Monday, February 7, 2011

It's the best two years for your life...

Hola Mi Familia Chida,
I thought I would use some of my Chilango vocabulary to describe me wonderful family!  Chida is the Mexico City way of saying "awesome" or "cool". 
So this week was a spiritual roller coaster and I have never felt as close to the Lord as I have this past week.  We had a district meeting, zone meeting, and then a zone conference where President Villarreal spoke.  The Zone Conference was such a neat experience because Pres. Villarreal always knows what to say to make us want to be even more dedicated and obedient.  One thing that he said that I have taken in to be my anthem for the week is "A mission isn´t the best two years of your life; it´s the best two years for your life.  God will challenge you to become the man that he needs and knows you can become."  The mission has its ups and downs but with this perspective I have looked forwarded to the hardships; the opportunities that I have had where all I could do is humbly kneel before the Lord, pray for strength and perseverance, and then get right back to work in the glorious vineyard.  I have come to love the implications and fortifying strength of hope, an attribute of Christ that comes directly from our faith.  I have found that even in the hardest moments here in the mission I can always see the light of hope that emanates from Christ.  My hope is that I can really learn from these experiences and show my love for God through becoming the man he has placed me here to become.
Not only am I learning to embrace the hardships but I am loving the sweet experiences of seeing lives change and hope ignited in those we are teaching.  Jaqueline, who we baptized this last week, got confirmed on Sunday!  She has changed so much and is such a strong example for the rest of her family to follow.  Her only family-mom and brother-will be baptized this coming week.  Alan, her brother, is turning 8 this coming Saturday the day before he and his mom get baptized.  We had a great experience this last Saturday when we took Jaqueline and her family to the Mexico City temple Visitor´s Center (VC).  Right when the bus pulled up along side the temple, I could feel the peace and love from God that can only come from being in or near a temple.  I was hoping that Jaqueline´s family could feel the same things as we took a tour around the visitors center.  The VC here in Mexico City has a Chirstus statue like the one that is in the Salt Lake City Temple Visitor´s center.  There was a narration of Christ talking while we sat in front of the statue that our investigators liked a lot and that has always made me feel so peaceful.  The mom, Maria Teresa, especially liked how the narration said, "if you love me, keep my commandments."  We then had a virtual tour of the temple where Maria Teresa was especially interested in the work for the dead in the temple.  She already has the desire to have the baptism and sealing for her husband that has passed away.  I have really grown to love this family so much and am so blessed to see the gospel change their lives for good.
Well, I am out the door to start another week and hit the streets looking for more people ready to hear and accept the gospel.  I know that Christ lives and his hand is guiding missionary work.  I hope to get better and better at discerning the promptings of the Spirit so that we accomplish the work we are meant to accomplish in this area.  This opportunity I have never grows old and I won´t let it!  I love the good times and cherish the hard times.  I hope every single one of you had an amazing week too!
Con inmenso amor,

Elder Janis

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