Monday, October 3, 2011

The Hardest Week

Hola Familia:
I had the hardest week that I have ever had in the mission this last week.  We had two wonderful people all ready and excited for baptism but the both fell through at the last moment.  One of them had to work or he wouldn't have money to buy his children their school books.  He almost cried as he tried to explain to us that he wanted to do it but if he didn't work this last Saturday and Sunday he wouldn't have the money that he needed.  The other one was a little more tragic.  We passed by his house in the morning and he told us that he would meet us down in the chapel in about 1 hour.  Elder Mèndez and I went to a lesson and then to the chapel to be waiting and ready for them.  However, after waiting about 30 minutes we gave the wife of the person that would get baptized a call and she told us that she was on her way.   We then waited about 2 hours; we passed by their house and the grandma's house, and then to the chapel waiting and calling only to get the voice mail box as the response.  We didn't want to leave and then have them show up.  We then decided that we had to pack up and stop by the house as soon as possible.  On the way up the super steep hill in our area we found Carlos, he who was going to get baptized, coming down the hill.  We greeted him to find that he was super mad and told us that he couldn't come because his wife had done something stupid, they had gone to the hospital, and he now had to go to work.  He was already late but told us that he would give us more details Monday night, tonight.  We hope that everything is alright and that we can help him again have the chance to be baptized.
It was hard to see these wonderful people have such hard conflicts and opposition to be baptized.  This last couple of weeks Elder Mèndez and I have seen tons and tons of miracles so this is probably a test of patience and humility.  We are only going to work harder and smarter to be able to help them get baptized in the coming weeks.  When the Lord's on your side, who's against you. 
I absolutely loved conference and as I listened to the wonderful words revealed from God to latter-day prophets and apostles I received ideas and inspiration to help me be even a better leader and missionary.  What a humbling blessing we have to listen to President Monson and know that he talks face-to-face with the Lord.  As he was talking, this thought came to my mind and the Spirit came and affirmed this thought as I listened to his inspired words.  One thing that he said that was so powerful and that I will not hesitate to apply is "I do everything I can to serve the Lord, and I will do everything I can to serve YOU."  What a strong message of what being a true disciple of Christ is really all about; be the servant/server rather than the one who receives the service.  I have been trying to apply this message and am praying to know how to apply it in a way to really help my district.
I had a wonderful opportunity to interview someone this last week that didn't want to get baptized.  I was pretty nervous going into the interview but this companionship of elders in my district had a goal they wanted to meet and I am willing to do everything to help them have success.  The interview lasted about 2 hours and was filled with the Spirit.  I could see her slowly changing her disposition and in the closing of the interview she told me that nothing would stop her from taking her baptism.  Not only was she to get baptized but she was to do it this last Sunday.  It was such a blessing to have that opportunity to work WITH/ALONGSIDE the Spirit and have success that I would have never had without the Lord's help.  It was also a huge blessing to leave the interview and see the excitement fill the faces of the elders as she said that she would get baptized.  I will always remember listening intently to every word she said and then when it came time to talk I would have words just put into my mouth.  I will never forget the opportunity the Lord gave me to help out my district in this way!
I love you all and am looking forward to what the Lord has planned for us this coming week!  I hope that you all have a wonderful week!
Con amor,
Elder Janis