Wednesday, October 14, 2015

August 17, 2015 Wonderful Week in Casa Grande

     Hard to think we’re in the middle of August again which I guess means school should be starting up again in the states. It’s amazing how as I continue in my mission that time just seems to become more and more disconnected. As one loses himself in the work the days blow by and leave one missionary thinking “it’s already time to head back to the apartment,” “this month has already come to an end?” Definitely different than my time at BYU where I remember watching the clock tick waiting for a general education lecture to end (usually not my favorite classes).  The time goes by surprisingly quick and it’s hard to think that one can only live this for 2 years. We only get 2 years in this life and the eternities to have the chance to really give it all to the Lord as a messenger of Jesus Christ.  We won’t get another chance to do it and so it’s so very important to live and magnify every moment of it.  That’s what I try to do, it’s so easy to get caught up in the past or the future, but if we’ll just live and enjoy the present life becomes so much more fulfilling.
     As district leader I have to organize district P-days once in a while.  So for this past one I came up with a plan that ended up being a lot of fun. We eat pizza together as a district and then we took a hired van to El Brujo.  It’s an old temple that dates back a long way and has a lot of history.  More of it was open since I went in January. It was just great to come closer as a district and have fun, especially when we took photos at the end (some are attached).  I also get to conduct companion exchanges once in a while and this past week I headed to Ascope/Roma (about a half hour east) with Elder Cino to finally see what it is like there. Since I’m training I haven’t been able to leave my area for exchanges because Elder Caceres is a new missionary. However, I headed to Ascope and left him to lead the area for his time.  I later found out that he did great and it showed just how much he’s learned.  Ascope reminded me a lot  of San Jacinto and I got to meet some great people including a mother named Miragros who we taught for the 1st time. It was so easy to feel the Spirit that was present when we testified how the gospel of Jesus Christ, in it’s fullness, brings families together and brings peace in this life and oy in the one to come. She could feel something different and that’s really the uniqueness of our message being that the Spirit is there to confirm the truth of what we teach.
     Here in Casa Grande, A__ continues to progress.  I recently learned that he worked as an engineer for a while so that engineering background is something we have in common.  He really has an ability to understand and comprehend gospel principles and has really embraced what we’ve shared with him. He attended church last Sunday and felt great, so we took him again this past Sunday and he again left content as could be.  I just pray that he’s able to recognize an answer with respect to the Book of Mormon.  But he’s doing his part and I have no doubt that Moroni’s promise applies to all who do it with real intent.
     We also have seen miracles with J__ and R___. After passing through a couple bumps on the way, they committed to being married on the 20th and completed all the necessary paperwork in 2 days (right before the deadline).  It’s the first time that I’ve actually been able to help someone get married in preparation for baptism.  I have taught many people who needed to get married, but I’ve never been able to get to this point. So this coming Thursday should be very special. However, we haven’t been able to commit them to a specific baptismal date because of J__'s work so keep them in your prayers.
     P and Y’s family are also doing great. P__ had to go up North to Piura which appeared to be a permanent work change, however the family persevered with faith and P__’s work changed their mind and sent him back here. They are super active in the ward doing their visits, going to church, holding family home evenings weekly, and holding daily scripture study. They even have made it a point to magnify their calling as door greeters, arriving 15 minutes early each Sunday (which never happens in Peru). When P__ was in Piura he even said that he would make the overnight trip back every Saturday in order to fulfill his calling. Their faith reminds me of Alma’s converts in Mosiah 24 that endured their challenges with patience and faith, which led to being comforted and eventually freed. There’s a great joy seeing the mighty change of heart that the spirit has caused in 2 people two never wanted to be baptized and thought the Mormons worshipped Joseph Smith. The Spirit is so clearly present in their home now and it’s helped me to further realized that any family that truly lives the gospel with all their hear will come closer together in a peace that only the gospel brings.

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