November 18, 2013
Well, it’s been a great week in Tome. Lots of fun. Chile had their presidential elections on Sunday. It was weird. Chilean campaigning consists of lots of cars waving the candidates’ flags all afternoon and blasting their campaign songs. I’m still not sure what any of the candidates think about any issues but I know I want Navarro to win as senator because his picture is ridiculously ugly and his song is so terribly catchy—“Navarro por la gente, gente!”
So, church attendance this week hit a new low. That was fun. It was probably because everyone heard that Elder Rhodes and I were giving talks. Just kiddin’... but actually.... I talked about the Spirit, and Elder Rhodes talked about the story of Naaman washing himself in the river. Good stuff, good times.
We had some very spiritual experiences this week. It’s amazing to think that every day we help people make changes in their lives. We have been asking ourselves after every visit, “What are the evidences that our work is helping those people build their faith in Christ?” We have seen miracles and changes in the people and changes in our attitude. I am sure that when we give simple, direct testimony, and cut straight to the chase, that people feel the Spirit more powerfully and are willing to keep their commitments. Only with the power of the Spirit can we have any lasting success in anything we are doing.
I wanted to end with a note to anyone that is passing through a hard thing in this moment. From the little experience I have, I know that these things happen because God loves us. That may sound contradictory, but it is true, and I have seen it and felt it many times. This week, we were walking with one of the members of our ward and went to knock on a neighbor’s door. She came out and started scolding him, not even looking at us, for coming by, saying that God has abandoned her, that her father has died, her brother was brutally killed, and now her mom has cancer; she just kept talking and talking and was completely closed to letting us help her. The only words we could really get out were a quick scripture and testimony, which just made her cry more, and she told us to go away and that she would tell him if she ever wanted help. It was pretty sad to see, and it left the member pretty impacted, but we did what we could. But the saddest part is how closed she was to understanding why those things happen, to be willing to forgive, and to move on. Hopefully she comes out of it and later on we can help her, but, from what I have seen, all we really need to do in those moments is turn to God and He will fix things. It may not happen right away, and it may take patience and diligence and pains, but in the end things all work out, but only if we do our part.
Last thought: I’ve been reading in Jesus the Christ about excuses. If we look for excuses, we can find them. The Good Samaritan helped because he wasn’t looking for excuses; the Priest and the Levite found whatever excuse they could to make their conscience feel better; the Good Samaritan had his heart so completely consecrated that excuses never came to him, he just did what needed to be done—an example for us all.
Have a great week!
Love you all!
|Destination of a great run this morning|
|Our beautiful sector in Tome|
|Cute little friend, Brandon, who gave me his Darth Sidious and ObiWan when he discovered I was a fellow fan.|
|Me with Elder Rhodes and Elder Jorge|