This week was actually rather long. Well, so it seemed. The work has been a little bit slow, and to be honest, the moral of pretty much everyone is lacking.
Like i mentioned last week, President Ávila has been really focusing on the amount of desanimo or discouragement that´s going on in the mission right now. The word he´s used for this new focus is ¨REDEDICACIÓN¨.
Veronica and her girls are hanging in there. It´s honestly a day-to-day thing with them. She is struggling to know what to do. BUT her girls told us that they are ready to be baptized, and that they have been praying and reading, and really just feel really good about it. So we´re working hard on figuring out the ¨when¨since we still have to get permission from their dad..... there´s always something.
Carina is progressing, we went by again, and she told us that she´d spent a ton of money on a bible and stuff to really get her ready to go. We had to laugh a little at her enthusiasm, but hey, it´s great to say that THE BOOK OF MORMON IS FREE!
Daniela, the less active of 25 years that we´ve been working with came to the talent night on Saturday. IN THE CHURCH. which was a huge step for her. She loved it, and of course the members welcomed her! They rock!
This week we were really focusing on relationships with the members. The ward here is great, and honestly our relationship with them is super. But I was in an interview with President last week, and he told me, ¨The prepared people are around the members. Work with them, and you will find the chosen ones.¨ I thought a lot about that. It´s so true. Tracting yields minimal results. Good member referrals are solid gold. So we started something like FHE but we´re calling it ¨Noche de Ánimo¨to get them excited about sharing the gospel with their friends. There are so many people who have that desire, but they just don´t know how.
Noche de Talentos, the ward talent night. I taught Hermana Lybbert the ¨When I´m Gone¨ Cup song, and we sang and played the cups. The ward was so surprised, and they loved the ¨funness¨of it. We have to show them that we are real, loving, and that we´re here to help!
This week was full of ups and downs as always, but more so with the downs. It´s hard to open your eyes to the fact that the entire mission is struggling. I´ve literally SEEN Satan´s forces at work on the hearts of everyone. Discouragement is so powerful, and if we don´t take the time to solve the problem, it just snowballs.
This week we saw it powerfully in the lives of Veronica and her family. Hermana Lybbert and I are working hard, and not seeing much of the results. The Zone Leaders had a hard week. Our Bishop is struggling with lots of things, and isn´t really very excited or motivated to help with the missionary work. The non-member daughter of one of our struggling members tried to take her own life this week. There have been so many times this week when people have told us they´ve struggled to see ¨the light at the end of the tunnel¨.
I´ve always had this tendency to want to fix everything. But this week I ´ve learned that can quickly lead to madness because, well, in this work there is so much to do with agency that you simply cannot control everything. That is when those divine principles of faith, humility, and patience are required. Not passively either. We first have to do all we can. Our part. But then comes that test...Recognizing our dependence on the Lord. Having the faith, hope, and trust enough to leave the rest to him.
I was studying the miracles of Christ this week. One story that I´ve always loved is the story of Jairus.
He comes to Christ with a great need. His daughter is ¨at the verge of death¨. He doesn´t know what to do, but tells the Lord that if he will just come, and bless her, she will live. What a great exhibition of his faith.
The Lord agrees to go, and they set out. Along the way, Christ stops on several occasions to bless others. Meanwhile, a servant from the house of Jairus comes to tell him ¨Thy daughter is dead. Why troublest thou the master any further?¨
Such news, accompanied by such a question, easily could have destroyed Jairus´hope. But Christ says to him ¨Be not afraid, but believe.¨ And he does. Jairus had put all of his trust in the Lord, and was waiting to see the results.
When they arrive at the house of Jairus, the scene is one of chaos, ¨tumult¨the scriptures say. Christ goes directly in, and with the simple but powerful phrase ¨Peace, Be Still.¨restores peace and hope to the mourning family. He then goes in, and raises the young girl from the dead.
Sometimes the Lord waits. Jairus came with a plea that the Lord hasten to see his daughter. The Lord took HIS time, healing others along the way.
Sometimes we think that our circumstances are dire, that we need help NOW, that the Lord should rush to our aid. He knows better, and sometimes he makes us hold on to that faith. Sometimes he waits until our faith, like Jairus´daughter, seems ¨dead¨. But he will always come. The Lord is never ¨late¨.
Peace, Be Still.
I love you all so much.
Esta semana que viene.
xoxo Your Hermana C