Monday, January 27, 2014

Letter Jan, 27, 2014

Hey fambam. This week was packed full of meetings, meetings, interviews, and more meetings. Actually, in terms of teaching lessons, Elder Bills and I both feel that this was the worst week we've ever had in the mission haha. Nonetheless, it was a spiritually edifying week. I sure love President Martinez and his family. He is one of the most inspired men I've ever met. So with all the meetings we didn't get much done in our own sector despite working ourselves to death, but we still saw some grand miracles. 

Yazna and Cristian, a married couple in their 40's, came back from a long vacation and we finally got to visit them Saturday night. We had about 15 mins, but we chatted for a bit, read a bit from 3 Ne 27 about Christ describing His gospel, and both of them eagerly accepted to be baptized on Feb 15th!!!! Wahoo!!!!! She's been dying to get baptized for months but President wanted us to wait for the husband, and then they went out of town for 3 weeks. They are back and ready. So exciting! 

What's also awesome is to see our recent converts progressing so much. Pablo (a 17yr old that got baptized earlier this month) accompanies us to lessons all the time and has brought friends and inactive family members to church. We also had a super fun ward activity in the campo (woods?). The ward went out to a woodsie place where all day they played soccer, volleyball, chatted, swam, and had a bbq. We missionaries only stayed for a little bit because we had so much work to catch up on, but wow did we have a great time. I can't even describe how much I've missed playing volleyball, but the best part was playing with my recent converts and the members. It's so gratifying to watch them have fun together and feel confident that even after I leave they will stay faithfull and active. Only downside: the top of my poor head got burned to a crisp....haha.

Fun facts: I got birthday packages from Mum and Denice! Wahoo!!!! Thanks so much! Soooooo many delicious treats! Not to mention the beautiful new tie and some great socks haha. Youz da bestest!

Elder Douglas, our roommate that has about 6 months in the mission, is such an awesome kid. He was the biggest stud in his highschool and he's great at EVERYTHING he does. One of the best parts of the mission is living with 3 other guys with whom I can always discuss the gospel. As he and I conversed about Christ's life and example one evening, Elder Douglas said something that I had never quite thought about before. He said, ''Christ didn't just die for us; He lived every moment of His life for us.'' Everything Christ did, He did with wise purpose knowing that we would read and study all about it. He said and did everything in a precise way for a precise reason. Always. And as He was beaten, spat upon, mocked, whipped, and hung on the cross, He had us in mind. His love is so unmeasurable that He immediately asked the Father to forgive those that were crucifying Him, for they knew not what they were doing. Too often, we doubt or sin because we don't fully understand what we're missing out on. I had a tender experience this week of talking to a sweet sister missionary who wanted to end her mission because she missed home too much and wanted to comfort her mom after the loss of her grandfather. My heart was filled with love and compassion for her as she asked me what to do. All I could do was thank her for her trust and express our love and gratitude that she is in the mission doing what the Lord needs of her. President Martinez then testified to her that she can't go home until she knew what she would be missing out on. She's yet to feel the immense joy of watching someone's eyes fill with tears when they realize that what we're teaching them is true. She's yet to fully comprehend the happiness that comes from watching a loved one enter the waters of baptism and change their life. We can't give up until we fully know and understand what we would be missing--yet I know that no one would ever give it up if they truly understood. God loves us and wants to forgive us. Christ lived every moment in a way so that if we follow Him, we'll be happy, free from guilt or sin, and be able to overcome any sorrow or despair that we might otherwise feel. Of that I testify with all my heart.

Elder Long :)

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