Woah! What a week. This week has literally flown. I don´t even know what all happened! Time seems to be speeding up on my mission, kinda scary! Is it really already the end of week 8 in the mission field?? I´ve almost spent more time in the field than the MTC now! I feel like I just barely got off the plane from the states, yet no, I actually am in Negritos, and I even know a few people!
This week has been kinda weird with the weather too, it´s kinda rained every night. It´s more of a sprinkle, but with the flimsy roofs we have we can fake that it´s rain. ;) I´ve really loved it because it´s not nearly as hot as it usually is! Yeah Dad, it is kinda weird to be in the middle of summer right now...even weirder to think that my birthday is in winter!! However, it´s kinda cool. Other than the sunburn...I missed putting it on today when we went out. :/ sad when I´ve been putting it on every day the last week!
So last week, as you know, we went to the lighthouse. I included some pictures on there. The sunset was simply amazing...the panoramic picture I got is my favorite! I wish you could see what it´s really like here...the sun moves so fast!!! It´s also a lot smaller than I remember it being in Utah. Oh! Another kinda random cool thing! I finally found the Southern Cross! We were on our way to a multi zone conference at 430 am when I saw it! Ya...430...that was a LONG day. We had about 5 hours in a bus, there and back, but it was worth it!
The conference was focused on the Atonement, and we discussed some pretty amazing things. That talk I sent Dad last week is what we used to prepare to teach a 5 minute lesson on the Atonement to investigators, actually an entire family. Five minutes is not much time to teach the atonement to a whole family!! It was really tough, but I learned a LOT about the Saviour and His sacrifice for us through my study this last week. He truly was the only one that could do it, and His infinite sacrifice can be felt by all of us if we choose to accept and believe in Him.
As far as the work goes, things are progressing! Although it´s a little slow...we have a lot of good investigators. This week we tried to find a lot of new ones as well, and we had some good success! One of our investigators, Maritza Preciado, is really ready for the next step. She believes that everything is true. She knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the BOM is true. What she lacks is sufficient faith to attend church. I don´t know what´s holding her back. The past two weeks in a row she has promised us, but hasn´t come. We´ve tried going to pick her up, and we´ve tried having a ward member go. She doesn´t come. WE´ll have to see what happens this next week.
The other investigator we´ve been working with for a long time is Gustavo. I just don´t get why he doesn´t come to church with us. We´ve had some really spiritual experiences with him. This last week he really opened up with us and talked about what his fears are, and the stresses in his life right now. His wife is psychizophrenic (spelled that wrong) and has been in the hospital for a long time. He´s had some tough things to deal with in his life. We gave him a priesthood blessing, and I think it helped him a lot, but he still just won´t commit himself to coming.
With all the frustration...there is of course the light!! We´ve had some amazing lessons this week...and I wouldn´t trade them for anything. One of them was with Judy Tamai. She´s Jair´s aunt, and she started becoming interested on the night that Jair received his answer. We went over with the intention of watching the Restoration movie, because we know how powerful it is. When we tried to do it, the tv wasn´t working right. So while Hna Sulma was fixing it we started talking and somehow the conversation got to the law of chastity and how difficult it is to really keep this law today. There´s so much evil in this world, and just by leaving your house it´s sometimes hard to keep clean thoughts-especially when moto´s have pornography plastered all over them.
However, we have many promises given to us, and I shared them with her. She told me straight out that she doesn´t believe it´s possible anymore for a child to reach age 19 without breaking the law of chastity. I felt the spirit working inside of me...it was an incredible feeling. I looked right back at her and said that it was possible. That God doesn´t give us commandments that we can´t keep. I then shared two scriptures that have helped me a lot. 1 Corinthians 10:13 and 1 Nefi 3:7. The first says that we will not be tempted above what we´re able, and the second that God will not give us commandments without providing a way to keep them. When I had her read those, I could tell she felt something...and she knew that we had this aid. I bore testimony that because the world is so evil today, God is blessing us more abundantly with His spirit. The gift of the Holy Ghost will protect us. There will never be a time when a temptation comes that God will not provide us the opportunity to say no. I know this to be true, and I´ve felt it many times.
After that mini lesson we watching the Restoration, and the spirit just got stronger and stronger. After it was over, Judy said she had felt the spirit, and wanted to be baptized. Unfortunately, she´s not married and she´s living with a man. It costs 300 soles to get married here, and Jershon, her husband, doesn´t have a job. Yet again, Heavenly Father blessed me with the opportunity to communicate what He wanted. I felt the spirit leading me to speak, and whispering to my heart. I looked her straight in the eyes and promised her that if she would do everything she could, read, pray, look for jobs, go to church, that God would provide a way. I told her that it was the spirit telling me this, it wasn´t a promise that she should take lightly.
I can´t tell you how incredible it is to be a missionary. To have moments like that where you know you are literally the Lord´s mouthpiece. I had another one this very Sunday!
So yesterday Jair was confirmed. Of course, I baptized him, so I was fully expecting Elder Turcious to confirm. Hmmm...not a good idea! Never assume, I´ve learned that now! When President Palacious asked him who he wanted to confirm him, Jair pointed right at me. Woah. I was not ready! I hadn´t reviewed the words that I needed to give a priesthood blessing, let alone confirm someone a member and give them the Holy Ghost. I felt my heart begin to race. Thankfully, Elder Turcious was going to stand next to me and help me to begin, but what next? How could I give the blessing?
Instead of thinking too much, I acted. When I began, I did need Elder Turcious´s help. He told me how to begin. After that...something miraculous happened. Yet again, the spirit began prodding me, telling me what to say. I´ve always wondered how Dad knew what to say during father´s blessings. How priesthood blessings even worked. I don´t wonder anymore. The spirit literally does tell us what to say. Although I didn´t do it eloquently or completely, I told Jair what Heavenly Father wanted him to know. I felt the spirit literally coursing through me. I couldn´t think about anything else except the words that needed to be said. It was a focus unlike any that I´ve ever felt in my entire life. It was an experience that will never be forgotten as well.
After the blessing, it was gone. The focus left, but the warmth and confirmation of the spirit remained. I saw the joy in Jair´s eyes, and I knew. Knew that yet again, I had been blessed to be an instrument in God´s hands...such an amazing thing!!!
After church, we went out with the members again to visit some of the less actives. It´s really great to see President Palacious getting excited to strenghten our area. He and I actually went out together. I talked to him about the ward, and how great things have started to improve. I can tell that he worries alot about the ward, and wants to help. Unfortunately, a lot of members don´t like him, and that´s why they don´t come. People don´t think he´s doing his job. I can see that he´s trying to improve, just like all of us. Elder Turcious and I are going to begin doing more acts of service for him...last Saturday we cleaned the chapel, something he usually does on his own after an 11 hour work day. Hopefully we can help him a little bit, and he´ll be able to help us a little bit.
Well, I´m going to send this one and try to start another...I´ve got more pics. ;)