Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Happy Birthday!

This is Josh's email from September 26, 2016. (His 20th birthday.)

Thank you for the birthday package and birthday wishes! We are planning to go to Top Golf and then I'm not sure. Maybe a restaurant that sells good barbecue. :) 

It was a very fruitful week here in Katy. We found three new investigators and even set another baptismal date! So let's get to it: 

On Tuesday we were able to set a date with one of our investigators who we will say is named Rosa, even though that's not her real name. She is a young adult who has met with missionaries in the past and felt that she already knew that the Book of Mormon and this church was true. She just got scared because her entire family is Catholic and they were very against her changing religions. But lately she had been going through a difficult time, so when we texted her and asked if we could teach her a couple of weeks ago, she agreed. So we taught her the Restoration and the Spirit was very powerful. The next week we taught the first part of the Plan of Salvation, and really emphasized that Christ makes it possible for all of us to overcome sin and death, and all he asks of us is that we repent and get baptized. She agreed, so we scheduled the date for November 6th as a goal to work towards. She is still really worried about what her mother might say, but at the end of the day, she recognizes that Christ requires us to do hard things in order to do the right thing. But she has made a goal to read at least one chapter in The Book of Mormon every day, so I am confident that she will be able to experience the joy of true conversion for herself as she continues exercising her faith. 

On Sunday we were finally able to meet with the Cintura family after having not seen them for over a month. They've been going through some difficult stuff these past few weeks that is just gut-wrenching for me to hear. They have only been here for about 8 months and so the adjustment has been hard, especially considering that this family was very well off when they lived in Colombia. However, both Elder Sellers and I promised them that if they sincerely read in the Book of Mormon for 10-15 minutes each day and prayed to know if it is true, that they would be able to find better jobs. So we are praying that they sincerely act on our invitation so that they can experience the blessings that the Lord has promised for those who try their best to exercise faith in Him. 

On Friday we were graced by the presence of Elder Larry J. Echohawk of the 70 as he hosted a mission tour in the THM.  Both he and his wife are converts to the church and expressed their heart-felt gratitude for the missionaries who sacrificed 2 years of their lives to bring them the Restored Gospel.  

President Mortensen also spoke about the role of The Book of Mormon in conversion. In this mission, as a requirement to get baptized, investigators need to have read at least the first 15 chapters of the Book of Mormon. He talked about how we need to exhaust every effort available in order to make sure they are reading. Even though it may just seem like just a book, it was written by ancient Prophets in the Americas who in vision saw our day, and included the things that they knew would be helpful for those of us facing the challenges of today. In it contains the words of Christ and God that will nourish the spiritual parts of us and guide us to safety in this increasingly-dangerous and wicked world. In it is found the power to conquer powerful addictions, find answers to prayer, feel peace in times of despair, as well as avoid temptation and deception, which will help us achieve our ultimate goal of returning to the safety of God's presence. I know that it is a true book that comes from God. All that we must do is read it with the intent to act, as well as ask God with faith, and we will know of its truthfulness. 

I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve a mission and to serve amongst Spanish speakers, they are genuinely my favorite people. 

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