Well this week for us we just worked hard! Hahaha…I had a meeting with all the district leaders in Santa Cruz with President Willard. It was very good. I was asked to conduct the meeting and had the privilege of teaching the other leaders about Ezekiel 34. We talked about how to be good leaders of course. Our heroes in the Book of Mormon, the mission manual, and how to give good correction. It was really good :)
I'm district leader, but it´s a little different here in Santa Cruz than out in Camiri; my district is bigger. There are 8 missionaries instead of 4. I also don´t participate in the leadership conferences with the zone leaders. Just the structuring of the mission is different. Hahaha…I don´t have to do finances :D The zone leaders are actually a part of my district as well, so we check on one another mutually.
I´m really bad at sharing stories, but I had a very sweet experience this week:
As we were leaving our house in the morning to go out and teach the Gospel, a lady with two young sons called out to us, and we recognized them as a family that we had taught about a month ago. She asked us if we could visit with them in the evening, but as we already had a full schedule, we told her if we could find the time we would pass by. As it turns out, our appointment at 8 fell through, and we decided to go and visit the Soria Family. They lived rather far away so it was about 8:40 before we were able to start the lesson. So as missionaries we should be in house at 9. 9;30 as the very very last deadline. So we were really short for time, but as we started talking a spirit of peace entered into our hearts as we shared about the restoration and the experience of Joseph Smith. The weird thing is that we shared the exact same thing a month ago when we first visited them, yet we felt inspired to share it again. Then we reached the moment that during Joseph Smith´s search for truth, he read a scripture that changed his life. James 1:5 which says, ¨And if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and is shall be given him.
But let him ask with faith...¨
In that moment the mother of family got really emotional, and began to tell us that she felt as though she had been escaping in her life from God. She told us how just the day before she had been reading the Bible for hours, and could never find the scripture she was looking for. But that we came by, and through us, God gave her her answer. She hadn´t been praying much, and her family was going through many difficulties, but she felt the love of God as she read the scripture. I felt very blessed to have been in tune with the spirit so that through me he could answer the prayer of one of His daughters. :) Experiences like that really strengthen my testimony that God truly does love us, and is aware of our needs. :)
This morning as I was reading the Liahona of March, (ensign in the states) I was really interested in a talk written by Elder Oaks about the antichrists that are so present in our days. Hahaha..well I read the whole talk in Spanish so I´m not sure how well I´d be able to translate it to English, but we live in times where there are every so many voices telling us where true happiness awaits. Some say in solely doing what makes us feel good. Some say it is found within fame, fortune, titles, gifts, and other material things. Moral relativism reigns supreme. All believing that happiness and salvation can be found on our own, doing what we feel is right. However, I know that that is not the truth. Our loving Heavenly Father from the very beginning already knew how we could be happy and gave that way in the form of the Gospel! It is through our obedience to the commandments and our love of God that frees us and allows us to find lasting peace and happiness. I love the gospel with all my heart. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He knows us. He loves us. He pleads that we can follow His example. I have seen in the lives of oh so many the truthfulness of the words of Alma, ¨wickedness never was happiness.¨ My own life is a testimony. As I have striven to keep the commandments in my life, and learned to love my Heavenly Father and Savior, I have found peace and purpose in my own mind and heart. I am truly happy. I´m not perfect, but when I do make mistakes I know how I can be forgiven, and how I can then change. The gospel of Jesus Christ is glorious! I know God exists, that He lives and guides our lives. I know that He answers our prayers. Any of us can know the same if we but humble ourselves and seek for the truth. God has given to each of us the marvelous gift of being able to choose for ourselves between right and wrong. And as a missionary it is my wonderful job to help others choose the right! I know this is true with all my heart.
Have a wonderful week!