive to push on until the end of the day, I will remember how hard missionary work was also for our Savior, Jesus Christ and then work harder.
Dia de Hispanidad was this last week for the Santa Ana South Stake. For all that are unfamiliar with Dia de Hispanidad, it is basically, all kinds of food from the different Wards, lots of members and investigators, activities and orginazed dances from each of the Wards as well. Let me tell you all, I love the Spanish culture. You could not get anything American close to such a gathering. I really enjoyed the short amount of time we were able to spend there and see investigators and Ward members there. Familia Sanchez was there almost the whole day as Hermana Irma Sanchez told the Relief Society she was willing to help set up and cook food. We were able to to see them there in the evening. We got there just in time to have some food and see some of the organized dances the Youth put on from each Ward. Hermana Irma Sanchez was cooking for our Ward most of the afternoon. She has come a long ways. Speaking of which, their confirmation was yesterday. Hermana Irma Sanches and her two kids; Ricardo and Melanie were confirmed members of the Church and recieved The Gift of the Holy Ghost. After all the fellowship from the Ward that they have recieved and testimonies they each have recieved of the Gospel, I am not worried to leave the Ward, although I do not want to leave. Recent converts and progressing investigators have a special spot in a missionaries heart.
This week and next week, we have Baptisms planned. The one coming up will be Gisel who is a daughter to a less-active and has 11 years. We have been meeting with the less-active mother, Hermana Landeros for a while and found out that her youngest daughter Gisel has not been Baptized yet. We began teaching Gisel as well as Hermana Landeros the lessons and she is going to be Baptized next week. The process of preparing Gisel for Baptism has really lifted Hermana Landeros as well. I believe this is bringing the whole family back into activity in the church. Also, the week following will be a Baptism for Familia Solis if all goes well. We have not met with her for a good chunck of time now, almost a week, and are worried the date may change, but it is my prayer that all goes as planned. This area truly has been blessed. I could not ask for a better area to serve, nor Ward for that matter.
I know that Jesus Christ lives. He is our Savior and Redeemer. Our Heavenly Father loves us more then we can imagine. Jesus Christ himself leads and directs the Restored Church through a living Prophet today. This is the Lords work and nobody is more interested in the success of Missionary Work then our Heavenly Father. I know that Joseph was called as Prophet of the Restoration. I know that there is no greater power given from God then the restored Priesthood. Heavenly Father speaks to His children today. He has blessed us with more scripture which contains the fulness of the everlasting Gospel. I know that The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I testify that The Doctrine and Covenants is another book of revelations. I testify that our Heavenly Father has blessed us with all that we need to recieve Eternal Salvation in His presence. What more could we ask for? I love my Heavenly Father and the opportunity He has given me to serve in His white vinyard. This I share humbly in the name of my great example, even my brother Jesus Christ, Amen.