Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SLC is colder than Mexico City

Hi Family!

Winter is finally upon us here in the Salt Lake Valley.  The past few days we have had 50 mph freezing winds and small hail.  Due to the fact that I only have clothes suited for the temperate climate of Mexico City, this cold weather means wearing practically every warm thing I own.  E. Chamberlain and I joke that we are finally being "really missionaries" (the kind you see in photos) rather than the pampered Salt Lake missionaries that we are.  Thankfully, my Zone Leaders found a winter coat that a missionary had left behind and are letting me borrow it until my visa comes. 

Speaking of visas, I should be getting it anytime soon.  I am planning on being here for another two weeks but will be happily surprised if it comes earlier!  I am excited that I will probably be here for the end of this transfer and get to see more of our investigators baptized.  This weekend we have two baptisms and a wedding!!  So many great things are happening and the Lord is blessing us so much.

With two companionships working in our tiny area, we are running out of progressing investigators and have started to teach less actives and recent converts.  This has been a really amazing experience as we have helped many less actives come back to church.  My favorite thing though is to talk to the recent converts about their conversion story.  They are so full of faith and devotion, inspiring me to try even harder to find people that are ready to hear the gospel.  One particular recent convert that we have talked to is Juan Jose.  He took and dealt drugs, has 24 DUIs, has an illegitimate daughter in Mexico, and was in jail for 5 years.  In jail, he read the Bible three times through and decided he wanted to change his life.  He was really interested in the Holy Ghost and didn't know where or how he was going to get it.  The day he was released from jail, he was in his mother's house praying to know what to do and where to find the Holy Ghost.  Right after he prayed, E. Chamberlain and another missionary knocked on his door and the first thing they talked about was the Holy Ghost.  Juan Jose knew at that moment that they were servants of God and he immediately invited them in.  The rest is history!!  He is such an amazing convert and has helped me grow in my testimony.  Right now he is helping us to talk to his 15 family members in the area that are all interested in the church.  Many exciting potentials!

E. Chamberlain and I have been really focusing on staying exactly obedient. The past week, we have had a very stressful time keeping the people we have on date for baptism.  One of our baptism-ready investigators just up and disappeared.  The wife and daughter told us that he does this from time to time and is gone for days on end.  They don't where he goes or how long he is gone.  This was Sunday night and worried about what kind of trouble he could be getting into, we decided to be more aware of our obedience and start fasting.  Monday morning at about 11am, Chan Hernandez called to tell us that he still wanted to be baptized and was sorry to run off like that.  An investigator calling us like that is super uncharacteristic of the Latinos.  We know that things are working out because of the faith and trust we put in the Lord.  However, like we teach out investigators, we put our faith into action by fasting and being as obedient as we possibly could.  I have no intentions to lose the fervor in exact obedience after this last experience and know that we will be blessed as we keep working hard.

We had this amazing lesson with a new investigator named Maria.  We walked into her home with plans to teach the Restoration, but the Holy Ghost impressed us to share the Plan of Salvation.  We rarely start an investigator out with the Plan of Salvation because it is so full of new information but we really felt that is what we needed to do.  When we got to the Spirit World, we found out why the Plan of Salvation was something she needed.  Three of her children had died and she had no idea where they were.  We explained the wonderful blessing of eternal families and that she would be able to live with her children again in the presence of God.  Maria gave the closing prayer and cried as she asked God to keep her babies safe.  The Spirit was so strong during the lesson and we could see it working on Maria the entire lesson.  We have a lesson with her this coming Friday and plan on finishing the Plan of Salvation lesson.

I love being missionary and thank Heavenly Father everyday for the opportunity to do His work.  I love seeing the amazing changes take place within the families that we are teaching. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Janis

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