Landon and Tyler are growing so fast. I don't think I am going to recognize them when I get back home. Thanks for sending me the photos though. It really helps me to see pictures. The cake looked awesome by the way! It makes me so happy to see that the family is doing well, both at home in all the parts of the US. I am doing well in Nicaragua.
This week was interesting for me as I continue to adjust to my companion and the struggles and challenges that I have each day. I have found that one of the hardest parts of the mission is just getting along with everyone. My companion yesterday spent about thirty minutes telling me about all the different types of missionaries he has met and struggles he has had with each one. I try to learn what I can from him, retaining the good and rejecting the bad. I find that every missionary has his strengths and weaknesses, even after 22 months in the mission. I hope to be able to overcome my many weaknesses and do so in the manner and in the timely manner that God expects.
The stress of being a missionary is huge. Every day we have about a billion things to do and remember and people always looking over us to tell us when we need to improve. I had several of those instances this week. Every day I realize I have more to improve and more to do. I just keep on going, waking up every morning with the prayer in my heart that God will guide my path and bless me with everything I need to be His servant. It is really a great experience.
We had a scheduled baptism for this week but it didn't happen. We gave the responsibility of passing for the baptism to be to a member in the Ward. She passed by the house of the person and waited several hours but the woman didn't return from work until 5pm and the baptism was scheduled for 4pm with about a 1.5 hour travel time to the building. So we waited there for 2 hours and then left a Little bit disappointed that it didn't all happen as planned. She didn't return the next day either in time for a baptism and so we will have to do it next week.
But on the positive side, we have been working with some really positive families and they are progressing really well. We have been trying to work more with references since they have a tendency to progress more than contacts, etc. We are teaching about 4 families and two families came to church this week and enjoyed the meeting. I spoke in church (my first time in Nicaragua with a talk in Sacrament meeting) about Missionary Work. It was a pretty simple topic seeing as I do it every day. But it was a nice experience. I was told that it was powerful. I shared the experience of Grandma and Grandpa Turner and how through the example and diligence of the missionaries, my life and many others have been changed. I really am grateful for the blessings that I receive every day. Like I said, the mission is hard but it is definitely worth it. And it passes so fast! I already have 4 months in the mission…and I have so much to learn.
I am learning that obedience in the mission (and in life) is extremely important. It really is the first law of heaven. When we obey the mission rules and commandments, we are blessed with the spirit and it is only with the spirit that one can truly be happy. All members that are keeping their covenants can testify that their lives are happier when they are doing so than when they are not keeping the commandments. Truly, wickedness never was happiness.
As missionaries, our main purpose is to invite all to come unto Christ so that they can receive the góspel and a remission of their sins there in. There are shouts for joy in the heavens when one soul repents and I can testify of that.
I know that the church is true and that God lives and loves His children with a love that can only be felt and experienced. There aren't words adequate to describe His love but the scriptures say His love great enough that He sent His only Begotten Son, that he sacrificed a God. That is love. That is true love.
May we always be grateful to our Father in Heaven for His love and may we show our love for Him by our obedience to his commandments. If ye love, keep my commandments. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your examples. Go forward with faith and I will do so as well. May God bless you this week, until we talk again.
Elder Grant Russell