I write you from the beautiful highlands of Jinotepe. Surprise, surprise! I am not in the office anymore. I was emergency changed out on Wednesday because the President wanted me to help out as zone leader here. Elder Woods was a little caught off guard but he is doing alright. He has only needed to call me like 5 times in the last five days ha ha. But boy is it a change of pace. It feels great again.I love being with the missionaries and building their faith. That has been the biggest challenge and goal for the zone in Jinotepe. We have the biggest zone and we should have the biggest goals and numbers. But lately the zone has been having low numbers. We are about to change the history of Jinotepe.
I arrived Wednesday and we worked in the afternoon trying to meet the members and see the investigators that the missionaries had been teaching. My new companion is Elder Ward from Utah (another Gringo...ha ha) and he only has a little over a year in the mission and one change as a zone leader. I feel like the Lord is depending a lot on me to change things here. It has been a hard change for me but I have hit the ground running.
Thursday we had a Zone Leader Council meeting to set goals and we basically looked like crazy people with our goals for the zone. The zone only baptized 9 people last month between 26 missionaries. Our goal for the month of April is 60. I feel like it is going to be the biggest trial of faith I have had in my mission. I am trying to remember everything I have I learned since the beginning to put it into practice. The missionaries are determined to work harder. Seeing the daily numbers we have seen that they have nearly doubled in many cases. The Lord is going to bless.
I think the world is full of three types of people: those that make things happen, those that watch things happen around them, and those that look around them and wonder what is really happening. We need to be the force to change things for good in the lives of members and nonmembers alike. We need to be more than listeners and watchers. We must be doers.
I love the council given in 1 Timothy 4:14-17
“be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity...neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of hands...for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.”
We must not let our limited experience and vision cripple our faith. When things don't happen at first, we regroup and we work harder. When we don't see our strength as enough to do what the Lord requires, we begin to have real faith.
Jacob teaches about how our weakness really strengthens us.
“Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescension's unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.
The great missionaries of the book of Mormon understood this principle.
“Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.” (Alma 26:12)
When we feel weakest, we confide in our Father in Heaven. I know that he gives unto us according to our faith. Our faith gives us power.
I am very excited to leave it all out on the field. I feel like one of those players who has been watching from the sidelines for so long. Now I am warmed up and I ask coach, “put me in coach, put me in coach.” I will not give up. I will keep going unto the end. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a special representative for the Lord in this place and in this time.
Well family, I love you. I pray for you and I hope that you can be blessed continually for your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember that when we feel the weakest, we have the opportunity to ask for divine help.
“For behold, by the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word. Wherefore, if God being able to speak and the world was, and to speak and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure?” (Jacob 4:9)
If He can create the world and keep everything in place, why couldn't he help us in our daily lives?