Monday, August 24, 2009

The Bitter and the Sweet........week15

Elder Russell and Elder Menendez


Wow it sounds like everyone is so busy back at home! No need to worry about last week and all. I figured that you had been writing a letter and that you just didn't finish it. No hay problema
The work here is great! We are really being blessed in our area and in our mission. I think about all of the special moments I have had here in the last few months and I cant help but feel extremely grateful.

This week my message has some bitter and some sweet in it. This weeks message is about the sad reality that agency can be for investigators.

As missionaries we always have opportunities to bear witness of the greatest name under heaven, Jesus Christ. I love to talk of Him and His gospel, sharing the experiences that we have felt and seen others have too. But the sad reality is that some will know the góspel is true yet not accept it. Others will accept it gladly. We experienced both this week.

Starting with the bitter. We visited with Juan Ramon this week, the investigator that was going to be baptized a few weeks back. He has been ready the Book of Mormon and all, meditating its truthfulness and even has prayed about it. At first, he doubted that he had received an answer from God. He has had some interesting experiences in his life such as seeing visions and healing the sick as an Evangelical preacher. With a Little bit of conversation, he eventually admitted that the book exactly coincided with the bible and that he knew it was true. We then testified that if the Book were true, that meant that the church was true and he needed to join it. He acknowledged as well that that was the proper course of action, but defiantly admitted that he wouldn't be baptized because he didn't want to. That was probably one of the saddest moments I have had on the mission so far.

But there are always moments of elation in which it seems like God himself is pouring out His love in me. This week two investigators were baptized and they have shown true repentance and the desire to change for good. In their baptism, both bore testimonies of what they had experienced. Jordyn said that he felt much better and that he was going to endure to the end. Tania said that when her friends made fun of her, she didn't care because she knew the church was the true church of Jesus Christ.

Jordyn's and Tania's baptism

Seeing the sacrifices of the members here in Nicaragua is like traveling back in time to the early days in the church. I see in so many members, the fiery spirit of pioneers. With determination in their eyes, they march forward foregoing much to further the work of the lord. One member has given up her house and moved so that the Branch can occupy all of the house. Talk about faith.

So if I can share anything with all of you it is this: never doubt that God can work miracles in our lives. Be not weary in well doing for you are laying the foundation of a great work. I am so strengthened by your testimonies and faith and everyday I am indebted to for you prayers and thoughts in my behalf. I love you all and will continue to pray for you daily. May the blessings of heaven attend you as they have attended me.

Elder Grant Russell
Elder Russell and Elder Menendez