Monday, March 1, 2010

Central American Stake Conference........week 42

We worked like crazy this week trying to prepare a few investigators for baptism but they all at the last minute couldn´t do it. We are hoping for a baptism or two this weekend. We had a super awesome conference this weekend via satellite with Elder Eyring and Christofferson. They are very powerful. It was broadcast to all of Central America. The neat thing was to see how the Lord is inspiring the leaders across the board. What they taught is exactly what we are trying to do in the mission right now.

This week I had several baptismal interviews for the other missionaries in their areas. I had to go to Jinotega in the nighttime and I had to sleep in the church building with the first counselor accompanying me. It was a funny experience. It will be one of those things that I tell to my kids. As I was riding back to my area in the back of a pickup this week hitchhiking, my water bottle fell out of my backpack. I wouldn’t have worried about it too much but it is a purifying water bottle. So I decided to go look for it. Naturally, someone had already picked it up because everyone is in the street here in Nicaragua. So I started asking around and eventually they told me that the pastor’s son had picked it up. So we went in search of the pastor. Then we found the family and we began talking and eventually they gave us the water bottle. It was a pretty funny lesson to me about how if we really want things and put our mind and soul into it, we will achieve them. We just have to have faith that we can achieve them.

We are getting along pretty well as companions and I am trying to help my companion feel more comfortable in the mission. The mission is really the greatest thing on earth. It has the highest of highs and the lowest of lows because when people decide to not listen to the gospel they are not only losing their blessings in this life but in the life to come. But when a soul repents great is the joy in the heavens. I am trying to work on the repentance thing myself. I think here in the mission I feel the spirit working on me harder than ever to refine me and burn out the impurities. The scriptures teach us about how the natural man can be molded and shaped like clay in the master’s hand. But after many years of bad habits and customs, my harden and cracked clay needs a renovation. Luckily for me and for all of us, we have the atonement that finds even the vilest of sinners within its limits to save. I testify of the love of the Savior and of His infinite mercy and forgiveness. I know that He can help each and everyone of us to be better.

I was particularly impressed by what one of the speakers said on Sunday. He talked about how in Noah´s family was saved from the iniquity of the world through true conversion. Then he made the comparison of what we needed to do in our families to have similar protection against the storms today. Noah in Spanish is written as Noe. He assigned a word for each letter of his name. N…noches de hogar (family home evening) O…oraciones (prayers) E…escrituras (scriptures). It was simple but powerful and our investigator loved the message.
It is through the small things in our life that we have the changes that make a difference. It is in the small things like that that God can make the refining changes in our lives.

Elder Grant Russell

The Lord has definitely tried my patience this week! I was on the computer this week trying to fix something with my USB and I lost all of my photos from the whole mission because it got infected and then deleted by an antivirus program. Gaahhhh!! The only good thing is that I had at least some of them saved on my SD cards still. I thought I had saved my photos on the CD but I apparently hadn't. Mom, don't delete any of the photos that I have sent you. They might be the only photos from that time period that I have. I hope to have retained at least the half of them. I don’t know. I think I lost all the photos for the first 2 months including the MTC and about half the photos from then on. Yeah it is painful. I hope that the Lord will give my patience right now as I struggle to accept that many memories have just slipped away.My consolation is that even though the photos are gone the change in the peoples lives still remains firm. That is really all that matters.