Hey y’all, today has been a little crazy because today we had a mission tour with Elder De Hoyos of the Seventy so our P-day started a little later. That's why I am sending this a little late.
This week was pretty sweet though. We saw tons of miracles and worked really hard. Also, my new and final companion in the mission is Elder Gibby from Brigham City, Utah. He’s a little shy and reserved but he looks just like Bruce R. McConkie so that definitely makes up for it!
But anyway, on Monday we visited a referral we had received from some English missionaries for a guy from Colombia named Armando. He is married to a member of the Church from Texas who doesn’t speak a whole lot of Spanish. It’s kinda funny too, because he doesn’t speak a whole lot of English. But either way he is really open to learning the truth and has really insightful questions that definitely keep us on our toes. But we also invited him and his wife to come to Oakcrest’s Christmas party on Friday and it was a huge success! Not only did they come, but as well Armando’s sister’s family came too and seemed to really enjoy it. In addition to them we had at least 10 other non members come to the party as well as many less active members. So the activity was a huge success and we will be trying to work with those who came and see if they have any desire to learn more.
On Tuesday we were able to teach Perla and Sergio even though they are very busy getting ready for their wedding this coming Friday. Sergio asked us if he has to give up coffee. We asked him what for and he said “to be a part of all of this.” So we decided to teach the why of the commandments in addition to the word of wisdom to help increase his understanding of that particular commandment. He is getting close to knowing for himself that these things are true.
On Wednesday we ate dinner and taught the Restoration to the husband of another couple that we’ve been working with and it went super well. He seemed to especially like learning about how he can use the priesthood to bless his wife and son and how families can live together forever through the same power. He’s committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, and knows that when he receives an answer, it means that he has to keep other bigger commitments.
On Thursday, we saw a huge miracle. While driving to an appointment, we noticed a new trailer park that we’ve never seen before. We made note of it and later in the day decided to knock it. After we knocked every door on one of the streets, we headed back towards our car to grab some more Books of Mormon.
We passed a house that we had already knocked but no one had answered. We saw a car in the driveway, so we knocked it and got let in by a couple from Honduras. As we began to talk to them they began to tell us about their strong faith that they have in the Catholic Church and we noticed that they had a large painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe. We didn’t expect them to really show much interest in our message, but we continued to listen and eventually we asked them a question that sparked their interest: Why are there so many churches if Christ only established one? We taught them about Joseph Smith and the Restoration and they were in shock after we shared the First Vision. The wife began to cry and explained to us that this was the first time her husband had ever listened to religious missionaries and she’s been praying for a long time that he’ll show interest in learning about God. She said she felt something stronger than anything she’s felt before. She now knows that God answers prayers and she and her husband are going to read the Book of Mormon and pray to find the truth. We know that the Holy Ghost can soften hearts and work miracles, even amongst those who are hard headed and stuck in their ways of tradition and comfort.
That more than anything has been a testimony that I have gained throughout my mission. That God is real. That he does answer prayers. That through Him, miracles are wrought. That His son Jesus Christ stands at the door knocking for that moment when we are ready to open the door and receive Him into our lives. That even if we have once accepted Christ into our lives and then cast Him out, that He will always come back in if we let Him. I also know that God is perfectly just and perfectly merciful. And that if our repentance is sincere and thorough, that we can be cleansed through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
There are those who may doubt or even mock these words. However, we must be careful to follow the words of the Lord’s prophets, regardless of how unpopular in the world’s eyes it may seem. There are countless stories in the Scriptures of times where individuals and families were saved and protected as they hearkened to the voice of the Lord and His servants. And that those who didn’t hearken didn’t have that same measure of protection, that added measure of strength and comfort. So we must always look in the mirror and evaluate ourselves as to which side of the line of we stand on: the Lord’s side or the world’s side.
Anyway. I love all of you. Stay strong.
1: Picture at transfers with my second son Elder Broschart, born in the wilderness
2: We took this on Friday after district meeting. You can barely see it, but there is snow on the rooftops behind us
|Elder Barrus and Elder Broschart after Transfer Meeting|
|After District Meeting|