Thursday, June 17, 2010

Weekly Letter: June 1-7

Another week in the mission field. I´m going to go out on a limb and say that it was our most effective week in the mission so far. I think the turning point was Monday at the Meeting. Elder Steed, our District leader, made a District goal this week to have at least two lessons, one new investigator, and one referral received before the Comida at 2:00. We worked harder than ever to meet this goal, and although we often fell short on the goal, we still made a huge stride in our work.

This week, we focused on Baptism....we didn´t even realize it until we looked at our numbers, but we committed all but three investigators to baptism. First, we committed Irene to be baptized and she accepted to be baptized yesterday. Unfortunately, due to a special stake conference we weren´t able to realize the baptism, but she said she would be baptized this Saturday! This is actually better, because she has a greater opportunity to invite her daughters, one of which doesn´t believe in God, and the other is a little hardened because of experiences with religion in the past. However, in talking to Irene, she told us that both of her daughters wanted to attend her baptism, but weren´t able to on Sunday. She said that maybe God is giving them an opportunity to attend by changing it to Saturday. I could give you all the details about how the daughters´ hearts are being softened, but it´s not possible to give all the details. However, when Irene explained to one of her daughters about the Word of Wisdom, and how it was like the 6th of the ten commandments ¨Thou shalt not kill(thyself)¨ her daughter said that it made a lot of sense. How I am glad for modern-day prophets that help understand the doctrine more fully!

Also, the other family that attended church last week. They weren´t able to receive us in their home until Saturday night, and because of work and the grandmother, neither of them could go to Church. However, we contacted them the Friday night, invited them to the baptism that we were going to have on Sunday(but subsequently got canceled). Uriel(the father) told us that he wanted to go on Sunday, but he wasn´t sure if he could. However, the next day, when we had the appointment, Gabriela(who went to church last week with her kids) basically commanded us to talk about baptism. So we taught them the third lesson. After doing so, we extended the invitation to be baptized, and both of them said yes.

They only have the obstacle of a real addiction to smoking, but both of them expressed their willingness to comply with the Word of Wisdom. Without our help, they had already made the goal to be completely clean of smoking by next Sunday, when they anticipate that they will be able to attend church together as a family. They truly have incredible faith. They already have friends in the church....actually, their friends were the ones that referred us to them. And really have the desire to be baptized!

It´s been a while since I mentioned Bety Ábrego. That´s because, due to her work schedule, we have only been able to visit her once a week, and she hasn´t been able to go to church on Sundays. However, she continues to amaze us in her faithfulness in reading and praying, even though she was pretty sick this week, she still read a good 10 chapters in the Book of Mormon! I think she´s read more in the BOM than about half of the members in the ward! We decided as companionship to read with her in one of the Chapters she had already read(because we´ve already taught her all she needs for baptism). Both of us felt inspired to read 2 Nephi 2. As we were reading about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, my companion began explaining to her that in order for the Atonement to work in our lives, we need to be baptized. By this time, we had already taught baptism several times, and I thought for a moment where this was going, and I had a feeling to go with it, to commit her to baptism.

She accepted to be baptized on the first Sunday that she has off work and can return to church(she´s already attended church three times previous), the last Sunday of June and of the transfer period. What´s more, she went on to tell us that she actually had a dream where there was a baptism with lots of people, in a font that she described perfectly, even though she hasn´t seen a baptismal font in our church before. It was a marvelous experience. She has already described several dreams to us. She to us that the week before we contacted her on the street, she had a dream about angels in white(I don´t remember everything she described because I didn´t understand all of it), but wow! Truly this is one of God´s chosen daughters, ready for the gospel in her life.

We were also able to find a great new investigator in the water purifier. His name is Jesus, and he was a referral from the other Elders, because he actually lives more at his work than he is able to be at home with his family(the work here is very hard, people work so hard to support their family.) So we entered the purifier and asked a man if he knew Jesus. The man looked at us and asked ¨You mean the one that´s up there?¨ both of us misunderstood, thinking that he meant that Jesus was on the floor above. But then he smiled and said ¨he´s in heaven, right?¨ Both of us, finally getting the joke laughed, and then asked if there was Jesus working there. He told us to wait, went into the back room for a minute and returned and told us, pointing upwards ¨Yeah, I don´t know him very well.¨ Again, we laughed, and I said, ¨Well, we can help you with that.¨ He laughed and told us that he was Jesus, the man that the other Elders had contacted.

Jesus has been having problems with his family, and wants to find a faith, something so he can change and improve his relations with his family. We promised him that the gospel blesses families, taught him about the Restoration and committed him pray about Joseph Smith....and, when he asked about the baptism(which we also invited him to, but also couldn´t go to), we taught him a little about baptism, and committed him to be baptism....and he accepted, but said he wanted to make sure that it was the right decision before doing it right away, he wanted to be ready. We told him that we were there to help him reach that goal and that we were going to teach him more about this message. He expressed interest in the message and we´re going to pass by tomorrow.

I wish I could tell you guys about everything that´s going on, but there is just too much to talk about. This week, I hope will also be an effective week. Thank you for your prayers and your faith, they really do help!

Con Amor,
Elder Blackham

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