“And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfill and to do the work of the covenants of the Father… by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord.” (Moroni 7:31). The apostolic calling to expound and exhort the very gospel of Jesus Christ is one that leads to much reflection. To think that an apostle of the Lord received the clear revelation to call a young man to Trujillo, to hold the very apostolic authority to be an emissary of the Lord, is a wonder indeed. The calling to call/invite others unto the gospel is a fulfilling one as we work hard to find the “chosen vessels of the Lord” or rather the prepared children of God who are ready to make covenants with the Father. Not an easy task but the tools like sincere prayer, consistent church attendance, the guiding, all knowing influence of the Spirit is there to reach the hearts of those we teach and ourselves and making our calling far from impossible. That divine presence has been ever so present this past week as Elder Caceres and I have worked here in Casa Grande and yet again working the miracles small and large that we see every day as missionaries.
Last P-day was pretty low-key as we just spent our morning cleaning and eating pizza. So I’ll write about how some of our investigators are doing. J___, who I mentioned last week, is doing great. Our bishop (who is super dedicated and awesome) decided to start doing things with J___ like help him make a fishing net and go fishing with him at the beach. These simple acts of fellowshipping have made all the difference. J___ has been more and more eager to learn more and even accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 5th of September! He has always “run away” from the missionaries in the past with such invitations so when he accepted this time, his wife E___ looked profoundly dumbfounded. We also have continued to work with a younger adult, A___ , who is very smart and all ready to learn more. We’ve been teaching him for about 3 weeks now and he always surprises us just how prepared he appears to be when we teach him. He is hungry to follow Christ and do whatever is necessary to do so. He also accepted the invitation for the 5th.
J___ and R___ have also gone through quite a few challenges as they tried to push forward and they are trying to get married so that they can follow Christ. They encountered strong opposition from family and have been very challenged financially. However, through it all they’ve held fast to daily scripture study and prayer and having a firm goals for their future. As such they are now rushing to get all their documents in order to get married on the 20th in a mass wedding the mission is preparing. Pray for them as they need all their documents by tomorrow. It will be a miracle, but I suppose we see those every day. Once we get through this they’ll be all dressed in white in the church together ready to follow in Christ’s footsteps together.
Now the largest miracle of all undoubtedly pertains to E___. As I’ve shared before, she is a single mother of 13 year old Aaron (who was baptized 2 years ago). She’s listened to the missionaries off and on for 13 years, but like I said before she accepted the invitation to be baptized. Since then we’ve worked hard to help her prepare and it’s not been easy. She’s had many challenges and discouragements. Last Sunday, August 2nd, she told us that she wasn’t ready and that she couldn’t get baptized. She explained how her mother wasn’t ready so she couldn’t get baptized. She explained how her mother attended another church for 5 years before getting baptized. She thought that she had to be almost perfect before taking that step. However, we explained that baptism is but a gate and not the end. Then our ex-pensionista testified about the importance to act, how her husband had known all was true and waited, but his time ran out. She once again accepted the invitation and we’ve worked with her this past week to help her prepare herself. Finally, this past Saturday came and it was time. The ward put together a great program and quite a few attended. Then I was the person who stepped into the baptismal font with her. She gave a great testimony afterward sharing just how much she’s changed. Jose’ was also in attendance and he said he would be next.
Well, it’s been a great week here and I wish you all an excellent one this coming week. So it is goodbye for now from Casa Grande, Peru!