This week has been ever so lovely!
Last Wednesday, we had a mission conference with Elder Ochoa, First Counselor in the Central America Area Presidency. It became a discussion of faith, and how faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the base of everything we do. It was also Sister Marley's birthday (one of the sisters who lives in our house) so we had a party!! It was so much fun.
Saturday was a very interesting day. We went to ask references from a family, and their youngest daughter gave us the name of one of her classmates. Well, this same day, we went to visit this reference. It turned out to be a part member family that recently moved and want to learn more of the gospel. Also, their sister-in-law is currently serving a mission in Peru. I cannot help but feel this reference was an answer to the prayers of this faithful missionary. We are so excited to continue teaching them. :)
That same day, we went to visit another less-active family, and encountered his brother. As we began speaking to him, we found out that he was baptized several years ago, but he had withdrawn from the church and is currently un testigo de Jehová. My heart dropped. We tried to bring the spirit into our conversation, but he only wanted to contend with us. I could not feel the spirit at all. Finally, we asked if we could sing a hymn with him. He flat-out refused. It was as though he was afraid of feeling the Spirit again. Listening to him, he only sounded more confused and unsure of his standing than he claimed to have been before. He began saying maybe we'll understand when we need something more, but I will never understand what that feels like. I KNOW where I stand, and I know with all of my being, with all that I am, that this is the true, everlasting, and full gospel, doctrine, and church of Jesus Christ. There is NOTHING that can take that testimony from me. I know because I asked. And God answered me. I know He will answer each of you. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that Thomas Spencer Monson is His living prophet hoy en día, and I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, my Redeemer, my Lord. I wish I could have shared that with this hermano. All I could do was cry, for my heart hurt so much knowing he was so lost. But hope is never lost, as he said himself, perhaps one day he will return to the truth.
Sunday, during the third hour, we didn't have a class. We all left in pairs to go and visit someone who had not come to church that day so we could share with them how much we love and miss them. It was so special. I kept thinking about the Martin and Willie Handcart companies, when the prophet Brigham Young suspended General Conference to send out rescue teams to help those poor saints on the plains. Said he: That is my religion; that is the dictation of the Holy Ghost that I possess, it is to save the people. . . . This is the salvation I am now seeking for, to save our brethren that would be apt to perish, or suffer extremely, if we do not send them assistance. [JD 4:113]
He then called on the bishops for sixty good mule teams, twelve or fifteen wagons, forty teamsters, twelve tons of flour, and other supplies; then he said:
I will tell you all that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one soul of you in the celestial kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you. [And then I believe he must have said this with all the fervor of a prophet:] GO AND BRING IN THOSE PEOPLE NOW ON THE PLAINS. (see http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=961)
Other than that, it's just been working, loving, serving, learning, and a whole lot of laughing. I love you all so very much. :)
Hermana Grondel :)