Snow, snow, snow! It's been so snowy and cold here, which means not as many people are out on the street to talk to, but provides so many service opportunities!!
The last 2 weeks have been absolutely crazy. My first transfer in the field comes to a close in 2 days, and yesterday I was told that me and Elder Pettersson will get to stay for next transfer, which I'm super excited about, I really love this area! This will be Elder Pettersson's last transfer! They are closing down the Demascus Area in our Zone, so we will now only have 4 Elders for the entire Frederick Stake..which means the work will be even more the next 6 weeks, which I'm excited for!
I've seen miracle after miracle here on my mission. Timing is something that I love to look at. The way we meet people just by the street we choose to walk on. Just by the time they decide to walk out of their house or car! Nothing happens by coincidence. Last night we tried to visit a Less Active Member, but she wasn't there. Feeling discouraged, we wondered why in the world we felt we needed to visit her! As we walked out, a lady and her young daughter were trying to get a car out of the snow. We walked over and helped, and it just so happened that they were Hispanic, from El Salvador. We talked to them, and found out they were a young family: the lady has a husband and 2 young kids. Only the little girl who is 10 or so goes to a church, she takes a bus to a Baptist Church! We talked to them for awhile and will be seeing them again this week to teach them. The young girl sets a great example for her family by attending a church and hopefully we can help her see why our Church is the true one! If we hadn't been in that area, we never would have been able to meet them! Or get to have a snowball fight with the little kids afterwards, which was so much fun! I love spending time with the kids and playing with them, and the lady could tell we really did care about her and her family. We never would have met them if we hadn't tried to visit the Less Active Member in that area!
Another miracle was that we were looking for a guy named Angel, but could not find his house at all. It was not where it should've been, the numbers didn't match up, so we decided to head back to another area. On the way, we got a call from Hermano Gallo, our ward mission leader. So we pulled over to take the call. After the call ended, we saw a guy working on his car and decided to go talk to him. Somehow, through guidance of the Holy Ghost, this was Angel. We had somehow pulled over to the side of HIS house, and had finally found him. The Lord works in amazing ways.
The South Elders have an amazing woman named Sonia getting baptized soon. She has gone through so much! About a year ago she was on date for baptism but then had to have surgery. You will never guess what the ONE thing she couldn't do after this surgery was....BE IMMERGED IN WATER. Yeah, Satan has his ways! But she is now getting baptized in 2 weeks and I am so happy for her! Hopefully her family will follow in her footsteps!!
We have met 2 young guys, probably 20 or so, that are both taking the lessons and are super cool!!! Their names are Ricardos and Stevan, they both like the missionaries and what we have to say.
Lately we have had so many people who fail to keep commitments, to make the effort to truly come unto Christ. It is something that is so sad, because we are looking for the people that will give everything they have to try and find out if our message is true. But as I thought about this, I realized that in our lives, how many times are WE failing to make commitments. Failing to make the effort to truly come unto Christ! Sure, maybe we read the Book of Mormon and know that it is true. But at times, we fail to keep the commitments we have made with our Heavenly Father. So I have realized that I need to be absolutely true to every commitment before I can expect others to do the same. Something I have found that helps them keep commitments is just to show your love for them. Show that you are sad when they aren't keeping them, and thoroughly joyful when they do!
A few thoughts to end. 1st, I was reading in 2 Nephi 29 about how people will say "I have a Bible, and I need no more Bible!" and that is sooo true, especially with the Hispanic community here. They don't believe that another bible is needed! They have the "palabra de Dios" the word of God already! Or they believe that they have already been saved because they signed a document and recited a prayer. But I have gained such an amazing testimony of the Book of Mormon. It is something that backs up the bible completely, and truly testifies of Jesus Christ. 2nd, was something I realized when I got to watch the Saratov Approach. They talk about the Atonement and how Jesus Christ didn't necessarily WANT to take the bitter cup and bleed. He asked the Father if there was another way, and when he realized that there wasn't, he did it. He wanted to do it for us, not for himself. As missionaries, we might not WANT to spend our day walking through snow and having people lie to us about their addresses, but there is no other way to share this amazing message that we have!! Last thing I would like to share is how we all can do our own missionary work. I was reading something about how people buy products based off of the reaction of the customers. For example, if everyone I know that has an Apple phone loves it, I will probably buy an Apple phone. The way we show our love for the Gospel works this exact same way. If we are living every single day with a smile and with happiness, people are going to wonder what it is that we have. What is the product that they are buying that makes them so happy? It's the Gospel. As a Missionary, I'm not "selling a product" but sharing a message. People are going to buy that, or believe it in this sense, if they see that this product, the Gospel, has truly blessed my life and been an asset to me and a benefit. I hope that we all truly live like this. Be examples of Christ and his Gospel, so that people can see you truly love the product of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and are grateful you accepted it and live the Principles.
I love you all! Stay safe! Avoid dogs, I got bit by one this week! :)