Monday, January 17, 2011

Zion's Camp Applies to Me

Hola Familia y Amigos,
I had an absolutely wonderful week!  I learned so much about myself and feel that all the experiences I have been having, both good and bad, are helping me become the man the Lord needs me to become.  I was reading in the book "Our Heritage" (a book in the missionary library about the beginning of the Church) and I came across the story of Zion´s Camp.  Zion´s Camp was a group of men organized and headed by Joseph Smith.  They were traveling across the frontier to help some members in another area.  Along the way, the men all went through very tough afflictions and many of them gave up.  Quite a few made it all the way to the other area, but when they arrived they found out that the reason they were needed was no longer valid.  Many took this to mean that Joseph Smith wasn´t a prophet and that the church wasn´t true.  However, the people that stayed faithful the whole time were eventually called to be some of the first General Authorities for the church.  God gave these men the opportunity to prove their faith.  I applied this story to the difficult experiences that as a missionary I sometimes face.  This story has given me so much peace in knowing that every time I patiently and prayerfully overcome each obstacle, I am becoming closer and closer to becoming the man the Lord needs me to be.  I find so much comfort in knowing that the Lord has a plan for me and I hope and pray that I will meet the end goal and accomplish what I was meant to accomplish.  Basically I love the mission, have learned tons, and plan to learn mountains more!
We had two baptisms this week!  One for Javier who sought us out in the streets one day and found us in the local grocery store.  He has been the most faithful and spiritual investigator that I have had yet and it was such a blessing to see him be baptized, fulfilling his desire "to start again and be better" (this is something he told us all the time).  The other baptism was for Jonathan.  His family did not want him to be baptized but he knew that he needed to and, even better, he really wanted to!  The service for both of them was an immense pleasure to be a part of.
Elder Lopez and I were walking through one of the huge apartment complexes in our area when we both felt we needed to talk to a guy that was about to cross our path.  We contacted him and asked when we could pass by his house to share the message.  He told us that he had to use the bathroom really bad and that we could come by in 30 minutes.  We excitedly returned and had a wonderful lesson with him in which he, Francisco, listened, discussed, and agreed quite easily.  The Spirit was so strong and I could see him accepting all our words due to the message being carried right to his heart.  Hopefully I will have awesome news for you next week as it pertains to Francisco!
I am so blessed to be here now and am loving every second of my time on the Lord´s errand.  Everyday I feel the Lord qualifying me more and have received so much strength from the Holy Ghost and its guidance.  I love each and everyone of you immensely and pray for your happiness and health.
Con Amor,
Elder Janis

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