Monday, September 28, 2015

An Answer to Prayer

Peru is awesome! The mountains surrounding this area make walking around a pleasure. The culture and food are fairly different, particularly in the way homes are made, but it makes each day interesting. Sometimes you'll see little people lugging wagons of crops across the town, and sometimes you'll see something jarringly modern. It's an odd conglomeration.

Part of the burden of a missionary is the number of experiences we have that we don't have time to share. Today, for the most part, I want to focus on only one day. Tuesday was indescribable. As we prepared to leave for proselyting, I was feeling despondent. Unfailingly, we contact, we make appointments with everyone, we show up for the appointment, and... it falls through. Never does a new investigator actually receive us.  (Our lessons are with references or less active members.)  This wasn't the only source of my unhappiness. There are times when all the aspects of being a new missionary combine against you. So I just glumly but desperately offered a prayer where I said something to the effect of, "Here's a list of all my problems. It's not as if I'm ever going to stop working or doing what I should, and I know trials are good for me, but please intervene because I feel awful."  

Now I believe sometimes life is just hard and God gives you some room to struggle and grow. So I was very pleasantly surprised when our first return appointment resulted in a lesson in the man's home.  Remember this doesn't normally happen- it was actually my first experience with this. So we gave the first lesson and went to our next appointment happened again. This was even more interesting. I don't want to make light of anyone's trials, but it helped that this boy of about fifteen years is something of a special case. He said something similar to, "I see dead people. I see them all the time."  Or, well, he hears them. And he knows when his family members are going to die, which tears him apart because he could foretell his grandmother's death, and he believes it will never change. He's meek and a normal student and can talk intelligibly about everything else, so I honestly don't know. But it would be kind of awesome if we could bring him peace. Anyway, then we had lessons with our baptismal candidates, one of whom accepted this week's date and the other asked for more time. Then we had a happy lesson with a family in the church, then we had yet another return appointment with a new investigator. Three lessons with new investigators in one day? There is literally no way this could not have been a direct answer to my prayer. So, yes, God lives and answers prayers, and life is great.

Unfortunately, both of our baptismal candidates actually need special interviews concerning some things in their pasts, so we had no baptisms. By the way, I'd like to clarify something I said last week. Our area is extremely small- the smallest in our city at least. So the rarity of baptisms is a little more understandable. Also, the fact that before September we had no baptisms for five or so months was an abnormal draught. Generally, looking at the records, this area used to have about one or two a month. Nevertheless, I'm excited I´m here at this time in Paucarbamba- my companion and I want to baptize five of our investigators before my companion gets switched out of the area at the end of October! Life is a lot more exciting with goals and drive. 

In conclusion, remember the church is true and that the work is good. Please listen to General Conference this upcoming week. I'm beyond excited to hear it. It's particularly interesting as three new Apostles will be called, an event not seen for ninety-nine years. I was very sorry to hear the passing of Richard G. Scott- he was a great man and I always particularly enjoyed his talks. I know he's happy now that he can be with his wife once more.