Life rolls on in Junin, and things are looking up. The weekdays were discouraging, and we hardly found anyone to speak to, day after day. This is particularly not fun when the mornings freeze, the afternoons scald, and the nights' temperature dips down again. Once the weekend hit, we began seeing a lot more results from our work. While our attendance didn't rocket upward, nearly half of the attendance was less active members we've been working with. Many of them have interviews scheduled with the President to talk about progressing, and among those who came included both the less active men who used to be the Branch Presidents. We're still on the edge waiting for the baptism of our good friend, the daughter of our Pension, but she is diligently reading the scriptures and taking the lessons and going to church.
We're recognizing the real results of all our work the last couple months. Some families we've finally decided to stop visiting for their lack of interest. We had a very serious lesson with one about the decisions they had to make and their continual lack of effort to keep promises. When we saw even such an earnest discussion as this did nothing, we decided to dedicate our time elsewhere. Mission decisions such as this are extremely difficult...these were recent converts and a family we are well acquainted with. Yet time will always be a factor we need to keep in mind, and the shower of blessings we are seeing elsewhere is an indication of what we need to do.
Doing the right thing has always been a chief worry in my life. I am so blessed to live in this time where that question can be quieted to some extent. There are many other worries in mission life, and I won't pretend the work isn't at times discouraging here. We're all told going to South American missions that the success will be flying, and the people are lining up to have gospel change their lives. The disillusionment was difficult and discouraging. Yet the truth is, the work can never be easy. As Elder Holland once said in one of his most inspirational talks, salvation is not a cheap experience. It never was. Why should we expect it to be for us when it never was for Christ? If He gave His life in what was more or less the most important missionary work the world has seen, how can we expect conversion and following Him to be easy? It never will be...the only thing we can be sure of is that it's worth it. And that by participating in such a work, we are standing with the greatest man who ever lived. To all the invitation comes and to all the privilege is issued. Accepting it is what this life experience is about.
|From Zone Conference last week. Elder Burt is 3rd from left, standing.|