Monday, October 3, 2016

Investigator Progress / General Conference

This week, everything seemed to turn out exactly right. We explained to a couple how they couldn't keep living together and receive the blessings of the man's baptism and the woman's reactivation. This is usually a game-stopper because everyone here lives together, and no one bothers with marriage. Yet, as one of the many miracles of this week, they said, "Sure!" and we set a goal for the following week. 

Another boy the missionaries were teaching before I got here recently decided he wanted to get baptized, and we worked out a plan with him to iron out his doubts. 

Another one of our golden less-active/investigator couples suffered the lowest blow of the week, being victims of a serious robbery, losing about 6000 soles. That'll continue to be a struggle, but they've determined to not let it interfere with the marriage or the subsequent baptism. This is actually a sizable act of faith, since marriage takes money here.  

Later, one of the go-nowhere contacts we made (I'm super busy, I can't talk right now...yeah, yeah, come back tomorrow!!) turned into a great new investigator the next day who changed his life five years ago through Alcoholics Anonymous and is looking for the next step to get closer to God. 

At the end of the week, we met with other great families, including two dramatic teenage twins- one who was already baptized and one who's still waiting. She said she had questions the other missionaries couldn't answer and left her confused.  I mentally braced myself to give delicate answers to sensitive church topics, when she asked, "Why do we need the Book of Mormon when we already have the Bible?" I don't know what the other missionaries were thinking, but we answered it with ease and she said she felt a lot more sure afterward, and that she's ready to give an extra effort to find out if it's true. My favorite part was after our member gave his testimony, and she raised her hand and dramatically said, "You know, something, hermano? When you talk, somehow... I know that what you say is the truth." Slay ém, Emilio. 

Of course, our sense of joy this week was doubled by General Conference, the theme of which in part, as far as I could see, was joy and thanksgiving. President Nelson spoke on the indomitable joy that can conquer all situations when we are focused on Christ. President Eyring spoke on the importance of finding joy and thanksgiving in Sunday services, which Elder Davies said ought to be filled with "majestic awe" and "profound thanksgiving".  President Monson spoke on how wonderful it is that we know the Plan of Salvation, and what that can mean in our lives. To that same theme, President Uchtdorf said, "Does it not fill our hearts and minds with wonder and awe to contemplate the Great Plan of Happiness our Heavenly Father has prepared for us? Does it not fill us with unspeakable joy to know of the glorious future of all who wait upon the Lord?" What struck me was the sincerity with which they said it; their voices choked with emotion and their faces beaming as they shared how much happiness it brought them. I know they are servants of God, and I know life is certainly meant to be joyful.