Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A week of miracles

Hey Family,
Cold weather has finally come to stay and it is supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow!  The mountains are beautiful and I love the crisp cold air as I walk my area.  Me and Elder Fuentes think we walk upwards of 4 or 5 miles-a-day.  I am so thankful for the exercise because the Spanish ward here feeds us like kings at every dinner.  After most meals, I feel like just rolling around to all our lessons!
This week, Elder Fuentes and I had some AMAZING experiences.  What I am learning from Elder Fuentes that will really help me now and later on in the mission is to diligently follow all of the counsel and advice of our Mission Leaders.  I came into this area with no one on date for baptism and only one or two that were even close to reaching that point.  We discussed what we wanted to do in order to gain more investigators and help the ones we have progress.  The first thing we did was make a goal to talk to every person that we met on the streets and tract out the apartment complexes in our area.  The second thing we did was make a goal to hard commit someone to baptism everyday.  (A hard commit= "will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the authority of God?)  The third thing we did was pray and have faith that the Lord will help us find one new investigator every day.  The fourth thing we did was commit to asking for referrals from every investigator, less active member, and recent convert we talked to.  The fifth thing we did was decide that we would do everything we could to enable ourselves for the Lords blessings such as obedience and really hard work.
After making these goals, we hit the ground running and have been working hard to meet every one of these goals.  Through this last week have added one or more investigators, received tons of referrals, and have put four people on date for baptism! I have seen many miracles this last week, but due to time I will tell you my two favorite experiences.
The first experience was with Rene Balan.  We were walking down 300 East when we saw a Latino man out racking his front lawn.  Both of us without really saying anything knew that we must talk to him because we had made a commitment to talk to everyone.  As we started up a conversation with Gorge, the man racking the leaves, we found out that he was a less active member.  We talked to him about coming back to church and the blessings that would come from following the commandments.  In this situation we would normally end with a prayer and go on our way, but as we offered to say a prayer he invited us in his home.  Inside his home, Gorge introduced us to his girlfriend Rene.  Rene then told us how she was interested in our church and had been taught a couple of times by sister missionaries.  Due to her working on Sundays, the sisters dropped her.  However, she recently become unemployed and has time for both the lessons and to go to church.  Elder Fuentes and I then taught her a couple of principles and then hard committed her to be baptized on the 20th of November which she then unhesitatingly responded yes.  We then made a calender of lessons for the next two weeks.  I know that the Lord had been preparing Rene for us and blessed us with the opportunity to meet with her.  This was undeniably a miracle to which I am so thankful to the Lord for blessing us with.
The next of my favorite miracles happened last night.  In the theater of the General Conference building, the church was putting on a musical theater production called "El Salvador del Mundo" (means "The Savior of the World").  It was an amazing depiction of the Savior's birth and post-Resurrection ministry.  I loved it and am thankful for the opportunity that I had to go.  However, the real miracle was who we went with to the theater production.
The Burton Ward and South Salt Lake Stake that we work in love Elder Fuentes and me.  On Saturday, they handed us an envelope of tickets to the show and desired that we invite all of our investigators to go.  We realized later that they had given us 30 tickets!  We have been working hard to gain the 10 or so really solid investigators and were not going to be able to find 30 investigators to go with.  That next few days and especially Tuesday, we worked as hard as we could on top of normal proselyting to get our investigators to go.  On Tuesday about 2 hours before we needed to go to the Conference Center, we had found only a couple of member families to take the tickets.  We didn't give up though.  We went to a young couple's home who we had just started out their lessons and asked them if they could go with us.  With only an hour to go before the the show, they surprisingly said yes and even invited some of their friends to come.
Not only had we been blessed to take investigators to the show but we were also blessed to meet two of their friends.  During the show, I could see them loving it and afterwards they thanked us many, many times.  This was just what they needed for their conversion and I anticipate they will be more excited to know more!  Also, since we met their friends we are going to start inviting them to the lessons.  Not only did the Lord bless us with two very solid people to go with, but we were also blessed with two very good potential investigators.  I even was blessed with the opportunity to go to the show also!
I love missionary work and am so excited to see what miracles are in store for Elder Fuentes and I next week!!!  I love you all tons and hope you have a great week because I know I will!!
Con abrazos,
Elder Janis