Tuesday, January 17, 2017

This is His Work

Note to everyone: Josh's snail mail address is Elder Josh Barrus, PO Box 1113, Waller, TX 77484  

Also, this email is from January 2, 2017

Tuvimos una semana muy buena porque muchas buenas cosas están sucediendo aquí en Waller pero desafortunadamente pocos pueden entender esto. (We had a very good week because many good things are happening here in Waller but unfortunately few can understand this.) But anyway, we got the transfer news and Elder Wells and I are going to be staying together for another transfer! Really pumped because we work well together and we'll be able to see the fruits of our labors in the next few weeks. But here's an update on those with baptismal dates:

Elder Wells and I in Waller
Elizabeth is doing really well. Last week she told us she wanted to change her baptismal date to the 8th of January instead of the 24th so we kicked it into high gear and taught her 5 times. Teaching the plan of salvation to her was kind of weird because she's already been to the Spirit world once before in her life so she was able to teach us what it was like. Pretty cool. She is definitely showing the fruits of repentance and has the desire to keep all of the commandments in order to have a closer relationship with Christ. As well she's been sharing her testimony of the Book of Mormon with people who are going through a rough time about how it brings peace and joy to her life as she reads it.

Yesterday we had 8 investigators come to church and it is very possible that 7 of those will be baptized by the end of January. We are still working as hard as possible so we can help build the kingdom of God in this area as we help the Spanish branch become a ward. I actually gave a talk in the Spanish branch yesterday and it lasted 20 minutes. The gift of tongues and the Spirit is real because I never talk that long in front of people. Not historically at least but I guess that has changed.

One thing that I really enjoy about each new area I arrive in is the opportunity I get to ask the members about their conversion stories. Our branch president told me his last week and it's pretty remarkable to see how far he's come because he got baptized only 6 years ago. He told us about how missionaries came to his door when only his wife was home and she told him about it and he wanted to listen because he always listened to people talk about God. He worked a lot so he canceled a lot of appointments but the missionaries were persistent and kept trying to invite him to various activities. He always told them that he would go to church, but was always drinking on Saturday night, and Sunday was his only day to go shopping and spend time with the family, so he almost never went. Eventually they invited him to a baptism and he went and really felt the Spirit strongly. He eventually agreed to be baptized, but didn't really have a testimony of the Church, Book of Mormon, nor Joseph Smith. But he had a testimony of the Spirit the missionaries brought, so that was enough to lead him to the waters of baptism. 

Eventually he gained his own testimony but talked about the challenge new converts face, especially those who are Hispanics just because of the different lifestyle they lead in this country, which is mostly focused on working, partying, and sending home money to their families in other countries. But I continue to be amazed at how God truly is bringing to pass "a marvelous work and a wonder" in these the latter days. Seeing lives change as sons and daughters of God make necessary sacrifices in their lives in order to follow the Savior is something that has changed me. I know with all of my heart that this is His work and that Jesus is at the head of this Church.

Elder Barrus

This is pretty typical of our area.

Our Zone

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