Sunday, July 3, 2016

Church is in the Heart

Elder Barrus, Noel, Elder Heiner. Noel has an amazing conversion story!
Qué onda todos? (What's up everybody?)  If you are in a dry climate, I hope you are appreciating the dry heat instead of the humidity of a tropical rain forest (which coincidentally, is exactly what it feels like right now).

The work is on an upward climb here in the Woodlands 3rd Ward. Yesterday we had 4 investigators attend church, which was really nice because it was ward conference and we had some exceptional speakers from the stake come and light up the pulpit with the Spirit and inspiring messages.

Two of the investigators that came have some promising potential. The first is Hugo. Hugo has been an investigator for awhile and had a baptismal date about a year ago, but he and his girlfriend were not married and she didn't really want to get married, so he was dropped. He's read in the Book of Mormon all the way to Alma and has a really good understanding of the story and how he can learn and receive revelation from it.

The second is Hugo's sister Caty. She just arrived a few months ago from Guatemala and she's staying with Hugo. She already has a good understanding of the scriptures, and has committed to read the Book of Mormon, so we're excited for her. You can pray for Pablo, Irma, Yaderi, Mayela, Gerardo, Miguel, Hugo, and Caty. All of these investigators have lots of potential, so your prayers are definitely appreciated. :)

This week we are planning on setting four baptismal dates. We are going to give all of them covenant path calendars, which will help them visualize their goal of baptism and going to the temple, and what steps need to be taken in order for them to feel ready to make those sacred covenants.

In the second hour of church yesterday, a member of the Stake Presidency taught our Gospel Essentials class--three investigators and us missionaries, and it was beyond inspiring. First he got to know all of the investigators, and then he figured out that all of them came from similar backgrounds. They had all immigrated to the United States fairly recently and so they were working on adjusting to the culture and the language. Then he showed us a couple scriptures in the Book of Mormon that talk about how this land (The Americas) is a promised and chosen land, and that if those who live here strive to keep God's commandments, they will prosper.

He then proceeded to tell his story, about how he came to the United States when he was 15 from Mexico with no family, no money, no education, and he didn't speak a lick of English. He talked about his struggles, about how it took him a long time to learn English, about how he didn't do very well in school, but also how much he relied on the Lord in these difficult times. He read and pondered the scriptures every day. He prayed, and trusted that God would help him. He decided to consecrate himself and serve a mission and he had a wonderful experience. When he came home, he could see how the Lord started opening doors for him  little by little that allowed him to see the fruits of his labors. Soon, he graduated from BYU, got married, and had a nice career. Now, he is in a management in a company where he is in charge of 17 people, and he is so grateful to Heavenly Father for the experiences he's had and the blessings he's received. He is a living testament that God really can turn us into someone we never thought possible, if we will only let him. I felt the Spirit so strong, and I know that our investigators did too. 

I want to challenge y'all to share the Gospel with at least one person this week, and bear testimony as to how it has changed and blessed your life. Sometimes we have fear of man more than fear of God, but it was the fear of man that prohibited the Israelites from being able to enter the promised land for 40 years. So don't risk having to wander in the wilderness, share the Gospel with someone who needs it.

Elder Barrus

As a zone we wrote down the negative things we had heard or thought about our
areas, then buried them, symbolizing that we will bury our weapons of rebellion and
doubt and that we will 
 have the faith necessary to see miracles in our zone.

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