Hello everyone from Las Colinas-Ticuantepe-La Borgoña
Yes, this week was transfers, and I am still here.
Well everyone, thanks for the love and support! I feel so strengthened and
uplifted by your thoughts, prayers and letters in my behalf.
A note about the letter you sent…thank you! It is such a blessing to know that
people are being strengthened by my letters and experiences. It is exactly what
I wanted for the mission. As missionaries, we live in a routine. We wake up, do
the exercise routine (many times with the temptation of going back to bed), we
say our prayers, put on the same tie, eat the same breakfast, and go out into
the world to preach the same góspel. Day to day, it can be hard because we feel
as if we haven't made a difference for anyone. Many times we don't receive a thank
you. Many times, I am grateful that I don't know the cuss words in Spanish
because I am pretty sure they fly out at me on a frequent basis between
“Mormon”, “gringo”, “Americano”, etc. To hear that lives are being changed at
home by what I am doing here lifts my heart, raises my spirit, and gives me
faith to move on in the work of the Lord. Thank you so much.
Like I said, the work this week has been kind of tough. I am still learning
patience in all that I do. We have been able to find some really great, new
investigators but the problem is bringing to church. If they don't attend, they
can't be baptized. One of the biggest stresses in the mission is that we baptize.
When a mission baptizes like we do, a companionship should baptize too. And when
it doesn't happen…well, lets just say that it is ever present in our minds. But I
am having good experiences.
This week we had a meeting with the mission president. He invited us to do many
things, but the thing I remember most was his calling unto repentance. He said
that we could be assured blessings in the mission, in our future life,
occupation, family, and in the eternities if we would repent and turn our hearts
to God, giving up the things of the world and serving Him as He requires. I have
committed again to serve the Lord how He desires, and I pray that He will help me
now as He has helped me in the past.
This week we taught an 7th Day Adventist family. That is a first for me.
Naturally, their first doubt was going to be about the Sabbath day being Sunday
instead of Saturday, Saturday being Biblical. When we began to teach the lesson
and we used the typical scriptures. However, it appeared that they weren't so
convinced and we were left in a rut. I looked to my companion for support, he
having 23 months in the mission. It wasn't until after the lesson that he told me
he had never taught that lesson either. Whoops, ha ha.
But it went really well. I really was amazed at what came out of our mouths. I
find myself saying things in the mission that I never would have imagined. I
consider myself a Little passive and quiet when it comes to telling people that
they are wrong. So when words come out of my mouth like “if you don't want to
believe us, then don't pray. If you pray, you will be assured by the Holy Ghost
that what we have taught is true because we have spoken the truth. I know that
it is true and that you can know to.” (That was a watered down versión.)
We focus mainly on the Savior Jesus Christ throughout the message, showing in
the scriptures and by our testimonies the importance of the resurrection of
Christ, that if he hadn't risen from the dead, their would be no reason to
worship Him at all because we would all be doomed to the same fate. He showed
how the new “pact” of the practice of sacrifice was fulfilled with the
resurrection and that to remember the Lords sacrifice, we no longer would have
animal sacrifices but remember the ultímate blood sacrifice in Christ Jesus.
Many other things were said, but sufficeth it to say that the mother was
convinced. The father was speechless yet cynical. We told the mother to pray
about the message upon leaving and she said it wouldn't be necessary. She knew it
was true. She already knew.
I would like to just relate one more experience about teaching this week. We
talked with a super evangelical preacher this week and tried to convince him of
the divinity and power of the words of the prophets he had seen the pást weekend
in General Conference. He wasn't convinced because he said that the prophet spoke
plainly without much quoted scriptures and much eloquency. We were of a
different opinión. In short, we bore witness of the reality of his call as
prophet and showed how God uses the weak things of the world to bring about His
purposes. My companion asked how only 200 young missionaries between the ages of
19 and 21 could baptize 500 people monthly. We asked how many his church
baptized and it was a small number. Finally, he asked “why do you insist on
visiting people like me who don't want to believe.” My companion took this
opportunity to show the love of God saying, “ that is the difference between
your church and ours…our visión of the soul of a single person is great. We love
God and know that He loves every one of His children. We know that men can only
be saved through the ordinances we hold. We are led by the spirit. That is the
This Sunday, I witnessed the Priesthood Ordination of Carlos Salgado, a recent
convert of 4 months. He was ordained to the office of Elder and it was one of
the most special experiences I have had. When we arrived, we didn't want to
listen. He had hid from the missionaries. He was closed to the message, but now
he loves it. He was blind spiritually, but now he is a light to his family. He
was a heavy smoker. Now he is a priesthood holder that can bless his family in
every way. How great is God! How wonderful are his blessings! God is a God of
miracles because God has worked a miracle in the life of this man and in the
lives of so many others.
I would like to bear my testimony to all that can hear, read, feel this message.
That God lives! He loves me! He loves you! He Works miracles in our lives and
that he is intimately involved in the lives of His children. He doesn't want any
single child to be lost. His is so love that He sent His only begotten Son to
suffer for the sins of the world. Please remember to talk with Him. He awaits
May God bless you my friends and family!
Elder Grant Russell