Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Successful Week

This week was successful: we challenged five people to be baptized, and three accepted! One of whom was particularly important.  Because of her lack of progression and hectic schedule, we'd dropped her for about two weeks. When we returned, her aged sick mother began howling in the back room, "Why did you leave us?!  Why, why?  We've been so alone! Why were we forsaken!?"  Of course we felt terrible, and assured her we'd stopped by a few times but they weren't there.  While this was true, we certainly could have tried harder.  I've felt a particular duty to this woman for perhaps a bit of a silly reason. A month ago, we baptized a woman who had "Andrew" scrawled on her front door.  This woman has a scribble of "Burt" on hers, though you have to be creative to see the "t". We were working with them at the same time, but only one progressed. I'd feel my time in Paucarbamba was sealed if we could baptize this woman as well. 

We also had a dream come true yesterday- yes, a woman really did walk up to us in the street and, after we offered some service and talked a bit, said that she's been hoping to be baptized in the church. She received a testimony earlier and when she saw us thought to herself, "Í'm not alone!"  I can testify of the relationship between events like these and earnest, continual, even desperate prayer. When we give powerful prayer and then go to work, miracles happen. That's the formula. It was a strong week.

Also, this world is tiny. Not only does one elder in my district know a friend of mine- Riley Norton- from school, but I also talked to an elder during our multi-zone conference yesterday that knows someone from Kirkland. He explained he was from Argentina and that a missionary named Rachel Thompson had served and had been his best friend when all his friends had turned against him for his beliefs. He said it greatly influenced him to serve a mission. So, shout out to the Thompson family and Sister Thompson- it's crazy to see how far the effect of missionary work goes throughout the world! 

As missionaries, we see many powerful changes and miracles. You members of the church have the same privilege and duty. Please assist the missionaries in whatever way possible. Think of one reference you can give them, if possible. Go out working with them for one hour in the week. President Monson said, "There is no substitute for a member-oriented proselyting program. Tracting will not substitute for it. Golden questions will not substitute for it. A member-oriented program is the key to success, and it works wherever we try it."

As you continue to serve, blessings concerning all aspects of your life are promised. But work is necessary. Mormon and Moroni lived in perhaps one of the most wicked societies of history, yet they continued in the missionary work. Mormon said to his son, "We have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God." I would waste and wear out this tabernacle of clay for the far more powerful and eternal tabernacle, even in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, as Doctrine and Covenants 123:13 so eloquently tells us. Even so, let's remember that we're not expected to be miserable in the work, awaiting the promised blessings. For a hundred years, we have a glorious story book contention against ignorance and evil. Enjoy it. Today may be the day, but this life is the life. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.